Why Pastors Won’t Stand Against Abuse

By Danni Moss
Copyright protected, all rights reserved

Why pastors won’t stand against abuse, and my experience of betrayal and abandonment by my pastors over the years:

I was surprised to find that my pastors would not stand against the abuse in my marriage, even when they knew I was telling the truth about it.  The first time I left Gary, my pastors (SBC church) were shocked at my accusation of abuse.  They did not believe me. 

I later learned that apparently a huge percentage of women who leave their husbands claim abuse as the reason.  Abuse is a nice hot-button word that, at one time perhaps, engendered automatic horror and sympathy.  Now (and perhaps always, I don’t know) there is so much concern that accusations might be false pastors “err on the side of caution” and are more likely to disbelieve an accusation of abuse than to take it seriously.

The church provided counseling from an elder who was also a professional certified counselor.  In our first session, which was when I told Gary I was leaving him (he didn’t know before then because I was afraid of him) the counselor got to see his anger. 

However, Gary’s facade never completely cracked in public in 20 years of marriage.  Only one time did he ever reveal his rage to someone outside his own family (wife and children) and that was to his sister.  But to her it was a one-off anomaly.  For us it was a way of life.  When I tried to tell counselors about his anger they discounted it, thinking I meant “anger” in the way we all sometimes get angry.  By anger I meant uncontrolled rage.  But if I used the word “rage” with counselors they just heard “anger” and discounted it.

 That first counselor did see the anger and agreed we needed to have separate counseling.  He also was the first to ever tell me that physical violence in the home, even if it was directed at objects instead of people, was considered abuse, domestic violence and child abuse.  While there was physical violence against the kids, there was also a lot of throwing furniture, punching holes in walls, slamming things, etc.  (About the 3rd or 4th time he hit me I looked him straight in the face and told him if he ever did it again I’d call the police.  For some reason he believed me and never hit me again.  I can only guess he would never quit with the kids because he always excused it as “discipline.”) 

This counselor knew these things were happening in our home; I told him everything.  He said he believed me.  In hindsight though, as a licensed counselor, he either did not believe me or he deliberately chose to violate the law because he did not report it to the authorities.  I didn’t know then that he was legally required to report abuse if he was told about it. 

But his attitude was the same as I found from every other Christian counselor (except the one who did report my husband).  Saving the marriage was their only consideration.  This first church counselor told me that I had no grounds for a divorce, period.  I started proceedings toward divorce because, while he was crying on everyone’s shoulders in public, in private Gary was threatening to charge me with child abuse, to take the children and run out of state, to cut me off financially, etc.  I consulted with several professionals and they told me my only protection was to get a divorce. 

 However, I told the counselor and my pastors that I would stop the divorce if Gary gave any indication of repentance.  The pastors and counselor promised they would keep that qualification a secret.  After winning me back with an amazing repentance performance (that I didn’t realize until years later was all private – he never acknowedged publically that he had done anything wrong) Gary slipped and told me one of the pastors had told him I would drop the divorce if he repented.  Still later, he denied it.  But how would he have even come up with such a statement in the first place if the pastor hadn’t told him?

In this first separation, the church denied the reality of the abuse in my home, failed to report the abuse allegations to the authorities, and betrayed my confidence to Gary, enabling him to manipulate me back into the marriage with their support and blessing.

The second time I separated from Gary the pastors of my church (the same church) did believe me.  I had started telling them things were slipping back into old patterns within a couple years of our previous separation.  By “old patterns” I was talking about the physical violence.  It wasn’t until about the time I left him for the final time that I acknowledged the verbal abuse was just as serious a problem. 

Four years after our first separation, I took our oldest son, J, to a Christian counselor recommended by a pastor friend (who later became our pastor).  My goal was for us to learn how not to push Gary’s buttons and cause his anger and violence – I still didn’t understand that Gary was responsible for his own anger and rage choices. 

When I told the counselor what was happening, culminating in Gary punching J in the stomach in front of neighbor children when I was away from home, she told me she would talk to J to see what he said, but if he said the same thing I had, she was required by law to report Gary to the authorities.  And she did.

Even though my pastors believed me the second time, I was clearly told they would do nothing.  Well, to be specific, the senior pastor called me into his office for a meeting.  He told me that he believed it could be that I had no choice but to get a divorce (which I was not pursuing at that time) if Gary did not repent of his abuse.  But at the same time he told me not to tell anyone he had said so – which I correctly interpreted to mean he wasn’t going to say so in public or make any move to stand up for us. 

