Violence in the Family

“You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13).  A right understanding of this sixth commandment and a fear of God’s power to revenge human life would go a long way toward taking violence out of the home.  Consider these verses:

1.”And He said, ‘What have you done?  The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground (Genesis 4:10).  Cain’s punishment was immediate.

2.”The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence” (Genesis 6:11).  The flood was not long in coming.

3.”Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed; For in the image of God He made man” (Genesis 9:6).  Capital punishment was to be enforced for murder.

4.”You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’  But, I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.  And whoever says to his brother, ‘Empty Head,’ shall be in danger of the council.  But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire” (Matthew 5: 21-22).  Jesus was equating hatred with murder showing the intent of the heart even if the physical act isn’t done.

5.”Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him” (I John 3:15).  The apostle John was warning the Christian community of one’s false assurance if they continued hating another.

The basis for this sixth commandment is that God has control over all of life because He is the Creator (Psalm 96:4-6).  To take another’s life, whether out of anger or compassion toward their suffering, or fear of  your being  inconvenienced,  is to take God’s responsibility upon yourself.  Instead, we must yield to God’s reign over human life. (See Whatever Happened To the Ten Commandments, p. 62, by Ernest Reisinger.)

The data about violence in our home is staggering.  72% of all murders in the U.S. involve an intimate partner; 94% of murder victims are women! (National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence)  In 2009, in Florida, 50 % of those murdered left behind children. And family murders increased that year 15.6% at a time when crime was going down in the state.  81% were killed in their own home by gunshot, stabbing, beating, or strangulation (2009 Florida Report).  In 2014, the United Nations Academic Council coined the word, “Femicide,” for the killing of women because they are women.  They claim that worldwide 1 in 3 women are subject to violence during their lifetime.  God has promised not to destroy the earth again but He promises to revenge murder.  Thankfully, His mercy is higher than the clouds.  But, woe to all people of violence when the Lord Jesus Christ returns to judge the living and the dead.

How about you?

Suffering at the hands of an angry man?  Cringing before him because you want to submit to his headship?  Christian marriage is not to be like that.

Harboring hatred and thinking about that person when you least expect it?

Had an abortion and feeling the guilt?  Even more so after this study?

I can’t give you specific advice for your particular situation.  But, God promises light to those who truly seek His way of handling each circumstance.  Don’t become a victim.  Don’t be a murderer even if it is hatred instead of the act.  Pray for guidance and seek help.  The Sixth Commandment is our friend forever to guide us in all our ways.  Violence in the family would cease if the Lord’s right to reign over life was honored.

About Carol Brandt

I earned a B.A. in History from Florida State University and M.Ed in.Higher Education from Florida Atlantic University. I taught high school social studies before “retiring” to full-time homemaking and raising two daughters. Now I love being a grandmother to four boys and a girl. I have also raised five collies.

My husband, John, was an optometrist, who worked tirelessly for his profession through private practice and as a consultant, and served on the Board of Trustees of Illinois College of Optometry for twenty years.

Ernest Reisinger was my chief mentor in this warm-hearted application of Calvinism. He gave me many books! The Founders Journal and Founders Conferences, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, and Charles Spurgeon have been other sources of Reformed thinking as well as the other warm-hearted ones listed in my book, “Warm-hearted Calvinists.”

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