A Cry For Justice

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

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.

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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!

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Related posts:

“Christian” Enabling of the Abuser Increases His Attacks on the Victim

How complementarianism can magnify the entitlement mentality of men, making them worse

32 Comments

  1. Avid Reader

    Toiler,

    Thank you for sharing. What a great post!

    Thinking about what you wrote reminded me of God’s warning to avoid partiality. That’s the root issue—the church is not only showing partiality but teaching people to live it.

    “But if you favor some people over others, you are committing a sin. You are guilty of breaking the law.”
    James 2:9 (NLT)

    “Do not show partiality when deciding a case; listen to small and great alike. Do not be intimidated by anyone, for judgment belongs to God.”
    Deut 1:17a (HSCB)

    “To show partiality is not good, Because for a piece of bread a man will transgress.”
    Prov 28:21 (NASB)

  2. Leah

    I am troubled in my spirit over this. I am so sorry. Praying for you. You are loved. I pray you can find freedom and that God will redeem this situation.

  3. What a heartbreaking story. Thank you, Toiler. Nancy Leigh DeMoss (Wolgemuth) is one of the writers whose teachings I critique and explain in the upcoming book “Untwisting Scriptures that were used to tie you up, gag you, and tangle your mind.”

    • Free Indeed

      Looking forward to reading your book.

    • BetterEquipped

      Rebecca, I would LOVE to read your book!

      • Brenda R

        Me, too!!!!

    • healinginhim

      Rebecca – Thank you for writing … looking forward the release of your book.

  4. Suzanne

    Toiler, I am so very sad to know of your suffering and I have prayed that God will deliver you from this bondage. It seems, more and more every day, that our so-called Christian churches are drifting closer to Islam in the way that women are treated. May God open the hearts and minds of pastors everywhere to this burgeoning evil. And may He move His children to study what the Bible says about marriage and the relationships between men and women. For it is increasingly apparent that the doctrines of men and demons are being followed in place of the Word of God.

    • Free Indeed

      Agreed.

      It’s as if some of these pastors want
      their churches to more resemble an
      Islamic mosque or Mormon temple
      than anything reflecting Christ.

      How can they expect the response
      to be anything other-than abuse
      and exploitation — when they are
      demanding that one-person is to
      always-submit (to everything) and
      the other it to always-domineer?

  5. Free Indeed

    .
    Agreed — 100%!

    It almost seems that in some churches
    some of the teachings of ‘Mormonism’
    (where the man / husband is exalted
    to an idolatrous ‘god’-like status) has
    crept into the doctrine being taught.

    Much in the way Fundamentalist-Mormons
    treat women / girls like items — (that only
    exist in order to ‘submit to, serve, adore,
    follow, worship, etc. the men / husbands
    … and who risk being ‘cast into hell’ if
    they do not ‘tow the line’ — this same
    (husband = “god”) mindset seems to
    have crept into the church for the
    past several decades and has led
    to spiritual, emotional, physical,
    financial and other abuses.

    Thank you for sharing this with us.
    .

  6. anonymous

    Toiler, evident to me is your Savior has given you wisdom and discernment because you already recognize the signs of abuse.

    This ‘new creation’ man and his dogmatic, domineering, demanding, demeaning and very selfish critical spirit will only continue to CRUSH your spirit. “He KNEW best in EVERYTHING.” Such a man is unyielding, cold, and NOT teachable!

    Your depression and seeing God differently than before are warning signs. Being dehumanized is NOT God’s will for your life! I would like to encourage you to NOT listen to the horrible lies that infiltrate our minds when we are objectified and thereby abused. It is ALL lies. You are a lover of the Lord and know very well it is all lies. You have GREAT worth to the Father and when in doubt, look to the Cross of Christ and see how PRECIOUS you really are to Him!! We are purchased at a high price. None of us know what our future holds but we can know it is HE who holds our future. And as a child of God you need NOT be scared for your salvation but rather, celebrate your assurance of life eternal.

    I can relate to you not being able to pray or wanting to go to church. I have been there too, many times. Until you are able to pray again, and you will, ask the Holy Spirit to go to the Father on your behalf.

    When we are in the deep pit of despair and it seems there is no way out, it is there HE will meet us in a most intimate way, wipe away every tear, draw us unto Himself, and provide and pave a path forward.

    You closed by saying, “Speak out for us little women with no voice.” God knows and hears your voice! And I will join my voice in prayers for you as well.

  7. G.F. Mom

    Yes I also found that imbalanced interpretation feeds abuse. Thankfully one day God brought it to my attention that my husband had become god instead of Him. Because I increasingly couldn’t read the Bible anymore. Every time I did and tried to apply it I’d be mocked by my husband. God is a jealous God. When He reinforced that truth to me I got strength to identify problem areas to him, assert myself, and basically contend for my faith. Paul describes a struggle we Christians have in Romans 7. Can you imagine how wrong or imbalanced Bible interpretations can breed sin in light of that? That’s why we need to rightly divide the word of truth and pray.