Gary did not want us to have anything to do with the counselor who reported him to the authorities, telling me our former counselor discredited her (I never heard it directly from the source but I believed him at the time).  I didn’t trust the counselor from our church that we had previously, based on what had come out of that experience. 

A close friend and mentor offered to provide counseling.  She was not a Baptist (which was a positive factor to me by that time) and I had seen God use her, so I trusted her.  She was not a professional counselor but had majored in counseling in some capacity in school. 

However, she did not believe I should have separated from Gary.  In her theology that was never acceptable since it was “putting asunder” what God had joined.  This was lack of godly submission on my part.  In our 4-5 sessions she focused on me during all but one.  She never believed me about the abuse or violence.  And after just a few sessions she told me “God said” it was time for us to get back together. 

Nothing had been addressed.  Gary never had to acknowledge what he had done and he definitely came out of that separation believing he had been vindicated.  My heart shattered in a million pieces.  But I obeyed her because that’s what I’d always been taught to do. 

Gary convinced the social worker that I had taught J to be rebellious.  He convinced the social worker and everyone else who would listen that J was so violent and rebellious that he (Gary) was only defending himself and standing up for his honor when he hit his son on a very regular basis.  No one would listen to me when I tried to tell them J was responding back to his father in exactly the same tone of voice, profanity, and attitude that his father used toward him.  The people in Gary’s required anger management course told him if their son back-talked them they’d hit him, too.

For the remainder of our marriage, Gary believed it was his right to hit back “in self defense, to stand up for himself as a man”, physically or verbally, every time he could egg one of the boys into a fight. And he was usually the one doing the “egging” – he just didn’t swing first, so he could say he never “started it.”

This incident cemented J’s hardness toward God because the church and the system that was supposed to protect him, blamed him.  He knew from then on, his father would always be believed and he would be the “bad guy.”  It happened over and over.  My health broke down due to the stress at this point.

I wanted to believe that this time the reconciliation would be different.  I desperately wanted it to be OK.  If more submission was the problem then that’s what I wanted to do.  But I couldn’t understand why his abuse and violence were always excuseable.  Why was his anger always excuseable but no one else was allowed to have any emotions other than delight in his every thought or expression – even the nastiest ones?

After our second separation, we ended up changing churches for reasons unrelated to our marital issues.  We went back to a church we had attended the first couple years of our marriage.  Through one thing and another the pastors of this church were aware of our marital situation through the intervening years. 

It didn’t take long before they began to see problems with Gary themselves.  This was surprising to me because no other pastor had ever bothered to pay attention enough to see problems.  They proved for themselves that he was a liar, manipulative and controlling; this had nothing to do with our marriage or family issues. 

When Gary’s anger, rage and literal expressions of hatred toward me increased while I was sick after chemo I realized it was never going to end.  This time I didn’t attempt counseling.  I knew what would happen; it had all happened before.  I also felt that God was very specifically leading me to get a divorce – an assertion that has gotten me a lot of flack.  But I’ve been listening to that voice for a long time; I know what it sounds like.  I had also told Gary after the second separation that if he escalated again I would get a divorce.  And that’s what I did.

However, when I told my pastors I was getting a divorce I was surprised to find they were not supportive – even though they knew I was telling the truth.  But one pastor said, while I might need to get a divorce for the safety of myself and my children, I could never remarry since there was no known sexual adultery.  I have no idea whether Gary’s subsequent remarriage would change his opinion about this.  The other pastor said I had no grounds for divorce since there was no known sexual adultery – regardless of the abuse going on in our home. The logic which would allow him to kill me but not have sex with someone else escapes me.

I was very hurt by this, even though I understood why they said the things they did and they weren’t ugly or mean about it.  What pastors (speaking in general of all the pastors I had) don’t realize is that when they don’t stand up for abuse victims, by default they stand up for the abuser.  The victim needs the protection of the church leadership at least standing up to say, “this person is getting a divorce with cause.  We know about it, we know the details, and we agree the cause is valid.” 

Even if they don’t give details, taking a stand for abuse victims when asked keeps the abuser from poisoning people against the victim — which will happen, guaranteed.  It happened with me and really hurt that Gary went around telling people a variety of lies about me and muddied the water.  I still do not feel completely comfortable in that church because I know there are people there who see me the way Gary painted me, even without realizing it.

