Beware of the Popular Domestic Abuse “Advocates” Who insist they can Fix Abusers

1Co 5:11-13 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler–not even to eat with such a one. (12) For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? (13) God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”

One of the reasons I am not very popular with the “bigger” names in the domestic abuse ministry realm is because I maintain that we are not to waste our time and energy with programs and “ministries” designed to “fix” abusers. In fact, I maintain that abusers as we have defined them here in this blog do not change. They do not repent. And, in fact, they play us for fools when we try to “save” them.

And yet this is not the message most professing Christians want to hear. They like a “they all lived happily ever after” ending to the story. That is why things like this gain popularity for their practitioners:

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Abuse and Pre-Marriage Counseling: We Must Change Our Approach

There are scores of books written and designed to be used to counsel engaged couples, purporting to make them better prepared for marriage.  Many pastors insist on pre-marriage counseling before they will agree to perform a wedding.  I am sure that their intent is good, but frankly, I have never enjoyed nor felt any degree of excitement about this kind of counseling.  I have done it out of “duty.”  It is expected.  People think that we need to pull out all the stops and do everything we can to turn a shaky takeoff into a solid flight.

But it isn’t working, and I think we know it.

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Solomon, Two women, and Counseling

Most of you know that counseling married couples together in an abuse situation is a serious error. It just is not to be done. The wicked one will simply lie, wear a mask, and afterwards use the session to further attack his victim.

As I was thinking about this recently, I had some further thoughts about counseling in general – especially when the counselee is a wicked deceiver. And this thought came into my mind: How is a counselor able to counsel? The truth is, most counselors are not able to counsel. Why? Because they lack wisdom and they lack the truth. Think about it. Where does the counselor get his/her “data”? New client walks in, sits down, and the counselor asks “So, Bob, what is the problem?” (Thinking of “What About Bob” here).

Where is the counselor going to get the information? From Bob! It is Bob who tells the story. Bob who provides the data. “Everyone is against me. My wife just sets me up for failure. And now the pastor is telling me I need to get counseling. That’s why I’m here. I really want to save my marriage because I know that is what God wants.”

Think about it. Counseling is actually an impossible task unless the counselor knows the truth. Without the truth, a counselor who wades in where angels have the sense to fear to tread, is going to be like a medical doctor diagnosing and prescribing without really knowing what the problem is. And that is a disaster. Much “counseling” is a disaster – particularly so-called “biblical counseling.”

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