  8. Un-Tangled

    Toiler, I so totally agree.

    My husband and I were best friends when we got married. He had walked away from God when he was younger, but was coming back. He wanted very much to serve God. But the submission of women message from the church caused him to accuse me of undermining his authority whenever I disagreed with him. It damaged our marriage for several years. Fortunately, we “wised up” and decided to discard the submission teaching. Once again we became equal partners and friends. I despise the false teachings in the church and how they hurt individuals, marriages, and families.

  9. Toiler

    Thanks everyone for your kind words. This is a daily battle for my mind. I began to believe it too. We didn’t have a great marriage prior to his conversion. I thought him finding Christ would really change the tone in our home and was very hopeful. It changed alright. But not in the way I thought it would! I have moments of clarity followed by moments of despair. It’s a roller coaster that I never thought I would be on. I could use prayer more than anything!

    • healinginhim

      Toiler – Thank you for sharing. “This is a daily battle for my mind.” Praying for you as you have been deceived by a ‘professing Christian’ husband and others.
      Wish I could just sit down with you and “talk” … to become friends and perhaps be someone in your life that you can trust. ((hugs)) ❤

  10. LovingMyFreedom

    Toiler, I am so sorry you are in this situation. I am praying that God will bring people and information into your life that can help lead you into a place of freedom and strength. I know what it is like to be to the point where you feel that you are being destroyed spiritually. I know what the thick depression and the roller coaster is like. I know what it is to feel helpless and hopeless.

    Remember that you bear some aspect of the nature of God and that to disrespect you is to dishonor God Himself. Remember that where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. That is such a good test as to whether or not teaching is in error or of the Lord. Satan wants you to be in bondage, but the Bible says to “Stand firm in that liberty wherewith Christ has made you free.” (Ga. 5:1)

    For me, my own thinking regarding the headship-submission doctrine was in error and held me captive. I had a hard time rethinking that because I didn’t want to offend my Lord Jesus Christ.

  11. Brenda R

    Toiler, Do not fear for your salvation. God will not take away from us the gift that His Son paid such a high price for. The husband may be the head, but he is not the jailor. God gives us freedom through Jesus Christ…..NO MAN has the right to take it from us. Praying for peace in your heart.

  12. The Night Wind

    Toiler:
    As I mentioned on Reverend Powell’s blog, there is a concerted effort by a group of men on the Internet who are promoting DV and abuse of women under the guise of promoting Christianity and opposing feminism. Peel back the layers of the onion, and it’s seen that those [DV and abuse of women] are not the only false doctrines they’re promoting.

    Thank you for speaking out, because you can see their doctrines are creeping into both Churches and secular psychology as well.

    [Note from Barb Roberts: I added the link in this comment. If you click on that link it will take you to the first comment Night Wind made about this matter on Ps Sam Powell’s blog. If you scroll down further in that comments thread you will find a bit more discussion. I have done some digging and I can verify that what Night Wind is reporting is indeed correct.]

    • Hi Night Wind

      Peel back the layers of the onion, and it’s seen that those are not the false doctrines they’re promoting.

      … just checking whether this is what you meant to write? It doesn’t quite make sense to me.

      We can edit your comment if you want us to. 🙂

      • The Night Wind

        Hi—sorry. I meant to write “those are not the only false doctrines they’re promoting.”

      • Thanks. I’ve amended that sentence to “Peel back the layers of the onion, and it’s seen that those [DV and abuse of women] are not the only false doctrines they’re promoting.”
        Hope that’s okay.

  13. Ng

    Thank you for sharing this painful testimony, Toiler. You are greatly loved, as others have pointed out… Your abusive husband’s behavior cannot erase God’s love, while it sure can make you feel less than happy!

    If and when marriage really is an image of the heavenly union – Christ and His Bride – the assumption should always be that it is husband who sacrifices himself for the good of his family. It’s not his right to make unreasonable demands and sit around like a little Buddha, expecting adoration. That is so selfish and immature, and not different from what many pagan cultures (and Western ones) actually endorse.

    May your husband see the selfishness of his ways, and how that can only lead to further emptiness. Hopefully that will lead him back to seek the Lord, and repent of his actions and attitudes.

    May you find a place of encouragement and healing, and all the support you need!

  14. Wingfoot

    My heart is weeping for you, Toiler. Thank you for your courage in speaking out against these lies and opening your heart to reveal the damage that these horrifying lies have done. I’ve been praying for you.

