For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. (Isaiah 53:2-3)
Abusers are the children of their father the devil. So it is not surprising that they share one of his favorite tactics — accusation. And one of the very common charges that abusers level at their victims is something like this: “You never keep friends. Your friendships never last. You always reject them eventually. Or they reject you when they see how weird you really are.” Ever heard that line? I have. Plenty of times.
Of course the goal behind this lie is to make the accused feel worthless. If you believe this wickedness is true then you are going to see yourself as a person no one wants at best and at worst, someone who just uses people for a time and then dumps them. This is the kind of lying fog that helps abusers keep their victim under control. If they are in fact incapable of maintaining a friendship long term, no one is going to come to their aid if they ask, right?
If you are a true follower of Jesus Christ, then the words quoted above from Isaiah 53 are going to be applied to you at some point. You will be despised and rejected by men, acquainted with grief. Others will see you as having no form or majesty, rather, you are a person who repels others and from whom they hide their faces. Sounds a lot like the very stuff the abuser tells us about ourselves.
Also, if you are a genuine, real-deal Christian, then some, if not many, of your relationships ARE going to fall apart. As you grow in Christ, superficial friends, some of whom claim to be Christians, are going to withdraw from you. Or you may well have to withdraw from them. We are, after all, not to be bound together in intimate relationships with unbelievers or with so-called “brothers” who live like the devil (see 1 Cor 5). It happened to Jesus frequently:
After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” (John 6:66-67)
The real question becomes, you see, not why you experience broken relationships, but why is it that the abuser seems to be so popular with others?
One of the worst abusers I have ever known in my years as a pastor frequently launched this accusation at me — “you never keep relationships.” Of course I have many relationships with real believers who I have been close friends with for decades, but over the years I have indeed had to confront hypocrites and they almost always turn on anyone who tells them the truth. Yet this fellow who loved to revile us and make these accusations always managed to remain popular. How? He was like seaweed waving in the tides. He would take whatever position on issues that brought him the most favor and cost him the least. So he was the “go-to” man of the wicked and enjoyed popularity. Then he would level his accusations — “you never keep relationship. You dump people. You are too harsh. You hurt them.” That is how it goes.
It is all lies of course. It is the poison from those fangs that Paul says lie behind the lips of the evil man. Don’t believe any of it.
The misdiagnosis is deadly. If a doctor diagnosed cancer as the common cold, he would likely be sued for malpractice. When counselors misdiagnose an abusive marriage as simply requiring a higher level of commitment by the abuse target…they generally seem to refuse to admit error and stand by their original misdiagnosis of “if only you would have…” (by Joe Pote)
The original cancer analogy can be found at this post: The relational cancer of abuse is not like the common cold. Joe’s comment can be found in the comment section of this post – here.
Binding the strong man
Esther is in the cockpit of the battle between the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of Our Lord, and at this part of the story she is facing possibly the greatest part of the battle.
Hamaan, the antichrist figure, was hoist on his own petard. He has been trying to eradicate the Jews but he is caught in his own trap. Hamaan is a type of the great dragon in Revelation 12 waiting for the woman to give birth to the child when just as he was about to pounce, the child was spirited away.
Reversal of fortunes — poetic justice
Jesus’ being hung on the Cross spelled the embarrassment, the failure, the ridicule of all of His enemies:
He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him. (Colossians 2:15 ESV)
In a prefigurement of this, Hamaan this antichrist figure is put to open shame. King Asheuerus has Hamaan hung on the guillotine which Hamaan had built to kill Mordecai. And the King gives Esther all the goods of the house of Hamaan. She was originally a nobody — an orphan taken as a sex-slave into the King’s hareem and sequestered from the world — and now she owns all of Hamaan’s wealth!
Esther tells the King what Mordecai was to her: how he had brought her up and earnestly cared for her even from a distance while she was in the hareem. This makes the king feel even more gratitude to Mordecai, so he exalts Mordecai to be his prime minister.
