Dealing With the Aftermath of Abuse

By Danni Moss
Copyright protected, all rights reserved

[This article was originally written in early 2008. At that point it had been a little over two years since my marriage ended.

Now, in August, 2009, I am reading back over what I wrote and would like to add some further insight provided by time and the leading of God on my journey. I will add these comments at the end of the original piece.]

It’s 12:15 a.m. I’m awake again and can’t sleep. This happens to me alot. It’s light-years better than it used to be, but it’s still a common occurrence. I wake up in the night disturbed by my dreams. While I can filter my thought processes during the day, at night the gates are open and “unmanned.” That’s when all the emotions overwhelm me.

When I was in my late 20s I realized I had nightmares most nights and had for as long as I could remember. These nightmares were the product of the church terror motivation campaign – the world is out to get Christians and will torture and kill us all if they get a chance (including showing graphically violent movies depicting this to teens and adults – talk about abuse!); the government is controlled by evil gremlins who hate Christians and will tear apart Christian families if they get a chance; etc.

On the other side of the coin was the church’s constant drill that I was inherently evil and unacceptable. In real life I was regularly held up for public reprimand and ridicule in youth group and at Christian school and that phenomenon appeared in my dreams frequently as well – though I followed the rules religiously. Fortunately, I knew my parents loved me, but in my dreams they turned on me just like the church did. Those dreams were a reflection of what was happening in real life, just magnified and concentrated.

Realizing I was being plagued by nightmares allowed me to address those fears on a conscious level. But they reappear from time to time still. In more recent years, the dreams that haunt me are of my marriage and rejection by the church.

By the time I left my husband the last time (Oct. 2005) I was having nightly terroristic nightmares. These dreams were direct products of the reality of our daytime relationship; somewhat magnified, but definitely reflections of reality on some level. I woke from these dreams sometimes sobbing out loud, sometimes shaking with terror so hard the whole bed shook, and three or four days a week I woke with a full-blown migraine in progress.

The church couldn’t – or wouldn’t — help with this. It took a psychologist to help me get free of these nightmares and the resultant migraines – though there was no reason I had to go outside the church for this help. It just needed someone with understanding and a willingness to dig into and address things, not someone with a doctoral degree in psychology. It really wasn’t complicated or technical.

Though my days are now peaceful for the first time in many years, I still relive the nightmare at night to a lesser degree. I wake up in the middle of the night, sometimes literally hurting so bad it feels like I’m having a heart attack. WHY??? Why does it have to hurt so bad?

What hurts the most is that the church both allowed and encouraged me to stay in an abusive marriage for 20 years. In fact, it did more than just encourage me to stay in that marriage. The church held additional rejection and judgment over my head if I dared to get out. I knew if I defied the church and got a divorce I would be branded forever. But staying and “working on” my marriage year after year after year was literally killing me. Ultimately it came down to obeying the direction of God and choosing the rejection of the church to stay alive. That’s a simplistic bottom-line view of a complex issue, but it is true.

In the nights when I wake up crying and can’t sleep I wonder how the church can justify its attitude toward marriage and family. The sanctity of marriage is not paramount over the sanctity of life. I wonder how the church can justify a gospel of fear, judgment and rejection. This has to be opposite of God’s desires and yet it goes on and on and on, with vested (or perhaps “encrusted” would be more appropriate) church leaders holding staunchly to tradition to the detriment of people’s real lives.
It is wrong, it matters, real people are being hurt by the church, and knowing this, I cannot sit by and do nothing. And I have to live with my nightmares and sleepless nights in the meantime.

Update: August, 2009

God is so faithful to hear the cries of our hearts. While, in the moment, things may seem insurmountable and endless, He sees a different picture. The nightmares have almost entirely ceased – so it does get better.

As I have sought God about all of this, He has worked to heal my heart – both toward my ex-husband and toward the church. He has continued to affirm that, indeed, abuse in the church and the home is not His plan.

Most importantly, as I have continued to seek Him and reject bitterness (which has been a terrific battle, in complete honesty!) He has taught me truth from His Word that has transformed my life on more levels than just healing from my abusive marriage. He has taught me so much as I’ve been willing to humble myself before Him and receive from Him – allowing Him full access to all my preconceptions of truth.

