Theologians can sometimes be heard encouraging married women to endure abuse "for a season" (such as John Piper). But why do we hear so seldom about repentance? Aren't theologians supposed to talk about repentance, and guide abusive individuals to end their abusive ways? How is it possible that they are telling the abused to endure, but not the abuser to stop?
"But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you (Luke 6:27-31, NIV).
It appears that the principle of male privilege, on which hierarchical theology rests, makes it difficult - if not impossible - for theologians to guide women to defy their abusive husbands and seek help, mostly because of a few out-of-context verses that are used to support, and defend such a theology, such as this one:
Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives (1 Peter 3:1-2, NIV).
It is in Ephesians 5 that we find what a Christian marriage ought to look like.
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 his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, 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." (Ephesians 5:25-31 NIV).