How Do I Know if My Abusive Husband is Really Changing?

How Do I Know if My Abusive Husband is Really Changing?

One of the most difficult aspects of breaking the cycle of abuse lies in a woman’s ability to rightly identify what is happening to her as abuse in the first place. However, even when she can begin to describe her husband’s behavior as abusive, a new struggle for discernment of the truth begins.

I mean, knowing whether or not a man is changing seems so subjective, right?

Thankfully, the Bible offers us a very descriptive account of what true change and repentance looks like, taking what seems subjective and creating a standard by which women can properly assess what’s really going on.

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5 Things Your Church Can Do RIGHT NOW to Stop Domestic Violence

5 Things Your Church Can Do RIGHT NOW to Stop Domestic Violence

In Part I of this series, we discussed the raging epidemic of domestic violence in Christian churches and pastors’ self-reported unpreparedness in handling it. And while ongoing education is the mission of organizations like Agape Moms, we’ve developed a list of five meaningful steps Christian leaders and pastors can take RIGHT NOW to safeguard their congregations and help families struggling with these issues.

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By the Numbers: The Silent Epidemic of Domestic Abuse in Christian Churches

By the Numbers: The Silent Epidemic of Domestic Abuse in Christian Churches

Domestic abuse is an insidious, silent epidemic in the Christian community. Sadly, 37% of pastors surveyed say they believe that domestic and sexual violence does NOT occur in their congregations.

With nearly 1 in 3 American women suffering domestic abuse at some point in their lifetimes, It doesn’t seem likely that nearly 40% of churches are completely free of this issue.

The greater likelihood is that these churches either don’t know how to identify cases of abuse, or do not have the kind of culture in which victims are encouraged to come forward to seek help and healing. In the meantime, women and children are terrorized by the effects of intimate partner abuse as victims struggle without guidance and support from a spiritual community.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. But identifying the fact that there is a problem is the first step.

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Identifying False Recovery in Abusive Relationships

Identifying False Recovery in Abusive Relationships

It’s not uncommon for a woman in an abusive relationship to believe at times that perhaps her husband is finally on the right track and making meaningful progress. Eagerly she may even declare, “This time, it’s different.”

And for a time, it may seem so. But when another abusive episode occurs, she’s left wondering what went wrong.

What she’s just experienced is known as a “false recovery.” Read on to learn more about identifying false recoveries and what to do about them.

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Is All Divorce Sinful? What does the Bible Say About Divorce?

Is All Divorce Sinful? What does the Bible Say About Divorce?

I suffered in an emotionally abusive relationship for the better part of two decades because I believed that all divorce was sinful. After all, doesn't Malachi 2:16 say, "God hates divorce?”

There’s actually some controversy as to the translation of that phrase. And while that’s a subject for another post, we have observed that at minimum, these words are often removed from their context and applied to implicate a prohibition on all divorce. With so much confusion, how can we discern what the Bible has to say on this subject?

Most often, the truth of one verse of Scripture is evident throughout the whole of the Bible. To really understand God’s heart on a given subject, it’s most appropriate to examine the Bible as a whole and discover what the entire collection of verses on the topic reveals. And while we don’t have the space for that in one little blog post, perhaps one of the most descriptive accounts of divorce in the Bible is God’s own divorce of Israel.

What?!

Yep. In the Book of Jeremiah, God Himself is described as divorcing His bride, the nation of Israel.

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How Can a Christian Wife Address Her Husband's Sin?

How Can a Christian Wife Address Her Husband's Sin?

The word "submissive" does not mean "punching bag." Biblical submission is about being a husband's helpmate. And if your husband is involved with serious sin, a compassionate helpmate will not stand idly by while Satan destroys the man. 

Submission is not for the faint of heart.

Admittedly, a Christian wife may find herself uncertain about what to do after a one-to-one conversation with her husband doesn't change his sinful behavior. But take heart- Jesus tells us there's more that can be done.

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Three Critical Steps to Stop An Abusive Conversation

Three Critical Steps to Stop An Abusive Conversation

Stopping the cycle involves disengaging your emotions from the situation to stop the abuse itself. Proverbs 26:20 says, "For lack of wood the fire goes out," (NIV) While we often want to defend ourselves and convince our abusive spouse that we have their best interests in mind, doing so only sends a signal to an argumentative man that he might be on to something. To further avoid fueling the fire of his abusive rage and leave an abusive conversation, there are three critical steps you must take.

