A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

The Spiritual and Christlike Discipline of Rejecting Wicked People

2 Corinthians 6:15-18  What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.”

Christ rejected evil people and he instructs us to do the same. One of the reasons that the wicked have such a heyday practicing their evil among Christians is that we are not properly instructed in this discipline. Think about it. Your church tells you that Christians are to love all other people. Be kind to everyone. Invite them into your home. We teach our children all of this stuff. We think it is so Christian to stick a sign out on the front lawn of the church that says “Everyone Welcome!”  But when was the last time you were taught the Godly principle of rejecting the wicked? That Christ does not want some people to enter His church.  How often are our children taught these things? (Crickets)

With some regularity I have had Christian survivors of abuse say in retrospect that their Christian upbringing made them a sitting duck for abusers. What in the world?? Christians should be wiser about evil than anyone else. Like Christ, we should be able to say to some — “Get behind me, Satan.” Paul’s instruction to us here in 2 Cor 6 is anything but unclear. “Go out from their midst.” “Separate from them.” They don’t belong in or among the temple of God. But somehow we think we know better than the Lord. We think that we are more loving than He was. We are foolish, and we make His people targets for the wicked.

The world often does a better job than the church. While we are teaching unbiblical “forgiveness” and “unconditional acceptance” and boasting about it, non-Christian people are wising up to evil and teaching their children how to spot abusers and predators, and how to tell them to get lost.

One of the most refreshing things I have learned in the last few years is that I have a right to tell certain people that I choose not to have any relationship with them. Myself and our church elders and members have a right, and a duty, to instruct unsafe and abusive people that they are not welcome in our midst. YOU have that right too.

And that is indeed what Jesus would do.

106 Comments

  1. Still Scared( but getting angry)

    I can’t think of one sermon I have ever heard on this topic!

  2. Anonymous

    Ouch! It hurts to hear this but the Truth is THE TRUTH!

  3. I didn’t grow up in the church; however, in the fourteen years that I have been a believer I heard enough sermons and read enough Christian self-help books that I truly believed that I had to stay in my abusive marriage (you know the kind…love him more, serve him more and he’ll come around, try harder, be more submissive, God hates divorce…). AND the irony of it all is that HE divorced ME!! From my perspective, God had to rescue me from both my abuser and my self-imposed prison. It has only been after the fact that I have been reading this blog and others that have shown me that I bear absolutely no blame, shame, or guilt in this situation. I’m so grateful for people who actually, like the Bereans, are more honorable because they search the scriptures rather than just listening to what someone else has said for the last few hundred years.

    • IamMyBeloved's

      “…stay in my abusive marriage (you know the kind…love him more, serve him more and he’ll come around, try harder, be more submissive, God hates divorce…).”

      And thereby “we” become the abusive spouse’s savior? We pay for their sins? Sorry, but that is not the true Gospel. Glad you are free Jm.

    • Jm, G’day, and welcome to the blog! So glad you are finding help here. 🙂

    • 3blossommom

      Jm, I too read all the books that made me feel like I had to stay. It was the only “godly” choice presented. And, irony of ironies, mine finally left me and initiated divorce. He told me, and others, that if I had just done more of what those books say, he wouldn’t have had to leave me. My counselor observed that I would have ignored a neon sign planted on my lawn by God himself, if it told me it was okay to leave. I thank God for freeing me through divorce.

  4. Brenda R

    I know some church members teach their children “stranger danger”, but preaching being a seperate people, I can’t remember even once hearing that other than one in a sermon.

  5. Heather2

    The sad thing here is that we will be seen, chastised, and even accused of being evil ourselves…… That’s how the system works. But I like the truth contained here!

  6. stillhere

    This is great unless you are court ordered to place your children in danger with evil once your eyes are slammed wide open to the truth. This man knows scripture and pukes it everywhere while eating Bibles for breakfast lunch and dinner while others idolize him!!! He’s a 9 time felon (more but just 9 in my county) with a great job straight out of prison quadrupling his pay! He took advantage of all those federal funds (our tax dollars) faith based prisoner reentry funds! He’s a fraudster. He has polished his skills. He doesn’t want to return to prison. He has committed perjury and fraud on the court in my case. Family court doesn’t charge for perjury! Who knew? The fraudster, that’s who! I fought to protect a child who never knew him or what abuse felt like. We were court ordered to “reunify”! Doesn’t that mean they are RE-upping a previous relationship? This child was so emotionally and psychologically abused by this process that she became suicidal and I was told I couldn’t get her any outside help and was sanctioned for trying to interfere with the process

    His family is a pile of Christians who overlook all he’s done to them, too numerous to list. They believe he was “broken on the rock”???!!! in prison! I guess the great job is a God thing. I got the child back on track and have pasted my life back together after losing everything including a 22 year old business to his antics in family court. It took a year of complete face plant to begin picking up pieces. She’s now heading back to honors classes and athletics. Now he’s texting me and calling leaving messages and someone tried to serve me last week. He went away for a year while an order of protection a grown man had to get against him ran out. The child is afraid to go to school! She’s afraid he’s going to “get her’. Well of course he’s going to get her. I cannot protect her for the next 3 years until she turns 18 and I can’t compete with the number of people who enable this guys pathological lies and idolize him and forgive daily for his terrible abhorrent behavior. (I do believe many have been told such lies about me that I hardly blame them for not knowing the monster standing before them)

    I just posted on my status this morning under an assumed name (I advocate for children trapped and abused through family court now) to teach our children to see these monsters coming, know they are there and identify them and get away as fast as possible. There is no political correctness necessary when we admit certain animals are wild and will kill us, or certain bugs sting or bit and will harm us. It is totally irresponsible of parents and society to ignore this very necessary lesson. I have been a terrible judge of male character mostly. I analyze risks for a living but in my personal life I attract psychopaths and they work to destroy to an unbelievable degree. I believed everyone had good in them. I was very forgiving. I was a free spirited idiot. It was a nice place while it lasted but even the psychos say they can pick me out of any crowd! I was very ignorant and trusted people who were AWFUL. They have ruined my life for sport and I trudge on for my daughter only. \\

    Thank you for allowing this rant here. I haven’t posted in a while. I found it very telling this was this mornings post after I just said this on my facebook status…….

    • Brenda R

      Still here, I am praying for you and your daughter. You have every reason to rant. Rant on!! Doesn’t she have the opportunity to tell her side? She is old enough to be able to articulate what they are putting her through. With a court system like this, we may as well not have one.

    • Still Here, I feel honoured that you have put this comment on our blog. Thank you. I know there are many women out there in a position like yours, and many of them are so tired, and frustrated beyond words with the tsunami of disbelief they face when they try to tell the truth about what is happening to their kids and how they are hamstrung by the family courts and prevented from protecting their kids.

      I have enormous respect for you and how you are Still Here, and have dragged/pulled your daughter back from the brink of suicide and helped her forge on in the face of unbelievable awfulness.

      This man knows scripture and pukes it everywhere while eating Bibles for breakfast lunch and dinner while others idolize him!!

      That sentence is worth bottling! Bless you.

    • Freindinneed

      So sorry to hear your story. I can relate to not being able to protect your daughter. My daughter and my son were just awarded a course to defend themselves in a better way. It is a verbal course also to understand thebehaviour of the abusing parent. Why not throw in a self defence course. Maybe boxing or something. My daughter says: I have no mother, no mother would do such thing. Go and rant a bit more.

  7. Right on, Jeff. You are so right that modern church instructions make people ‘sitting ducks’ for abuse. And as long as the church leadership holds to their own doctrines, they are paralyzed to act effectively against abusers and on behalf of the abused. Many are miserably caught in this ‘double bind’ of permissiveness toward the wicked and inept defense of the innocent.

  8. IamMyBeloved's

    I have not heard a message on staying away from evil, period. I have not heard the warnings preached from the Bible. I have heard that we are all sinners, in the same boat as those in the world and there is no distinction made between the righteous and the lost and the workers of iniquity who claim Christ, but will be denied entrance at the end of time, because He never knew them. The lines are consistently blurred and evil permeates within the church walls, because no distinction is being made. Today, you can be evil, claim Christ, say you are sorry for your evil, and be back in good graces within a few minutes. When the same evil raises its ugly head the next week, we just rinse and repeat and it goes on and on and on. Why? Because we are taught that we are the same people we were before we were saved, just not going to hell anymore. It is a lie. It is not the truth. We have been made new – changed – given new hearts and the law of God not only written on them, but the desire to perform righteousness, put in our hearts as well. I don’t hear that being preached. So, instead of living in the newness as we are commanded, we just stay where we were and because of that, we are not able to make any distinguishing lines between righteousness and evil.