    While I cannot judge your husband’s salvation before God, I can say with 100% conviction that he is thoroughly deceived, as are the leaders in your church. Remember Paul’s words in Galatians 1:8; we are not to trust even an angel from heaven if they preach a gospel contrary to the true Gospel (the true Gospel, wherein God loves you immeasurably as an image bearer and beloved daughter through the all-sufficient blood of Jesus Christ). You have true discernment from the Holy Spirit in that you’re identifying the deception and abuse in your church and marriage that stems from false teaching. It is good that you are not going to this church.

    God weeps for you due to the injustice you have experienced. As with Lazarus, Jesus weeps over the horrible ravages of death (and you are fighting against spiritual death), …

    Please do not be tormented by thoughts of insecurity about your salvation. God will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5), He will faithfully complete your sanctification (Phil. 1:6), Jesus gives you His ultimate peace (even if you don’t feel it at the moment) (John 14:27), nothing can separate you from God’s love in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:38), and NO ONE can snatch you from Jesus’ hand (John 10:28)! Even if you forget these promises when the battle makes you weary and numb, He will not forget these promises, and that’s all that really matters. He is faithful. Praying for you.

  15. Healing

    In love, as a formerly abused wife in the horrible place…where there is harsh domination it is NOT a marriage but slavery. That is NOT a biblical marriage and not God’s plan for your life nor for your children. Yes, the church has gone too far, but it’s [your husband’s sin that he is] lording over you. I place the responsibility on him. I hope you find godly freedom.

    Leslie Vernick’s books and counseling..and this site (and Lundy Bancroft’s books) helped me to gently ask for change. And when it didn’t come, I separated…with hope and patience that he would come around. He did not. But God freed me and now the kids and I are healing and thriving. There IS life on the other side. We are not meant to be slaves to another’s wickedness. We are servants of Christ not slaves of men. There is freedom and there is a way out. It may not feel like it now, but ask the Lord for deliverance and He WILL give you the words, energy, strength, support, kindness to ask for change…and if he persists in his unrepentant sin….to gently pull away from him, so that God can deal with him. For some men, this leads to them losing their wives…

  16. Healing

    I should mention, our stories are sooo similiar, I thought I written it and posted a while back. I lived the same painful story.I feel ‘ya….the change in my life now is so extraordinary i would not have believed it possible. There is hope and power in God to change our lives no matter how long we’ve been in the mud. I was also with my ex nearly 20 years…Several kids…homeschooler…the whole deal….

  17. LauraGrace

    I visited a new church on Wednesday evening. At the beginning of the service they had every male in the church from about age 3 and up file up to the altar and then kneel down and pray for the church service. I didn’t know what to make of this but it bothered me. Are we helpless females incapable of prayer even? Can we not pray as a congregation of both men and women for God’s blessing on our church service? Are three year old boys more capable of calling down the power of the Spirit than grown women? Does God not move unless boys and men call upon Him?

    • healinginhim

      LauraGrace, You’ve proclaimed the questions many women have felt as they ‘sit silently’ in the pews.

    • That church is inculcating male privilege! It won’t be a safe place for women, especially women who are victims of abuse.

      • LauraGrace

        Barbara, that’s the gut feeling I got, but I feel so torn. I want to rear my children in the church but this male privilege thing is out of control. Between that and the “anti-divorce” sentiment, it’s really difficult to find a church where we can fit in and belong. Oh, and this another thing that we find difficult to deal with in the church. Do you have any thoughts or threads on this? Most of us (my children and me) suffer from anxiety. We are told by most Christians that it’s a “sin problem” or that we lack faith. Christians don’t seem to believe that you can have anything legitimately wrong with your brain. Those with physical ailments gets sympathy and prayer, but those struggling with mental health issues get an admonition.

      • Anonymous

        LauraGrace, This is from another post on this website: https://cryingoutforjustice.com/2016/04/24/wise-as-serpents-calling-evil-good-and-good-evil-part-18-of-sermon-series/

        It’s important for us to be told, again and again, that God loves us and wants us to feel protected and safe. I encourage you to not beat yourself up over feeling anxiety. Don’t call it a “lack of faith”. . . it’s actually your gut telling you that, yes, things are bad. If you’re feeling crazy it’s probably because you’re trying to remain calm and loving in an impossible situation. It is not wrong to be feeling anxious. That feeling is a God-given warning sign. Sometimes it’s hard for one’s mind to comprehend that one’s own husband is the one who has put you in “danger.”

        The two previous paragraphs in this post may also help you.

        I’m always so amazed that ANY of us are still seeking the Lord and still love him too. With satan so active and the father of so many of those who attend churches today, the fact that we STILL want to find Jesus and to know Him and what HIS truth really is shows us just how strong HIS love is for us.

      • Thanks Anonymous, I’d been meaning to answer LauraGrace’s question but hadn’t got round to it.

        The other think that my help you LG is to read the pdf booklet Honouring Victims’ Resistance from Calgary Womens Shelter. Put Honouring Victims’ Resistance into our search bar and you’ll find a link to it.

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