Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in the Church

Accusing the Victim – A Favorite Tactic of the Wicked

Rev 12:10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.
Zec 3:1-2 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. (2) And the LORD said to Satan, “The LORD rebuke you, O Satan! The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is not this a brand plucked from the fire?”

Have you ever been accused of something falsely? If you are someone who has experienced being the target of the wicked, such as a domestic abuser spouse, then I am certain that you have. As you can see from the Scriptures quoted above, accusing is the devil’s business. Particularly accusing Christ’s people. This is why Satan loved the Law. While God’s Law is holy and righteous and good, Satan pointed at all who broke it (which was all of us) and demanded our death. Christ rescued us from the curse of the Law and thus removed the basis for the devil’s accusations:

Gal 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us–for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”–
Col 2:13-15 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, (14) by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. (15) He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

Satan therefore no longer has a basis for accusing Christ’s people. The curse that was upon us for our own sin, Christ took upon Himself on the cross and paid our debt in full. Begone, Satan!
But in this fallen world, Satan and his servants still use this tactic of accusing. Sometimes they focus on times that we have sinned and though we confess it and repent and Christ forgives us, these wicked ones try to convince us and others that we stand guilty and condemned. We must reject such lies.

1Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

More often than not however, wicked people such as domestic abusers make accusations that are false. They accuse their victims themselves and they voice these accusations to others.

  • She is not a good mother.
  • She is a rebellious wife
  • She wastes my money
  • She never cleans the house
  • She flirts with other men
  • She lies about me all the time

And on and on it goes.
Now, think carefully on this. Where does the power of this accusation tactic lie?  The charges are false, yet they have power to destroy. Why? What is it that energizes them? I can tell you: false accusations gain their diabolic power when they are believed.  There it is.
What has been the source of your pain and suffering at the hands of your accuser? Why does he love this method of oppressing you? Because he knows that people will believe the accusations. And I will take this a bit further – he knows that YOU to some degree will believe his accusations. It’s true, right? The wicked can level a completely false accusation against us and we “know” it is false, yet….it stings. We start to be troubled by it. We think and wonder…”maybe he’s right?” And so the abused wife will often resolve to “do better.” Evil men know that the righteous have a conscience, and they strive to use our conscience against us.
Of course it is no pleasant thing to have these false accusations believe by others either. Here is where the abuser causes so much suffering to his target. He accuses her to her church, he accuses her to her friends, he accuses her to her children and to her parents and siblings. And they very often believe the false charges. That hurts. It hurts a lot. “At least,” they say, “she must be somewhat to blame.”
Being accused hurts, even when the accusations are false. And this is why one of the most helpful things you can do for the victim of abuse, for the person who has been spurned and condemned by her pastor and church members, for the woman whose own parents have been influenced against her by wicked, false accusations, is to believe her. That, I have found, is the fundamental and most powerful help that we give to abuse victims here in blog world. We tell them, “I believe you.”  We assure them, “Your abuser, like his father the devil, is a liar. You are not guilty of those accusations. Excommunicated by your church? Never mind. The charges are false and the Lord knows it.”

Rom 8:33-34 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. (34) Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died–more than that, who was raised–who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.


Just How Deceitful can an Abuser be? – When Bad Fruit Looks Good


The Beauty of Vindication – A Table in the Presence of my Enemies


  1. Amy

    My abusive ex left in 2009 and built a smear campaign against me, and surprisingly there were so many, except my own family, who believed him. People from our former church either turned away from me or appeared to still be my friend but would tell me how they couldn’t take sides, that marriage was hard workm and God hates divorce so I needed to forgive, forget and reconcile.
    The pastor there once told me a few years before my ex walked out on me how at a men’s breakfast one Saturday my ex had gotten in his face and angrily told the pastor he didn’t have an anger problem, then after my ex walked out that same pastor approached me one Sunday and said it appeared my ex was trying to change — I just looked at him and walked away.
    The worst part was my ex telling his lies about me to our sons. My oldest son came to believe a lot of it and for the past 10 years he has hardly spoken to me. But recently, he is wanting to know my side and I shared. The wall has finally come down, at least most of the way, and he has come to see the truth about his father, but it was like a dagger in my heart all those years knowing that he was confused and allowed his father to continue to speak those lies into his ears, just like a serpent.
    Yes, the worse thing for an abuse victim is not being believed. There are still people from that former church who will not acknowledge me, especially a few of the men who supported my ex at that time, and I just smile and shake my head when I see them because I realize how lost those souls really are.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Amy- Your comment here is a succinct “reader’s digest” account of the diabolically normal experience a Christian has at the hands of their “Christian” abuser and his allies. Especially allies in the church. Their souls are indeed lost, yet they run from the light because their deeds are evil and the Lord said.