    I am not certain there is even a clear understanding of what repentance looks like anymore. That is – true repentance. I gained my understanding of true repentance by asking God to show me what He knew would be true repentance and exactly what it would look like in my case. I was amazed to later learn from ACFJ, that their list was God’s list. I also learned what evil looks like and that it should not be blended with righteousness, from ACFJ. I have to honestly say, that without the lines drawn to separate what is light, from what is darkness, we just have no power to overcome evil.

    • Jeff Crippen

      IAM – I think I can hear Pastor Larry Dean shouting “Amen!” to your comments here. He has been sounding the alarm for a long time that repentance is not being preached in our churches.

  9. Wisdomchaser

    Stillhere, I am so sorry to hear about all you have been through. I want to ask a question of the rest the people here. Since her daughter is over 14 does she have the right to file a restraining order against her abusive father. She has the right to get medical care and counseling without her parent’s permission or knowledge, at least in our state. Does this also apply to legal issues? I believe abuse is a criminal issue not a family court issue and should be treated as such by the system.

    • I don’t know the answer to your question Wisdomchaser. As an Aussie (and I assume Stillhere is in America) all I know is that the US system is very complex because each state has different laws. (And different family court policies too?)

      One of the better places in the world for DV response is New Zealand, so I understand, and a lot of that has to do with the fact that they have only a national government and no separate states under that, so legislative and social change is easier to bring about. And the smaller population means that there is a greater care factor in the community, especially in the welfare and social justice sectors.

  10. His beloved

    Wonderful post. I learned this myself the hard way when I separated from my X and the “nice” Christians around me sided with him. As I dug into the New Testament to find out how the church should behave I was astounded!! God really does mean to protect us from these conning liars and fake Christian wolves but we haven’t listened to His Word. Shame on the church.
    We should be turning all these abusers over to Satan just as Paul did.

    • Yep. I remember in the early weeks of my separation from my abuser I started to find passages like Matthew 18:15-17 and 1 Cor. 5:11-13 and the lightbulbs went on about how they related to abuse. And I told fellow Christians this and they looked at me blankly. “Matthew 18? What’s that?” And 1 Cor. 5 brought up even more vacant looks. They simply had no idea what I could be referring, to let alone why a verse in 1 Cor. 5 might relate to my situation.
      They’ve read the passages as they’ve read thru the Bible year after year, but never once thought about how to apply them real life, it’s just like they read it as a nice little sunday school story.

      . . . C’mon kiddies, let’s all listen to a story about 🙂 ***Jesus*** 🙂 . . . pixie dust settles over the class and their eyes glaze over as the flannel-graph story unfolds. And I never even saw a flannel-graph presentation because it didn’t happen in my small attendance at sunday school when I was a kid, but when I learned about it later, as a born again adult, it became an iconic metaphor for me of that prettified bowdlerized Christianity which inoculates people against the real thing.

      • Maxgrace

        Wow – immunized then against the real thing / I was -taught all these behaviors that make us Christians. Thank God – He does show us His Ways as we continue on with Him. I realized that the “churchianity” has a set of behaviors that are accepted – despite their origins in man’s ideas rather than the scriptures. I was taught sin leveling by people I love and respect. Thanks God He shakes everything that can be shaken and leaves His Truth for us to deal with. It’s been a painful journey – my martyrdom was making me so self righteous. Oh how we need the Wisdom of God! This was powerfully put by you and thank you !!!

    • Bebaioó Charis

      Thank you His Beloved.
      [Ed’s note: we have removed some of the text of this comment as it quoted from another blog which is copyrighted by the blog owner.]

      Your post brought this [the article from the other blog] to mind as it sounds like you had the same brain-washing (lies) teaching that so many of us had. All these lies do is keep us blind-folded, hands and feet bound, mouths-gagged, imprisoned, ineffectual and unable to walk intimately with Jesus our savior. John 10:10, “The thief comes ONLY to steal and kill and destroy.” ONLY! ONLY! ONLY! In the book, “Women Who Love Psychopaths,” the author points out that psychopaths would rather have things they can STEAL from their victims over what is given willingly by the victim. Don’t misunderstand; they will still take what is given freely but they will then try to steal the rest. Like both you and Barbara point out, once we ourselves turn to the Bible looking for answers and God shows us these verses, we are always dumbfounded that it’s so CLEARLY stated yet nobody even notices! Although it may not feel like it most of the time, we are truly loved and truly blessed by God. With the blindfolds off, and hands unbound, we are able to see and hug (spiritually, of course) our Lord! While imprisoned with the lies, there was no way to that we could do this, but now we are able to! (We’ll see how grateful I feel once the next round of wisdom starts being poured on my head, but the moments in between can be stunningly beautiful!)

      Thank you Jeff for this post. It reminds me of Psalm 116:1, “1I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy.” It wasn’t until several years into God revealing the truth about evil (and that some people are born this way and love it) that he showed me that this is what I was doing and didn’t even realize it. That I was crying (screaming) out for mercy! I was so miserable and so imprisoned, yet I thought I had a great marriage! Isaiah 5:20, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” But this is exactly what we do when we don’t teach what God’s word really says about evil. And the blind guides that do this are responsible for it before God. One podcast I listened to had a preacher stating how proud he was that his daughter was “nice.” That there weren’t enough “nice” people nowadays. Grooming us to be “nice” at all costs destroys us, and does make us “sitting ducks” for abusers. Jesus never seemed to concern himself with being nice, nor did Paul nor David nor Moses. Huh. NONE of the prophets or disciples seemed to concern themselves with this at all really. Respect? Yes, they were respecters of others, but nice was no where to be found. Truthful? This was a major goal. (You get the point.) But without the knowledge of evil and evil people, we really can’t help anyone…including ourselves and we really can’t grow or learn about God without this. So thank you again (all of you) for this website, we need it!

  11. granonine

    When I was growing up, and even in Bible college, sermons about walking a pure and unspotted life were pretty normal. I remember hearing about “questionable things” and how to avoid getting into trouble by avoiding that which was questionable. Sad to say that many in my generation, and in the children of our generation, there is amusement at the way we chose to live and to rear those children. There is a marked slide by younger believers into what we used to consider wordly activities. It hasn’t helped the spread of the gospel, as unbelievers see “believers” living exactly the same way they do. Standards of separation are now considered stodgy and old-fashioned.

    We don’t understand the holiness of our God. If we did, we’d live it out.

    • AJ

      “Submission to those with evil intent has a way of activating their conscience.”
      “Love to your enemy is the most effective way to change their behavior”

      I may have posted this here before but these are actual quotes from a sermon given by our head pastor from the pulpit.
      So hard to know if one should stay and try to make change or leave them to their abuse lovin selves. (my former spouse is perfectly comfortable on the worship team there)
      Blessings

      • Jeff Crippen

        AJ – I can think of the following appropriate verses in regard to a church that includes a wicked person on the worship team-

        Isa 1:11-16 “What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the LORD; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of well-fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats. (12) “When you come to appear before me, who has required of you this trampling of my courts? (13) Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination to me. New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations– I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly. (14) Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates; they have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them. (15) When you spread out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood. (16) Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil,

      • granonine

        Jesus loved His enemies. It idn’t stop them.

      • IamMyBeloved's

        I can see how love to my enemies changed their behavior all right – drove them to abuse me even more and my submission to his evil activated his conscience to believe his abuse was right. This pastor obviously does not understand evil and that when God says to love our enemies, that it means we love them by not sinning against them. It does not mean that we should be lovey dovey and involved with them and making ourselves nuts over how to please them, it just means that we love them by not sinning against them.

      • stillhere

        I had the exact same experience. It’s so confusing when they spew scripture and throw you off trying to get you to own their behavior. I found that no matter what I did, I was going to be abused by an abuser as long as I stuck around. I used to say to myself when he apologized and promised it would never happen again (if he even took responsibility) “til the next time”…….