So why will pastors not take a stand for the abused within their churches? 

One, they don’t want to make a mistake in taking sides.  If an abuser denies the allegation of abuse, they are afraid not to believe him (or her).  However, from the first separation I begged my pastors to follow the Mt. 18 pattern for church discipline.  But they wouldn’t do it and follow through to the final step of withdrawing fellowship.  The problem with this is, when pastors will not “take sides” they are taking sides.  They are taking the side of evil and leaving the abused abandoned in their abuse.  The hurt of this is overwhelming!

Pastors are also afraid of creating division in the church.  This is the ostrich approach to the issue, I suppose.  Unfortunately, the Bible says that those who sin are to be rebuked publicly so others will see and fear.  The silence of the church on the issue of abuse is contributing to its continued growth because abusers are affirmed in their behavior.  So by saying nothing pastors are “calling evil good” and enabling evil to continue.

The big one though is that pastors don’t want to be guilty of “putting asunder” what God has put together.  They take one statement by God (repeated two or three times in the Bible) out of the context of the whole and elevate it above every other consideration.  As I outlined in my article on the theology of an abusive marriage, the Bible has more to say about the issue of abuse.  Besides the little bit in that article, there is even more Scripture has to say about marriage and abuse as well.  But seminaries and Bible colleges don’t teach the rest of the Word on the subject of marriage.

I suspect when pastors fail to take a stand against abuse in marriages, they are afraid of either making a mistake that would earn them God’s wrath or they are afraid of gaining the disapproval of church members who have the power to ruin their careers.   

Until something changes, abuse will abound in Christian marriages.  The Bible does have an answer for the issue of abuse and that answer isn’t silence and denial.

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93 Responses

  1. I recently left my abusive so called christian husband o f ten years. He was very controlling, mentally,verbally, and physically. He was abusive to my children as well. He would down me to my children often telling them what a whore I was.( this has not changed since the separtion) . He would punch my children when I was at work. He has been phyisically abusive of several occassion. It saden my heart when I think of the Christians (female/male) who live in fear and are being abused. What I really crushes my spirit is being told by the church it’s alright for my spouse to treat me the way he does. I know I have to forgive him which I ask God just about every day to help me with this because the flesh want he to hurt just as much, but I know that’s not the way of God. I am teaching my daughters to do the same as far as forgiving. I pray on a regular basic for people who are living this life every day because I know what it is like. I pray that my life can be a help to some one else. This is my second marriage. My first husband was very violent!! He tried to kill me several times but God said not so. I was beaten on a regular basic at one point and time. I was dragged, stomped from head to toe,had guns placed up to my head,etc. God deliver me from this marriage it ended in the death of him. I am praying that God gives the church the information they need to address this issues in the church because christians should be able to find the help and healing they need within the church. The bible is full of ways of how the church handles issues Issues are not to be ignored,especial abuse!!! Eventhough, there is not a percise scripture dealing wih abuse, there are plenty of scripture about how a husband is to treat his wife. I can’t remember seeing any where were abusing me was alright.

    • I think that by the time we get to the point of choosing divorce, we know our marriage has failed and we know our spouse has not only deeply wounded us but will continue to do so. We expect to feel grief and pain. It is a natural and justified grief and pain.

      However, we don’t expect to be additionally wounded by the church. That is an un-natural grief and pain, so it actually is a greater pain. For me, it was much harder to deal with than my divorce.

      Ironically, the Bible has a lot to say about abuse and how the church is supposed to deal with abusers. But the Bible doesn’t use the word “abuse” or “abuser” since those words are the fairly recent invention of modern culture. So the church chooses to fail to read the Bible with discernment and obey it, though it clearly has much to say about someone who is characterized by the deeds of the flesh, anger and rage, a railer, a person who is contentious, full of strife and divisive. Then there is the plain teaching of the Word about a husband’s behavior. And the Word’s teaching about the church’s responsibility to those who are afflicted and oppressed.

      No, the church is without excuse because the Bible has A LOT to say about abuse. The reason the church doesn’t act, or acts wrongly, is simply because of choosing to persist in deliberate, willful ignorance because they can’t believe the plain teaching of the Word where it goes against traditions and doctrines of men. I’m not angry or bitter — that is just a statement of fact.

