Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in the Church

The Widows and Orphans of Our Time

James 1:27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

There are literal widows and orphans today who need our help. Widows who are widows indeed, without even family members to care for them. But this biblical category of people who are particularly near to the Lord’s heart – widows and orphans – is much, much broader than most Christians have realized.  One lady commented:

Couldn’t all the passages that speak about caring for the fatherless apply to children who do indeed have a living father, but he doesn’t protect and teach like a father, but rather hurts them?  They have a biological father, but who would debate that they don’t really have a protector and nurturer.  Wouldn’t most everybody agree that we as a country do right to remove children from dangerous situations and place them in a safe home?   So, when the Bible speaks of caring for the fatherless and widows, I’m wondering if the woman who has a husband who doesn’t love her, but abuses her, might she fit under the category of widow?  She has a husband, but no one to love and care for her.

She is EXACTLY correct!  Here we are, looking all around us for widows and orphans, and yet we miss them.  They are right in front of us – many sitting in the pews of our own churches.  We are fooled, just because there is a man with them. But he is no husband or father.  He is their tormentor from whom they need rescue.

If that sounds anti-marriage and family to anyone, it is!  But be sure your head isn’t all turned around in regard to just who is anti-marriage and family here.  It isn’t us. It isn’t the wife and her children.  It is the abuser. And we have for far too long succumbed to his promotion of the notion that the sole enemy of marriage and family is radical feminism.  Who or what is more dangerous to the families within our churches?  The Radical feminists (some rather radical feminists are ok, you know. A Christian feminist is necessarily a radical!) who make no claim to believe the Bible is God’s Word, or the pious, eminent “saint” of a man sitting in our church, even perhaps leading our church, wearing a façade of the name of Christ, yet in reality lording his power and control over his wife and children as Pharaoh lorded it over the enslaved Israelites? The answer should be obvious.  The real threat lies within.  In fact, there is more truth among radical feminists about the evils of abuse than there will ever be in the mind and mouth of the abuser who claims to follow Christ.
Worse yet, these “Pharaohs” have recruited us.  We, the members of Christ’s body, have blindly accepted the abuser’s masquerade and his accusations against his victims.  He has issued us the whips of legalistic bondage through his perversions of the Scriptures, and we are far too often his allies in this oppression.  Can I hear protests?  “Oh, that is way harsh!  You exaggerate! There is no way it is like that!”
Ask the slaves.  Scroll through the comments to the articles on this blog and read their stories first hand.  And then –

Matthew 9:13, Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.


Maintaining the Unity of the Spirit Requires Dealing With Abusers


The Spiritual and Christlike Discipline of Rejecting Wicked People


  1. Riley

    I have wondered the same thing for a long time. I’m glad to see someone else put it into words. Thank you.

  2. Anon61

    I’ve been saying we’ve got a nation full of “Porn Widows” for years. The women are left at 50+ years old to try to provide for themselves and their children while the ex husband goes back to his job, remarries, has double income, makes more money and has no regard for his poor ex wife, barely surviving. Widows went to the priests for help. Now the Church should be the place to go, but they are too blind to see who’s at fault and which one should receive mercy, as you’ve said.

  3. Z

    Having been a victim of every kind of abuse by both parents, I can attest I couldn’t have felt more “orphaned” than I did. And I was! No “parents”. No protectors or nurturers. I lived in daily terror. I had to raise myself. “Child Parentification”. But that’s so abnormal and too heavy a load for a terrorized child to bear.
    The fact that these “non-parents” professed to be “Christians”, as did all my relatives, who either witnessed or knew of the abuse, surely messed up my view of what a “Christian” was. It caused me to run from God for many years. I had to ask myself, what kind of God causes “Christians” to act this way towards innocent children? To simply ignore the brutality of my abuses? And the totality of all the professing “Christian” relatives, church friends, pastors, elders,…who were complicit in this evil, by their silence and/or neutrality, boggled my mind for many years. The church as a whole failed me. Not one adhered to the Scriptures to look after the “orphans”-as I virtually was and they all could clearly see that I was. A seriously suffering one too.
    Praise God that as an adult I finally found the REAL JESUS! Far apart from all those counterfeits. And God gave me a husband who truly serves the Lord and treats me as a husband should. At least I don’t have to experience being a virtual “widow” as well. My heart goes out to all those women who thought they were marrying a godly man, a true Christian, and instead got a fake. They became “widows”. They got the oxymoron “Christian Abuser”. Sadly, they likely won’t get any more support or relief or protection from the church than I did as an “orphan” child.
    Thank you Pastor for the clarity on this important teaching. ALL Scripture is to be obeyed. God’s Word says He desires MERCY and protection towards the “orphans and widows”, not the silence, “pretense of invisibility”, easy dismissal by “God’s people” as unimportant to God, condemnation, false teaching…that they usually get from “professing Christians” and, worse, from church leaders.

  4. no one down here

    if your spouse dies, the church rallies around you. gives you casseroles, cuts your grass, takes your car to get oil changes or tires rotated. People want to watch your kids, do whatever it takes to help you out. they will send you cards and remember your birthday. if you leave your husband because of abuse, they look at you with downcast eyes when they pass you in the hallway.
    if your spouse has passed away and you need to move, they will come out in droves to help you pack, unpack, sort, clean… whatever you need. If you are leaving an abusive husband, you have to beg for help among friends. the church won’t send out the notice of “everyone show up at this time, because so and so is moving and needs help.”
    If you leave your husband because of abuse, you are alone. the church doesn’t want to touch you.

    • Jeff Crippen

      This is truth and it is evil.

      • no one down here

        also, if you ask for help, it is denied. the only “help” they want to give is to put you back under the abuse. for reasons. they sanction your kids going back to the abuser, which by default sanctions the continuance of abuse.
        struggling today. knowing that God is still always good, all the time. But boy. Life hurts. guess no one ever said it would be easy.

  5. walkinginlight

    Jesus said that if you have love for one another the whole world will know that you are my disciples. I feel very sorry for what these cold hearted counterfeit Christians will face on judgement day! Jesus will condemn them and tell these pharisees to depart from Him. Christ is love and if His people do not have compassion and love they are counterfeits. It is people like this who give Christianity a bad name. I had a physically abusive father as a child and went on to marry a emotional/mental/verbal abuser. The Lord is my rock and will settle the score soon!

  6. farmgirl

    Unbelievable stories. You all are right counterfeit Christians are out there and misleading people. 1st john5:19. They dont want people to find the truth. How God feels about this sort of thing is not what they teach. Gods word is the final authority. They will be no more. Psalms 37:9-11

Leave a Reply

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