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Is Complementarianism Connected to Domestic Abuse?
Black and white Bible. Black and blue wife.
These two word pictures offer an all-too-real account of what many women in the Church face: black-and-blue domestic abuse at the hand of black-and-white complementary-minded husbands.
Ruth Tucker should know. For 19 years she suffered physical, emotional, and sexual abuse while her husband quoted biblical texts commanding her to submit to male headship. She recounts her story in her new book Black and White Bible, Black and Blue Wife.
She also uncovers an uncomfortable reality:
I have asked some of the dozens of critical unanswered questions that relate directly to women’s stories of abuse. Sadly, there is little evidence that proponents of male headship are seriously grappling with them and speaking out publicly, and most women in such marriages are not being correctly counseled on matters of domestic violence.
Tim Challies critiqued Tucker’s book, specifically her assessment of complementarianism.
Both pieces are very much worth reading. Read them to explore God’s intent for the male-female marital relationship -- and the prevalence of domestic marital abuse among Christian women.
Then dig deeper: engage Tucker’s story and insights through her measured book. Do it, for the women in your life and congregation.
By Ruth A. Tucker
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