I know this is a work that will never be complete in this life as I’m transformed into the image of Christ. But it is a huge example of how God will redeem what Satan meant for evil. God is faithful, faithful, faithful and can be fully trusted.

If I look at the church through the eyes of my experience, and the continued experiences of others, I can easily become overwhelmed by discouragement and slide back into bitterness. But one thing God is teaching me is to see it through His eyes.

Jesus died for this church! He died to sanctify a bride for Himself. The church is misunderstanding the truth of who He is and what all He died to accomplish. That is a cause for grief, not anger.

I cannot single-handedly fix the problem. But what I can do is what He has given me to do – teach the gospel. Jesus defined the gospel in Luke 4:18-19 – it is about more than just handing out free tickets to heaven. It is for the hurts of our todays! Jesus provided an amazing gift in His death and resurrection for our present days, not just our eternal destiny – and the church has virtually lost that truth in the bondage of our traditions.

If I am in bondage to bitterness and hurt, I cannot share the liberating truth of what Jesus came to offer to all of the body of Christ. And that “all” includes the very ones who have twisted the Word into a weapon – mostly in ignorance. God loves these people. In fact, these ones who hurt others are frequently themselves walking wounded, even if they will not ever admit to it publically or even to themselves in private. Wounded people wound people, as I’ve heard said many times.

I can’t free myself from the hurt of the past – but God is a faithful and sure healer. As I have sought Him, and continue to do so, He faithfully brings the balm of His comfort and healing to me. And He will do the same for every one of us who have been wounded inside the walls of buildings and institutions called “church.”

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How to Deal with Condemnation in Divorce

This great subject came up on another thread, so I wanted to copy it as it’s own post.

Viktoria said:

…I have a question. I am getting a divorce from an abusive marriage. The thing is that I have been a youth leader for many years and there were several times when I had to talk to the christian girls (often members of our church) who decided to marry non-chrisitan men… Now, as I am divorcing from a chrisitan marriage I hear it in my head all the time “How could you tell all these girls not to marry non-christian but GOOD men when your own christian marriage is falling apart?” I was praying about it but this just doesnt go away, especially that this last friend of mine has a much better marriage than mine. This steals my peace of mind. And these thoughts come to me again and again.

Danni replied:

This is a great question and there are actually two parts to the answer.

I think as Christians who end up divorcing, one of the things we all have to deal with is condemnation. We usually get a bucket-load of it put on us by others, but then there is the even greater pile we put on ourselves.

There are a variety of reasons. One is just that Satan is the accuser of the brethren and he will try any trick he can to put a believer into a defeated position. And if we are feeling condemned we ARE in a defeated position. Satan comes for nothing but to kill, steal, and destroy – and he will use condemnation to do it.

The idea that your friend who married an unbeliever has a better marriage than your Christian marriage is straight out of Satan’s bag of tricks. There are too many variables in that judgment to be able to make such a definitive statement. God’s Word is still true – a believer must not marry an unbeliever because it puts us in a spiritually adulterous position. There are no two ways about it. Whether the fruit of that has yet been manifested in your friend’s life isn’t the test of truth.

We also condemn ourselves. We have a paradigm of belief regarding what Christians “do” and “don’t do.” And divorce is definitely on the “don’t do” list. So even if we land in a situation where divorce is the only option, our hearts will condemn us because we are violating the “don’t” list.

I John 3:20-22 is very helpful with this. It says that if our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our hearts and He knows all things – He sees the whole picture. And if our hearts do not condemn us (the position we can be in before God – because Rom 8:1 there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus who walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh) then we have confidence and boldness toward God and our prayers will be answered.

The truth is that our acceptance before God is based on Jesus’ sacrifice – not on anything we do or do not do. God does not look at us with displeasure, anger, or judgment – He sees only Christ’s sacrifice and it is more than enough. The same grace that provided our eternal salvation is the grace that provides for all of our todays, too. (That’s the subject for a much more in-depth study.)

