Many Bible verses are manipulated by those who choose to abuse. This is spiritual abuse. Here are some common examples.

REFERENCE: Malachi 2:16

WHAT THE VICTIM IS TOLD: God hates divorce.

WHAT THE VERSE ACTUALLY SAYS: For I hate divorce,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “and him who covers his garment (his wife) with wrong,” says the Lord of hosts. “So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.”

WHAT THIS MEANS: God hates divorce because of the devastation it brings to all. But he also hates a man who covers his wife with any type of wrong or violence.


REFERENCE: Ephesians 5: 21-31

WHAT THE VICTIM IS TOLD: Wives are to submit to their husbands.


Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church—for we are members of his body. “For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[c] This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

WHAT THIS MEANS: This entire section starts with the command: “Submit to one another”. And part of the passage commands husbands to love their wives, as Christ loves the church. That means unconditional love with an attitude of being the head servant.

REFERENCE: I Peter 3:7

WHAT THE VICTIM IS TOLD: The woman is the weaker vessel.

WHAT THE VERSE ACTUALLY SAYS:  Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

WHAT THIS MEANS: When the Bible refers to women as the weaker vessel, this means physically weaker only.  This verse is clear that husbands are to respect their wives.