Now, in the case of my girlfriend, she has been in crisis for the past year, because of her abusive husbands increasingly wild and abusive verbal behavior. This distressing behavior has escalated since his retirement last year, and he can hang around the house and point out to my friend that she is the cause of his misery and unhappiness.
However, things have taken a turn for the worse in the last month and a half when he started threatening suicide. This panicked my friend who tried to reason with him and beg him not to hurt himself. He seemed to like that. So, then he dusted off his old hand gun and began waving it around and pointing it at his head, and screaming at her, “I’m going to do this right in front of you so you can watch”….and “You don’t think I’ll do it, do you”. Mind you, this was a loaded pistol he was brandishing, not a wooden spoon.
Unfortunately, my friend continues to live in the home. As a Christian, she is reluctant to leave the home in spite of my advice and her own children’s advice that she needs to. Where serious verbal abuse has gone on for a number of years, with no change in sight, it’s time for a separation in my opinion setting some boundaries, along with a lengthy time limit for the abusive party to change… or no deal. Letting him, know, that without change there will be no reconciliation.
But in the case of threats with loaded guns, that indeed is a deal breaker and time for the abused party to get out of Dodge. My friends abusive spouse, remember, has accused her of being the cause of his misery and the guilty party. However, when she says she will leave, he hauls out the gun again and says if she leaves he’ll shoot himself. Huh? How does that work? If he hated her that bad wouldn’t he be glad when she left. No, it’s all manipulation. And it’s what’s called the “cycle of violence”.
Right now, he’s settled down and is mild and gentle as a little lamb. Docile and hasn’t lifted a trigger finger in the last week or so. I was wondering why I hadn’t gotten any SOS calls from her as I usually do when he’s on a rampage. Today I found out why. He’s sick. Yes, he is sick and my little friend has been nurturing him back to health with comfort foods and lots of TLC and prayers. So that he can what? Be physically healed so he can go on his next rampage.
It’s so predictable with these two, and nothing is going to change unless she makes the move and leaves the house, when he’s not looking, and before he gets a chance to haul out the gun again.
The moral of this story for any of you women going through this cycle of violence is that abusers won’t change as long as they have an enabler, or a strong reason to change. That will not happen with you in the house still buying into threats and feeding them chicken soup and comfort food, playing in to their manipulation.
What this abusive man needs is serious repentance and giving his life to the Lord Jesus Christ. Not mental “therapy” per se.
This kind of abuse occurs in households all over America everyday. Most don’t make the mainstream news; this one did.
While many people may think that abuse against women only happens in non-Christian homes and lives, this isn’t always true. Abuse can and does happen behind closed doors in every type of home environment, and every walk of life.
Christian women may be more reluctant to leave abusive spouses than non-Christian women, due to believing it would be against biblical principles or for fear of being ostracized by the church. If you are a Christian woman struggling with this issue, or you know one who is, please refer to this valuable article on the Cry for Justice blog here on WordPress:
Should not these “forbidden” issues be talked about in Christian circles? I think they must be, especially when these “forbidden” issues continue to go on in supposedly Christian homes and “churches” all over the United States. A “Christian” country?
Yes, of course, I do have to tend to my own walk with Christ, and have plenty of my own spiritual needs and issues to look at, and mend. But nevertheless, since I have seen Christian women who I know and love being abused verbally and even physically….and….because the very name of my blog is “Spiritual Abuse Sanctuary”, there are times when I feel compelled to speak out. If that offends anyone, I must ask the question “why”? Is our spiritual walk so high and lofty that we can’t see the very serious down to earth problems in the church and take them seriously, and speak out in behalf of our abused sisters? I would hope not. The Lord Jesus Christ was very down to earth as the Son of Man as He walked this earth, even though He was on a very high spiritual plane. He was concerned with both the spiritual needs of those He ministered to, as well as their real life, day to day problems, which in reality, are spiritual issues as well. How different than most “churches” of today.
Note from Scarlett: Color coding not available on this quote. See original:
“Colour coding: John Piper / my translations / my comments
The full text’s of Piper’s “Clarification” may be found here.
Clarifying Words on Wife Abuse.
Just the title makes this a women’s issue. “Wife abuse.” Why not use the terminology “men who abuse their wives?” Omitting the noun for the abuser — and his gender — makes the abuser less visible and less culpable.
John Piper: “Several years ago, I was asked in an online Q&A, “What should a wife’s submission to her husband look like if he’s an abuser?” It was so long ago that I wish people would stop bugging me about it already. I mean we took it off of the DG website and everything. But darn the Internet for never forgetting things. Oh well, I guess, I’d better try to save face.” Cry for Justice: “I continue to assert that Piper’s career should have ended in 2009 when he said “simply hurting her.” That it didn’t, that he still has an audience and over half a million followers on Twitter, is an indictment on the Church and a huge warning signal declaring that Christians still don’t comprehend what abuse is or what to do about it.”