And God’s grace is not only enough, but if we are attempting to add to it or “do” for God by our “works” – even after salvation – we are stepping outside the bounds of His grace (of which condemnation is a sure sign) and are cursing ourselves (Gal. 1:8-9). God isn’t cursing us – we are cursing ourselves. That’s what condemnation is!

Another factor that enters into your question is the qualification of a Christian vs non-Christian marriage. God tells us not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers. But who is an unbeliever? Unfortuately, church teaching on this subject is woefully lacking. We accept anyone who has “prayed the prayer” and says/does the right things as being a Christian. That is foolish and dangerous.

The Word describes a godly union –

A man leaves his father and mother and cleaves to his wife. Then — and only then are they one flesh. Anyone who puts asunder that union has committed adultery. Putting asunder happens a long time before a legal document is handed down by the courts! And the person who has “put asunder” that union is the one who is at fault.

Also the Word says that a man who does not provide for his family is worse than an unbeliever. Among other things, this points back to the definition of a godly union. If a man (or woman) puts asunder s/he has demonstrated that they are an unbeliever – regardless of what they may say they have prayed or whether they go to church and serve regularly and “do” all the “good Christian” things. An abuser most definitely puts asunder – an abuser puts his/her spouse away in every action they take toward their spouse. There is no union, no cleaving, no one-flesh.

And the Word has a process of how a Christian should be able to take this offense to the church, in Matthew 18. Ideally, the church would ultimately judge an abuser as an unbeliever and put them out of fellowship. This doesn’t happen in today’s church, but it is what the Word says is supposed to happen (I Cor. 5 – an abuser is a railer, even if no other of these applies).

Once someone has been judged an unbeliever by Biblical standards the guidelines of I Cor. 7 apply, and a believing spouse is not required to remain with an unbelieving spouse who isn’t “pleased” to dwell with them. An abuser isn’t pleased with anything! It doesn’t matter if that person refuses to remove him/herself from under the same roof. They are not being pleased to dwell with their spouse. There is no peace there. And the believing spouse is NOT bound to remain in that marriage.

So, this is what the Word says. You weren’t in a Christian marriage. You were unequally yoked to an unbeliever – though you didn’t know it.

You have no condemnation. And you can use the truth of the Word to stand up to those voices – whether external or internal. That, in turn, gives you boldness and confidence with God.

First Steps: Step One — Is the Word True?

By Danni Moss
Copyright protected, all rights reserved

This is the second part of a multi-part series entitled How Can I Trust God After Marriage to a “Christian” Abuser?

Before you can even make the first step toward discovering whether you can trust God after being wounded in a “Christian” abusive marriage, you have to go all the way back to the most basic basics. Failure to go all the way back to the foundation and ensure it is secure, will ultimately make everything else you attempt to build on it unstable.

Right now, if you’re even asking the question, “how can I trust God…” the structure of your relationship with God has taken a profoundly deep hit. Just as if you had a physical building which had experienced a literal earthquake, you need to check your foundation and then evaluate everything outward from there.

So the first thing you have to determine for yourself is whether you believe the Word is true. And both this question and the answer to it are based on the bigger question – is God Who He says He is? The answer to that question, answers the other question. But both are important.

You may or may not have thought to actually verbalize the question of whether God is real or whether He is Who He says He is. But this is at the core of whether you can trust Him. If He is not Who He says He is, you cannot trust Him. If He is Who He says He is, you can trust Him because He says He is trustworthy. Whether you choose to trust Him is your personal choice, but whether or not He is trustworthy depends on His nature and character.

Psalms 62:8 Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.

Psalms 18:2 The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

Psalms 18:30 As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.

Isaiah 26:4 Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:

Either God is Who He says He is, or He is a liar. That’s all there is to it. What good is a god who says he is one thing when he really is not? The Bible makes a lot of claims about Who God is. But just this one is enough.

Romans 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?

35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?

36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

Is is true? Either it is all true or none of it is true because if any part is not true, God is a liar. So either all things have their being and existence through Him, or God is a liar. At the same time, this passage is a good example of how an inaccurate understanding of what the Word actually says can make it seem like the Word is not true.

