Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked. (Psalm 82:3-4 ESV)
At any time in a marriage or cohabitation, any abuse is sinful violence and will be treated as such by the elders of Sovereign Grace Church. Domestic violence which is physical in nature will not be tolerated. Even though difficult to determine or measure, verbal or emotional abuse is also gravely harmful and always damaging.
As necessary, the elders of Sovereign Grace Church will encourage victims of domestic abuse to utilize all possible legal structures to secure their safety from an abusive spouse. We submit to the State of Minnesota regarding domestic violence and abuse of children, the infirm, or the elderly. The elders of Sovereign Grace Church report acts of violence and abuse as required by law.
When necessary, those being harmed will be encouraged to remove themselves and any children from the environment that endangers them so they can know and experience safety. At the least, it means separation for a period of time, so that measured progress can be achieved by the violent partner. A “no tolerance of future harm” stance must be clearly understood and consistently demonstrated by the violent partner for reunion to occur.
If trust is not recoverable, the harmed spouse will be counseled and respected to determine if they can or will reenter the prior abusive relationship again. Though Scripture does not specifically address abuse as a legitimate reason for divorce, we believe that ongoing abuse and unrepentant behavior signifies a hardness of heart and violence to the marital bond that may be akin to abandonment by the offending spouse. This issue will be determined based upon prayer, wisdom, and discernment on the part of the elders.