Woman as Owned Property —A Prevailing Mentality in the Church
I have mentioned in past articles that I have known professing Christian men (and women who have bought into it) who really believe that a wife is the husband’s property. Owned. He sees his children that way too, even when they grow up. His. Mine. Holds the title deed to them.
One such man — probably the most notorious I have ever known — evidenced this thinking numbers of times. He said things like this:
- If another man is flirting with my wife, I am going to fight for her. She is mine.
- “You must obey me,” says this guy to his wife.
The first statement sounds noble, right? It isn’t. What he means is “my wife is mine just like my truck is mine and no one is going to take her away from me.” When “fighting for her,” he will not only fight against the other man (who may really not have been making advances to the wife at all, maybe only talking to her), he will launch his assaults against her as well.
Property owned, you see.
And I suggest (no, really I just flat out say it) that this property-owned mentality is prevalent in many if not most churches today and explains why abuse victims are treated so shabbily in those places. Husbands own their wives. Therefore, husbands pretty much have the right to do whatever with them. Yes, once in a while you will run across a woman who treats her husband in such a way. I’ve seen it. But it is far more common for the husband to think he holds title. EnTITLEment, you see.
Dr Josie McSkimming is a clinical social worker and an Australian Christian. On this [This link is broken and there is no replacement. Editors.] recent ABC TV program about domestic abuse in the church, she said:
How can it be that when an abused woman goes to her church leaders for help, she is accused, spurned, disregarded, yada, yada. You know the routine. How is that? Well, the men of the church, including the leaders, reinforced by various celebrity “christian” authors, see her as a slave owned. Her duty, like a slave owned by a cruel master with no way of escape, is to submit quietly. In the end, if the victim leaves her abuser, she is spurned for having defied her owner like some runaway slave. He on the other hand, is excused of his cruelties (yes, in many such cases the pastor and church leaders KNOW how he has mistreated her) because after all, he is her master. And shucks, none of us are perfect, ya know.
What do you think is going to happen on that Day when Christ comes and judges the world? What is it going to be when men like this who claimed to be His undershepherds, are called to give accounts to Him for the abuses of His flock? I can tell you.
It’s going to be hell.