People can make a couple erroneous assumptions about God based on this passage. First, people can assume it means God either causes or actively allows all the evil things that happen in the world, along with all the good. People can also assume this statement about God is not true since man has created many things that God did not create.

However, a deeper look answers both concerns. This passage does not either state or imply God causes all the things created beings choose to do, or even all the natural tragedies that occur in a physical world scarred by the effects of fallen man — and we have to be certain not to confuse this point.

In Genesis 1:26-28 God very clearly gave mankind dominion and authority over the earth. He also created man with a freewill — which wouldn’t be free if He chose to supercede it, even though He is able to do so. And in Genesis 3, man used his freewill to surrender his dominion over the earth to Satan. This set in motion all the evil that exists in the earth, even including natural disasters, birth defects, and other things we typically consider “acts of God.” God doesn’t do these things. They are all the result of man’s choice to deviate from God’s perfect order in the beginning.

The other potential misunderstanding is regarding whether or not man has created things not created by God. Man has created the automobile, lightbulbs, in vitro fertilization and test-tube babies, animal cloning, etc. But in every single case, man has used what was created by God as his starting point. Man has created absolutely nothing from nothing at all. Everything man has made has come from what God has made. So everything that exists has its origin in God’s creation.

In this statement in Romans 11, the Word is declaring as fact that everything that exists has it’s origin in the creation by God, through the reality of Who He is, and it will ultimately all be for His glory. Eventually, even the worst of the worst evil doers will submit to Him and give Him glory. Ultimately, every horrible calamity will have a way to reflect God’s glory by how He can turn it — whether or not we ever understand or see it personally. But that does not mean God causes evil doers to do evil, or initiates or approves of calamitous circumstances.

The flip side of this is that the Word is full of affirmations that God’s thoughts and plans for His people are good ones and that He protects, defends, provides for, and blesses His children. These statements must be equally true. One does not negate the other – or God is a liar. So, even if we cannot understand it, and our reality appears to belie these statements, if we decide to believe God’s Word is true, we can have confidence that somehow these are true words and somehow we can experience that as reality in our lives. Any place our reality isn’t matching up to the Word, it is our reality that is faulty, not the Word.

Psalms 119:160 Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.

Romans 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.

Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began…

The Word says it is all true. It says God cannot lie. So if it is not all true then God is a liar, and it is all a lie.

How big is God, really? If He is big enough to be God, He is bigger than we can understand and He is bigger than we need Him to be. He is big enough to mean exactly what He said when the Word says:

2 Peter 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

All things does not leave any room for anything that His divine power has not provided for us. Nothing.

You must carefully and thoroughly consider this question of whether God is Who He says He is and whether (as a result) the Word is true before you can get to a single answer in your life. He says His divine power has provided all things pertaining to life – but if you do not believe the Word is absolutely true and God is Who He says He is then you cannot believe His divine power has provided all things you need.

However, the opposite is equally true. If you do believe that God is Who He says He is, then you must accept that His divine power does make available to you everything you need for life. The question from that point is only – how do you access that provision with confidence. And the answer to that question is right there in that verse:

…through the knowledge of Him…

So that leads us to the question, “How can I know the truth about God, that provides me with all things I need pertaining to life?”

And that is the subject for the next part of this study.

When it comes right down to it, there is no way to tangibly prove whether the Word is true or whether God is Who He says He is. You will have to make a choice of faith. But faith is not just belief. Faith is an action word. Faith is not faith unless it is accompanied by action based on the belief. Faith steps out to the next steps, even without proof before hand. As you walk into the subsequent steps, God will prove Himself. But you won’t get that proof unless and until you take the steps of faith first.

How Can I Trust God After Marriage to A “Christian” Abuser?

By Danni Moss
Copyright protected, all rights reserved

This exchange occurred in one of the comment threads on another article, but I thought it might be beneficial for others as a stand-alone piece by itself.

Mary said:

…I have a lot of unfinished business that I need to work through regarding my relationship with God and the church… I don’t know where God is in any of this anymore. I feel paralyzed to do anything about my situation… because I don’t trust myself to hear from God. (and even if I did I don’t know if I have the strength or the courage to do anything. I feel empty) I can’t imagine God saving me from [one] abusive marriage and then leading me to do the same thing again. But that is what happened if I retrace my decisions that I was making at the time. Am I so defective that I can’t hear from God?