        I get frustrated at times when I am advised by those who obviously have never encountered true evil but then I think about it and I am glad for them. It’s very easy for someone to say they know something when actually they are only imagining if it had happened to them. Big difference.

        Some people are out here spreading ill will and bad intent with all the scripture so distorted but what I have seen that rips my heart is the damage their mouths and their intent do to children.

      • “Submission to those with evil intent has a way of activating their conscience.”
        “Love to your enemy is the most effective way to change their behavior.”

        You could ask the pastor to give you scriptural narratives that exemplify those two things. He would probably pull out Jesus’ crucifixion as an example, but you could point out to him how Jesus submission to Herod didn’t activate Herod’s conscience; and Pilate’s conscience was not much activated by Jesus, rather, it was Pilate’s wife who was slightly able to prick Pilate’s conscience and she wasn’t submitting to Pilate, she was resisting his stony heartedness and pleading with him to change his mind.
        And ask you pastor to give you examples of ordinary mortals in the Bible. Let’s see how he then starts to struggle, particularly in naming stories that exemplify the first statement. Ask him if Paul ever submitted to those with evil intent and if so, did it activate their consciences.

        Or you could just sigh and turn away from him, since it might be just a waste of breath to talk to him.

      • Sarah

        Psalm 25:21 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; 22 For you will heap burning coals on his head, And the LORD will reward you.
        This is the scripture that my abuser and several pastors touted at me over and over to keep me doing good while he sinned. The burning coals on his head is taught that you will make him repent by your goodness

      • Brenda R

        I fed my X for over 20 years. It didn’t change a thing. I could drop him off a meal as long as I don’t have to stay there.

    • Forrest

      Hi Granonine. I’m not sure that separation from the world is the same thing as dealing with the dangers from within. Sure, there are things that we as believers would want to avoid and it’s right to teach our kids accordingly. However, when it comes to abuse, it isn’t stranger danger that is the main problem, it’s the wolves who have come inside and are running around with the flock. It’s the person who claims to be a Christian but inside is only interested in feeding upon you. Often, the world recognises the problem far more quickly than the “church”. Hence the importance of recognising abuse in all it’s shapes and forms. It is this evil that we need to separate from.

      • granonine

        Yes, of course you are right. I did pretty much zero in on the idea of old-fashioned separated living, when the abuse issue is really the major focus. Yet, I believe the two are related. If we were indeed living “godly in Christ Jesus,” I believe we would have more discernment to recognize the wolves in sheep’s clothing. I often think of the way bank tellers are taught to recognize counterfeit money; they are simply exposed continously to the real thing, so that when a phony shows up, they can tell.

      • Forrest

        You are absolutely right about discernment being the key, Granonine. One of the things I have noticed consistently is that abuse victims recognise abuse very quickly when they see others subjected to it. However, they often fail to see it when it affects them personally. It seems that there is something else getting in the way of their discernment. It’s as if they are too quick to see their own faults and then go to (false) guilt. When there is false teaching in the “church” confirming that you are the problem because you aren’t loving enough or aren’t forgiving enough, then it is very difficult to see the truth. We need the help of the Holy Spirit to guide us through the morass of bad teaching and/or advice. Thankfully, there are those (such as CFJ) who get it and provide a more biblically accurate way of seeing what is going on.

      • granonine

        I work as a counselor; much of my practice is helping abuse victims. The false guilt is always a huge issue. Part of it comes, I believe, from the idea that we don’t, as you say, love the abuser enough. Satan is such a liar!

      • IamMyBeloved's

        I believe this is called “traumatic bonding” and how it affects our ability to be able to discern once we are swept deeply into the abuse. I don’t think that necessarily has anything to do with “living godly in Christ Jesus”, as lots of Christians are taken in by this aspect of abuse, which goes along the same lines as Stockholm syndrome. I wrote a post on this called Chains that Bind us to Betrayal and the key to being set free.

  12. freeing hope

    Wonderful post! Wouldn’t it be great if churches believed the victim and rejected the abuser, instead of the other way around?

    • anonymous

      amen

  13. My councellor asked me today what God wants me to do… I said get a plan organized to get out iif my abuser shows violence. She said really?! That doesn’t sound like a a God thing, are you sure that wasn’t just a thought you had? I was rather annoyed by this comment. I said I will not allow my husband to be harsh with my children or myself any longer. She feels I should stay for financial reasons, as it is hard for a single mom with young children. She feels I should grow in God and not try to ‘change’ my husband and he will feel so bad and then want to change…. Oh my gosh …. I’m quite shocked by some things she said to me today. She knows what he does and says to me… She has met him and confronted him and she still thinks I should wait for God to change him!! I’m not even encouraged to discipline him with ‘love’ as Leslie Vernick calls it.
    One of my older children told me yesterday to get out…she told me I have to get a life and get out because dad shouldn’t treat me or say the things he does to me…. She said. ‘Mom why are you there!?’ And this child is not a Christian

    • Jeff Crippen

      Loves6 – so that means that your own conscience, all the women’s resource centers, Lundy Bancroft and all other experts on DV, all of us on this blog and all of our readers…are wrong, and your counselor maintains she knows better. There it is.

      • stillhere

        Jeff, I just posted and it appears you all are up to date with your research. 🙂 Should I cancel my reply to her. I have been a bit out of the loop for a while.

      • Jeff Crippen

        stillhere – no, your comments are still helpful

      • His beloved

        I would seriously consider getting a new counselor. It has been a lifeline to me to have a counselor who understands narcissism and abuse. She helps me with reality and sanity, and we need that desperately when we are being abused. We also need an ADVOCATE. It doesn’t sound like your counselor is one for you.
        I had to try 6 counselors before finding the right one. I am so glad I did. And it wasn’t easy since I was in crisis at that time.

      • She told me today that she has councelled couples that this has worked for. My husband has a type of cancer… She said I have to trust God and see what He does with my husband in regards to his illness, she felt leaving wouldn’t be good for me or the kids. My older child said to me yesterday he could out live us all… This is a fact. My daughter seems to see it better than my councellor who is a Pastor and a trained councellor with years of experience.
        I’m just exasperated by her councel …. Maybe I need to find yet another councellor. I am tired of trying to find the right councellor!

      • stillhere

        His Beloved did! I know it’s not easy but it’s worth it when they understand and support you while helping to keep your eyes on the correct things. He Beloved went through 6 and I probably went through that many before I stayed put. I think it’s best to find one by referral. If you know someone who actually felt like they helped. I have referred many to mine and they are happy too.

      • She told me today that she has councelled couples that this has worked for.

        Oh. Really. So all other couples will be like you and your husband?

        But when I hear counselors say that I think to myself that they may have counseled couples by their namby pamby formula and the couple remained together and the wife reported that things were okay in the marriage. But what was really going on was that the abuser had faked it for a while and the victim had been sucked back into the fog. And when the victim realised she was walking on eggshells again (still) she just didn’t tell the counselor because she didn’t trust the counselor any more, and she didn’t want another lecture about being long-suffering and forgiving and how she needed to change so that he would change. So she kept silent. And the counselor preens herself (or himself) that he’s had all these successes in couple counseling, but he has no idea of the real outcomes. Head in the sand.

        I’d like to send them all down the rabbit hole into Wonderland where they would sit at the mad hatter’s tea-party always at the dirty place at the table, never being able to leave and come back and hurt more victims.

    • stillhere

      Please be careful. Make sure you know to what lengths those around you will go to keep the father with the children. I lost everything in a child custody war that still wages on. Five years after and I am hiding from a process server because I don’t think I can go through this one more time.

      I know too many women who are being brow beaten in the courts by supposedly Christian men who have the backing of their congregation and the mother is treated like she is a criminal. I cannot tell you how many women have had custody switches done which they refer to as “illegal kidnapping” and the church is involved. I had a “Senior Pastor” write on his letterhead a prisoner was safe to be around a child (my child who he previously threatened to murder along with much more documented evidence) signed with his psychology credentials. I filed a formal complaint against this guy with the board of psychology and it took them over 1000 days to investigate this! At that time, they revoked his license!!! He closed down his “home church” and I found he probably didn’t have the credentials he claimed to in other areas as a book he authored was removed from the market! His fraudulent letter forced the child into an abusive situation with a reunification therapist and the father upon his release. The father did this as revenge. I lost my business, my credit, my good name in our community from this horrible case. My health is shot and I suffer from PTSD.

