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I found this today and wanted to add it to the research here. Please read all of it!
Something God gave me today. I really needed this.
by Marcia Roberts Mikels on Tuesday, September 11, 2012 at 11:29am ·
After seven hurtful years of Christians I know not being supportive of the kids and I and believing my ex as he has lied about me and manipulated, I really believe that God just gave me this and what I think is, why couldn't I have it sooner? I needed it more before but, God is good and I am thankful to have found this, Biblical support for women leaving abusive spouses! Praise God!
Pastor Jones preached a message from 1 Corinthians 13
about the love of God and how we are to show love to one
another. Everyone told him what a great sermon it was. But
on the ride home with his wife and children he was very angry
and would not speak to anyone. His wife thought, "Oh, no!
What have I done this time?" When they got home, she took
the chicken and other food from the oven, placed it on the
table, and sat down next to her husband. His face got very
red, and he said, "What is this garbage, chicken again?" With
his hand he scraped the bowl of chicken and all of the plates
and glasses off onto the floor. His children sat at the table
paralyzed with fear. Then he screamed at his wife, "Who was
that man you were talking to in the back of the church?" She
said, "I don't remember, just some member of the church." He
said, "You dirty prostitute!" And he slapped her so hard that
her chair tipped over backwards. She got up, crying, and ran
into the bathroom.
This kind of abuse went on for 16 years until he eventually
filed for divorce. He said God told him to leave her. He
quickly remarried the church secretary. The church sided with
the pastor and kicked her out of the church. This is a true
Then there is the story of Elaine, a middle-aged woman
who attended an Assemblies of God church with her husband,
Edward. He was the church's head deacon and everyone
thought he was a wonderful Christian, but he was privately
abusing his wife. If he had a hard day on his job, or if the car
wouldn't start, or if Elaine said or did something that upset
him, he would erupt into a fit of rage, cursing and slapping
and hitting her. She learned to cover up her bruises with
makeup. Her life was in turmoil. She didn't tell anyone at
church about her husband's behavior. She assumed it was her
fault and kept trying to adjust her own behavior so he wouldn't
explode. Finally, after several violent episodes, she went to
see the pastor.
The pastor had known Edward for a long time. He couldn't
believe this good Christian man was doing anything wrong.
And Edward was the head deacon. What would people say if
they learned he had been beating his wife? It would be an
embarrassment to the church. He said to Elaine, "He's your
husband. He has authority over you. You must be making
him angry. You just need to learn to submit." Elaine was
devastated. Just as she suspected, it was all her fault. On two
other occasions Elaine returned for pastoral counseling,
hoping that the pastor would help her. One time she said
Edward was getting more violent and she was afraid for her
life. The pastor said, "I can't believe it's that serious. If you
just love him and submit, God will change the situation. You
just keep praying for him, and everything will be all right.
Remember that God hates divorce, so you are not allowed to
A friend of Elaine's realized how serious the situation was
and told her to get out of the house immediately, but Elaine
was so beat down by her husband's abuse that she didn't have
any strength left. Elaine said, "The pastor said it is not God's
will for me to leave him." A few months later, Edward killed
Elaine. This Christian woman was murdered by her own
husband, a deacon in a Pentecostal church. This is a true
story, and it is not unique.
The Apostle Paul told Timothy that a man given to anger is
not qualified to serve in ministry. Paul says that bishops,
deacons, and pastors: "Must not be given to wine, not violent,
not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, or
covetous, (and so forth)." (1 Tim.3:1-10)
Every year in the United States over five million women are
assaulted by their husbands or boyfriends, about 2,000 are
murdered, and all the surveys report that being in the church
doesn't make any difference! (In Latin America, in more than
25% of marriages the wives are assaulted by their husbands.)
Many pastors say, "That kind of thing is not going on in my
church!" Yes, it is going on in your church. You are just
hiding your eyes and refusing to see it, to confront it, to help
the poor women and children that are being abused. In fact,
the The Rapha Treatment Center in Dallas, Texas, reports that
many of the calls from abused wives are not only from
Christians, but from pastor's wives.