      — Danni

    • Dear Angela
      thanks for your prayers for the victim/survivors. I pray for them too (I am ten years out of my abusive marriage) and it’s good to hear we are both doing that.
      But as regards the church getting the information they need, it’s true that some churches and some Christians don’t have that information yet, but unfortunately many DO have that information or could easily access it if they wanted to. Many don’t appear to want to. They would rather not rock the boat and keep up appearances, oil on troubled waters, etc. They don’t want to face the full horror of it because that would mean they had to take decisive action and could be mocked, targetted and ridiculed. They fear man more than God.
      I don’t want to put too much of a downer on this, but I’ve become somewhat disillusioned by the gap between rhetoric and practice in churches. And the issue of domestic abuse is where the gap is the widest. I pray that God will convict and their consciences will not let up on them till they develop more biblical responses.

      • I have to agree with Barbara on this. Unfortunately, there are enough people out there now who have been actively and persistently attempting to engage the church and church leaders with the truth in positive ways (not judging or condemning), and they are refusing to consider it. This isn’t just an isolated church here and there. This is the leadership of major Christian organizations and Bible colleges and seminaries, that teach and influence all those pastors and churches.

        At this point, it is rapidly becoming a very deliberate refusal to hear the truth and to persist in agreement with doctrines and traditions of man out of either pride, or fear of man, or both. But we cannot give up. Sometimes it takes a lot of hard work and persistence to start the truck rolling from a standstill. But once it starts it will gradually pick up speed. We have to be faithful with the truth. And frankly, at the end of the day, the choice of some to refuse to believe the truth will end up being an indicator of what god they are worshipping – and will divide the sheep from the goats, so to speak. I don’t think we’re to that point yet, but we will get there eventually.

        — Danni

  2. Danni, thanks for your comment “Sometimes it takes a lot of hard work and persistence to start the truck rolling from a standstill.” That is so true and it helped me.

  3. My niece is experiencing domestic violence issues in her marriage that are being ignored by her father in law that is also the pastor! All communication to her family have stopped and we are begging for any help we can get! Pastor finally responding to an email says he will not encourage her to have a relationship with a family like ours and I really need some guidance to understand this mand that is supposed to be a man of God?

    • The reason the father-in-law/pastor is ignoring it is because he is an abuser, too. I would dare to suggest the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

      You are describing a classic abusive situation, both in family and in church. And sometimes the two are entwined, like you’re describing, where the family is also the church leadership and the whole thing is an abusive mess. Cutting her off from her family and friends is part and parcel with the whole package. You can insist on continuing to try to contact her, so she knows you haven’t cut her off (if you comply with their wishes to make you go away, she could easily misunderstand and think you have turned on her — and they would probably tell her that. But they are already brainwashing her to think you are a danger to her spiritually, etc.) but expect to have extreme resistance.

      While I do not know enough about this church to know what it teaches, what you are describing is one of the characteristics of a cult. And there are Christian churches, even some mainline denominational ones, that are run by leaders with a cult mentality where they believe they are the absolute and complete authority over those in their church and that those in their church need to be “separated” from all the “evil” influences outside — which includes everyone and everything that is not from them personally. And they will use Scripture all day long to “prove” they are right. It can be very hard to see when you’re inside it.

      Unfortunately, until she realizes and wants out, there’s not much you can do but keep your arms open and be sure she knows you love her and you are always available. And pray alot.

      — Danni

  4. Michelle, I agree with everything Danni has said.

    I’ll add another suggestion too:
    On my website there is a link to a booklet (in PDF format) that might help you. It is not specifically Christian but it will have some suggestions that you might find useful.

    Go to http://www.notunderbondage.com/links.html

    and look for the item called
    “Is someone you know being abused in a relationship? A guide for family, friends and neighbours”

