John Piper: wives should let themselves get smacked before getting help

Yep, that’s almost an exact quote.

Apparently, this is a pretty old video, but it’s new to me.

Piper has since attempted to clarify his remarks … but they ring hollow most of the way through, and at other times are downright despicable. To be fair to John, I suppose I should recommend that you read the whole thing, even though I’m not sure a guy who advises women to let themselves get slapped deserves defense.

But recourse to civil authorities may be the right thing for an abused wife to do. Threatening or intentionally inflicting bodily harm against a spouse (or other family members) is a misdemeanor in Minnesota, punishable by fines, short-term imprisonment, or both. Which means that a husband who threatens and intentionally injures his wife is not only breaking God’s moral law, but also the state’s civil law. In expecting his wife to quietly accept his threats and injuries, he is asking her to participate in his breaking of both God’s moral law and the state’s civil law.

Okay, “may” be the right thing for an abused wife to do? May as in maybe? It is always the right thing to do, no exceptions.

To make matters worse, Piper doesn’t say that an abused wife ought to call the police to protect her own safety. Nope. You call the police because if you’re being abused and you don’t report it, you’re complicit in the crime of spousal abuse. So, you’re a victim, and you’re a criminal.

And it doesn’t get any better.

Rather than rehash all of Piper’s nonsense, I’ll close with my simple opinion:

If you are the victim of domestic violence, call the police first, call reliable family/friends second, and call the church third.

Yes, the church may be a place for emotional and physical healing, but the church has no authority to stop a violent man from harming a woman.

And stop listening to John Piper when it comes to marriage, especially if your’e a woman.


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