Last week I featured John Wilks’ review of Barbara Roberts’ book, Not Under Bondage. I invited Barbara to tell us more about the book and why she wrote it. This is the first of two articles she has prepared in response to that invitation.
Want a hot potato? Here’s a book on divorce for domestic abuse.
How many people come into your bookshop asking for a book on divorce?
How many come in asking for a book on domestic abuse?
As an author of a book that deals with both topics – Not Under Bondage: Biblical Divorce for Abuse, Adultery and Desertion – my guess is that more customers ask for a book on divorce than domestic abuse. Domestic abuse is stigmatised and those touched by it feel very ashamed. However, although they may not ask for books on the subject, they are probably browsing your shelves hoping to find something.
Not Under Bondage differs from other Christian books on divorce in that it focuses primarily on divorce for domestic abuse. It explains the scriptural dilemmas of abuse victims, carefully examines the scriptures and scholarly research, and shows how the Bible sets victims of abuse free from bondage and guilt.
Not Under Bondage does not open the floodgates to all divorce. It distinguishes between “treacherous divorce” and “disciplinary divorce”. The book’s thesis is that disciplinary divorce is permitted by the Bible; it applies in cases of abuse, adultery or desertion, where a seriously mistreated spouse divorces a seriously offending spouse. Treacherous divorce, on the other hand, is condemned by the Bible. It occurs when a spouse obtains divorce for reasons other than abuse, adultery or desertion.
With remarriage, it says that if the offending partner was sexually immoral, the non-offending partner is allowed to remarry. And if the offending partner abused, deserted or unjustly dismissed the other, and the offender has been judged to be ‘as an unbeliever’, it shows that the Bible allows the mistreated partner to remarry.
When Phil Groom asked me for my terms of trade, I put together a returns policy that he said was quite unusual. I want to remember the poor, and many victims of abuse are poor, due to financial abuse by the perpetrator, and having to start life again after separation. I’m happy to refund any bookshop that purchases books direct from me (Maschil Press) if they think they have overstocked, on condition that the books be donated to women’s refuges, shelters, domestic violence agencies, para-church groups dealing with domestic violence, or individual victims who might be too poor to purchase a copy for themselves.
I am happy to suggest a recipient for donated books, should you wish. I will refund the money you paid for the books and will cover postage costs of forwarding the donated books, so long as books are sent as one package to an address within your own country using the cheapest possible postage rate.
For further information and reviews see www.notunderbondage.com.