    bless you
    Barbara Roberts

  5. I am so saddened by all of this. I know that our Father, Jesus Christ is as well. I am in the process of seeing the abuser (my husband), manipulate the Pastor and leaders at our church. I have had 9 1/2 years with my husband, and all have been explosive. I am finding that the abuser has a way of twisting the whole thing around to make the victim look ‘crazy’. I feel like I am in one of those movies about domestic violence. My Pastor has even become angry with me. I had to call the police on my husband for the last time. He left work to come home and ‘argue’. During that incident, he hit me in th face. This happened in front of 4 of my children. I had no other choice this time. I saw my babies faces, They were scared! I am asked now, after the police obtained a 72 hr Protective Order, and I went to have it extended, that I am wrong. I am told that my husband has a right to come to church where the kids and I attend. We, as a family attended 6 years. However, my husband has walked away on many occasions. He has not been attending regulary for quite some time. I am told that church should be a place of refuge. I agreed with that, however, what about us? I have a PO! No contact, no phone calls, no e-mails, no text, no contact or anything with the kids or myself. Yet I am told that my husband will be permitted to attend church because the pastor doesn’t feel that we are in iminent danger. I complied with the pastor when he texted me, asking me to allow my husband to obtain some of his belongings. I was okay with that. I was okay until I was told that if I express to the court that my husband did violate the PO, that I would be wrong. I am floored by this. I feel so very betrayed! The pastor has been aware of these issues for years. Not to mention that this same church, my husband and his ex-wife attended years prior. During their marriage, very similar issues were evident. They also took my husbands side. I am refusing to continue allowing abuse.. I will not lie to the courts, and I will no longer subject my children to this violence! My prayer is that I can help my children understand that this is not acceptable behavior. That this is not something that should ever be permitted, in church or not! I think that one of the most important things that the children need to learn is, how to forgive! They cannot hold on to the anger, or the abuse will continue. That will allow them to remain the victim, and by that, the abuser has won! Please pray for the innocent children in all of the abusive homes! Ask Jesus to open their eyes to understand that abuse is not His way, but Satan’s. Thank you for your time and for this oppportunity.

    • Bless you! You are doing the right thing and I’m sorry your church is not. And I agree re: the children — all the children. “Keeping the marriage together for the sake of the children” is a HUGE misnomer when that teaches those children they are worthless and that abuse is a God-ordained way of life!

      Hang in there! (((HUGS)))

      Love,

      Danni

  6. Dear Leigh
    I have had two protection orders against my ex-husband. I had to get two because the first one expired. The second one has no sunset clause (I was lucky: they don’t do that any more in Victoria, Australia, where I live).
    When I got the second order it allowed me to stay in the family home and required my husband to keep a certain number of meters away from the residence. The police told me, “He will probably want to collect some personal belongings from the house. So we will bring him round this afternoon, so he can collect clothes, toothbrush, etc.” The police accompanied him and I felt safe.
    Some weeks later my husband wanted to collect the rest of his chattels. My lawyer told me to tell the police and ask for their assistance. They said, “Box up everything that you think is his, which you want him to have. Then we will accompany him to your house. We will only let him take the boxes you’ve prepared. Anything else he wants, he will have to fight for in the family court.” That was what happened. I was very glad the policeman was there as my husband tried to make snide abusive remarks at me and would have done much more than that if the police weren’t there.

    If the police don’t offer that service where you are , the church SHOULD be prepared to send some strong male protectors to your house so you are not at risk when your husband comes to collect his chattels, even if he is only coming to your front door to collect boxes you’ve boxed up. However the church you are in is light years away from getting this! They are colluding with and enabling your husband’s abuse. They are also blaming you, so that makes them secondary abusers, which is totally wrong and unjust and unbiblical.
    You are not to blame. You have not done anything wrong in this. You have tried to prevent abuse and protect yourself and your children, which is what God wants.
    I suggest you seek as much support as you can from secular support and justice systems. I feel very much for how hard this must be for you and how exhausted you must feel.

    Woe to those churches that call good evil, and call evil good!
    I will pray for you and your children.

    And I will also pray that some smart lawyers will one day mount an action against a church that sides with the abuser like this. The allegations could be complicity with attempted domestic abuse/ assault/ murder before the fact. If one or two churches get sued for this kind of behaviour, won’t the insurance companies get jumpy, and maybe that will make the churches clean up their act!
    We can hope and dream! And pray!