      I just don’t want you to make any moves without KNOWING (not yelling but emphasis) what is happening in the divorce courts to women. The public is being misinformed single mothers are raising criminals. There are billions of federal funds going to fathers rights but shown as “family rights” or “parental rights” as it’s more politically correct.

      I am sorry if this isn’t what you want to hear but I wouldn’t feel right not telling you what I have learned through my research. I hope and I will pray your husband stops this behavior and if he doesn’t you have a smooth transition. Maybe the above has something to do with the way you were deterred today.

      • Stillhere, what you say here is true re the USA. As I understand it, and I’m not an expert on this but have gleaned bits and pieces of the landscape of family courts and the divorce racket in the USA and how Federal Funds are going to fathers rights programs (disguised by other names and siphoned thru all sorts of indirect pipelines so it’s quite hard to track the money — and the corruption!) this situation is not being replicated in other countries, or at least is not as bad in other countries as it is in the US. Just saying this to try to make sure that our non-US readers are not unduly put off by the horror stories from the US and so scared of the divorce courts that they stay in abusive relationships.

        As always, it’s a matter of each of us having slightly different (sometimes very different) landscapes in the way of possible support and potential gauntlets that we may have to run.

        But thanks for you input, Stillhere. We need to hear your voice, particularly our US readers, as many of them will relate to it in some way or other.

      • Summer

        Dear Still Here and L6,
        I know what you are talking about. I have witnesses that were with me with the lawyers, tape recordings, signed statements, witnesses in the courtroom, and still the judge lied (this latest lawyer almost admitted it, went so far as to say, well you are right he is not doing things the way they are supposed to be done as in never been done that way before and stopped short of saying ‘illegal of the judge’ but I know the judge and lawyers broke the laws that I have seen on the books) and the state bar refused to look at the material and absolved the lawyers, by which point I could not submit some of the evidence because I couldn’t risk antagonizing further since the same judge is supposed to decide whether to enforce ex having to pay the support he hasn’t paid. Even the court reporter did not put down what occurred in front of several witnesses in the courtroom and on the record, she put down only what the judge allowed and inaccurately too.
        Then when people ask what happened and if one tries to explain even a little, they all say ‘you can’t be serious, no judge would do that, no lawyer would do that, he’s a judge after all’. Meanwhile legal advocates have been drummed out, (three different underling police have been put in their places for daring to try and put the truth on record, I even have video proving the police never came and a copy of their letter saying they did come) because they refused to give information to a certain lying detective, because the county lawyer, supposed advocate for DV, couldn’t force them too, so they got other jobs. Meanwhile, the state capitol and women in the police force and women in the courthouse all came up quietly and unobtrusively and off the record and said that these men: judge, lawyers, detectives were all beyond reach for what they were doing that nothing could be done in this county though what they were doing was very illegal. No money, no recourse. Almost no abused woman has money or family or resources or even church friends. And since everyone says I am ‘lucky no surviving children’, then not even the federal government will do what is on their books to enforce.

        P.S. However, at least for me, not even in domestic court does anyone get to catch their breath; it has been a non-stop.

      • Brenda R

        There is corruption everywhere. All the way up to the Supreme Court in the Judicial System. They “interpret” what they want the law and constitution to say, not what it actually does.

    • Heather2

      It’s all to easy for someone, be it counselor or someone else, to suggest that you stay. They are not the one in the relationship. Only you know your circumstances, day in and day out.

      Listen to your daughter. My children made me promise to never ever go back to their father after three failed attempts to reconcile with him. They told me that if I did he would make me pay. I heeded their advice and am finally free from the boomerang emotional ties. It takes courage, humility, and sound advice to leave and fight the urge to go back or to stay. And the advice very often is not from “Christians.”

      • Spot on, Heather2. At the same time, I’ve heard stories of victims whose children told them to Go back to Daddy and the mother went back and well you know the outcome. . . . Those kids were in the fog or being manipulated by Daddy to tell Mummy to go back to him.

        Kids can sometimes give us great suggestions and have wise insights; other times they may be wrong, seeing it though rose-coloured glasses or moved by their own longings for a nice happy family (and who can blame them . . . ) So we all need to listen, assess, weigh up, and try to employ spiritually informed common sense.

        And I’m gonna publish this comment even though the Yankee spellcheck red line is glaring at me for writing ‘coloured’. 🙂

      • Heather2

        Made me smile, Barbara.

        As a matter of fact, my youngest begged,in all manner of manipulation, that I stay. It caused the worse depression of my life! She was the only one, but she blamed me for blowing up the family and her life. She has had issues for a long time which her father refused to accept. At one point he told me that she was more like him and I should relate to her differently. Enough said.

        It is always wise to pray for wisdom. Victims don’t always see what is obvious to others. I was blessed with two people in my life who could see through it all. My two children and my son in law were very clear once they saw for themselves also.

        You know, it’s taken several years but the fog has lifted and I accept certain things now. I no longer have triggers that I cannot handle. Leaving was the right thing to do. Granted, it wasn’t until my children were adults that things started to bubble up within me. I pray for those with young ones and the battles they are in. In the end, the decision is ours alone.

    • Brenda R

      Loves6, I know women who feel that same way as your counselor, “stay because he is a good provider”. My response, “provider of what”, money. Money is not the end all of this life. The Lord takes care of the sparrow, He will provide my needs. You have to decide for yourself with God’s guidance. Maybe you have out grown this counselor. She may have met Him, but she doesn’t have to live with Him. Just my opinion, but I don’t see how wanting to protect yourself and your children is not a God thing. It just seems like something that is born into mothers. Get too close to a bear cub and see what mama bear does.

      • stillhere

        Please pray for me if you would. I am going to a personal injury attorney to discuss this phony pastor who was not even ordained and had his psychology license revoked to see if I have any case against the state for taking over 1000 to investigate him when their audit says they should’ve completed it in 180 days. I feel I must do this due to the abuse we have endured from his recklessness and fraud upon the court and the loss of my livelihood.

        The father is attempting to serve me. I can only imagine that once again I will disparaged in the ugliest ways and slandered on public record again through the family court only to be forced to defend false accusations. They never ask to see the child’s (teen almost 15) grades, health, school attendance anything! The “best interest of the child” model they claim in family court would surely require those items but they don’t. He must believe he has some basis to attack and I am out of personal fuel. I believe through this all that maybe it would be better for the almost 15 year old to be on the side of the grenade launcher instead of the grenade recipient. As I stated, I brought her back from the brink. I have fought a war that was rapid fire for 3 plus years (3-5 motions and petitions per week) and slowed for the past year due to the father having a grown man file an order of protection against him. I had spit wads and a pea shooter and GOD but they had machine guns and an army and I am tired. I know my daughter will never doubt my efforts and I cannot scream this loud ENOUGH “children feel responsible for the pain their loved ones go through in their name! It is too much for them to bear and it is evil EVIL abuse of a different nature to ignore this FACT in family court!!” If you wonder about my own truth, I understand. I would as well if I never dealt with this. The case is exacted by a predatory fraudster. He has multiple convictions for this. I don’t have so much as a traffic ticket. If someone is ugly enough to accuse you of anything false, they can take it court and force you to defend yourself. An abuser who doesn’t want to relinquish power and control over you is given cart blanche through the family courts or civil courts if they are sick enough to go this far. Just remember anyone can be sued over a ham sandwich and you would have to defend it. It’s just not what kind healthy people do who really are walking with the Lord.

        Please. Any prayer for strength, discernment, protection, would be so appreciated.

      • Brenda R

        Stillhere, Praying for you.

      • Thanks everyone for your I Input. My husband is really acting out today. It’s all about him… His hurt (because I’ve distanced myself) he acknowledged this morning that he has hurt me with his words and not loved me right (no apology). He thinks I interrupt him all the time (I do, I try not to and don’t do it all the time, this is because I’m sick of him attacking me)…guess I’m defensive (my councellor told me yesterday to stop being defensive), I carnt help myself!! He is demanding that I look at not being on antidepressants any more (I refuse) I know if I stop it will be a bad situation for me just now. He is realising that he is losing me and he has all his amo out (figure of speech) and is throwing everything he has at me… He is accusing me of stripping him of his manhood, making him feel like a nothing… Emancipated is the word he use!!!
        One thing I’m realising is that I still love him. I’m angry with him but I see there is a lovely side to him that I love. Sadly, it’s not there so much anymore.
        This morning I made an online inquiry to the DV help people. I’m waiting to hear back from them.

