Dear Kim and George,
I was thinking about our time together yesterday and it occurred to me that I didn’t address something that you both referenced in your forms—the big fight of a few weeks ago. You both mentioned that it had escalated to the point of punching and some pretty serious physicality. I’m sorry for not talking about it.
In the realm of Biblical Counseling it is not the counselor who does the work in people’s heart, it is the Lord Jesus—the great physician. He’s the only one who can repair broken hearts and mend broken homes. Consequently, as a human counselor my job is to point people to the true God and help them to see their false gods. The homework is always geared to spending time with God so that he can do his work in our hearts.
The problem comes when people expect me to directly address what they see as the issue in their lives. However, the issue they see is usually only the tip of the iceberg, the thing they see, but which showed itself because of years of sinful, but not, until now, devastatingly serious thoughts and behavior.
In similar situations, a pastor friend of mine says to people, “would you like to hear good advice, or good news?” The good advice is just that good advice, but there is no power to follow or implement the good advice. Good news on the other hand connects people to Jesus Christ, who loves to give not only good advice, but also the power to follow the good advice.
I didn’t give you the option, I’m sorry. I just jumped to the good news part. Your situation is so serious that I didn’t think I wanted to take the chance that you thought your problems could be solved by simply talking about them.
So, here’s the good advice: First, Kim don’t do or say things that you know will provoke George to wrath. The Bible tells wives of fathead husbands to,
…be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external– the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening. (1 Pet 3:1-6)
The context (chapter 2) of this directive is to imitate Jesus in laying down his life for people who need Christ. I mentioned principles and priorities yesterday. The godly wife needs to make the eternal the priority and this includes how she lives with her family.
Your objection might be that George will just walk all over you, but that’s exactly what he’s doing anyway. Your objections and fighting are not changing that at all. The only options for you are to leave or to submit yourself to God in Jesus Christ and let God do his work in George’s heart. You should know that if you leave, you will just move into another horrible relationship later. Unless things change they stay the same and this includes relationships.
Second, Kim, if you do say things to George that incite or provoke him to hit you, you should leave the home with your kids and go somewhere safe. If you don’t have anywhere near you that is safe, you can call me and I’ll find you a place up here where unless you want to you will not be found. You should also call the police and have George arrested and at least put into the system as a wife beater.
Third, George and Kim, you both need to know that these fights and quarrels come from hearts of stone. The Bible says, “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” (James 4:1-3). The reason you are in the mess you are in today, is because you have been in the mess for a long long time. It is now finally coming to the surface in the way that it is. You need new hearts.
Fourth, George, you need to change your mind about how you think about and treat Kim. You need to think about her in a Biblical way, which means that you need to realize that she is your glory. When she is beautiful, you are beautiful. If she is ugly, you are ugly. She reflects you. She is your reflection. If your family is doing well, you are doing well. You need to change whatever you are measuring your life by to what the Bible says it is; and that starts with your relationship with God and moves quickly to your relationship with Kim. When you make mistakes, you don’t hit yourself. Don’t hit Kim. When you make mistakes you do whatever it takes to fix things as quickly as possible. Do this with Kim.
Fifth, I mentioned this yesterday, but George, you need to lay down your life to Jesus first and to Kim second. You are not your own. When you stand up for yourself, you should be standing up for Kim. You no longer exist alone. You and Kim are one (Gen. 2:24).
Finally, George, you may not hit Kim anymore. If you do, for any reason at all, you must turn yourself in to the police and take whatever they give you. There is nothing Kim can do to you to provoke you to that kind of terrible behavior towards her. Your job is to make her more beautiful, not beat her up. That just won’t do. Never do that again.
In conclusion: you both need to know that God has done for you all that he has because he loves you and wants you to be ultimately happy. Because he is God, he knows that you can only really be happy if you are living with and in him. Joy comes from knowing and walking with God. So, walk with him and rejoice in him. Everything else flows from that.