Let me stop and say something. I feel very strongly about
this, because I was an abuser. I emotionally and verbally
abused my wife (not my children, thank the Lord), for many
years, and I built up so much hatred that I came close to
abusing her physically. Doris was growing afraid of me. God
have mercy on me! And He did. He rescued me from that
trap, and my wife and I grew to love and respect each other.
This did not happen quickly or easily. It took a lot of dying to
self by both of us. But God gave us grace to do it. It was
liberating. God did not hate me, He loved me. But if I had
continued on that path, if I had not repented and cried out to
God for help, I would have destroyed my marriage, my
children (who are affected by the relation of their father and
mother), my ministry, and my own soul. I'm not preaching a
message of condemnation, but one of healing and hope. If
God could rescue me He can rescue anyone.
I have been in ministry for over 50 years and heavily
involved in counseling ministry for 36 years, and I have heard
endless stories from wives and children of Christians - stories
of abuse by Christian husbands and fathers (and also abuse by
Christian wives and mothers) until it makes me sick. And I'll
tell you something else: it makes God sick. It is an
abomination to God! Listen to these words from Malachi that
we all know so well, (from the Amplified): "For the Lord, the
God of Israel, says, 'I hate divorce and him who covers his
garment (his wife) with violence. Therefore, keep a watch
upon your spirit (be controlled by my Spirit) that you deal not
treacherously and faithlessly with your mate." God is telling
us to be controlled by His Spirit, the spirit of love, gentleness,
and kindness, not by a spirit of anger and rage and violence.
Listen to what God says to His people, to Christians, in
Ephesians 5:22: "Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to
the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ
is head of the church
" Well, there you are. God tells wives
to submit to their husbands. But note what God says to
everyone in the church, including husbands and wives, in
5:21: "Submit to one another in the fear of God." And what
does it mean to submit? The Greek word for submission,
hupotasso, means something an individual imposes on himself
or herself. I choose to submit, hupotasso, to you. If you
impose your authority over me, that is suppression,
domination, not submission! Submission cannot be
demanded from another individual or imposed upon one
person by another. That distorts the meaning of Scripture.
And yet it is common for Christian husbands, and even non-
Christian husbands, to say to their wives, "The Bible says you
have to submit to me!" The Bible also says that we all,
particularly husbands, are to submit to Christ. Ah, here is the
comparison we need to make. How does Christ rule over us?
With love, not with domination, anger, cursing, hitting. He is
It is crucial that we understand this point: For a
husband to say, "The Bible says you have to submit to
me!" is similar to him saying, "The Bible says you have to
love me! So I demand that you love me!" Impossible!
Love is something that one person freely and willingly
chooses to give to another. It cannot be forced or imposed
upon another. If a husband will love his wife as Christ
loved the church, with kindness and gentleness and
strength, he will win his wife's love and submission without
his demanding it.
So let's look at the men who abuse. (And let me say that
abuse is not restricted to men. There are situations where
wives emotionally and sometimes physically abuse their
husbands, and many cases where mothers verbally,
emotionally, and physically abuse their children. But since
men are the predominant abusers, I am presenting it primarily
from that perspective.)
Why Men Abuse
Most abusers come from abusive backgrounds. They lived
with fathers or mothers who argued, screamed, slapped,
hit, and sexually abused. They saw their mothers abused,
or they were abused themselves.
Some abusers have suffered a brain injury or another kind
Some are simply immature and unwilling to take
responsibility for their behavior. It is common for men to
refuse counseling and to blame their wives for any and all
problems. This pattern started a long time ago. Adam
said, "It was that woman that you gave me, God," thus
blaming his wife and God for the problem in the garden.
These men say, "I can't help myself, she pushes my
Many of them abuse alcohol and drugs which fuels their
angry outbursts. The next day they may deny doing the
violent things they did.