      • Loves6, if an abuser is bombarding us with verbal abuse, it is quite okay to tell them “Stop it! Stop accusing me. Stop attacking me. Stop interrogating me. Stop making unreasonable demands. Just STOP IT!”

        That is an interruption that is quite fair. Not all interruptions are bad/wrong/sinful.

        As for the counselor telling you to stop being defensive: she doesn’t get it. Defending yourself against an abuser is a healthy way of resisting the abuse. But do be aware that with many abusers, when we verbally defend ourselves to them or when we drop into the explaining mode, the abuser often just takes what we say and reshapes it into more bullets to fire back at us. That’s why silence/ going dark on the abuser / aiming for no contact with the abuser, is often a good strategy and it may often be the only strategy that works to somewhat maintain our own dignity and integrity. But responding to an abuser verbally is not wrong either. Each situation is different, and we all make micro, moment-by-moment, decisions as to the best ways to keep ourselves safe and relatively protected from the abuse as best we can.

      • Nicola

        Just replying to Barbara in her explanations to Love6 about verbally defending herself against her abuser. In my experience, and the experience of ALL other women who I know who have been abused, there is absolutely no point in having any communication with an abuser (impossible when you’re still living/married to them I realise, thus getting away is the only option). My most difficult wall to climb over in the journey to freeing myself from abuse was admitting that my abuser was doing all of this on purpose; realising that their abusive words and actions are not those of a loving partner; realising that that their seemingly loving words and actions are not those of a loving partner either, they are generally simply using these learned behaviours and devices in order to further manipulate their victim; realising that nothing you do or say is going to change them, convict them, make them genuinely guilty or sorry. It’s an utterly horrific realisation to come to and it’s very very difficult to understand and accept. We love this person, but we really love a person who doesn’t even exist. We love the false persona that they have created in order to ensnare us into a relationship with them at the beginning, and the persons they apply when they seem to be having ‘good’ periods. When we try to get inside the abuser’s head we are thinking about things from our own point (normality). I had to disregard that type of scale when considering my abuser. They are not on the same scale that we are on. Trying to judge or figure them out with our ‘normal’ thinking is a little like trying to weigh potatoes with a measuring tape, it’s never going to give you an answer that adds up. It has taken me years and years to understand this and it was incredibly painful but this is the truth, this is reality and when we face reality and truth God really can step into our lives, provide help, solutions, comfort, healing… There is no future with an abuser. They are pretending to love their victims on the ‘good’ days. There is no love there. It took for a Christian Women’s Aid worker (days after I had fled for safety) to prompt me about this, but it was something I instantly knew was true and for me and my child it has led to freedom, safety and a wonderful restored relationship with God, living in the freedom of Christ.

      • Heather2

        Nicola, I could have said some of those same things. I had never been
        Physically abused which made it all the more crazy making. Trying to apply normality to my ex was where I continued to make huge errors in my understanding.

        One thing in particular that you said….we think we love them, but in truth, we love our own fantasy of who we want him to be. They can never be that person! Never, ever! But we keep trying. We believe what the Bible says about love never failing. But we have taken it out of context. And we then become our own stumbling block.

        I am fully intellectually aware of what happened in my life and have far fewer triggers these days. But I still have a way to go before I am completely free from the damage. I thank my Father for bringing me this far and providing me with a few trustworthy people.

        Again, your comment was very well written and hit the nail on the head! Thank you.

      • Nicola Muir

        Thank you Heather2. It’s just such a painful road isn’t it, but you are right, our Heavenly Father cares for us so intricately and we open the door for Him to flourish further in our lives when we live in truth. This is hard, or impossible, to do if we are living with an abuser. I believe that being with an abuser means being in the chains of their lies. Thus we are really being kept in a spiritual prison by satan. We love the persona, the ‘good’ part, that they have created and advertised and promoted with the precision and unyielding vigour of a propaganda campaign. When I first met him, my abuser adored me like no other person ever had prior – it was impossible to resist and I had no reason to. I had no reason not to believe his lies. The abuser has had their whole lives, up to the point that we meet them, to become experts at promoting their false persona and they are very, very accomplished at it. I only had a fantasy that my abuser was who HE HIMSELF said he was when he was manipulating me. I am so grateful, every second since I fled, that I realised and admitted what was really going on. I wish you a complete recovery Heather2. I too am still on that road and I’d rather be on this road for the rest of my life than be back in the chains of my abuser’s lies for even one second. God bless you and I pray that your healing continues and that you feel God’s loving arms encircle you.

      • being with an abuser means being in the chains of their lies. Thus we are really being kept in a spiritual prison by satan

        YES.

      • His beloved

        Nicola,
        All you said was so well put. It is a horrific process to realize that all they do is on purpose and that we loved a person that does not exist. So CREEPY!!! I have had many people tell me that they thought my X was totally devoted to me. Such an effective propaganda campaign.

        I was reading an article that said that the vampire myth was actually modeled off of narcissism, that narcissists give only in order to get and that they literally destroy their victims and drain the very life out them. That was certainly my experience and my sons. I believe they are pathologically unable to live in truth or love.

        Hallelujah that we have the very life of Christ in us to restore us!

      • Nicola

        His beloved – thank you. I absolutely agree. In my experience narcissistic abusers only speak truths when the truth is accidentally useful to them for the purposes of manipulation. I don’t think they even make decisions about truth and lies in the same way that people generally do. They do cover up their lies and sin, but that’s only because they have learned, from people’s reactions, that knowledge of their sin and lies leads to doors being slammed in their faces. It’s convenient to them to cover these things up. It certainly doesn’t seem at all to be linked to any kind of shame or guilt, because I believe that these things are absent within an abuser, such as the one I was chained to. Their mindset seems to be if they want something they will take it, if they lose interest they will discard it. There is no moral conscience involved. I guess it’s the kind of behaviour that would bring about a diagnosis of narcissistic psychopath – if only it were possible to have a diagnosis. It’s one of my prayers, that this will become part of the process of investigation involved in domestic abuse cases.

      • His beloved

        yes!
        Have you read In Sheep’s Clothing? It was so affirming to me to find out that my X just didn’t have a conscience and so I cannot see the world through his eyes or comprehend him. I don’t want to see the world through his eyes! Way too close to the devil. I would rather be a victim of abuse with an over active conscience than a sociopathic or psychopathic narcissist with none at all.
        But now I prefer to be a His beloved one who is healing!
        The Spirit of God is the Spirit of truth. God will not stand for His truth to be mocked and used as a commodity of personal convenience without eventual justice. There will be an end for these evil people and I shudder at the thought of it.

    • Loves6, your counselor has thus shown you most clearly that she doesn’t get it.
      Sounds like you might want to consider separating from her, too!

      There are good counselors at the DV support services. They do get it. And they won’t judge you for your Christianity; they may not fully understand it and how it affects your journey thru the DV nighmare, but they won’t tell you to drop your faith.

      • stillhere

        Thank you Barbara for your encouragement and clarification regarding the issues I brought up. I have this overwhelming feeling of wanting to hug hug hug you as I read your words. I know you know and understand what I say to be true. The victims of legal abuse through the family courts are attempting to get the word out desperately of what they experienced. It’s the most isolating and abusive environment one could endure as even in domestic violence cases you usually get the chance to catch your breath before the next abusive act hits. In family court it is the gauntlet (I’ve used those words myself) that is like a marathon of terrorism waged upon the good. It’s the most soul breaking experience I have EVER heard of lived. There are so many children harmed psychologically and emotionally along with physically sexually and more. My own daughter despises religion because of what the father said to her in reunification telling her she would die from illness if she didn’t forgive him and rebuking her in the name of Jesus while calling her evil and devil spawn among some of the verbal and psychological abuses.