More in our series Christian Women and Domestic Violence
This book takes a very real look into the lives of Christian women who cope with domestic abuse on a daily basis. It explores their experiences of physical,verbal,emotional,sexual, financial, and spiritual abuse at the hands of their perpetrator husbands who claim themselves to be good Christians. Through extensive interviews combined with academic research, the reader comes faces to face with the complexity of issues surrounding such domestic abuse and how counseling can be effective through the encouragement of a variety of religious and non-religious coping strategies.
Of interest to victims of domestic abuse, as well as to the members of the clergy, psychologists, and counsellors, Counseling Christian Women on How to Deal With Domestic Violence shows there is a place in the Christian church for women to separate and to be divorced without losing their faith.
I’ve been getting many inquiries from Christian women on the subject of domestic violence in the home. For that reason I will be starting a series on this issue which has been so misunderstood and caused so much pain to so many good Christian women who were endeavoring to both love and honor their husbands, and their Savior through obedience to the Word of God.
We’ll begin with a study of “The Great Ecclesiastical Conspiracy”
Both Christian men as well as women need to study this epic teaching. It is in-YouTube Video form as well. It explains that King James himself had a vested interest in making sure that certain words were put in this translation. Words like”rule” and “submit” were intended to reinforce his headship and control over his kingdom. It’s only when we become aware of the truth that it has the power to set us free from the shackles of legalism. The Lord said, “My people perish for lack of knowledge”. Knowledge of what? God’s Word! Indeed, knowledge is power. Let’s make sure we are armed with the truth so that we will not succumb to the lies and deception. As one of the Lord’s sheep, even though your pastor or husband is bound by man-made doctrines and traditions of men, of legalistic teachings, by studying the truth, prayer and fasting, you will not have to be. Jesus said to those disciples who believed him, “If you will continue in My Word, then you will be my disciple indeed and then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free” Jesus and his pure doctrine supersedes the faulty, unloving notions of men.
“THE GREAT ECCLESIASTICAL CONSPIRACY”
This is HARD!! Many will not be able to hear this at all!
Is it really possible that the Authorized King James Version of the Bible was INTENTIONALLY DOCTORED to reinforce and support a “priest class” and institutional, political hierarchies. The Protestant Reformation didn’t go far enough. It didn’t really eliminate the temple worship and priest class, it just put a nicer face on it.
This explains why things are this bad. It explains why most of this thing we call “Christianity” is in fact, not at ALL what Jesus had in mind. This explains why so many are being abused in a “system” that was NEVER what God designed in the first place.
My Story of an Encounter with an Abusive Christian misogynist: I hadn’t been posting much for quite some time. Looking over the web offerings, I figured there were enough sites to offer help,warning and healing for those who had just come out of spiritually abusive situations, or….were still in one, and looking for answers. I was wrong. Just when you think there is nothing new to add, some new abuse presents its ugly head, or perhaps an old abuse presenting itself in a new and novel way. So…I guess it’s time to fire up the blog once again.
I post quite a few resources offering “other” folks help, warnings, etc…but this time it happened to be me that got spiritually stung and hurt…again. Me, who should know better how to avoid such situations and people. Me, who has had her guard up and warns others about how to avoid snares, spiritual abuse and the pain that goes along with it. So….how and where did it happen? On an Internet voice over chat room called PalTalk. PalTalk has a fabulous potential for interaction with other Christians, but it can also be a very dangerous place, especially for vulnerable believers who have been isolated, and left abusive church fellowships and/or even been rejected by friends for leaving these churches.
What happened was that I had been visiting, with great caution, spiritual radar detector turn on, a few spiritual chat rooms and had begun to meet a few people there I felt fairly comfortable with and that seemed to be mature Christians with a healthy grasp of scripture and sound doctrine. This seemed to be a godsend because I was needing the fellowship with like minded believers…perhaps more than even I recognized at the time. However, Satan, never a day late or a dollar short, recognized it and I now believe I was set up for a hurt. Looking back, thank God it was only a hurt and not something much worse.
I had been listening to a man who seemed to be above average in godly wisdom and experience. A really interesting man as well, who I’d seen in various Christian chat rooms, sometimes speaking, or other times posting comments and scripture. We began to cross paths, and he developed an interest in me. To be frank, I was both flattered and also, a bit in awe of this guy. This was filling a need in me for fellowship after having been isolated for so long after leaving the apostate church. We were on the same page…..or so I thought.
After about a month of meeting in various chat rooms, and also spending long hours in private chat rooms, sharing and talking about God, and our experiences, what we had in common, laughing, and praying, I began to trust this man and let my guard down. Something I haven’t done in a long time, and I’m not sure I realized just how much I opened up to this man at the time.
With male, female relationships in any realm, there is always the issue of dominance, but especially in the spiritual realm of Christianity and God ordained authority. I’m not going to get into the scriptural aspects by posting scripture on here. Most of you reading this blog are already aware of what the bible has to say about it. As for me, I don’t have a problem with allowing men to be men, and the authority figure in spiritual relationships………as long as they don’t abuse it, and in the process, begin to abuse me. I am God’s and he is and always will be my husband and the final authority.