Many have deep feelings of dissatisfaction with self, feel
weak, are loners with no friends, are full of pride and
cannot admit they need help.
They have negative attitudes toward women; many times
they were rejected and verbally or physically abused by
The need to control others forms the crux of violent
Some abusers go through a three-step phase: (1) Tension
builds. Their spouse and children sense the tension and live
in dread of the coming explosion. (2) They explode in a
paroxysm of rage, verbal and physical abuse. (3) They act
remorseful and may even bring their wife flowers and
candy. (They may bring the flowers to the hospital unless
the wife has had the courage to call the police and have the
Many abusers say, "I love my wife!" That is a lie. The
way you treat people shows how you regard them. "Do
unto others as you would have them do unto you." If you
treat people with kindness, consideration, and gentleness,
you demonstrate love. If you curse and insult them, isolate
and deprive them of freedom, threaten, and beat them, in
what kind of bizarre universe could that be called love?
Things the Abuser Does
Prior to marriage, they may court their wife to be,
pretending to be a kind, committed Christian (Dr. Jekyll),
but shortly after marriage Mr. Hyde comes roaring out of
They are angry. They explode upon the least provocation
or no provocation.
They criticize. They may criticize their wife's house
keeping. Some come home and inspect the house like a
drill sergeant, pointing out every flaw, while they curse the
wife and call her lazy, stupid and incompetent. They
criticize her in front of their children, family, and friends.
They may call her fat, ugly, etc. They blame all of their
children's problems on her.
They are jealous and possessive.
They control. They may isolate their wife from family and
friends. They make all the family decisions. They are
extremely selfish with money, sometimes not permitting
their wife to have access to checks or cash, and criticizing
the wife for spending money on groceries and clothes,
while they may throw money around on gambling, cars,
pickups, boats, alcohol and drugs, etc.
Some abusers play a helpless, depressed game, constantly
threatening to kill themselves.
Some abusers threaten their wives if they leave them.
They may say, "I will take the children away from you."
Or "I will find you and kill you if you leave me."
Sometimes they will kill a family dog or cat to instill terror
in their wife. And, of course, sometimes they do kill their
wives. We read of those cases in the paper regularly.
Women Who Are Abused
Many times they are repeating the pattern seen and learned
in their family of origin. Their father abused their mother
and the children, and they marry a man just like their
Many are filled with self-rejection and self-hatred and feel
they deserve the abuse.
They feel guilty, responsible, and helpless. They lose all
self-respect and self-confidence. They are worn down by
the verbal and physical assaults until they don't have
strength to stand up for themselves and their children.
Sometimes they hide the abuse from their family and
friends and defend the abuser. They are thereby training
their children that the abuse is okay.
They are overwhelmed with fear. Remember that control
is witchcraft. This is a demonic situation from start to
finish. Satan is at work in abusive homes destroying every
member of the family.
Some come out of good, loving homes, and they are totally
shocked by the abuse that is heaped on them. They don't
know how to cope, they feel ashamed and responsible,
especially if their family, friends, and church tell them it is
their fault and that a good wife must submit no matter what
Their national culture, family culture, or church culture
may tell them that abuse by their husbands is normal and
must be accepted, even if they are killed.
Some are trapped economically, especially in Mexico and
Latin America. There is no social safety net, and they may
suffer deprivation to the point of starvation if they leave
their abusive mate. I have ministered to people in Mexico
who told me that when their father abandoned their family,
the mother worked 14 to 16 hours a day, leaving the
children alone and vulnerable all day, and they were so
hungry at times that they ate newspapers or dirt to put
something in their stomachs.
What Should Abused Women Do?
Pray. Meditate on the scriptures, especially the book of
Forgive your husband who is abusing you seventy times
seven times, that is to say, times without end.
Unforgiveness and bitterness will destroy your own soul,
and it will defile your children. (Hebrews 12:15) But
forgiving someone does not mean that you allow them to
continue to abuse you. Read the book, Boundaries, by
Understand that abuse is wrong. Verbal abuse is wrong.
