Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in the Church

The Domestic Abuser is Actually a Kidnapper and the Lord Will Treat him as Such

Exodus 21:16 ESV  “Whoever steals a man and sells him, and anyone found in possession of him, shall be put to death.
Deuteronomy 24:7 ESV  “If a man is found stealing one of his brothers of the people of Israel, and if he treats him as a slave or sells him, then that thief shall die. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.
1 Timothy 1:9-10 ESV  understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers,  (10)  the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine,

One of our commenters recently compared the domestic abuser to a kidnapper and an abuser-driven marriage “legalized kidnapping.” This is quite accurate. And if you want to know what God thinks about kidnappers, well, just read the verses above.
Here is the irony. Churches that preach “freedom in Christ,” end up supporting legalized kidnapping when they ally with an abuser and oppress the victim. They turn a blind eye to the fact that the abuser has enslaved his target, expends all kinds of energies and devices to keep her in that bondage, and in divorce court proceedings demands a ransom be paid for her freedom.
This is worth thinking about seriously. What will the Lord do, not only with the kidnapper, but with those who are his allies? I think we can have a pretty good idea.


Even the Best Bible Teachers Get it Wrong Sometimes


Blind Leading the Blind – Don't be led by them


  1. wingingit

    The abuser uses her children to hold her in bondage, for decades.
    “Staying together for the kids” is the euphemism that actually means as long as she stays, the kids will not be destroyed through his cruelty, the cruelty of the church, and the court system. She can use herself as a human shield, taking the abuse to protect her children.
    It is through this precious link to her heart that the abuser controls her, even after the divorce.
    I recently met a woman who is being forced, through the very real threat of court action, to force her children to wear masks in their home, even to bed at night, and to every function, by her abusive ex husband.
    The children cry and fight the oppressive orders that their mother is too terrified Not to enforce.
    The abuser is driving a wedge between the mother and her children and controlling the mother without even having access to her. Her hours are wasted fighting with her children.
    It is breaking her spirit and her children resent her for not being able to stop his continued abuse.
    She is forced to waste more precious resources on legal fees to try and stop this legal abuse.
    Meanwhile, the therapists and church leaders tell her that she must not undermine the children’s “respect” for their father. The man who abuses the whole family year after year.
    It is an evil bondage of the mind and spirit, much harder to escape than physical bondage.
    God will not forget any evil act in that day of accounting.

    • Innoscent

      That’s revolting! That man is kidnapping the very air the mother and children breathe.. 🙁 Emotional and verbal abuse eventually becomes physical.

  2. Stephanie

    Abusers continue to kidnap even after the Mother has gotten away! They use the court system to steal their children away. They manipulate the children’s minds. After years of abuse, most children will do or say whatever the abuser wishes. Alienating children from the victim parent is the abusers most cruel weapon for both the victim parent and their children.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Truth here! Yep.

    • Name Omitted

      And whereas protective mothers fleeing abuser husbands will be wrongfully accused of “parental alienation”, it’s actually the abuser who industriously, but stealthily, works to poison the children’s minds against their mother.
      Abusers create allies out of so many people as it is. Isolation is one of the key factors to abuse. What better way to truly isolate than to groom and manipulate the children into seeing their mother as the bad parent and the father as the victim/martyr?
      By the way, the guy who created/coined Parental Alienation Syndrome apparently is pro-pedophilia. Yet countless courts bow to his PAS theory which helps abuser dads further harm their wives/soon-to-be-ex-wives.

  3. Free

    This is EXACTLY it!!!! Even through the ransom paid for the court – which my attorney called an “exit tax” as he not only got away with the abuse via the marriage and the church, he reabused through the divorce process as all but a few brothers and sisters stood by and either watched, or looked the other way. In the end, there is life and there is freedom and despite it all – WE ARE FREE and the abusers have chosen not to be. The Lord opens the door to all, it is our choice whether we accept it or not. Keep moving on and do not look back.

