Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in the Church

It Only Takes a Wink or a Glance to Abuse

A worthless person, a wicked man, goes about crooked speech, winks with his eyes, signals with his feet, points with his finger, with perverted heart devises evil, continually sowing discord; (Proverbs 6:12-14)

I have probably written posts about these verses before, but they are on my mind again today and the truths they teach cannot be announced too often. As you read this, please note: I am in no way here being critical of victims who have not yet left their abuser. We realize that “just leaving the jerk” is not so simple.  No, I am primarily speaking of other people like church members who continue to associate with the wicked/abuser rather than dissociating from him. Ok, here we go:
When it comes to dealing with an abuser — with these wicked ones who see themselves as gods to be served and worshiped — we cannot employ half measures. And these Proverbs explain why. Let me explain further.

Over the years we have had to do battle with wicked people as have most all of you. Malignant narcissists. Covertly aggressive characters. Sociopaths. People with no conscience. People who use an array of evil tactics to control and punish others. Accusers. Maligners. Revilers. You cannot “reach the heart” of such people. You cannot appeal to their empathy. Because they have no heart (their hearts are stones) and there is no empathy to be found in them. This is why God’s Word tells us to put such people out of our midst. We have often pointed you to 1 Corinthians 5 as as example of such instruction. We are to put them out and we are to separate from them.
Now, in our church ministry for over three decades, we have observed a clear and repeated outcome for people who try half measures in dealing with the wicked. They don’t separate fully from them. They don’t seem to believe the warning of Scripture that bad company corrupts good morals. And the outcome? People like this don’t grow in their walk with Christ, or if they do, that growth is very slow. They struggle and they stumble over the same trials over and over again. They seem to remain in a fog of doubt, lacking the clarity of certainty regarding what is truth and what is not. They are like that king in Lord of the Rings who is under the sorcerer’s spell and have Wormtongue whispering in their ear, countering every truth that comes their way.
I think that these Proverbs explain why this happens to them. You see, a wicked man, an abuser, is able to sow discord and seeds of doubt in people’s minds with a mere roll or sideways glance of his eye, with a twitch of his lip, with a subtle motion of his finger or foot, or with a nod of his head. He need not say a single word! One of the tags we have given this post is abuser’s language… the body language of abusers is just crafty as the spoken language. The abuser’s deceptive motions and unspoken innuendos can say it all for him.


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Grizzly Bears, Wolves, and the Denial of Evil


  1. Praying Lady

    Yes, you nailed it again, Pastor Crippen!! My ex-husband’s body language said volumes! Of course, when his hands were around my throat and he was strangling me in front of a police officer, that was the ultimate body language. He hated me and wanted me dead. The Lord had other plans and rescued me from my ex’s horrible emotional, verbal, spiritual, physical and sexual abuse, and yes, his abusive, “subtle” body language. Praise God!!!
    Thank you, Pastor Crippen, for continuing to minister to the hearts, minds and spirits of the victims/survivors of relationships with wolves in wool. May God bless and keep you and your family safe.

    • Stormy

      I experienced this also. I was a singer for a church group he was a music minister who only knew three cords but thought he was a rock star. He would smirk at me while we were on stage as if I was messing up. He also tried to punch me in the face. That was obvious of course. In addition everything I did was wrong, driving my car, (he didn’t have a car but he used me for my vehicle) singing, the clothes I wore, my hair style, etc all designed to break me down so I would think nothing of myself. May justice be served today and everyday for every victim that suffered this insidious abuse. My God shall supply all my needs including the justice we all pray and long for may it come quickly and may we live to see our desire upon our enemies.

      • Stormy

        Our enemies are those who took delight in trying to destroy us and others. Our enemies are those who delight in doing evil. Our enemies are those who live the lie of loving God but are wolves in sheep’s clothing living only to destroy and harm others. May we live to see them all reap what they have sown so that all of us will surely say there is a god in heaven who sends justice upon the earth. So that we all can relax knowing that God has heard our prayers and he will answer. That he will provide for us.

        • J. D. Gallé

          The longer I have lived, the more I have experienced, the more I am coming to learn of the evilness of evil, and the necessity of a future judgement in which divine retribution shall be exacted upon the unrepentant. This appears especially necessary in the case of the most vile of evildoers, namely abusers: persons who have habitually and wilfully wreaked untold damage upon the minds and/or bodies of others for their own gratification.
          Abusers have no genuine love or regard for others. Their disdain for other persons demonstrates that they have no love for their neighbour, and, consequently, no love for God (1 Jn 4.20–21). The Two Greatest Commandments (Mt 22.36–40; Mk 12.28–34) are thereby denied in the day-to-day routine of even unambitious, common-or-garden abusers who never rise to the heights of attaining a role in a dictatorship, and/or having a hand in enslaving or slaughtering thousands (if not millions) of innocent human beings with impunity. Whilst inflamed with an insatiable, delusional, perverse, unnatural love for themselves, abusers are loveless towards others.
          Despite whatever pretension of love or righteousness abusers might make in the present, they shall be exposed on Judgement Day as the self-glorifying, power-hungry narcissists they truly are. Throughout their temporal lives, in their thoughts, through their words, and by their behaviours, it shall be demonstrated that their sole concern was in serving and worshipping themselves. It will be shown that their wickedeness and contempt for others was a manifestation of their hatred towards God – his governance and his laws – all along.
          Evil needs to be exposed and punished.

          • Jeff Crippen

            Indeed. To hunger and thirst for righteousness and thus be among those blessed by the Lord, is to hunger and thirst for justice to be done upon the wicked.

          • Stormy

            Beautifully written JD you touched on everything. Yes it’s horrific. You summed it up so well. Their hatred for their victims is a hatred for God. Thank you for posting. You’re an excellent writer.

  2. Amy

    My abusive ex never hit me, although on occasion came close to pushing me “accidentally”, but it was his body language and his facial expressions that kept me on guard.
    His famous smirk was used to undermine me and keep feeling doubtful and stupid. He would often use it behind others backs so no one was the wiser. That smirk was evidence he knew exactly what he was doing.

  3. choclea43

    I know this one… and with 70-90% of communication being done with the body… it can surely be used as a weapon 

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