        The federal funds are a much larger part of the theme. (scheme) Our tax dollars are being funneled to many non-profits who’s pockets are open but their doors impossible to find. The money is not followed and a friend of mine has found these funds to protect children in the name of advocacy going to convicted pedophiles and molesters! We are just unaware until it touches our lives. I will say I find this business model working heavily in Canada and Australia as well.

        Again thank you for the words of encouragement. I don’t want anyone to stay in an abusive situation. I do want anyone leaving abuse to do as much information seeking as possible while taking care of themselves and their children. The courts will not do this as we are led to believe.

    • Still Scared( but getting angry)

      Love6, I had a counselor just like that. She helped me get a protective order then turned around and said I shouldn’t divorce and “don’t you see how he is sorry now”?? No, he is not sorry!! He says all the right words but no actions follow them. No change. I am VERY picky about counselors now.

      • Brenda R

        No counselor is better than one that would change paths like that. They are crazy making just as much as the abuser did.

    • IamMyBeloved's

      Something is not meshing here, biblically speaking. These would just be my suggestions to you, Loves6:
      1) New counselor
      2) Safety plan put into place
      3) Local Center for Prevention of Abuse contacted (they offer free counseling)
      4) New Church if your counselor is the pastor there.
      5) Obtain and read as many books as you can, that are listed on this blog, starting with Lundy’s book, A Cry For Justice and Not Under Bondage.
      6) Stay with us here on the blog

      • Freindinneed

        This is a wonderfull remark a safety plan. I want this for my daughter. How to keep safe. How about 2 phones on you. And 2 pairs of eyes on you. And photograph your ex, or record the conversation. There is even an app for that.

      • stillhere

        I have experienced much of the same thing and became very reactive to the point I felt like a live wire. When your boundaries are continually disregarded, it feels like blatant disrespect. I go through this with my own mother. What I know from having periods of time of health and distance with her, when these boundary breaking behaviors occur, I can see that I may be overreacting which is exactly what I am initially accused of. When I am reacting normally and just trying to put boundaries up, I may be accused of overreacting to that situation which I then go on the defensive about. Low and behold, I then overreact in the near future as previously accused as if it’s a setup or power of suggestion. Thankfully I can step back and see the dynamics now.

        Your husband should respect that your feel very strongly the use of your “personal computer” without permission is not acceptable. Unfortunately your valid point can get lost in the dynamics of your relationship. I believe your point is completely valid but do you think you reacted extremely due to the damage that all this is creating? I say this because I fall into that trap time and again and my valid points become secondary to my reactions.

        This stuff is very crazy making and when our personal injury is bad enough, we start behaving in ways we wouldn’t if we were in a healthier relationship. You seem to be second guessing yourself and this is common when we are being worn down by unhealthy situations. I have been advised not to compromise my character due to others behaviors and it’s much easier said then done when you are in the middle of it. Sometimes understanding what is happening, helps us step back and get our bearings straight and handle our very points the way we KNOW is right. Your feelings are yours. They aren’t up for debate. Even if someone doesn’t understand why you feel that way, it is not up to you to make them “get it”, just that they know how you feel. If your husband doesn’t care who looks at his “personal” computer, that’s his prerogative and if you feel that’s not acceptable, it’s yours. He should not then, attempt to make you feel wrong or different about your feelings. His daughter should be told that isn’t acceptable. I find when we a set a boundary and everyone fights and argues about that boundary, It blows the whole point out of proportion making the person who attempted to express their feelings look nuts.

        I hope this makes sense. I am working through this same process right now with my boundaries being completely ignored and fought about in front of my daughter by my mother and I come out looking like a nut case. I am in the stepping back place and cleaning up the mess.

      • His beloved

        It really helped me when I understood that whatever my X was accusing me of was autobiographical- he was actually projecting what HE was doing. Once I figured that out I could just say to myself “Oh so that is what he’s been doing…” It helped me feel sane. So when he would pretend to be loving but accuse me of being cold and distant and rejecting him I knew HE was actually being cold and rejecting me (in his heart) and the loving was a SHAM and a manipulation. So my guess is that your husband is the hypocrite here. My X apologized all time and got sweet as can be when I confronted him. But he never changed, ever. The apologies were just to keep me hooked.

        Your reactiveness is NORMAL- you probably have PTSD. He may use it to blame you but I hope you won’t blame yourself or buy what he says. You are under attack and trying to defend your very life and heart and soul. I was blamed by my X and by friends for my reactiveness (they accused me of being too angry and one friend even said I was as abusive as my X- talk about CLUELESS)- and I took it to heart. It added immense and unnecessary confusion and guilt to my life.

        George Simon in his book In Sheep’s Clothing has a wonderful analogy- the difference between a cat that is stalking a mouse ( the intentional aggressor) and the cat who is defending itself from a dog attacking it. The defending cat raises it’s hackles and looks “abusive” but it is not trying to hurt the dog. It is all about intention- and the abusers intention is power and control, a wife defending herself is not trying to get power and control over her husband, just trying to save herself from his abuse.

      • Thank you IamMyBeloved for this list
        I have two of these books. I’ve read one and I’m reading through the other for the second time and taking notes.
        HisBeloved I do have PTSD. I have good days and bad days where I suffer from a lot of headaches. At the moment after confronting my husband a few nights ago I am having a reprieve until the next cycle begins. He is being very sweet and lovely to me, calling me love, sweetie etc. Hopefully this will go on for little while so I can continue to gain strength in myself. You speak of how my situation is. I love the analogy of the cat and the dog…. I so relate to it.

    • Freindinneed

      Mine is a Christian psychiater fellow. He said get out of that place. He said I advise you medically, personally and as a Christian. He had no biblical evidence to back it up.
      My Church said to “get up off the nail, you are sitting on”. But my ex fool could hide her abusive side well for many years. And as I had seen better times I hoped they would return. But they did not. It was a degenerative abusive situation.
      Also my daughter asked me to get out of it. Slowly but surely my daughter is understanding that visitations are risky, manipulative and there is more bad behaviour where it came from. I am a male survivor with 2 children from Europe. greetings Friendinneed

  14. Nicola

    Thank you so much for this wisdom. I only now understand this fully because of suffering years of narcissistic abuse. For anyone out there who is being told to ‘stay’ in the abuse, for whatever reason – don’t listen. Even if were achievable for an adult to change their abusive ways (which I don’t believe it is due the nature of this particular type of sin) wouldn’t they have a much better chance of doing this in abstinence, in an environment that has no supply for them? We don’t expect other sins to right themselves when the sinner is in the midst of the thing that they like to use in their sin, such as drugs, an affair and so on. The abuser, if they had any intention whatsoever of changing their behaviour would separate themselves from their supply (i.e. leave the home) and seek treatment. They would be so ashamed of their behaviour they would not expect or seek access to the victims. They would be so terrified of a relapse that would injure their family that they would disappear from their lives while they went through this treatment (were it available). Generally, abusers don’t do this and the reason is that they like their abusive sin. They love it. They are abusing their victims for pleasure and like most sin, they hide this by abusing those in their own home. They commit evil actions on purpose and for their own purpose. To the person who has a counsellor advising them to stay – your counsellor not only doesn’t have your safety, and that of your children, as their priority, but they don’t understand abuse or abusers. They ought not to be counselling you. Absolutely leave your counsellor. Wishing you the very best with your journey, and praying for protection around you and your children, that you might free yourselves from your abuser safely.

    • Brenda R

      We don’t expect other sins to right themselves when the sinner is in the midst of the thing that they like to use in their sin, such as drugs, an affair and so on.

      Nicola, This is so true. If a drug addict sits in a room full of people sticking needles in their arms or popping pills, the temptation (tempter) may control them to do the same. If the family the abuser is using for his fix is at his disposal, he will abuse again. We make it too simple for them to continue by remaining with them and not setting that boundary and calling sin what it is, sin.

      • Nicola

        Yes Brenda R, that is exactly what the abuser does. If their supply is cut, permanently, the abuser will eventually move on and find a new victim(s) – they have to. Occasionally, substance addicts manage to kick their habit, and then it’s normally only with complete abstinence and a massive level of professional support. In my own experience, and having heard the testimony of countless other victims, abusers are never, NEVER cured of being an abuser. As long as there are other humans within close proximity to them, the abuser will abuse (I assume in the absence of people they would turn to animals, or plants). There is no cure. (I believe) no amount of professionals or therapy and so on will make any dent in the abuser – they are simply more supply, more people to manipulate and abuse, for infantile, twisted fun and pleasure. That the church advocates victims tolerating this kind of sinister, evil intent and action, is a neglect that equates to the damage that abuse itself does. I am SO grateful for this website and the wisdom of the team behind it. I pray that long may it continue to help and support families, especially those still living in chains, and still living in the dark. Amen.

