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Domestic Abuse
Judith Ewing. Vital Speeches of the Day. New York: Dec 2006. Vol. 72, Iss. 26; pg. 793, 2 pgs Abstract (Summary)
A speech by Judith Ewing, abuse counselor and deacon of Christ Episcopal church, is presented. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This year it was launched with the most tragic event people have experienced in many years: the murder of a wife and her four children by her husband. On the steps of the State House in Columbia, on Oct 2, 33 life-sized cutouts depicting the 32 people who had lost their lives due to domestic violence and one to honor those who are unknown victims, were held by family and friends to honor the memory of those who had died. Thirty-two people died by the hands of someone who professed to love them. Domestic abuse is insidious; it escalates sometimes slowly, sometimes rapidly. So often the abused party cries in silence, suffers in private. Partner violence is largely caused by a need for power and control.  »  Jump to indexing (document details)

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Copyright McMurry, Inc. Dec 2006

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|THE BIBLE AND DIVORCE |

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It seems that at every turn the Pharisees were testing Jesus. Why do you allow your disciples to pick corn on the Sabbath? Why do they eat with defiled hands? Why do you heal people on the Sabbath? Why do you eat with sinners and tax collectors? The testing questions were relentless. Here is another one.

Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?
The Pharisees knew very well that divorce was commonly allowed. Deuteronomy 24:1-4, the only mention of divorce in the Torah, states that a man can divorce his wife simply by handing her a certificate of divorce and sending her away. For the Pharisees, the real issue was the debate on what were the grounds for divorce. The school of Shammai held that sexual misconduct was the only grounds for divorce. The followers of Hillel allowed divorce for anything that displeased the husband, no matter how trivial. The Pharisees wanted to see on which side of the fence Jesus would fall. Instead, He ... he answers the question with a question.

What did Moses command you?
In Deuteronomy 24:1-4, Moses only addresses a situation where a man wants to remarry a woman he had previously divorced. Jesus then takes the answer back to Genesis when God provides Adam with a helper as his partner. Twice that partnership is mentioned. God provided a fitting helper. Their relationship is to be one of EQUAL AND COMPLEMENTARY, MUTUAL COMPANIONSHIP What God has joined together, let no one separate.

An equal and complementary mutual companionship that neither party would want to tear apart. I want us to look at that relationship in the context of the here and now. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This year it was launched with the most tragic event we have experienced in many years: the murder of a wife and her four children by her husband. On the steps of the State House in Columbia, on October 2, 33 life-sized cutouts depicting the 32 people who had lost their lives due to domestic violence and one to honor those who are unknown victims, were held by family and friends to honor the memory of those who had died. Our attorney general heralded in this Break the Silence Memorial again this year. Thirty-two people died by the hands of someone who professed to love them. Because of this, it would be very remiss of me if I did not speak on this difficult topic in relation to the Scriptures. For four years I counseled the perpetrators of domestic violence and had regular contact with their partners. For this reason, the first sight of these Scriptures troubled me. When we hear "What God has joined together let no one separate," what does that mean to us when we see so many marriages and relationships that contain abuse, violence and, at the very worst, death? Six months ago a young woman came to see me; her husband was...
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