If a person has been spiritually abused they will usually be very guarded about boundaries. With me, this is extremely true. Very guarded, even with women. God has given me a level of discernment through hours of prayer, tears, and experience that I am very grateful for. But experience is very expensive in terms of having gone through situations and learning from them, (as you learn not to stick your hand in the fire after the first time, or take fire to your bosom and expect not to get burned).
With abusers, somehow they have the uncanny ability to avoid being detected at the very beginning of an encounter with their victims. Even when one has developed a level of spiritual discernment, if they have an opening, such as loneliness, or need for fellowship, as I did, they are fair game for a predator to slip through the boundary and get inside where they can do damage.
So, to describe the scenario further, there was no question of a romantic relationship developing, so that seemed to make this friendship safer where I could relax and enjoy this mutual love of God with this man…He was well read in the scriptures, and shared many spiritual experiences that gave me no reason to doubt or be afraid of him. For the most part, I felt safe, and anyway, wasn’t I a safe distance from him in PalTalk. How could this godly man possibly hurt me? But in all relationships, sooner or later, traits will begin manifesting. One of the first “disagreements” I had with this man, was over the issue of misogyny. He was adamant that women were the worse abusers of men, and that men were “just as” or more abused than women. In fact, he was a little too adamant about it…to the point that I might have thought at the time he was a misogynist himself, a closet woman-hater. Little did I know at the time, just how right on my discernment radar was absolutely spot on. But……I chose to ignore it, but the red flag was up.
The saying goes that women have a high level of intuition, and I think there is something to this…..but especially true with spiritfilled women who have spent much time in the scriptures and in prayer. In any case, the red flag was up.
Sooner or later, a persons true colors will manifest, as the scriptures say, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks”. On PalTalk, for those who aren’t familiar with it, there is a way to talk directly to a person, just like you would talk to them on the phone. Also, there is a way to text little messages to a person, or leave notes for them. So, what happened next between me and my new spiritual friend is this, I’d left a text note for him to read later. The note was a short synopsis of my understanding of “Paul’s thorn in the flesh” and I wanted to make sure we were on the same page. I told him if he agreed with this to just disregard my note. What happened was that he didn’t read or understand what I’d said in my text note, and became irate, accusing me of “being a rebellious woman in the church and one of those women who usurp male authority in the church”, as well as some other accusatory, nasty and overweening remarks aimed directly at me. This floored me, and cut to the quick. I was not only astonished but felt attacked and falsely accused…..which I was.
I have been abused by both women as well as men in the church, but this frankly, was a new experience. I had let my guard down and this woman hating predator got through the door. I sent him a note in text, politely explaining my position and that in no way was I or ever had been a rebellious woman seeking to usurp male authority. He sent back a lame excuse. I began trying to quietly shy away from him. The trust had been broken. However, not satisfied he came back and contacted me again and began criticizing me, telling me what I should think, what I should do, and “to obey”, not exactly explaining whom I should “obey”, but rather indirectly indicating it should be him.
By this time, I am wanting out. And also by this time, his true colors are showing and he is in full attack, wolf mode and begins to rip me up, telling me everything, (in his opinion), that I’ve done wrong, and what is wrong with me, and that I’m not really “walking in the spirit”.
After this last attack, I sent him back a note saying that Jesus would never talk to me, or treat me the way he did, and that I was not going to accept being spiritually abused in this way. After that, apparently he realized he was not going to be able to dominate me or manipulate me, and so sent back a hateful note with more accusations telling me I was not willing to accept “admonition”, (a handy buzz word for handing you your lunch), and then blocked me from further contact with him, as if that were going to be a problem for me. I was grateful it was over. However…there was the aftermath to deal with.
The aftermath was and is the old spiritual wounds this man left in his wake. Old wounds from the past abuse I thought were healed and now have found out they were still lurking under the surface, and this man ripped them open again. Now, I am praying,Jesus, just please come and love me, comfort me, heal me once again. And LORD, I thank you that you revealed to me what was going on, and that I have the right not to obey mean and cruel commands set up by those assuming false authority in your name. Or accept down in my heart false accusations of wrong doing, by those who would make sad those you haven’t made sad. And also, Jesus, I don’t know who or what made this man the way he is, but please convict him, heal him but keep him from hurting anyone else this way”.
Friends, there is a reason for having healthy boundaries in our lives and guarding our inner circle. Please pray for wisdom and discernment in all your relationships. There are spiritual abusers out there who will cut your soul down to the roots if you allow them to. If you see you’ve opened the door to one of these…back out, run away quickly and never forget to ask the Lord Jesus Christ for help and protection. He is our gentle and good shepherd. He is our protection from wolves that wish to rip us to shreds, and He will never do anything to spiritually hurt and wound us.