Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in the Church

More Thoughts on the Danger of Victimhood

Heb 2:14-15 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, (15) and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.

1Jn 5:4 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

If you are a Christian, if you are born again through faith in Christ, then you are not destined to be a victim. You are an overcomer. You have been delivered from the ultimate abuser – the devil who held you in bondage until Christ set you free. Nothing the world can throw at you can overcome you – if you walk with Christ by faith.

Perpetual victimhood is a trap. Yes, domestic abusers victimize their targets. But that abuse does not define who you are in Christ. You are a child of God, a saint, an overcomer of the world, the flesh, and the devil. You are a citizen of heaven and that is where your real life is now. You are a new creation, indwelt and led by the Holy Spirit. You are not a victim in your essence.

Now, this cannot be emphasized too much. We must never fall into the trap of regarding ourselves as victims. When people do this, they adopt a mindset of defeat which soooo easily morphs into sin such as sinful anger, a sense of entitlement (everyone owes me), rejection of God’s promises, insisting that others walk carefully around you lest they set off some trigger in you…and on the list could go.

Being the victim of a crime is a terrible thing. And abuse is a crime in God’s sight and sometimes in the civil authorities’ sight. But if we choose to be perpetual victims in our being, we are not embracing by faith the great salvation and victory Christ has won for us. Worse, we will pass on that victimhood mentality to our children.

Does this mean we invent some fiction and deny all memory of what the wicked person has done to us? Does it mean that we should never talk to anyone about what happened to us? No. Absolutely it does not mean such things. But what the rejection of perpetual victimhood does is refuse to be identified by what some evil one has done. It is to take by faith that the Lord sees, the Lord knows, and one Day the Lord will distribute perfect justice:

2Ti 4:14 Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds.

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7 Comments

  1. Kathy

    AMEN!!!

    Too many victims/survivors of abuse continue to see themselves as victims and that hinders their healing and freedom. Once they embrace the fact that they are more than conquerors, as we are told in Romans 8:37-39, true healing and freedom can be received. The horrible abuse and trauma suffered by someone is what was done to them. IT IS NOT WHO THE ARE!! If someone is a born-again Christian, they are a son or daughter of the Most High God, not a victim, but more than a conqueror! That is their real identity in Jesus Christ.

    “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39

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  2. Daughter of the King

    Thank you, Jeff, for the work you do on this blog to point us to truth and to Jesus. Although I do not comment often, I read every one of your posts. I share them often. Please know that you are doing what God has called you to, even if at times it might seem lonely, or that it is not being received by many. Thank you for being a godly pastor and a man in the church my daughters and I can trust. We do not trust many.

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    • Thank you for the encouragement!! This ministry certainly brings much hatred our way.

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    • Jill

      I strongly agree with Daughter of the King. You do not deserve the hatred, and I am sure you will have a rich reward in heaven. Thank you for all your work and help for us.

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  3. Veronica Miyake

    Well said, pastor. Another reason to believe what the Lord says about us and not to have a victim mentality is that as women of domestic abuse, if we don’t get healed from the trauma caused by an abuser, we will end up marrying another guy who is abusive. I’ve seen it happen time and again. I love Galatians 5:1: “Christ has liberated us to be free. Stand firm then and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery.”

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  4. lg

    Wow – Just last week I was led to these similar verses!

    2 Corinthians 11:19 about what it means to tolerate fools: allowing someone to enslave you, exploit you, and take advantage of you

    Galatians 5:1 It is for freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore and do not submit again to the yolk of slavery

    Cor 3:17 Now the LORD is there spirit and where the spirit of the LORD is, there is freedom.

    God commands us to like a life of freedom just as he did with the Israelites after He rescued them from slavery and told them to take control of the land/the life He promised them (Deuteronomy 1 and Numbers 13). Because of their fear of the giants and the unknown they chose to remain in their victim mentality and so were never allowed to enter the land and cursed to wander for another 40 years, the rest of thier life

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  5. lg

    The victim mentality might also be seen as a “spirit of slavery” that comes from a place of fear (Romans 8:15) ?

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