Emotional abuse is wrong. Physical abuse is wrong.
Sexual abuse is wrong. Abuse of your children is wrong,
and if you stand by and do nothing when your children are
abused, you are a party to the abuse.
Find someone knowledgeable to talk to, and seek wise
counsel. Be careful about going to pastors. Some are
helpful, but many will defend the abusive husband, blame
the wife, and take Scriptures out of context that they don't
understand. Actually, it is the nature of God they don't
understand. How can they possibly believe a loving God
would condone violent words, hatred, emotional torture,
physical assault of helpless women and children?
If the abuse is physical or sexual, call the police. Assault
is illegal, whether it is against a stranger, a friend, a
spouse, or a child.
If everything else fails, separate from the abuser. Take
your children and flee for your lives unless and until he
gets serious help and you see genuine heart change. Do
not believe quickly proffered apologies, vows of change,
etc. This is a deep problem, your husband is very sick
spiritually and emotionally, and it will take many months if
not years to effect a real transformation.
Staying in an abusive situation is not helping your
husband. It is doing just the opposite. His contempt for
you grows as you enable him to continue the violence. A
battered wife's options are very limited. Ultimately, the
only thing she can do is to separate and make him face
losing his family, with the hope that he will finally realize
that his conduct is not acceptable and seek genuine change.
Protect your children! They are being formed by these
I realize that for some wives, it is simply not possible to
escape because of economic or other reasons. All you can
do is pray, forgive, and cry out to God for deliverance.
Know that this situation is not of God, He sees your tears,
and He grieves for you and your family.
The Church's Role
Preach and teach about this huge problem,
compassionately and courageously.
Offer classes and counseling for the abused and the
If a woman or child tells you that she (or he) is being
abused, listen to them, respect them, and believe them, or
at least check out their story. You may need to offer them
shelter and protection.
Encourage the victim to call the police. If they will not do
so, then you must do so. Assault is against the law and
condoning it damages the victims and brings disrepute on
the church. Learn what the legal requirements are in your
state or area about reporting the abuse of children or
If the husband is a member of your fellowship, confront
him. Do this wisely and compassionately, but you must do
It is a big mistake to pressure the wife to return to an
abusive husband. The abuser may pretend to be
remorseful and repentant, but healing for such people takes
a long time and much hard work.
Some Pertinent Scriptures
Over one hundred times the Bible says that abuse -
whether physical, verbal, emotional, or sexual - is wrong.
To the church: "Defend the poor and fatherless. Do
justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and
needy; free them from the hand of the wicked."(Psalm
"The violence of the wicked will destroy them, because
they refuse to do justice."(Pr. 21:7) (Can you imagine that
God says, "Violence is evil, it is wicked, you must not be
violent, except for your wife and children? It's all right
to curse and beat your wife or your children.")
"Whoever causes one of these little ones to sin, it would be
better if he had a millstone tied to his neck and he were
cast into the sea."(Matt. 18:1-6) - -Abuse wounds children
and inevitably causes them to sin through bitterness,
repeating the abusive conduct, etc.
"I hate divorce, and him who covers his garment (his wife)
with violence."(Mal. 2:16)
"Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh (bitter)
with them."(Col. 3:19)
"You married men should live considerately with your
wives, honoring the woman as physically the weaker, but
realizing that you are joint heirs of the grace of God, in
order than your prayers may not be hindered and cut off.
Otherwise you cannot pray effectively." (1Peter 3:7 AMP)
"Death and life are in the power of the tongue." (Prov.18:21)
"I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother
without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And
whoever says to his brother, 'You idiot!' shall be in danger
of the council. But whoever says, 'You fool! Shall be in
danger of hell fire." (Matthew 5:22) (We can surely substitute
"Your wife, your husband, your child" for the words "Your
Is Christ Glorified by a Christian Wife Who Stays in an
Does a battered wife achieve any positive results by
remaining in that relationship? Does the suffering bring about
good for her, her children, her neighbors? Does her behavior
result in her husband's conversion? Does she learn something
from the experience, even if only endurance? Does the non-
Christian world marvel at her conduct and stand convicted by
her piety? Thousands of cases say NO.
