In a society under stress, the family is impacted. Domestic violence has escalated into an urgent national problem with spiritual as well as physical, legal, psychological and social implications that cannot be ignored. We must be alert to the facts:
- Domestic violence is evident in one out of ten families throughout the nation;
- Domestic violence ranges from physical brutality and sexual abuse to mental cruelty and neglect;
- Domestic violence is a pattern often perpetuated in the family from generation to generation;
- Domestic violence is no respecter of social class, economic status, educational achievement, age, sex, race or ethnic origin.
More alarming, pastors and other clergy are reporting increasing numbers of parishioners — both perpetrators and victims of domestic violence — coming to them for counsel. It is evident Christian families are under stress and vulnerable to violence.
Therefore, in keeping with our long-standing commitment to the family as an institution ordained by God, the National Association of Evangelicals affirms that the Bible:
- Provides the principles for the prevention of family violence (Eph. 4:31- 32).
- Forbids all forms of violence or abuse in human and family relationships while still upholding proper parental discipline (Eph. 4:25-29, Heb. 12:7-11).
- Instructs us on family relationships between husbands and wives; and children and parents (Eph. 5: 21-6:4 and 1 Peter 3:7). To repudiate the mutuality of responsibility between family generations is to “deny the faith” (1 Tim. 5:8 NIV).
Furthermore, NAE calls upon local churches to develop a biblically-based philosophy of discipline; oppose violence in the media which contributes to family violence; urge all segments of our society to cooperate with the church and civil government to put an end to family violence in its various forms; call upon society to promote justice and support laws against family violence which can help provide an orderly framework for our lives together, recognizing the rights and responsibilities of families to promise/exercise appropriate discipline; seek training in the prevention, treatment and follow-up of family violence; and minister to the needs of both perpetrators and victims of family violence.