Danni said [amplified, as always when I think about it more]:

It is not that you are so defective that you can’t hear from God. It is a combination of the fact that our own paradigms of reality affect what we think we are hearing from God and that the church is teaching some things about God that aren’t completely accurate.

Our own paradigms are probably the biggest thing that sabotages us. Those of us who marry into abuse almost always – I’d say always but there is always the rare exception to the rule – have some underlying wrong beliefs about ourselves, marriage, relationships, and even God that are so unconscious we are not aware they influence us. If we were raised in abuse in any way – not necessarily overt abuse – we definitely have some foundation problems we are not aware of.

Then when we take that into the arena of church, one or both of two things happens. One is that we do not accurately understand the truth because our paradigms color our understanding – for instance, our understanding of God’s love. How can we understand God’s love for us when we have never experienced real love? And we may think we have experienced real love and not understand that what we think is real love is not. If we were raised in an environment where our acceptance was intrinsically tied to our performance, we will see God as having that same standard toward us – which is not true and literally twists everything else around backwards. These are just a couple examples.

The other thing that can happen in the church is that it may actively teach wrong theology about God, God’s love, the gospel, etc. — all of which will be detrimental to a greater or lesser extent as applied to the issue of abuse. Here again, if we have been raised in an abusive environment (or been in one for years), a church which teaches this type of wrong theology or is even straight-out spiritually abusive will feel right and comfortable to us. This is the type of church we are likely to instinctively choose, just as surely as we are likely to instinctively choose to marry an abuser.

But the truth is that God is none of these things. And while you may think God told you to marry that person who was an abuser, He didn’t. He couldn’t have; it would be a violation of His character and nature. But we can misunderstand. And God is bigger than that. It doesn’t mean God failed; it just means we have more to learn about God — which is an awesome thing to know! That means there are unplumbed depths to the goodness, kindness and love of God, which you have yet to explore. And it means we can still trust Him — because without that we have nothing.

Empty is a good place to start. And baby steps are just fine. Is the Word true? That’s the first thing you have to ask yourself. And God knows where you are – Ps. 103:8-14 says:

The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. [Note: in fact, under the New Covenant we are not under God’s wrath. The New Testament says it is being held until the end of time for those who reject Jesus. God is not mad at you and He’s not going to get mad at you.]

He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.

As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.

For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.

He knows your frame; He remembers that you are but dust. He knows and understands every emotion, every fear, every hurt you are feeling. And He’s not mad.

The Holy Spirit has been promised to be our comforter and our counselor (read John 13-17). Is the Word true? Do those words actually mean what they say? Do you need comfort? Do you need guidance and direction? Is the Word true? (Yes, I know I said that three times now; it was on purpose.) God can be trusted and He will not be mad at you, remembering your frame, when you ask Him to show you unmistakeable how to truly hear His voice.

I would even recommend very specifically asking Him to expose and overturn your paradigms of belief that are hindering you from knowing Him as He really is. He will do it — that is my own testimony. He will do it. Not all in a day; not even all in a year. He is a gentle healer. So He can be trusted to deconstruct and reconstruct as carefully and as tenderly as it is possible to do with such a radical work, taking as long as necessary to do it. And all you have to trust with is this one moment at a time.

Hebrews 11:6 …he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Is the Word true?

Another thought regarding believing God led you to marry an abuser, I have to say I fully believed God led me to marry my husband, too. I was completely devoted to God and seeking God as fully as I knew to do. I prayed about it alot and specifically prayed many times that if it wasn’t God’s will, God would show me. Everything I knew about God and obedience and the Word said I was supposed to marry my husband. And God knows I was very willing to lay it down if He didn’t want me to do it.

So after the nightmare started, and then would never end, I had these thoughts, too. Eventually I came to realized that God did try to let me know – but my paradigms made it impossible for me to see and understand what He was saying. My theology, which was mistaken, said I should marry him – but God Himself did not. And He cannot and will not interfere with the authority He has delegated to us on this earth. What He will do, because His grace and mercy are everlasting and eternally long-suffering, is walk with us through what happens next and redeem us when we realize things are amiss.

