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Violence against women: the rage of the flesh

By November 28, 2012January 12th, 2015Uncategorized



Violence against women is a sin of an extreme nature. It is the opposite of Christ, who loved His bride and sacrificed Himself for her, to dignify her with eternal glory (Ephesians 5:25-27). Therefore, anyone who loves the Christian gospel must oppose violence against women as a sin against our Lord Himself.

But violence against women is wrong for another reason, a very personal reason that goes to the core of what a man is. This reason will mean nothing to some people, but in fact it is the deepest root of this sin and points to the only true remedy.

Violence against women is the rage of the flesh, utterly contrary to the Holy Spirit. According to the New Testament, the flesh – that is, our natural moral psychology, marked by selfish demandingness and excuses and superiority and swagger – proves itself in obvious ways: “. . . enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger” (Galatians 5:19-21). The rage of the flesh is, in fact, hostility toward God Himself (Romans 8:7).

Sir, if you abuse your wife or daughter or girlfriend, physically or verbally, you are more than a bully. You are the enemy of God. You are usurping his place as Judge. You tell yourself she needs a little roughing up. You tell yourself you are doing her a favor. But you are not a good man. You are an evil man and unqualified to judge. You are under God’s judgment.

Here is the choice you face. Go on justifying yourself, go on blaming her, in which case you will go to hell forever. Or own up to your evil and fall at the feet of Christ, the only Savior of violent bullies. He will amaze you with His forgiveness. He will turn you around, so that you become a Spirit-filled advocate for women, starting with the one you have mistreated.

Your problem is not her. Your problem is the deepest you that you are. And Christ is your only escape from you. Run to Him. He will not abuse you.


This article was written by Dr. Ray Ortlund, Lead Pastor of Immanuel Churchin Nashville, Tennessee and a Council member with The Gospel Coalition. It can be found on the Gospel Coalition blog here.

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