I recently bought and read Ruth Tucker's book, black and white bible, black and blue wife. This book is a valuable tool in the fight against domestic violence and abuse in marriages, especially within the church. This candid account of a pastor's wife who was beaten and abused by her pastor-husband gives vivid insight into the trap of domestic violence and the role ministry can play.
One thing that resonated with me was that Ruth found her hope through her own, personal study of the Scriptures. I personally think this is the one key to all Christian growth, but I meet Christian wives who actually stunt their own spiritual growth, or allow it to be stunted by their husbands. This has to stop. We women need to pursue Jesus as individuals, not as a wives, not through our husbands and not allow our personal, spiritual growth to be slowed or stunted by anyone.
I highly recommend this book. I think pastors need to read it so they will know what not to do when they find out about abuse in their church. If a pastor thinks this does not happen among his members, he is sorely mistaken. It's more common than most people realize.
We can stop the cycle of abuse. This book can help by opening our eyes to the abuse often going on all around us. I admire Ruth's courage in writing this and am aware of the pain it must have caused to "relive" these events through writing.
This epidemic of abuse has to matter to all Christians. In light of the abuse recently revealed about Donn Ketcham and ABWE (Association of Baptists for World Evangelism), we can't keep our heads in the ground like ostriches and insulate ourselves from the effects of abuse. We can't declare that "it doesn't edify me" and ignore what our fellow Christians are enduring. Abuse edifies no one, but if Christian leaders dismiss it because they, personally, aren't "edified," they really don't belong in Christian leadership. Compassion hurts; it made Jesus weep. Where is it these days?
Click here to buy Ruth's book and prepare to have your mind and your heart opened.