The longer the abused woman remains in an abusive
situation, the more deterioration there is in her partner's
respect for her and in her own self-esteem. Her husband
increasingly despises her weakness. His contempt for her and
her faith intensifies. Children in such situations initially
support their mother, but after prolonged exposure to the
violence and her failure to do anything about it, they become
disillusioned with her and often begin to side with the abusive
father. Boys even as young as five or ten years old frequently
begin to copy the conduct of their father, cursing and hitting
their mother and sisters and growing up to replicate the
conduct in their marriages. Girls develop bitterness toward
their father and toward their mother for not protecting herself
and them, and they are likely to marry a man just like their
father and pass the curse on to their children.
If this woman is a Christian, she brings about the reverse of
Peter's intended effect (1 Peter 3:1-6) by remaining in an abusive
situation. Ultimately, the battered woman grows to despise
herself, her husband, and God, attaining neither personal
growth through discipline nor any effective witness to the non-
A Final Word to Those Who Abuse, and Especially to Christian Leaders Who Abuse Their Wives and Children
In 1973 I was the pastor of a large church, yet I hated my
wife and abused her verbally and emotionally. God, in His
mercy, rescued me. Part of His rescue involved His using
some people to cast many demons out of me. Prior to that
time I did not believe in a literal devil, nor did I believe that
demons could infest a Christian. Through a vision, God
showed me that I had been but a step away from eternal
destruction. Through that experience, I learned the fear of
God, a concept that is foreign to most Christians in our
churches. God called me specifically to minister to other
Christians, especially Christian leaders. I have observed many
godly pastors and leaders. They are men and women of
prayer, humility, and integrity. They are truly Christ-like,
living lives of love and sacrifice.
On the other hand, I have learned that much of the church is
in a deplorable condition. The lack of integrity in much of the
ministry is on a par with the congress of the United States.
There is much lying, stealing, greed, jealousy, selfish
ambition, manipulation and control by pastors and other
leaders in churches. I have personally seen and experienced
these things in ministering in scores of different churches
during the past 36 years. This is nothing new. The New
Testament has many warnings about false leaders from the
beginning of the church. Jesus warns about false prophets,
starting at Matthew 7:15. Paul warns about false apostles in 2
Corinthians, chapters 10 and 11. Peter warns about false
teachers and pastors in 2 Peter, chapter 2. Jude warns about
false teachers. In fact, most of the epistles in the New
Testament were written in part to correct false teachings and
false practices. Jesus tells us how to separate the true from the
false: not by the gift of discernment, because we can easily be
misled, but "By their fruits you will know them." (Mt. 7:20) We
have to observe the lives and actions of leaders to determine if
they are true or false.
It is not surprising, in light of all this, that in today's church
there are many false leaders, and many false followers sitting
in the pews. Pornography and substance abuse is a plague in
the whole church, including pastors and leaders. Good or bad
fruit is most easily discerned by looking at the families of
Christians. Anger, cursing, and violence are common. They
may have built a "successful" church, but in the process they
have destroyed their wife and children. Just this past week, I
ministered to the grown daughter of such a pastor.
Let me share a scripture with my brethren from the
Amplified Version that I have paraphrased: "Beloved, let us
love one another, for love springs from God; and he who loves
his wife and children is born of God and is coming
progressively to know and get a better and clearer knowledge
of Him. He who does not love his wife and children has not
and never did know God, for God is love." (1 John 5:7-8) And
from the 3rd Chapter of 1 John, also paraphrased: "No one
who lives in communion with Christ and the Father knowingly
and habitually practices sin. He who lives a consistently
loving and faithful life is righteous, he is of God, he is a
Christian. But he who practices sin, such as anger, bitterness,
cursing, and violence, is of the devil, he acts like the devil, he
belongs to the devil, and his end will be with the devil." And
this is a direct quote from the Amplified: "By this it is made
clear who take their nature from God and are His children
and who take their nature from the devil and are his children:
no one who does not practice righteousness, who does not
conform to God's will in purpose, thought, and action, is of
God, neither is anyone who does not love his brother, his
fellow believer in Christ." (1 John 3:10)
My earnest advice to my Christian brothers and sisters who
are leaders in Christ's church and who are involved in any
kind of abuse in their homes is simple: either repent or resign.
