Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in the Church

America Celebrates Divorce from an Abuser on the 4th of July – Independence Day!

Here is the beginning of the Declaration of Independence. It is a divorce decree. It is the recognition of a breach of covenant. We celebrate this divorce in the United States every July 4th. The purpose of this post is to simply put forth this question: If it was right and good for the American Colonies to divorce the King of England for his many and repeated abuses, if most all Americans including pastors and church members celebrate this Independence Day as a glorious win for freedom, how is it that these same pastors and church members insist that an abuse victim in a marriage has no right to divorce their abuser?

There is the question as all Americans wave flags and watch the fireworks and celebrate freedom from tyranny. How is it that so many professing Christians will deny the same freedom to a fellow believer who is suffering a present and evil tyranny right in their midst? It is quite common for churches to wave the flag and celebrate on this day, yet at the very same time they oppress the oppressed by demanding they remain in bondage to a wicked abuser.  The common double standard.


The Unanimous Declaration of the
Thirteen United States of America
In Congress, July 4, 1776

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.


Call Evil Good: The Error of Couple Counseling for Abuse


Being Comfortable in the Presence of the Wicked is a Mark of an Unregenerate Heart


  1. Mhiggins

    Wow. So very true. Each time I get to read a post it helps more and more to stop blaming myself. You just can’t know how this helping me to heal. Thank you Jeff.

  2. Debby Seguin

    I’ll never read the DOI the same again! Wow. It even goes so far as to basically say, we know these bonds shouldn’t be broken trivially and we are even willing to suffer a bit instead of break them, but then it just becomes ridiculous (my paraphrase, lol) and it’s the story of every victim of abuse. Wow. Then spiritual abusers step in and say, “yeah, but this a political bond, not a spiritual bond,” again evoking “God will be mad at you” if you divorce (or even separate!) from abuse since you said the magic words, “I Do.” If you leave, you are considered the worst kind of traitor, while the abuser can continue sinning against you. Ugh! Such parallels!

  3. Interesting perspective. Interesting parallel.

  4. Christina

    I just found this site this morning as I’m working through a bitterness worksheet given to me by a biblical counselor. I start to get confused about whether or not I’m overreacting to the domestic abuse I’ve experienced after 22 years of marriage, and I hope that if I just repent more, and try to forgive more, it will get better.
    I’m currently separated from my husband and seeking counsel, and considering divorce. We just celebrated Fourth of July last week, and the whole week I kept saying that there has always been a high price for freedom. Every time my husband tries to talk me out of divorcing him, he uses the fact that I will be poor, my kids will be separated from me as he will have joint custody, I will have to move from my house, creating more instability for myself and the children. His arguments have all been focused on the fact that it’s going to be harder to separate than to just stay married. It’s true, it will be easier to stay where I’m at and not stand up for what I know is true. But I’ve been thinking all week, what if the men of the American Revolution felt that way? What if every soldier entering into the armed forces would rather be comfortable than to fight for freedom.
    I’m so glad to read this article, it just confirms my thoughts that there is a high price for freedom. Look at what it cost Christ to set us free from sin, His own life. Most Bible believing reformed Christians think that the road to taking up the cross and following Jesus is to keep forebearing abuse. I’m starting to see that standing against abuse by getting out of this marriage is the true narrow road. I pray God gives me wisdom and that I would never sin against Him in this process. By God’s grace, I will stand in the freedom for which Christ has set me free.

    • Hi Christina,
      Very glad you found this website. Yes, we will pray that God leads you to freedom.
      And I would caution you of anything the biblical counselor is telling you. We hear story after story after story of how biblical counselors do more harm than good for domestic abuse victims. They do not understand the nature of the abuser and his mentality and tactics. And they usually twist Scripture in such a way that it keeps the victim in bondage.
      I encourage you to keep reading the articles on this website. Here is a link to an article that you may find helpful:
      Call Evil Good: The Error of Couple Counseling for Abuse
      Also on the top menu bar under “Scripture” you will find several articles about how scripture is twisted.
      (the woman behind the curtain)

    • Jeff Crippen

      Christina- I echo what twbtc wrote to you. I have seen “biblical” counselors in action and the great harm their unbiblical theory does. They put it all back on YOU. All anger is sinful they say. The real problem is the victim’s unforgiveness they say. I would take that worksheet and throw it in the garbage. Trust yourself and the Holy Spirit leading you.
      Very, very glad you are here.

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