  4. Finally Free

    Wish I’d found this website many years ago. I’m from a “Christian” family where the physical, verbal, and emotional violence was so bad that “the system” got involved several times. I tried to abide by the “forgiveness” mandates from the church and counselors while I was a child and young adult. Just got more abuse.
    What was surprising to me was that even as an adult, these abusers kept it up verbally and emotionally. The methods changed but motivations and results were the same. Tried joint counseling and other professionals but was still abused. Moved far away but they don’t need physical proximity to harass me thanks to phones and internet.
    Went no-contact with my abusers but they triangulated with people close to me in my new location. That’s when the “forgiveness” and “reconciliation” moralizers got especially frustrating. New acquaintances who didn’t know the background of the situation thought they had the right to judge me.
    I no longer waste several hours to tell each of these “forgiveness” preachers what I’ve been through and what I’ve attempted in the past the remedy the relationships. In my experience, sharing your private business with these types tends to make things worse rather than better. All you do is give them your “dirt” and they hold it against you, but they still demand you forgive.
    I’ve found that you usually can’t reason with people who try to tell you that you need to reconnect with your abuser. This is what has worked for me.
    Without being hostile, I give the moralizer a task to help the abuser. That’s when you’ll see just how self-interested these moralizers really are.
    For example, someone wants you to reconcile with your violent Uncle “Richard.” Without any flippancy or irony, ask them to help Richard in some way that’s customized to something they could provide.
    “Speaking of Richard, he just lost his job. Is your company hiring?”
    “Richard’s being evicted. Do you rent out your back room?”
    “Did you know that Richard wrecked his car? Do you still drive along his route to work?”
    There’s a chance that one of them will take you up on that request to help his. That would be a win/win, but I’ve never seen that happen. Every time I’ve done it, I see the moralizer’s wheels turning, remembering just how toxic “Richard” is. They retreat quickly!

    • Jeff Crippen

      Finally Free- this is excellent wisdom. Many thanks to you for sharing it.

    • Sue

      Dear Finally Free, terrific post 😉

    • Innoscent

      Finally Free,
      You’re spot on. The “All-Forgiving” camp will never budge. They’ve put the traditions and teachings of men above the Word of God, which they hardly study for themselves anyway. It serves them well to be seen as such “loving Christians” and it’s more convenient for them to throw it all behind rather than sorting it out as per biblical Truth and finally stand for the right and for the oppressed.
      Like you I had to go no-contact with specific people, it was the only way to defeat kidnappers, to preserve my precious health and time that’s left post-abuse. I’m also very careful with self-disclosure because as you rightly say people use your “dirt” against you and re-abuse you altogether.

  5. Anonymous

    I consider my abuser to be a kidnapper. I didn’t want to marry a satanist. And yet I did. I didn’t choose to marry such an evil person. And yet evil successfully masqueraded as good and the whole thing was a scam, it was bondage, and enslavement.
    The popular opinion is that women choose these bad boys and thus deserve what is coming to them but I didn’t go looking for a bad boy or an alpha or a dominating man. I wanted a God-fearing Christian who wanted to live a Christian life and have a Christ-centered marriage. We did premarital counseling via Christian books I got for us, and he talked the talk and it was all very calculated deception on his part.
    Fraud, coercion, force, trickery, manipulation, deception, mind control, brainwashing, crazy-making, isolation, sabotage, torture. Such was my marital life.
    These things are present in life with a monster. Abusers are criminals. They desire to control, to destroy, to ruin, to torture and torment their victims. They love to drive their victims insane, much like torturers will do to prisoners of war, where captives might get out at some point, but they’re shells. “Whoever was tortured, stays tortured.” It’s absolutely true. I suspect many, if not most, in mental institutions have been so severely abused they lost their minds because of it.
    Abusers are of the devil. No need to mince words. They are of the devil. They are satan’s children. Anyone who does not speak such truth, is either deceived, mistaken, unwise and ignorant, or an ally to evil, spreading the lie that abusers are not of the devil.
    And I’m talking about true abusers, not some who are at times abusive, or some who have temper problems, who are stressed and lash out but then are horrified at such. Abusers, who deceive, plot, scheme, ensnare, recruit allies, isolate, control, destroy, torment, and torture. Those who enjoy being cruel, are sadistic, and are psychopathic criminals.
    It should be seen as kidnapping because that is what it plays out as. Perhaps the general public wouldn’t be so prone to victim-blame and victim-shame if they were made to understand that DV is kidnapping; it’s hostage-taking.

  6. walkinginlight

    I had always felt legally “kidnapped” in my so called marriage, that is why I had used that term. ANONYMOUS, every word you had said, BINGO!!! I feel every word that you had written. I didn’t choose to marry such evil myself either. We dated for six long years before the wedding vows were said. He “appeared” to be so sweet, gentle, laid back and easy going. This is what attracted me as my dad physically abused me and a sibling. The mask of deep deception was played out for me. I was naive back then. I thought that what you saw is what you would get. Boy, was I ever wrong!!! The kidnapper cheated me out of a healthy loving marriage that was not toxic to the core. The best years of my life hijacked by him always promising to “get help” and “change” for the better, with all of my Christian friends cheering me on to stay the course and keep the faith that the marriage would get better! I had no idea how a little bad theology would keep me hoping and dangling by a thread all of those years. Somehow, someway the Lord will redeem us all back the years that the locust have eaten. Instead of crying all night, there will be dancing in the morning! If not here then in heaven with our Lord. We are all daughters of the the most High God and King of Kings. These wicked “kidnappers” will wish they had never been born then to cause all of this misery to a child of God.