  7. Unfortunately this goes beyond just the dear sister who is abused by their lunkhead sinner husband. This goes to the children and the husband and or wife of the children in the future. I grew up in a wonderful Christian family where my mother and father loved each other and my father never once raised his fist to my mother, never even raised his voice. He was a loving man who lived as Christ calls men to love their wives as Christ loved the church. I don’t read anywhere where Christ beat up the church, or Christ screamed at the church and told the church he would kill the church if the church ever looked at a man like that ever again etc etc etc. women are called to submit to their husband, by that though Christ through Paul is telling the wife to submit to her husband in a holy union as the church is to submit to Christ. Men aren’t told anything about their wives other than to love them as Christ loved the church (ie to die for them in mind body and spirit as Christ died for us) and to treat them as the weaker vessel. That doesn’t mean they are to stay home barefoot and pregnant for us to smack around whenever we want and to shut up and sit in the corner until called for. That means as we are weaker to the almighty God, he still treats us with love and respect and dignity and honor. Paul knew that women look to us for unity in communication, Paul knew that women look to men for security and protection (both in childhood to their fathers and in marriage to their husband). We are to be a triune partnershp. There is to be the husband connected to Christ as his head and to the wife as his earthly partner and base of strength, the wife connected to her husband as her base of strength and her physical partner and Christ as her head. Yes this is very similar to the trinity of God’s deity, Not exactly the same of course but Christ and Paul both describe it in a similar way so we’ll understand how we are to react to our wives. If the 3 of us are holding hands in unity (the man holding hands with Jesus his savior and master and king – how can he hold his wife’s hand and beat her and scream at her and insult her)?

    Men have incorrectly hid behind the blood of Christ far too long in their ignorance and depraved fear of losing control for far too long.

    A true Christian man does not seek to puff himself up or gain anything outside of his marriage. He seeks to edify his wife and children.

    Unfortunately I live in a marriage with issues that don’t even need to be dealt with but because of a father’s callous hatred for his family and the physical, mental, and spiritual abuse he caused, I’m still after 5 years of marriage still coming across hidden land mines in my marrage due to the immaturity, self hatred and selfishness of a man who cares nothing for anyone but himself. Is that what Paul meant when he said we are to love our wives as Christ loved the church? God forbid and may it never be so.

    It took my wife 3 almost 4 years just to finally be able to say she trusts me.

    A true church would stand up for the abused and maligned wife of an abuser. Any church that doesn’t stop and immediately go to action and at least get the women and children into a situation where the man is no longer able to continue then start counseling, those church leaders have as much to answer for to God, as the abusers themselves.

    I can understand a certain fear of, well what if she’s lying, I don’t want to seperate a family or send an innocent man to jail. But how many times have women waited so long through abuse before they finally come forward to say something. By the time 90% of women come forward and face their fears there have been signs of control in public, bruises on either the wife or the children. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to put two and two together.

    If a man is wrongfully accused of abuse he would most likely fall to tears and say I would never hurt my wife or kid…. Whereas if a man was rightfully accused of abusing his wife, statistically one of two things would happen, he would most likely either immediately get up and walk away saying I don’t need to put up with this (use the expletive of your own choice) or he would get in the church persons face and threaten them removing all doubt. Either way if the wife isn’t removed from the abusive situation 100% of all abusers will take out their anger and revenge on the spouse that “turned” on them and reported them to someone and hurt them which is why if there is good evidence such as bruising or broken limbs the church should take the abused person to a place of safety before approaching the abuser.

    I can’t believe that church leaders aren’t following scripture on this subject and being more helpful to women and their children.

  8. Thanks for your post. I think it’s wonderful that you are covering your wife with so much love that it is allowing her to heal.

    I do have to disagree with one thing you said, though: “If a man is wrongfully accused of abuse he would most likely fall to tears and say I would never hurt my wife or kid” Ooooh, I wish this were true, but it is not. My ex, for example, has turned on the tears for many people at his church, and because he’s a big burly guy who’s crying ‘repentantly’ in front of them, they fall for it hook, line, and sinker. Abusers are not above using tears to get what they want from people.

    • I have to agree with your comments re: an accused abuser. I was married to one of those who put on the very best imitation of innocence you could have ever witnessed, turn on the tears at the drop of a hat, and I have known of quite a few others. A “good” Christian abuser can fool almost anyone who isn’t either experienced or has the gift of discerning spirits.

      — Danni

  9. Hi Zoeygirl – I think I know you from “somewhere else” (I’ve PM’d you there in case that is you).

    Anyway, I really liked a lot of what Brad wrote above. But I was also concerned about the part about innocent men and their response to wrongful accusation of abuse. I think of two different people I know.