  2. Jennie

    Thank you. I’m divorced, but now my ex keeps filing custody modifications and falsely accusing me. It’s very stressful. I’m constantly praying scripture passages to help myself stay strong and depend on the Lord.
    “And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.””
    Exodus 14:13-14

  3. walkinginlight

    I am so sorry that you had to go through the pain of having your ex lie about you to church family and your children. I pray your children will see the truth for what it is. When my children were in grade school (they are now adults) after their father would emotionally and verbally assault me (for pointing out his meanness) he would always run to our two children and twist the reality of what he did to paint himself as innocent. He would always refuse to look at his own behaviour. Our kids figured him out soon enough though after he would go on a screaming rampage at them for something very minor.
    These anti-husbands have a black heart. The more they push God away (my abuser has always run from God) and work their evil magic, the worse they get. Then they end up with a reprobate mind and no working conscience. I have watched this with my own eyes within a 35 year time frame.
    Then last year my only sibling brother tried to accuse me and paint me as a criminal. My crime? I did not want to sign my beneficiary rights away for my aunt and change the way my uncle wrote his will and wanted things done. He left my aunt and everyone in the family well off and taken care of. He wanted me to inherit his home in Florida after my aunt passes away. This was not good enough for my aunt. I was accused of being “greedy” and “materialistic” because I did not jump when they said so. She did get me removed from my uncle’s will in FL by a corrupt lawyer.
    I know full well how horrible and painful it is to be accused of something that you know is not true. I look at the whole thing now and know I will have a eternal inheritance and they will not. God will not allow liars and thieves into heaven, and all our earthly accusers will finally have to deal with their actions.
    Dear Moderator,
    you do not have to air brush anything in my post. The Lord tells me to bring the hidden things done in darkness out into the light for it will be revealed for what it is. I tell everyone the story.

    • Jeff Crippen

      No air brush applied! Thank you. Good stuff.

    • healinginhim

      Another ‘truth-telling’ post by Pastor Crippen. Thank you.
      Walkinginthelight – You spoke my sentiments. “I know full well how horrible and painful it is to be accused of something that you know is not true. I look at the whole thing now and know I will have a eternal inheritance and they will not. God will not allow liars and thieves into heaven, and all our earthly accusers will finally have to deal with their actions.”

  4. Grace

    It hurt so bad when others didn’t believe me, and supported the abuser, and it is so true that this then made me doubt whether I “got it wrong”, even though on some level I knew that it wasn’t I who was being abusive. When so many others believed the false accusations the feeling of isolation and betrayal was overwhelming. Through articles like this, I’ve started to understand what actually happened and not feel so isolated. Thank you.

  5. jessicanotadoormat

    Wow, this is such a great reminder of the power that accusations can potentially have over us. My abusive husband constantly accuses me of having an affair, although, I’ve been faithful for 18 years. I finally figured out why he accuses of that in particular. No matter how hard a person tries, they cannot “prove” faithfulness! That way, there is no reasoning one’s way out of that accusation. because the only evidence proving faithfulness, is a lack of evidence showing unfaithfulness. And you are so right Jeff, the first 10 or so years of marriage, I tried so hard to be what he wanted every time he accused me of something else. Then one day he showed who he really was. He was smugly laughing at me as I was exhausted and cleaning after I’d worked a 40+ hour job. He said, “It is so easy to make you do what I want, if I said you weren’t jumping over the roof enough, you’d break your neck trying to do it and prove me wrong.” I realized two things. First, he was right, I was trying so hard to make our marriage work. Secondly, he didn’t care how tired I was, if it harmed me, if I was in poor health, he felt entitled to manipulate me like a puppet to any whim he wanted, and THAT is not love at all. He didn’t love me, he loved controlling me.

  6. Jade

    “At least she must be somewhat at fault.” BINGO. This is why I’ve had to go no contact with almost my entire family over the last year. They just kept insisting I was being proud and needed to humble myself, or that I should look at my own part in things even though “*husband* was surely not guiltless.” So blind. So evil.

    My abusive husband has also turned our three teens against me, and I don’t know how many years I will need to wait until they want to talk to me again. This is my Valley of Death.


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