In your relationship, has your spouse, significant other, or dating partner

___ screamed, yelled, or thrown objects across the room or at you?

___ intimidated, bullied you, blocked you from leaving the room, or destroyed your possessions?

___ called you names, humiliated you, demeaned you privately or in front of others (even if saying it was just “in jest”)?

___ controlled the finances so you don’t have free access to money? coerced, manipulated, or threatened—to divorce, take the kids away, stop working, etc.?

___ manipulated circumstances in order to isolate you or leave you with no means of transportation?

___ restricted who your friends are and when you can or can’t spend time with them?

___ demanded an accounting for everything you do, every place you go, and every dollar you spend?

___ minimized and/or denied his or her negative actions toward you or the impact they had on you?

___ blamed you for his or her anger, violent outbursts, selfishness, and irrational behaviors?

___ told the children that you are a bad parent and blamed you for the family’s problems in front of the children?

___ used the Bible to tell you how you should be acting as a spouse, to accuse you of being a bad Christian, or to wonder if you’re truly saved?

Look over this list. If you marked even one thing—yes, even one—you need to stop and take note. What does this show you about the relationship you’re in? Could you possibly be in a violent domestic relationship and haven’t recognized it? Or do you recognize it but feel compelled to stay because of your faith or because of the conviction that your kids need two parents at home?

There’s zero tolerance for domestic violence, even in Christian families. Seek out help now. Contact a counselor who understands domestic violent relationships or contact your local Center for Prevention of Domestic Violence. Do this for your sake—and especially for your kids’ sake.