Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in the Church

Forsaken by a Traitor’s Kiss

I have written about the evil of betrayal as seen in the traitorous kiss of Judas. But the thing came to mind again today as we were singing at the beginning of the Sunday School class – God the Uncreated One (by Aaron Keyes and Pete James). One of the lines is Mighty God in mortal flesh, forsaken by a traitor’s kiss.

And so it is. It is one thing to be attacked by an overt enemy, but it is even more devastating when the attack comes from someone you really thought was a friend. Someone who claimed to love you. This is the case in domestic abuse scenarios, right? The truth comes out from behind the curtain eventually and the shock hits. They were never your friend. Never. And they never loved you. Never. The friend you thought existed turns out to be a fiction. This is why the change can look like it takes place in an instant – from friend to enemy. But really, the friend was never there at all.

The tools of deception are like Judas’ kiss. They are instruments of apparent affection. Words of loyalty. Kindnesses. And yet, like that infamous kiss, they are daggers meant for evil. Designed to earn your trust so that the attack can strike more effectively.

If we are going to be wise about evil, then it is vital that we understand these things.

Psa 41:7-9 All who hate me whisper together about me; they imagine the worst for me. (8) They say, “A deadly thing is poured out on him; he will not rise again from where he lies.” (9) Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me.

As painful as it is to come to this realization, it is one of the first steps to freedom to realize that the person I thought was my friend never really existed. It was a fiction portrayed by deception. When we finally understand this, we return to reality and truth, and that is where real freedom is to be found.


Are you Flawed? Is it Your Fault?


This is a very Damaging Teaching that Abusers Love


  1. Carrie

    This is the painful truth. The covert abuse was always there. It always comes to light. After much pain and despair it does come to light.

  2. This is so clear and validating. I think every single person who reads this will nod their head in heartfelt agreement. Betrayal is virtually universal.

    • Be free

      Thank you for this posting (and the comments that others gave too), it was right smack on topic with some abuser-related matters that are still front and center in the post-divorce-from-the-abuser- fallout.

      I have thought several times of the repeated Judas kisses (I hadn’t called it that but you finally gave it the appropriate description and visual!!) that come from the abusers while around them, and then their allies when we are away from them.

      We cannot heal from abuse while accepting kisses from Judas – the abusers – the deceivers – and their supporters. This includes those who were half in and half out type friends and family (eg they looked the other way when the abuse is exposed, undermined your healing, compromised your safety, and/or didn’t want to be inconvenienced with the atrocious abuse so avoided acknowledging the situation for what it really was)…. Yes…. Judas’s playbook is alive and well even today.

      Your last paragraph was a powerful close “… one of the first steps to freedom is to realize……” Thank you for this reminder and such bold truth about freedom.

      • Jeff Crippen

        Yes, the half and halfs who support the abuser by thier fence-straddling cowardice. They remain silent when the evil is exposed, and then in private perhaps tell you how sorry they are for you. Judas supporters cannot be Christ followers.

  3. Wade

    As my wife and I have imperfectly helped our daughter navigate the horror that has been her life for 10 years, we have come to apprectiate more and more this ministry. She has been free, kind of, for 5 years now. When our daughter and I realized that he never ever loved her or her children, it was difficult to digest that truth. Many were telling her that the abuser had been “good” early in their marriage but was not doing well and is struggling…well the abuser was never “good”. The fraud of the “good times” was simply that…a fraud. The verse that has been shared here before John 8:44 speaks volumes. Has the devil every loved or cared for anyone but himself?…..Nope

  4. lg

    In Dante’s Inferno illustration of his depiction of the 9 layers of hell, Dante put treachery at the very lowest and worst level of punishment.

    In my younger years, I never understood why people would always talk about trust as such an important thing to have in a relationship. I always naively assumed that trust was just a given, something to take for granted, and that it would be so easily detected if it was not there.

    Until experienced my own personal kiss from a Judas. The betrayal, the slowly realizing everything was all a lie, even small seemingly insignificant things, is all so traumatic, I am not sure I will ever recover. The being so duped and deceived, while active plots against me were going on behind my back. It is very lonely to be around people who have never experienced such sociopathic and calculating betrayal and impossible to explain to anyone who hasn’t experienced the same. I feel sick and nauseous just thinking and writing about this.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Thank you. While people who have not been targeted can be given some slack for not understanding fully, no Christian can be excused for remaining ignorant of evil. We are to bear one another’s burdens. That is a command from the King.

  5. Debi

    These posts and your books and sermons are helping me so much on my healing journey. Thank you for continually pointing us to Truth. I’m so grateful for you and your ministry.

    • Jeff Crippen

      You’re welcome Debi. Thank you for your encouragement. So glad you are being helped.

  6. Susan

    It certainly IS a painful realization (that this person was NEVER your friend), but realizing it is absolutely the MOST important first step toward getting free and healing. Giving your abuser any kind of “pass” for “extenuating circumstances” is certain to backfire and keep you in confusion, misery and bondage.


Leave a Reply

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