  15. Sarah

    I couldn’t agree more with this topic. How often have I heard to treat “unloving” people with more love? They won’t even label people as evil or doing evil deeds. How often have I heard that you may remove yourself from somebody caught in sin unless you are married to him? Why do pastors never teach boundaries at the pulpit? When I asked my church to remove my abuser, they responded with: how can we remove somebody who needs the church? Huh? He’s been in the church for 20+ years. I think after that time he would be getting more loving, not less. I was a leader in that church, not him. He showed no fruit which should have been their first clue. But he talked and spouted scripture so well and looked so repentant. I left the church after that and told them exactly why. They did nothing to rectify the situation and he has since left them in the dust. Where was the change and growth for the church? They’ll repeat the same mistakes over and over again

  16. Happy2bhere

    This was a very reassuring article. I grew tired of certain people explaining to me how I need to forgive and that by being a Christ-like example my spouse would eventually follow. I used to believe that and im sure my husband would love if I still did. Plus Im not perfect and he isnt a child that I need to teach. We’re responsible for our own actions at some point. The amount of pain this man alone has caused makes me feel like it is between him and God for forgiveness. Especially for being unkind to our children. He’s so egocentric that the good works he does, there’s nearly always something in it for him.

    Pastor Crippen, sometime could you do an article on forgiveness? It seems like that word is thrown around so much and it is a wonderful and good thing in certain situations. I feel that it’s just not a priority on my list when it comes to my husband. I feel I’ve gotten stronger from God’s guidance, good info and supportive people (this website) not necessarily forgiveness of someone who repeats the same cruel mistakes over and over. Where does forgiveness come into play with situstions like this? ive just accepted things for what they are and continue to press on with my exit plan. I don’t wish any ill will towards him just very tired of his behavior. I’m probably missing something and I would just like to know what your thoughts are. Thank you

    • Jeff Crippen

      Happy2 – If you look over in the right hand column of our blog and scroll down until you see “Tags,” you will find the word (tag) “forgiveness” in that list of tags. Click on it and it will take you to numbers of our articles that address that subject. It will give you about 3 or 4 or so at a time and then you click on “Older posts” under the last one and it will take you to more. Good reading!

      • Still here

        I really had to take a look at why I found myself so deaf and blind from the truth of who my abuser was & where was this power coming from that kept me buying into who he claimed to be rather than what my logical mind knew to be true. Being honest with myself & taking my personal inventory, I realized he was mirroring ME! They are professionals at reading people & calculating their next move. He was conning me by mirroring my feelings, words, actions, etc. I really believe if abuse victims/survivors, would listen and observe their abusers they would find they are in love with themselves! They adore you & “love bomb” you by mirroring you. That’s how they make you feel like no other. From my experience this mirroring is an exhausting game for your abuser as much as it would be as exhausting to you to mirror them. Eventually they expose their true selves. All of the things you think you love about him should be turned around & realize you love yourself. Beware of the mirroring man.

        Isn’t there specific scripture which states satan is the reader of people and God is the reader of hearts?

      • Nicola

        Stillhere – Here Here!! All that you say about the abuser using you as a template for a false persona and ‘mirroring’ you completely matches my own experience. Really well said. I’ve spoken to lots of other survivors who have said the same thing. Thank you for commenting on this.

      • mirroring
        this is a newish idea for me in relation to domestic abuse. I’m going to mull over it. I’m sure you are right. Some abusers are better at it than others. They are the more dangerous ones.

      • Happy2bhere

        Oops. Sorry I should have looked before I asked. I will look at those posts thank you!

      • And there is as complete list of tags in our top menu. The list in the sidebar shows our 45 most-used tags; the list in the top menu has nearly 200 tags.

    • Hi, Happy2bhere. Here is a link to an excellent article on forgiveness.

      http://www.messymarriage.com/2014/02/does-forgiving-let-my-offender-off-the-hook.html

      • Happy2bhere

        Thank you for the information. That article and the other articles on here , particularly “what does forgiveness require?” really helped me to understand better and that I do need to forgive him, but I don’t have to be his friend. It’s difficult when he does his pity party when I dont give into his demands and be super sweet to him. Anyway thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

      • H2BH, in chapter 10 of Jeff’s book he addresses forgiveness quite a bit too. You can find his book in our sidebar.

    • Heather2

      We’re happy that you are here too. We experience so many common things and our journeys are at different places but we are supportive to one another. Jeff, Barbara and others provide scriptural encouragement and information. Our personal stories are sure to strike a chord. I cannot tell you how any times I have related to what others have shared.

      Hugs, Happy2. You’re in the right place!

  17. caroline

    I like this! I wish I had been taught this BEFORE I married my first husband…or any time WHILE I was married to him. I also wish my pastors at the time would have been willing to call evil what it is, EVIL. Would have saved me and my kids a lot of heartache.

  18. Valerie

    I am so grateful to have come across this website. I have not found many resources that deal with abuse and are Christian based other than Leslie Vernick’s blog.

    I am seeing that I need to separate from my emotionally abusive husband. Unfortunately I have only a few people for support. My husband has successfully twisted the reality of our relationship so that he has some of our friends (both men and women) on his side- to the point of advising him that he needs to stop apologizing to me and set up more boundaries! These are people well respected in our church. 😦 I feel frustrated, angry and lonely. The more I try to get them to see he is manipulative and continually telling them the person he is at home is different than in public the more it seems to make them think I’m the one who is unstable and demanding.

    I am anxious because when/if I make a more formal separation and this becomes “public” I feel I will be subject to more head shaking and scorn as people volunteer to be emotional umpires as they call things from their limited perspective.

    I made a notebook of scriptural references to different topics concerning this (manipulation, abuse, what scripture asks us to do in response for example) as a way to strengthen myself against attack I feel is coming since my husband is on our church board.

    I will say, however, that God has strengthened me in so many ways through this that I am very grateful for and I know would not have changed in me were it not for this trial. I find myself becoming more bold all the time and it is a very freeing experience. When we trust God He does bring all things for our good!

    • Jeff Crippen

      Valerie, we totally validate and believe you. Your sad experience with your abuser and your church is exactly what we all have been through. Please visit us often and share your comments. And do not be dissuaded about separation or divorce by the totally unbiblical things others are telling you. Abuse is grounds for divorce and authorized by God. If you would like a copy of my book just email a mailing address to me at swordtrowel@gmail.com

      • Anonymous

        Valerie, you said, “I am so grateful to have come across this website. I have not found many resources that deal with abuse and are Christian based …. I will say, however, that God has strengthened me in so many ways through this that I am very grateful for and I know would not have changed in me were it not for this trial. I find myself becoming more bold all the time and it is a very freeing experience. When we trust God He does bring all things for our good!”
        Be encouraged because yes, you have discovered a website ministry that truly cares about the truth of God’s Word being obeyed. I highly recommend you read Jeff Crippen’s, A CRY FOR JUSTICE and Barbara Roberts, NOT UNDER BONDAGE . This website offers much valuable Biblical insight and also sadly brings attention to the fact that so often victims must receive help from outside the church. It’s very sad:-(

    • Hi Valerie, welcome! 🙂
      I love the expression ’emotional umpires’. Yeah, they behave like umpires but they don’t know the rules of the game! They don’t understand the dynamics of domestic abuse and the covert, cunning, manipulative, lying ways of the abuser, so they can’t recognise — let alone resist — the manipulations the abuser is doing. Hence they believe his spin and see you as the unstable demanding one. But be assured, it is not you, you are not the one to blame, and there is nothing wrong with demanding respect and non-violation of your boundaries.

      Also, be aware that generally if not universally the abuser escalates the abuse when the victim starts to show real signs of leaving and not caving in again. So expect it, stiffen you backbone against it, expect him to work overtime recruiting allies to his cause, and just plough on for your own safety and wellbeing. You might like to check out our Safety Planning page as there are some links on it that you might find useful.