    • Anonymous

      I hear you, WalkinginLight. I count on him going to hell, too, and that will be justice. His life is good, but this is a very temporary life and if he had any sense, he’d be afraid to die, terrified at the coming doom.
      Sadly, my monster had me convinced that he was the victim and that I was evil, monstrous, vile, and I was forcing him to abuse me, attack me, and all sorts of other things. So I felt guilty, ashamed, and flabbergasted at how I would possibly change things for the better as I was already trying so hard to be a good wife.
      Never any admittance to anything of his doing, but rather endless lying, telling me how crazy I was and that I’d imagined and/or hallucinated his abuse of me, the violence, and so forth. Or if I was still visibly bruised he’d tell me that I did such to myself. The stream of lies that came out of him. It was absolutely crazy-making. And due to isolation, which is instrumental in abuse, he defined reality and there was no relenting. He knows he is a psychopath. I was naive. I didn’t watch shows or read books about psychopaths prior to marrying him. I just couldn’t comprehend the depths of evil I was dealing with. And he, of course, was all too happy to claim that I was evil, that I was causing it all, and that he was the poor, pitiful, helpless victim of it all. I apologized to him all the time for the craziest of stuff, like breathing the wrong way! Can you imagine? Sounds ridiculous now but back then, it was life and death serious, as though my breathing the wrong way, according to his latest critique was torturing him to the point that I was causing him to abuse me more, helpless as he was in it all.
      He was doing his best to drive me absolutely insane. And I did lose my mind. He wanted me to suicide and demanded such, as though I was harming him by continuing to exist. I nearly did. More than once. And I used to beg his forgiveness for failing him and not suiciding as he demanded.
      I could go on and on. But I lament the abilities, energy, confidence, will to live, and life I had back then. Now I’ve been made useless, just as he wanted it.
      For all those who might be still in it, the escalation cycle will continue for many until it’s death or debility. Either they disable you and leave you in a disabled, ruined, helpless form, or they murder you. Some may not, but there are those psychopathic abusers who will and things can happen very quickly. I wonder how many women who are murdered, realized that day was their last. Others are maimed. Others suffer acid attacks, gunshot wounds, or brain damage from beatings. Inflicted brain damage is an abuser favorite. There is research, that show most women in battered women’s shelters are victims of brain injuries. And brain injuries are cumulative and it’s like being in the NFL, because of the common size and strength differences, the surprise of the attacks, etc. and women might make it out alive, but they suffer from the brain damage for the rest of their lives and such is not recognized, the fatigue and mental fog from brain injuries will make life that much more difficult.
      DV is deadly. Brain injuries are common. So is strangulation. And even if there is not physical violence, do not kid yourselves, because it all can quickly change at any time and so many injuries are permanent. And the mental torture inherent in DV is enough to damage your spirit to death. Lots of female suicides are due to the damage and mental torture of DV being inflicted on them by abusers.
      Thanksgiving to God we have Him and to the pastor for being a rare pastor who doesn’t mess around or mince words about the evilness of DV and that abusers are children of the devil. Marriage should not be an idol. Divorce is a beautiful thing and should be seen as the life-saving thing it can be, instead of scaring women that God hates all divorces and that divorcees will merit the wrath of God. Such things help abusers keep their victims in bondage and slavery. DV is enough of a trap as it is.
      Sorry for such a long comment.

      • Jeff Crippen

        No apologies necessary. Thank you.

        • Joy

          Most of the comments I’ve read here are heartbreaking and bleak at best. I am walking through an ugly divorce with my narcissist husband. We four kids together ages 15-5. Our oldest, a girl, has chosen to stay with her dad…doing his bidding and taking care of his every need. He buys her whatever and raves about her amazingness on social media. Emotional incest they call it. It is gross and I have been painted the ugly one so I can’t do anything about it. Oh and he also has had a girlfriend he picked up only 5 months after I left. I believe our daughter and this other woman feed his ego the supply he needs. Our other 3 children do 50/50 with me. When they come from their dad’s they are angry children. Detoxing is hard.
          I say all this to preface what I KNOW to be true. That is…ALL of God’s promises are YES and AMEN! He promises to be CLOSE to the brokenhearted and RESCUE those crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18) I have felt his closeness and experienced His rescue! Even though the enemy is at my door always, I don’t have to answer it. I can speak to him and tell him to leave and he will! There will not always be sadness for Joy comes in the morning! God will fight for you…you need only to be still.

          • Jeff Crippen

            Thank you Joy. If you haven’t already, you can read a very parallel account in Kelly Orr’s story, You Know Me, which can be purchased on Amazon. Many blessings to you in Christ.

  7. Christy Martin

    As always , you speak truth! Thank you!

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