● Is it proper for married couples to bring their domestic problems to the attention of the judicial committee?
If a married couple have some problems, they should try to settle these problems themselves in harmony with the counsel of God’s Word. However, if they are not able to do so and the problem is a serious one, it would be proper for either one or both to speak to the older men on the judicial committee.—See Matthew 18:15-17.
For example, a serious domestic problem would be the case of a man who physically beats his wife, doing her injury. A Christian should not be a smiter. (1 Tim. 3:3; Titus 1:7) Christians ought to produce the fruitage of the spirit, which includes self-control and peace. (Gal. 5:22, 23) The husband should be loving his wife as he does himself.—Eph. 5:28, 29; Col. 3:19; also see 2 Timothy 2:24 and 1 Peter 3:7.
If the evidence indicates that serious violence is involved, the congregation judicial committee would investigate the matter to find out what led to the mistreatment of the wife and give Scriptural counsel to both parties in an effort to restore peace in the family. They may find that it is necessary to give more than counsel; perhaps the man will have to be given private or public reproof. If a man proves to be a habitual beater of his wife, being without self-control and fierce (2 Tim. 3:3), and he does not conform to the Scriptural counsel that was given by the older men in the congregation, the violent man can be disfellowshipped.
If the injured wife then decides to institute some court action against her disfellowshipped husband, feeling this to be necessary to protect herself from violence, this would not be out of line with the counsel recorded at 1 Corinthians 6:1-6.
Similar action can be taken if a complaint is brought to the older men that a member of the congregation is able, but not willing to provide for his family in harmony with 1 Timothy 5:8.
The congregation judicial committee should not spy into the personal, private family affairs of others; but when persons seek their counsel they have a great responsibility to judge matters in harmony with the Scriptures and to protect the good name of the congregation. When a case is brought to their attention, they should be thorough in dealing with it and check later to see if the counsel they have given is followed and the needed improvement made. The older men seek to correct things that are defective, including serious domestic problems brought to their attention.—Titus 1:5.