Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in the Church

The Essential Nature of an Abuser – Devoid of Love

You never loved me. You only wanted to possess me. Your curse is that you cannot love.

I came across this quote in, of all places, a dark comedy movie. It jumped out at me as true truth in regard to the people we class as sociopaths and it is certainly an excellent description of a domestic abuser as we define them here. Power. Control. Possession. Devoid of love.
Understanding this is key to getting free of the confusing fog abusers cast and to getting actually free of them.
The abusers I have had personal experience with have for the most part been church members in churches I have pastored. Professing Christians, yet still children of the devil. The most pious saints, they would have you believe. And it took a long, long time for me to realize that ALL the show of religion they put on was absolutely false. That they never loved me, they only wanted to own and control me for their own evil designs. That they were people who knew nothing of love and were in their very being incapable of knowing or giving love.
Oh they can mimic these things, and often do so very, very convincingly as we all have seen. But when a person who is incapable of love seems to be exercising love, it only seems that they are. In fact they are mimics. They see other people loving one another and then they outwardly mimic that love. But it isn’t love at all. Your abuser has never loved you. In fact, he or she has never loved anyone.
Their curse, justly deserved, is that they cannot and they will not, love.


Some Truth from a Survivor


Patience? Really?


  1. LH

    That was what I found the most painful thing to deal with when coming out of the fog of abuse, that the man who I had given my love and devotion to, who I married, never loved me, it was a fake from the start.

  2. SS

    This is a hard truth…and so very true!!

  3. Joy

    I have been studying/researching Narcissistic Abuse for the last 10 years. The research began when my divorce attorney used the word Sociopath and his legal secretary used Narcissist regarding my now ex-husband during the discovery phase of the divorce. I was ignorant of both terms and needing to educate myself I ‘googled’ both words.
    In the world of psychology your reference to mimicking is called “mirroring”. Other psychological terms worthy of researching: Projection. Gas-Lighting. Flying-Monkeys. All tools of the Malignant Narcissist’s trade.
    The knowledge learned has helped me to recognize that I wasn’t ‘crazy’, ‘paranoid’, nor was I having ‘melt-downs’. Narcissistic abuser’s are not capable of love. Their moral compass broke when they went through some sort of damaging emotional abuse in their formative years and they got stuck with the emotional mentality of an immature child. I am NOT condoning or qualifying their abusive nature. Just as we who were abused by them are working towards healing the damage done at their hand, they too can choose to walk through the fire to heal. And in that lies the difference. They don’t want to because they are convinced there is nothing wrong with them.
    Our answer is to research and educate ourselves….. and then lean into the ever-open, ever-loving arms of a God who will never leave or forsake us. We can heal, the Narcissistic abuser cannot.

  4. J. D. Gallé

    The nature of God is love, and this love extends to his creation. A person whose sole love is a kind of warped love of self is an individual whose character reflects the moral image of Satan, not God.
    My experience in this world is that there is very little love in it. Those who call themselves Christians need to love righteousness and hate lawlessness as the Lord Jesus did and does (see Heb. 1.9a).

  5. cindy burrell

    Let us not doubt or be deceived: “By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.” I John 3:10

  6. Allis38

    I was always taught by my mother that people are basically good in this world. So when I started going to church I thought for sure everyone was “good”. People who gossip, undermine, lie, and act like they are better than everyone else are tolerated and allowed to run amok – for years. No one says anything about it. That is stressful to be around.
    I am starting to understand this in my older years. Thank you for this post

  7. sweethonesty7

    While married I had counselors say, in a sympathetic voice towards my abuser-ex, “Have you ever thought he just doesn’t know *how* to love? Maybe it was never modeled for him.” Their tone implied, “Poor thing, he could learn to, so don’t leave him.” My thoughts, though I never expressed them out aloud, “He’s a 40 something year old man who goes to church EVERY Sunday and he STILL hasn’t bothered to care enough *TO* learn! At the right time for me I’m getting OUT!”
    My abuser-ex said to me especially, after he had been abusive in one form or another, (and I was trying/straining/agonizingly wanting him to admit what he just did to me), “You don’t love me, you married me, but you never loved me.” Actually, he was deflecting by projecting on me the truth about himself.
    He’s already onto his next victim (she thinks she’s his girlfriend) and I believe she was around, before the ink ever dried on the divorce papers. It can seem that she’s being treating better as the mind can go to “Why didn’t he love me like that?!”, but the truth is there is NO way he went from abusing me for almost 30 years to instant angel, model husband–NO way. Then, I feel sorry for her and grateful I’m free.

  8. Jade

    I can’t even count the number of times I had an internal, visceral, almost violent (still internal) reaction to my abusive husband saying, “but I love you!” It took years, but gradually, my brain would reply, “Do you even know what love is?” and then, “You don’t know what love is.” I actually told him to stop saying those words at some point, which of course really “hurt his feelings.”

    I already feel sorry for his next victim, and we aren’t even divorced yet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *