Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in the Church

Be SURE you read this post

Here is a link to a post I wrote over at Light for Dark Times (to be published Friday morning, 5-12-23). Want to see some biblical proof that divorcing an abuser is not only allowed by the Lord, it is His instruction?!


You need to see this great video by Dr. Les Carter


This Terrible Thing Called Pride


  1. lg

    I was reading Isaiah 58 and 59 today and it made me think of this post. In Isaiah 58 God outlines the difference b/t true and false fasting (which is similar to the command in Isaiah 1:17 and James 1:27). In Isaiah 58:6 God tells us that an aspect of true fasting is to “loose the bonds of wickedness (bonds = imprisonment, captivity), undo the straps of the yolk, let the oppressed go free and to break every yolk….” I realized that sometimes this might mean we have to do this ourselves (with God’s help and guidance), or without the help of man, for ourselves – to break free from the bonds and chains RASNs enslave us with.

    I did this this year and of course I immediately lost custody as a result, but can now be free from the abuse since he used our child as a tool to keep me enslaved to his abuse, drama, and need to create constant, on a weekly basis, “he said / she said” conflict where none existed, sucking the life out me. Our child is a teenager now, so I I am putting her in God’s hands. Yes, it is painful to watch from the sidelines, to be in the periphery and feel marginalized, and know the RASN is doing everything possible to alienate her from me, but I feel more and more convicted that detaching from the RASN in every way is the only way and it does not help our daughter to be engaged with the RASN — getting lost in the forest through the trees.

    Can Isaiah 58 be read: loose the bonds of wickedness, even if you have to do it yourself for yourself, in order that can then provide for others (have time, energy, freedom) show hospitality towards others, and then your “healing shall spring up speedily” (Isaiah 58:8)?

    Isaiah 58:9 “if you take away the yolk from your midst, the pointing of the finger (the mudslinging that invariably results from being constantly accused of doing what he does and trying to defend against it)…if you pour yourself out for the hungry (to others who are seeking God’s way)…you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water…your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt….you shall be called the repairer of the breach.” In other words, when you disengage from the mudslinging games demanded by the RASN, you will be reenergized, feel refreshed, be able to provide a sense of life and refreshment to others, be rebuilt, grow stronger through healing, and fix things that are broken, which you never had time or energy do to in when enslaved by the mudslinging RASN.

  2. Anne

    1st, I agree with Pastor Crippen, that women with children have a much greater burden to bear when divorcing an abuser. For example, the craziness that almost always ensues with dropping off to and picking up the children from the abuser. The numerous times he will attempt/succeed in dragging her to court with his constant lies in an attempt to drain what little funds she may have. The lies he drills in the childrens’ heads and gaslighting concerning their mother while they are alone with him; these monsters will allow the children to be hurt in any form or fashion to cause a mother great heartache. It still doesn’t mean she shouldn’t leave, but to prepare herself for these realities. To leave from a place of strength for example:

    Educate yourself on how abusers behave during a divorce and the ways they try to hide money.

    1.) Gather and copy financial information; make 2 sets of everything: ***TELL NO ONE YOU ARE DOING THIS, NOT EVEN THE CHILDREN, FAMILY, or FRIENDS*** –People slip up on accident or on purpose. You must protect yourself as much as possible.
    a.) Account Statements for Checking, Savings, 401Ks, IRAs, Life Insurance,
    Annuities, anything of income in nature:
    1a.) Bank Names and Addresses, Account & Routing numbers (found on the
    bottom of the checks), his Social Security number.
    b.) Copies of the past 5 years Tax Returns.
    c.) Copies of all bills & receipts incurred during any month/year as proof of
    expenses; you need this to prove to a Judge that you should receive X amount of
    money per month to meet your and your children’s needs.
    c1.) Mortgage or Rent payment, Repairs and Maintenance for dwelling,
    Real Estate Taxes, HOA Dues, Home Owners Insurance, Flood Insurance,
    Home Security, Food, Electricity/Gas, Water & Sewer, Cable/Internet,
    Landline phone, Cellphone, Gas for car, Car insurance, Car repairs and
    maintenance, Car Registration, Update Car License, Car Inspection,
    Clothing, Personal Care Items, Medical, Dental, Vision, Music Lessons,
    Sports participation.