Christian leaders shall receive a stricter judgment, and unless
you repent and change your life, you are storing up wrath for
yourself. "Be doers of the word, not hearers (and preachers)
only, deceiving yourselves. For faith without works is dead."
(a) 10 Lies the Church Tells Women, by J. Lee Grady
(b) Turning Fear to Hope, by Holly Wagner Green
(c) The Sin We Hide From View, by Marcia Davis-Seale
(Charisma magazine, August, 2007)
(d) Dangerous Marriage, by S. R. and Linda McDill.
(e) Boundaries, by Henry Cloud and John Townsend
I would like to thank each of you for your support of this ministry.
If any of you want to receive tax credit for your financial
contributions, you may send them to:
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1. "If you listen carefully, you often can hear the difference between anger toward an ex-partner, which would not be worrisome in itself, and disrespect or contempt, which should raise warning flags. A man who has left a relationship with bitterness should nonetheless be able to talk about his ex-partner as a human being, with some understanding of what her side of the conflict was and some ways he might have contributed to what went wrong."-Lundy Bancroft, "Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men" My ex once said to a friend who was mediating for us with our children that "He did something wrong and then I would never forgive him for it." He placed the blame back on me. It was MY fault that our marriage dissolved. He was not to blame for doing the wrong thing that crushed and destroyed both of us and our great relationship. Apparently, it was MY fault for not forgiving him for his continuing and constant abuse. Imagine the nerve of me for not forgiving him for continuing to lie, cheat, hurt me sexually, manipulate, control, threaten, and demean me! 2. "Try to get him to talk about his own conduct in the relationship, especially around the time of the break-up. If he blames his own behavior on her, that's a bad sign."Lundy Bancroft, "Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men" One of my ex-husband's favorite things to share with anyone who will listen is that he was with other people because I had been. However, what he almost NEVER shares is that I never dated anyone else until his co-worker confessed to an affair with him, and then, the way he treated me after he was asked to move out and I dated someone else! He stalked, harassed, threatened, verbally abused me and the kids, called and lied to police, until I finally tried to get a restraining order. That part he rarely shares with anyone. 3. "Pay attention to how he talks and thinks about abused women. A genuine male victim tends to feel sympathy for abused women and support their cause. The Victim, on the other hand, often says that women exaggerate or fabricate their claims..." My ex told the court in a pleading that he never one time committed any act of abuse towards me, that I was unstable, and that I had issues for which I needed help. To this day, he has done nothing to rectify this claim or reverse it with court officials, the Judge, or our children(he told my 5 yr. old that he never hurt me). Even though I have specific documents that prove otherwise, he is consistent in his claim that he never did anything to me. *If you're reading this and your boyfriend or husband is talking in negative ways about their ex, you really need to get both sides of the story. One of the things I have done for my new man, is obtain and show him proof through official documents to validate my claims of abuse. I also have developed a working relationship with all of his exes. These are necessary things to do to ensure that you are not being blindly duped by the person you are with. Also, to be honest and forthright so that you and your new partner will not continue in negative patterns, it is important to do as much as you can to validate your claims if you have been abused. The best sources for validation are professionals. If you are being abused or even if you think maybe you might be in an abusive relationship start documenting things today. Journal, email friends, talk to an abuse center, talk to a therapist, a local clergyman, local PD, but get your story out there so there will the beginning of a trail...a paper trail that will lead to freedom!