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Bringing Your Abusive Husband's Sins into the Light {A Wife's Role}

Bringing Your Abusive Husband's Sins into the Light {A Wife's Role}

I think there are few people who would argue that spousal abuse is sin. Not only is it sin but it is a betrayal of the marriage covenant in which a husband and wife pledge before God that they will honor and protect each other.

And yet, so many women are afraid to expose the sins of an abusive husband. They are afraid of the shame and retribution that may come along with damaging his reputation. They may really feel like he is making progress and they don't want to unnecessarily draw attention to a situation that may end up being fixed in the long run. Or they may think it is sinful to speak up because that's not submission, right??

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Respect for an Abusive Husband (What it Is, and What it's Not).

Respect for an Abusive Husband (What it Is, and What it's Not).

On the surface "respect your husband" may seem to be an unpopular piece of advice to a woman in an abusive relationship. The words "honor," "submit," and "obey" really don't make a lot of sense when you're being bullied and humiliated by the one who professes to love you.

Today we're going to talk about what respect is...and what it is not.

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I Am Being Abused and I Have Kids: Should I Stay or Leave?

I Am Being Abused and I Have Kids: Should I Stay or Leave?

Often we encounter women who know they are being abused by their husbands, yet they are wracked with guilt as to what they should do for the sake of their children. When the abuse doesn’t appear to be directed at the children specifically, the victim may surmise that having a less than ideal family is better than disrupting the family unit through the process of church discipline, separation, or divorce.

But in abusive situations, your children ARE being abused. Read on to learn more about combatting this generational sin.

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Identifying an Emotionally Abusive Marriage (and What to Do About It)

Identifying an Emotionally Abusive Marriage (and What to Do About It)

When most people think of domestic violence, they think of physical or sexual abuse, in which one person is using physical means to control their partner (whether by hitting, forcibly restraining, raping, or otherwise assaulting the person). But domestic violence includes other means of emotional, mental, or spiritual abuse that seek assert power and dominance over a victim, stripping her of her God-given uniqueness and individuality. These forms of psychological abuse leave scars on the psyche of the victim, denying her the ability to live freely in her marriage, in the manner God intended for her.

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Another Man Helped Me Escape My Abusive Marriage (It's Not What You Think)

Another Man Helped Me Escape My Abusive Marriage (It's Not What You Think)

But without warning, my "ah ha" moment finally came. In the midst of a conversation I was having with my mother about yet another abusive episode, she looked at me puzzled and said, "Doesn't it scare you when he says that?"

I panicked a little when my obvious answer was no.

I explained to Mother that this was normal for us and that I knew he would come back around. He always did. Then she said something that changed my perspective forever.

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Feeling Like You Have Wasted Years on a Failed Marriage? Here's Help.

Feeling Like You Have Wasted Years on a Failed Marriage? Here's Help.

These women often have the same thing in common. They are haunted by years of endless broken promises. Second chances became third chances and fourth chances. Hundreds of chances (and perhaps decades) later, these women often eventually feel that their efforts were in vain. Forgiveness repeatedly gave way to the devastating pain and betrayal of perpetual abuse, and what remained was the hollow shell of a marriage, if the marriage survived at all.

Why does the cycle go on this way? We believe we can help. We choose to see the good in our husbands. We believe in their best intentions. We might even understand the traumas that have taught them to behave this way. But sometimes, it all falls apart and we are left without answers. In turn, this may leave some of us feeling we are without hope. But girlfriend, God’s not done with you.

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The Best Thing You Can Do to Help Your Abusive Husband

The Best Thing You Can Do to Help Your Abusive Husband

How can you truly help an abusive husband?

In the case of true emotional abuse, you are "alcohol to the alcoholic." As an alcoholic spirals out of control, eventually he or she cannot hide the drunkenness that ultimately accompanies their addiction. However, an emotional abuser is not subject to the crushing reality of his power addiction when his victim remains silent. Silence perpetuates abuse by shielding the abuser from the natural consequences of his actions.

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