    2.) Get physical rest as much as possible when he is not around. Also, better to eat small portions of healthy food, then to eat sweets and other junk food. Take a walk, get sunshine, drink plenty of water.

    3.) Know that any lawyer/attorney is *not* your friend.
    a.) They will allow you to use them like a counselor, because they are happy to
    charge you for every single minute you waste time recounting your heartaches
    and spilling tears. “Billable Hours” is what they call it and they do it to the
    minute. Write down ahead of time *exactly* what you want to ask them; don’t
    allow them to go down “rabbit holes”; insist they stick to what you asked them.
    Keep a clock in plain view and set a time limit for yourself, like, I will only use for
    15 minutes. As a matter of fact, state to them immediately upon speaking with
    them, I only have X amount of minutes–stick with it!

    b.) *Your* lawyer/attorney is evaluating your mental health with every
    interaction. They are trying to see if you are lying or unhinged. NEVER,
    EVER agree to them saying, “We can win, by just saying you are crazy or
    mentally ill.” You are NOT! As heartbreaking and exhausting it is to be
    involved with an abuser, promise yourself you will remain calm and in
    control of your words, expressions, your entire demeanor, at every turn as
    you will need to be that way in a courtroom as well. You don’t want the
    abuser having any “ammunition” to use against you.

    c.) NEVER tell an attorney how much money you can devote to your case; they
    they will spend it ALL. Find out what the retainer amount is (what they
    charge up front for taking your case and use to start filing the documents).
    Ask for a printout of all their charges.

    d.) NEVER give a lawyer/attorney your original documents. Make (2) copies and
    keep one for yourself; they often “lose” what you give them.

    It is not easy leaving an abuser for numerous reasons, but with God’s help, comfort, and guidance it CAN be done. All Glory to King Jesus!

    HAPPY MOTHERS DAY to ALL the AWESOME MOMS here and everywhere fighting the good fight! Your Heavenly Father has the victory for you!

    • Jeff Crippen

      Thank you for excellent practical advice!!

    • lg

      this is so true…lawyers are sharks. Even the “honest” ones. How do they sleep with themselves at night? They do not care about truth.

      Documenting everytihng with a RASN is a full time job, and even then it is not enough.

      I remember reading an Elizabeth Elliot reflection on a window with 7 kids in or around Andover, MA and the estate attorney who drained her of everything after her husband died. All she could do was “pick up her broom and start sweeping” to keep some semblance of order in her home after the financial devastation.

      I recently stared reading “The Military Guide to Disarming Deception: Battlefield Tactics to Expose the Enemy’s Lies and Triumph in Truth” by Col D. Giamona and realized while reading my ex, who had also served in the military, had been approached the divorce and custody battle as a “war” and literally employed every single wartime tactic listed – like following Sun Tzu’s Art of War, which I am sure he studied at the academy.

      He was/is literally on a whole other planet. The best way to disarm is to disengage (which also results in much less documentation) even if it means the heartache of losing custody. Instead of documenting every he said she said and gaslighting email, you can then use the extra time you are not fighting in court to pray for your child.

      A secular colleague also went through parental alienation and she assured me “they always come back.”

      Hold fast to God’s promises and spent your energy in pray, worship and praise (2 Chronicles 20 and Isaiah 58). Don’t get sucked into the RASN’s “war” tactics (Isaiah 59).

      • Anne

        I agree with disengaging from the abuser, because the more distance you can put between him and you in anyway the more clearly you can see what he has been doing all along. Be prepared for him to become more aggressive in his attacks as he will know he is losing control over you.

        It is important to have a record of the abuse he inflicts: verbal, physical, emotional, financial, etc… label entries with date, time, and place and then a detailed account of what was said and how it was said and/or what he did to you. Explain the realities of the abuse and how it makes you feel, ‘I’m terrified, I’m afraid for my life, I walk on eggshells every day, he keeps me sleep deprived, nothing I do is ever good enough, etc… Well documented, consistently kept accounts of abuse *are* regarded as evidence. The job is not to allow the abuser or anyone else to find your writings.

        There’s another plus to keeping a record; it solidifies in a victim’s mind that these things did indeed take place as we are all too familiar with abusers “re-writing” history: ‘I didn’t say that, I didn’t do that, you are too sensitive, why are you attacking me'(projection), etc…

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