Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in the Church

Patriarchal Abusive Marriage is a Counterfeit of Marriage — and thus is very Deceiving

My husband does not permit me to sin. When I sin, he sends me to my room and tells me to stay there until my attitude is godly again.

Those words were spoken by a pastor’s wife to a group of Christian women/wives. Their response?  “Oh, what a model of a godly marriage.”
It was anything but that. And yet, these ladies believed it. They craved it for themselves. They believed that this woman’s husband was high and holy, far above their own husbands. Why? How could they possibly believe that such a thing as this pastor’s wife described is biblical, Christian, genuine marriage? In part, I suggest that the answer is that the enemy is a master counterfeiter. He is a liar and a deceiver. He sends false Jesus figures, false Christs, false pastors, false pastor wives, false Christians into our midst and these counterfeits are quite often, outwardly, genuine in appearance.
Patriarchal abusive marriage is a counterfeit of biblical marriage. It boasts of “submission” but runs with that idea and turns it into slavery. It lauds “headship” and presents the abuser to us as a model of that headship. He tells her what clothes to wear and she wears them, and only them. He tells her she must obey him, and she obeys him. He tells her what the true interpretation of Scripture is, and she believes him. The children appear to be a model of obedience to their parents, and the rest of the families in the church wish their children and homes looked like that.
But the whole thing is false. It is a sham. The marriage. The home. The family. The whole thing is bogus, an imitation, but only an imitation, and a very deceptive one. It is an idol created by man to bring us into bondage.
Do you envy some marriage or family in your church? Are the objects of your envy regarded by the church as a model of godliness? Take care. You may very well have been duped by a deception. The genuine is often in the background, unseen, following Christ humbly rather than blowing trumpets on street corners.

Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (Mat 6:1-4)



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  1. I am so sorry you had to live through that kind of abuse. 🙏

  2. Behaviors like that bothered me long before I knew why they bothered me. I wouldn’t have wanted to be controlled. Long ago a teacher friend invited our family to dinner. Her husband had her change the menu she had planned in advance, the day of. I thought, wow, that’s a bit much. I’d not been around that type of thing before.

  3. walkinginlight

    I think it is amazing that most men who are not filled with the Holy Spirit want to control “their” women. Like she is a prized pony purchased as his “property”! This mindset makes me sick as it goes totally against the way God designed marriage to be. Once again these “controllers” will be sent to the lake of fire for their idolatry. God does not even try to control a person but gently leads. These men therefore elevate themselves over God by “controlling” their wife. Jesus came to set the captives free. Run ladies as fast as you can away from these so called men!

  4. Anonymous

    Almost as soon as we got home from the honeymoon 42 years ago, I was sent to the bedroom to pray and get my heart right with God. That became the routine because that is how his “head” told him he was to handle me. (Thank you, Fort Lauderdale Five and the Shepherding Movement.)
    There’s so much more I could say, but it would be a book. I am finally aware that I was in bondage for all those years, that this wasn’t normal. I am slowly finding my way out. The only thing I don’t feel now is the freedom to leave since he was diagnosed with dementia 18 months ago (the diagnosis came just two weeks before the day I had intended to leave).

  5. eagerlabassistants

    I just puked ….

  6. Kui

    It’s amusing how people will twist scriptures to ‘suit’ their situations. Oppressing and manipulating your wife just makes the marriage take a nosedive because humans are not wired to be controlled but rather to be gently led by Christ.

  7. Sue

    I had never met such practices until we got home from the honeymoon and I was required to repent, and stay in my room til I’d done so. I was very confused and angry over the whole matter as my dad was not a totalitarian. He had basic household rules, and we obeyed those, but not every portion of life was dictated. This eventually led to verbal and emotional abuse from husband , and from there to physical abuse. Now 22 years later, he’s on a no contact order from the courts and going to trial. I’m still trying to wrap my head around this person I thought loved me, and how his life goal seems to have been to control me and have someone to serve his every whim, and then have someone to blame if something goes wrong. Yes, even when things went wrong at work, that was my fault indirectly. I bore the blame for everything!

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