Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in the Church

The Root of Abuse

One of the most common ways that a Christian is persecuted today is in the scenario of a Christian who is married to a non-Christian.  Very often the unsaved spouse, the abuser, parades himself or herself as an eminent Christian, but is really only a Saul.  And at the root of the abuse is a fear of Christ, as the abuser sees that the Spirit of Christ is in the victim, and a hatred for Christ and thus for the victim.
As I am contacted by abuse victims who are Christians, and usually it is the wife – I am learning this to be true.  And it is something that the victims often have not yet realized.  Here is the root cause of the abuse –

John 15: 25 ” But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’”
1 John 3: 10-13  ”By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. (11)  For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. (12) We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. (13) Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you.”

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, you can be sure of this – no matter what an abuse victim does, no matter how much she alters her appearance or her behavior or her words in an attempt to appease her abuser, it will not work!  He will not change. Why?  Because nothing can change the fact that the victim is a Christian and he is not. And that is what is at the very root of the conflict.  Learn this well, and be wise!


Forever My Girl (A New Movie) – Ammunition for Abusers and Their Allies?


Abuse and the Jezebel – Women as Abusers – sermon by Ps Jeff Crippen


  1. Praying Lady

    AMEN!!! Excellent article, Pastor Crippen! Thank you.
    That is exactly what happened in my case. Light and darkness cannot live together without evil attempting to destroy the one living with the Spirit of Christ in them. My ex, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, tried to kill me as a result, but the Lord intervened and I am alive. Praise God!!!

    • Jeff Crippen

      PL – thank you. Yes indeed. Light and darkness. Darkness wants to do all it can to destroy the light.

  2. CeeKay

    I used to say just this to myself when I was facing coming to the conclusion that the husband I had known for more than 12 years, and who had worked tirelessly for more than 23 years as a staunch “Christian” in a ministry to support conservative bills at the State level, became an unrepentent abusive alcoholic. I had to remind myself that his lack of love, and abuse expressed to me on a daily basis was merely the reflection of his lack of any true redeemed relationship with Christ. The truth did set me free from a future lifetime of marital emptiness and regretful relational sorrow.

    • Jeff Crippen

      CeeKay – and it is this freeing truth that is denied by most Christians. Somehow they will talk readily about the “persecuted Christians in China” but thank the Lord that persecution is rare in this country. Wrong. Absolutely wrong. All Christians in every place are hated by the world, and one of the most common and typical forms comes in “Christian” homes via domestic abusers who are wolves in wool.

  3. anonymous

    And the abuser will have you believing you are Cain and plaguing others with your evil, mean, nasty, self, so hurry up and suicide already so as to spare the world of your continued existence.
    Sounds like the devil, no? But when the abuser is the only person — which is why isolation, mind games, brainwashing, extreme violence, extreme abuse, and extreme deprivations are so crucial — the abuser is the only voice that counts. The abused is in too much pain, despair, sorrow, and anguish to be able to see things for what they are.
    I know my abuser will burn in hell. That’s my comfort and solace. And yet so many ally with him, rally for him, are criminals for him.

  4. I whole heartedly agree. So much about abuse doesn’t make sense unless you know this truth! We are even admonished not to be surprised that this is happening to us!
    It is a spiritually discerned truth! We can even predict there will never be peace in the Middle East between Israel and those who hate them without cause – even with many countries & expert mediators helping and trying arrange peace agreements.
    My friend used to ask why my ex had it in for me so badly since he was the one who was a sex addict, using pornography and acting out; he had a girlfriend and moved out leaving me and our 3 small children behind. All the offense in the marriage was his doing and yet for years he stalked and harassed me with vengeance, acting as though he wanted revenge and my friend kept saying that she could not understand why he wanted revenge so badly since it was his actions that destroyed the marriage – my ex was continually infuriated saying he wanted to decimate me in court , by stalking, financially, legally and by any means he could dream up! It was a truly terrifying time!
    This was the only explanation I could find. He wanted his sex addiction, his women on the side and could not be satisfied but had such a desire to feed on keeping punishing me and no one could figure out why!
    Thank you pastor Crippen for bringing us scriptural truth that many are ignorant to! God’s truths in scripture really brought so much comfort when I was under this type of attack!

    • Jeff Crippen

      Starlight – yes. And this hatred needs an object. The typical target is Christ and His people. The wicked hate the Lord and they hate everyone who belongs to Him. This is a fundamental biblical truth and yet, as you indicated, it is ignored, denied, and unacknowledged in churches. Normally what happens is that the target of the abuse is the one who is blamed for somehow arousing the wicked one’s ire.

    • I meant to say **could not be satisfied

  5. Franny flag

    I can relate—the abuser I knew was also a professing Christian who fooled many. Active in an evangelical ministry. Quoting scripture, pretending to be pious. He is still fooling his more than willing accomplises to this day. Flying monkeys, abuse apologists. Im so glad I found Pastor Crippen and this blog. He articulates what I could not. Thank you Pastor Crippen!!

    • Jeff Crippen

      Thank you Shannon. Very glad you are here and that the articles are helping. Flying monkeys. Yep! They are everywhere.

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