Deb Sugars (St Jude’s Anglican Church, Melbourne)

Barbara Roberts’ book is a very helpful resource. Written by a survivor of domestic abuse, it is for people who have suffered in marriage, and for those who seek to minister with them, in encouragement and counsel. Barbara's coverage of the issues is comprehensive. She defines abuse clearly, and carefully examines the relevant biblical material, and academic research in the area. She shows how the bible can give victims of abuse freedom from guilt. She draws a helpful distinction between treacherous divorce and disciplinary divorce – the former when a spouse takes out a divorce without biblical grounds, the latter where there is a clear statement of the grounds for divorce, a verification that they are biblical, then discipline is used as a tool. Barbara's plea to teachers and speakers, at the conclusion of the book, is ‘It only takes 11 words to say: God hates treacherous divorce but he does not hate disciplinary divorce.’

Deb Sugars (pastoral care worker, St Jude’s Anglican Church, Melbourne)