But the Jews were still in danger. The law of the Medes and Persians cannot be revoked, and the edict for the annihilation of the Jews still stands. Esther bravely takes another initiative: she falls at the King’s feet pleading for him to revoke the edict. She is under less tension because she herself is no longer in danger, so the dam bursts — she weeps. She intercedes with emotion… and the King reaches out the royal sceptre, giving her permission to speak. So she masters her emotions and use courtly language to beg for her people:
“If it please the king, and if I have found favor in his sight, and if the thing seems right before the king, and I am pleasing in his eyes, let an order be written to revoke the letters devised by Haman the Agagite, the son of Hammedatha, which he wrote to destroy the Jews who are in all the provinces of the king.”
And with all her diplomatic courtly language, her passion still comes through:
“For how can I bear to see the calamity that is coming to my people? Or how can I bear to see the destruction of my kindred?”
Her intercession is successful; reversal of fortunes now comes to all the Jews, the people of God.
Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther and to Mordecai the Jew, “Behold, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and they have hanged him on the gallows, because he intended to lay hands on the Jews. But you may write as you please with regard to the Jews, in the name of the king, and seal it with the king’s ring, for an edict written in the name of the king and sealed with the king’s ring cannot be revoked.”
So Mordecai composes another law, a law that contradicts the law which Hamaan had written. This law empowers the Jews to gather and defend their lives against all their enemies. At each point Hamaan’s edict is undone by Mordecai’s edict.
It is a picture of how the law of sin and death is undone by Jesus the Messiah.
In the light of a king’s face there is life, and his favor is like the clouds that bring the spring rain. (Proverbs 16:15)
The church’s response to feminism has swung the pendulum too far the other way and it is LEADING TO ABUSE!
I have been a Christian woman for over 20 years…married to an unbeliever that had an abusive domineering earthly father. I thought my husband was a Christian when we married, only to find out later that I did not know him well at all. Fast-forward to a few years ago, my husband accepted Christ. At first, I saw a new creation before my eyes. This man was learning and growing in the Lord. I was amazed and our relationship was getting better.
We began attending a church of my husband’s choice (I was just so stinkin excited to see him go to church at all) that began teaching these “TrueWoman” type ways. John Piper and Nancy Lee Demoss seem to be the true leadership by way of our pastor jumping on to their points of view. My husband quickly started domineering in our home. He wanted submission from his wife and children. He wanted us to sit at his feet and learn from him. He wanted support and adoration from everyone. He wanted service and loyalty. Everything became HIS way. He knew BEST in EVERYTHING. He began to want more and more sex. He frequently criticized our sexual encounters. I wasn’t “into enough”. I didn’t seem like I adored him enough. I wasn’t loving him enough.
I sank into a deep depression. I began to see God differently than ever before. I felt like God was ONLY for my husband and not for me unless I was more obedient…more submissive…more adoring. I began to see myself as only a person in regards to my husband. Not an individual loved my Christ. I didn’t even feel like a human being anymore. Only a servant…and a terrible one at that. I don’t go to church anymore. I can’t pray. I don’t trust God. I struggle so hard to believe He loves me anymore. I don’t know what the future holds and I am scared for my salvation.
This message NEEDS to get out there. Something is happening in the church and I don’t think it is good. There has been such a HUGE counter response to feminism that the pendulum has swung back the other way and it is LEADING TO ABUSE!!! They don’t see it. But it is happening in homes everywhere. Women are being told to be quiet and submit and men think THEIR WAY is God ordained. The signals are getting crossed and this may just ruin more marriages than it hopes to fix. I CAN NOT send a BIGGER warning to the church that they are silently killing their women and promoting their men to idol status. Please…someone with a voice…speak out for us little women with no voice. I pray God removes this veil from my eyes. I pray He sticks up for his daughters with this toxic message.
We have posted this with the permission of the author, who uses the screen name Toiler. Thank you very much, Toiler, for your courage in giving us permission to post your words here. We honour and applaud you for having such a strong desire to get the message out to the churches.
We believe you. We support you. We stand with you. We want to assure you that God loves you, and that your zeal for justice and truth show that you are a loyal follower of Christ. We don’t blame you for not attending church at the moment. Why attend a church which has so egregiously failed to protect you and support you—a church which has fuelled the entitlement mentality of your abusive husband!