If you do not see those hindsight warning signs yet, that doesn’t mean they weren’t there. It just means that your inaccurate paradigms of reality haven’t been overturned yet. And God can fix that, over time.

As for where to start – well, that turned long, so I’m going to put it up as a series of separate pieces.

What’s Next?

So, no sooner do I put the site on static mode than God starts showing me more things to write. LOL! He is so funny that way.

God has made it very clear to me that I need to immerse myself in the positives, rather than the negatives. He has also shown me that the site as a whole needs to focus on facilitating healing, not just focusing on the negatives that happen in abuse. Another verse He pointed out Tuesday was:

Philippians 3:13-15

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

Another passage He has had me thinking about a lot lately is:

Philippians 4:4-9

Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.

Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

The fact is that sometimes the facts aren’t positive – though the truth still can be. But, for my peace and wellbeing, I need to still, in the midst of the negative, choose to find God’s positive perspective. I must still confront sin where required to do so by the Word, but I can’t live there – in perpetual conflict.

In fact, the Word also says,

James 3:13-18
Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.

This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.

For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

Whether dealing with domestic abuse, clergy sex abuse, or other abuse in the church, there has to be a way to remain in peace on a personal level. Division will result in situations where there is unrighteousness, but God still wants us to refrain from becoming immersed in it:

Romans 16:17-19

Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.

All in all, as I’ve thought and prayed about this, I think I’m seeing that we do have to address unrighteousness, but then when our efforts to bring about change are ineffective, we need to move on in our own relationship with God and separate ourselves from those who refuse righteousness. If we have made every attempt, whether in a domestic abuse situation or a spiritual abuse situation, etc., to affect righteousness and have been rebuffed, then it is time to shake the dust off our feet, metaphorically speaking, and move on with God.

And it is time to do that with this site as a whole. Right now, I’m thinking that I will not post more clergy abuse news since there are plenty of other sites doing so. But I hope people will still find the articles here helpful – that was my purpose from the first.

I will also be gradually editing some of the articles in the family abuse section. In the category of keeping no record of wrongs, I want to do as much as I can to eliminate the “record of wrongs” without compromising the awareness factor of the materials. So this is going to take me awhile. Most of the content on the site will remain unchanged and, as I can, I will continue to add.

Blog Going to Static Mode

In the wee hours of the night, God pointed out this verse to me:

James 5:9 Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.

Grudge — to make (intransitively, be) in straits, i.e. (by implication) to sigh, murmur, pray inaudibly:–with grief, groan, grudge, sigh.

I have come to believe that continuing to focus on the negatives that have happened in the past keeps us from being able to reach healing. I do not know what role there is for warning people of danger or how that is supposed to look. But God has been putting this word under my nose repeatedly over the past few months about focusing on the negatives.

As a result, I will be putting this entire site on static status for at least awhile. I will be closing comments and removing my e-mail link. Before/until I have a greater understanding of this, I need to pull back and seek God’s direction.

This is something that I feel God has been gently nudging me to do for at least a couple months, and has to do with the entire site. In the meanwhile, the resources here will remain available.

Ex-Pastors’ Wives Share Hope in Abuse

Two ex-pastors’ wives have written a book together sharing insights on how to cope with abuse and adultery. The book is titled, Surviving Shattered Dreams: A Story of Hope after Despair, by Yvonne Partyka and Joanne Klinger.

When the women first met they had no idea how much they had in common. As they became better acquainted they discovered they had both had been married to pastors who committed adultery and were abusive. Eventually, they decided to share their story and the hope they have found in their experience.

According to the linked article, Yvonne and Joanne have singular advice for women, especially pastors’ wives, involved in marriages where there is adultery and abuse. “Don’t try to handle this on your own. Secrecy and cover-up don’t work. You’re not alone, and God is faithful.” The problem of pastors involved in extramarital affairs, pornography, or abuse “is not uncommon,” says Yvonne. “Churches tend to look up to their pastors and don’t want to believe it when problems surface.”