      • Hi Barbara…the top three on the Safety Planning Page I cannot get into. Could you please explain how I could get into these? A pop up comes up showing Username and Password.. Thanks

      • It looks like Lundy’s page is undergoing techno-maintenance and is temporarily off line. I suggest you try again in a few hours.

  19. Still Here, your comment up there was helpful:

    “I really had to take a look at why I found myself so deaf and blind from the truth of who my abuser was & where was this power coming from that kept me buying into who he claimed to be rather than what my logical mind knew to be true. Being honest with myself & taking my personal inventory, I realized he was mirroring ME!”

    I cringe and feel ashamed to admit that it’s something to consider, personally. I feel ashamed because others have/had it worse. Mine acts now like he just needed to learn boundaries but he’s being so patient if my situation is just paranoia and PTSD because of a toxic friendship he sort of browbeat me into combined with my eyes opening that he had me in abuse for a large chunk of our marriage. Then again I’ve shown himself to him as under a magnifying glass in an undeniable way.

    Jeff, so ALL of those scriptures to keep away from certain types of people I often felt, then God wants me to stay away from my MIL and even my husband etc. at least at times! It has been tricky because he behaves well, even better than me, and then drops sacrilegious bombshells, for example, once in awhile, and practically unapologetically. I’ve had to practically drag out apologies after trying to respectfully but bewilderedly explain all the reasons why it’s just not okay! As of now he is recommited to God and I’m trying to be supportive but with one eye open and sometimes two! I pray God helps me obey for mine and my children’s best interest and reveal everything that is necessary to at least know exactly what steps to/not to take and when.

  20. Valerie

    It occurs to me also that I think part of the problem is how “wicked” is defined. Like abuse, wicked is a taboo word. Its very negative (obviously) so good Christians should use it sparingly. Use it for murders and those who victimize children. Use it for people who reenact the golden calf scene. But those who neglect their spouse and twist their words? Those who manipulate (as a way of life)? I think there’s is a reluctance on even considering that to describe that kind of behavior no matter how repetitive or destructive. Instead it is seen as a victim’s shortcoming to not be tolerant of other people’s “cross to bear”. For the longest time my husband actually had me convinced that bad behavior was what was intended in that biblical reference.

  21. I have had one person say to me yesterday ‘don’t be bitter’ and another person say to me today, if you leave him you will miss him, are you sure this is what you want…. the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, People are incredible!!! I have bravely stepped out and told people close to me about what has been going on and they are looking at the situation like this. I’m exasperated.
    My husband has had an spiritual experience in the last few days. He went forward for prayer at church… Something has gone on in his life. I’ve had certain apologizes come my way from him. I feel nothing regarding these apologizes. I’m so angry with him. I cannot move on after being spoken to and treated by him like he has. I cannot forgive him.
    I want to fly away like David speaks of in the Psalms. I want vengeance. I want to hurt him like he has hurt me. I’m so angry…. So so angry now he is being so Christian. His words sound so buttery…so pathetic to me. I don’t believe a word of it. I’m so exhausted and so sick and tired of this…. God help me!!

    • Yes, it’s Psalm 55 time 🙂

      Give ear to my prayer, O God,
      and hide not yourself from my plea for mercy!
      Attend to me, and answer me;
      I am restless in my complaint and I moan,
      because of the noise of the enemy,
      because of the oppression of the wicked.
      For they drop trouble upon me,
      and in anger they bear a grudge against me.
      My heart is in anguish within me;
      the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
      Fear and trembling come upon me,
      and horror overwhelms me.
      And I say, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove!
      I would fly away and be at rest;
      yes, I would wander far away;
      I would lodge in the wilderness;
      I would hurry to find a shelter
      from the raging wind and tempest.”

      Destroy, O Lord, divide their tongues;
      for I see violence and strife in the city.
      Day and night they go around it
      on its walls,
      and iniquity and trouble are within it;
      ruin is in its midst;
      oppression and fraud
      do not depart from its marketplace.

      For it is not an enemy who taunts me—
      then I could bear it;
      it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me—
      then I could hide from him.
      But it is you, a man, my equal,
      my companion, my familiar friend.
      We used to take sweet counsel together;
      within God’s house we walked in the throng.

      Let death steal over them;
      let them go down to Sheol alive;
      for evil is in their dwelling place and in their heart.
      But I call to God,
      and the Lord will save me.
      Evening and morning and at noon
      I utter my complaint and moan,
      and he hears my voice.

      He redeems my soul in safety
      from the battle that I wage,
      for many are arrayed against me.
      God will give ear and humble them,
      he who is enthroned from of old, Selah
      because they do not change
      and do not fear God.
      My companion stretched out his hand against his friends;
      he violated his covenant.
      His speech was smooth as butter,
      yet war was in his heart;
      his words were softer than oil,
      yet they were drawn swords.

      Cast your burden on the Lord,
      and he will sustain you;
      he will never permit
      the righteous to be moved.
      But you, O God, will cast them down
      into the pit of destruction;
      men of blood and treachery
      shall not live out half their days.
      But I will trust in you.

    • May I also say that this is ***classic*** behaviour for a ‘c’hristian abuser when he realises that he is going to lose his victim. Amp up the fake Christianity so that even if it doesn’t make his wife cave it, it will win over more sympathisers for him who will dump truckloads of guilt on her when she finally leaves. It’s very strategic on his part. Watch and see how long it lasts. Smaug can awaken in a second.

    • also, you might like to look at this article I wrote years ago. Even if you’ve already read it it may be helpful to revise:
      Unhelful Comments And How To Respond To Them

    • Brenda R

      loves6, I was where you are not that long ago except X went back and forth between being the angry abusive person that I knew for so long and moments of the so-called Christian who had been touched by God and told that all would be ok, yet he stopped going to church. Hmmmm!! Sounded fishy to me. I was angry. I didn’t know which I wanted more: for God to take me home and safe within His arms, or the wrath of God to strike X down.

      People tend to say things from their own experience and not from the perspective of someone who has been abused or never having been in that experience. When someone says you will miss him, they are thinking of how they would feel without their spouse. I do not miss my husband in anyway, shape or form. I am joyful that I am without him. I feel freedom that I didn’t know was possible. I can do things that I was not able to before or not do things that I had to do to keep peace and my sanity. I can be as giving as I want to be. I can talk to people without recourse. I can be in any room where I am comfortable and not be forced to be where I am not.

      The anger faded and now I realize that the loss is all his. I had much love to offer and he stomped on it until there was nothing left. I still have a lot of love to offer, but not for him. I don’t see anyway for that to reverse. The anger faded, I can forgive him for my sake and God’s glory but forgetting, that is not going to happen. I would not have made it through to this point without finding the resources and support that I have found here. It was not the people that I see at church. It has been the people that I will most likely never meet this side of Heaven that God has allowed me access to that have been the ones to help me find the truth and realization of who I am in Christ and His expectations of me. That is priceless. I am truly loved by the Great I AM and so are you. Leave it all with Him and He will give you peace and rest. It takes time and a lot of prayer. Reading Psalms and Proverbs did my heart good.

      As far as your husband is concerned, you can watch him from afar and know whether or not true change has actually happened and make decisions later. I think it would be wonderful if X actually had a heart change and followed Christ, but he can do that without me.

  22. Herjourney

    I recently attend a big non-denominational church where the pastor passed out stickers that read.
    “Love Everyone Always.”
    Unified churches that are rising up in the last days. Preaching peace and Love. Yikes!
    It’s happening! Big name Christian singers are among the blind. It doesn’t matter what you believe! Let’s be unified.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Yep. That is unity alright – united in the kingdom of darkness.

    • standsfortruth

      Recently a TV Christmas commercial aired showing a “sad looking” Frankenstein who wanted to be included with the townspeople that were gathered to sing carols.

      He walked up to the crowd only to be understandably met with shock and horror on their faces.
      But with a sad look he starts to quietly sing a song.
      Soon a little girl from the crowd joins in to sing with him, followed by the whole crowd.

      The end caption of this commercial pushes it message-
      “Open your Heart to Everyone”…
      really?!
      Comparing that to Gods Word which warns us.
      Proverbs 4:23- “Guard” your Heart with all diligence,-for out of it flows the issues of life.

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