    Firstly, there’s the abusive ex. When I left him over five years ago, he went to the church and gave a “humble admission” of his wrongdoings, snippets of which I heard about later from a few people which boiled down to downplaying and vagueness. “I wasn’t a perfect husband”. Apparently he has turned on the sad look to many people, as I’ve since found out over the years, of how he had a wife who up and left him for another man.

    Oh, I did indeed leave him, but not “for” another man. I left him for ME. But as a side benefit I happened to get together with a non-abusive man who is now my husband. He’s the second example.

    If someone were to accuse my dear sweet man of abusing me, I cannot see him breaking down in tears over it. His personality is such that he would just honestly reply with something like, “That’s not true.” If a person wanted to push the issue he’d probably say something like, “Everyone has a right to their own opinion. I’m sorry you think that but like I said it’s just not true.” And he’d not engage in any arguments. (Now I’ll probably ask him later, “Hey, how WOULD you respond if someone accused you of abusing me?” LOL!)

    Quoting Brad:
    “Whereas if a man was rightfully accused of abusing his wife, statistically one of two things would happen, he would most likely either immediately get up and walk away saying I don’t need to put up with this (use the expletive of your own choice) or he would get in the church persons face and threaten them removing all doubt.”

    I don’t know if it’s statistically, though. I’d be interested in reading where those stats are in print.

    So, looking back over that quote again I cannot picture the abusive ex doing either of those things for he is a chameleon and thus adept at becoming whatever it is he perceives would benefit him most in the presence of whichever person is talking to him. He hid the abuse from most of the public all the years I was with him. He’s had a lot of practice.

  10. Well Zoey, I’m merely speaking from my lack of experience, fortunately.
    I’ve never felt the need to kick and punch and throw someone weaker and smaller than myself to feel special, important, or strong. If I was wrongly accused I would look at my wife and fall to my knees and say, I could never do anything like that because I love her too much. Just the very thought of hurting my wife would consume me.

    I am not tooting my own horn here lest any spousal abuser comes to this site to pick a fight. The light always comes out so there’s no since in lying.

    As a husband I’m not only called to “cover” my wife in love as Zoeygirl said, I’m also as her partner and her headship supposed to cover her and protect her in righeousness.

    How can a man cover his wife in righteousness, when he is looking at pornography (70% of “Christian” men confess to an ongoing lifestyle of sin in viewing pornopgraphy even though they have a precious bride that has been gifted to them by Jesus himself!), or just as bad if not worse Adultery (even if you just look at a woman and lust for her with your heart, you are guilty of adultery) The only way to avoid that easy mistake is to not intentionally look at other women if you’re married. You don’t have a choice but to see sometimes but you don’t have to keep looking with intent to enjoy. When my wife and I were first married I used to surprise her out in public by snapping my head suddenly in her direction and looking at her and blowing her little kisses. She asked me after 3 years of marriage why I did that, I told her that some woman had walked in front of me that wasn’t very well clothed and that I would much rather look at her than some half naked stranger. It kind of took her by surprise.

    How can a man cover his wife and chldren in righteousness when he is constantly swearing at her and the children? I must confess I was called to account in a similar sin early in our marriage, I fell of a stool and in anger and embarassment I swore and took the stool and slung it across the living room. This brought all sorts of fear and intimidation down my wife’s neck because all she saw was a man losing his anger and taking it out on an inatimate object… this time, when is he gonna start being like my father….?
    Well it was stupid on a number of accounts, what if I had hit her? I agree with the sister earlier that it is not even right to take uncontrolled anger out on even inatimate objects because only too soon a person will be closer to hand than an object and it needs to stop before it gets there. Paul writes about this in Corinthians, put away childish things, love is slow to anger, etc etc etc.

    Am I perfect? no, do I constantly strive to hold myself accountable to Christ’s blood first, then to my wife and then to my son? yes.

    I don’t make excuses I never have, I used to always think it was ok to be mad at the door or chair or the stool…. but that is just replacement abuse, and scary none the less.

    We are called to cover our wives in righteousness, the sanctity and holiness of the holy union and in love. Nothing less will satisfy God’s calling to men, and we as men if we fall short without repentance (turning away from sin and turning to God), will have a lot to answer for.

    And if any man reading this wants to accuse me of being whipped it comes down to one simple issue for me. That one issue is I would rather seek Jesus, and look at my son and know I did right by him as he’s growing up, and snuggle with wife any day of the week rather than grunt, bang fists on my chest and hang out with hairy apes such as yourself.

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