Question:

My husband abused me sexually. I was willing to have intercourse with him, but he couldn't become fulfilled unless he was hurting me. According to the Scriptures I was to fulfill him, but was I to fulfill him when he was hurting me, both mentally and physically? I felt this was wrong in God's eyes and I felt ashamed and demeaned. I did not feel loved. Is this not sexual assault? I thought he was going to kill me. Does God expect in that circumstance for me to stay married? I found out my husband has a sexual addiction, obsessive-compulsive disorder and is suffering from depression.

I have been a Christian for several years and I am afraid of the man I married. I have been in turmoil about what I should do. I prayed and felt God was telling me it was ok to divorce my husband. We have been through lots of counseling and things have only got more violent on his part.


Answer:

First, being married does not give a person the right to abuse his spouse. "So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church" (Ephesians 5:28-29). The fact that the abuse took place during sex is not relevant. Report the problem to your local authorities. Allow the government to handle the problem, which is its purpose. "For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God's minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil" (Romans 13:3-4).

Second, there are cases where a person decides to leave his spouse, even though such leaving is not God's intention for marriage. "Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife" (I Corinthians 7:10-11). If you feel you must leave for your safety, realize that scripturally you have no right to marry another man. If your husband overcomes his problem you can return to him. You might think this is "unfair," but realize that you pick this man for your husband and I'm sure the signs of his problems existed while you dated him. You chose to ignore the warnings, thinking they didn't matter.

Third, you are ascribing your personal emotional feelings to God, such is a dangerous tactic. "For who has known the mind of the LORD? Or who has become His counselor?" (Romans 11:34). God has told us what He desires for us to do. It is written down in His word. "His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue" (II Peter 1:3). The answers to life's problems are in the Scriptures and not in man's variable emotions.