I don't think it was only sarcasm. Follow the thread of his conversation. After he finished his sarcasm, he still went back to say that, "something needs to be done." He did the follow up with silence, caesura, or a hiatus. By invoking that moment of silence, caesura or hiatus, he stretches the earlier thought into the present thought. No one should argue that he did not mean it. What was his proposition for remediation if he did not mean it?What should the man do with his wife who is stubborn and uncompromising?
The man of God should have inquired from the man if they have living parents. He would have said, " you should talk to your parents let both families come together and iron out the differences." If it does not work, they should seek ecclesiastic or general counseling, but beating should not have even been an option. What if the woman was stronger than the man? Who should beat the other then?
Until then, " I like not that!"
St Arrey of Ntenako