When the Abuse Victim Becomes the Abuser’s Ally

Acts 5:1-2 But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, (2) and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

It is not my intent to teach that Sapphira was married to an abuser. I simply cite this scripture as an illustration of a wife taking the side of her husband in an evil matter. Both were held accountable.

Nor am I teaching here that a victim of domestic abuse who does not actively expose her abuser is going to be counted guilty by the Lord. We all know, I trust, that “just leaving” an abuser is no easy matter and sometimes, for a time, it is impossible.

But I do want to discuss here a subject that I have come across personally numerous times, namely, cases in which the wife of a domestic abuser actively defends the abuser and even participates in his abuse of their children and of other people. All of the cases I have dealt with have been in the local church and in which the abuser and spouse claimed to be Christians.

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Abuse Victims are Being Thrown to the Lions in Local Churches

1Co 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

This passage of Scripture is often misapplied to keep victims of domestic abusers in bondage. However, in this post I want to focus upon God’s promise of “the way of escape.” Obviously it is God’s will that when we are in a trial or test and we see a way of escape, we take it! After all, God Himself provides it!

Now, there are people who claim to be Christians who will tell you that it is always better (and in fact that God requires it) to remain in the trial. Even “unto death.” In other words, they promote martyrdom. Of course they are characterized by the ever-present double standard of the abuser. No way would they become a martyr, but you are required to be one.

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You CAN Trust Your Perceptions – Don’t Believe a Crazy-Maker

John 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

One of the common tactics of a domestic abuser is to lie. After all, he is of his father the devil who lies whenever he speaks. So it is the abuser’s nature to lie. And one of the ways abusers lie is to lie about the facts. About reality. To distort what happened. The goal? To convince the victim that her perceptions cannot be trusted. That she is crazy. A kind of fog is cast over the victim’s mind so that she wonders if what she saw or heard or smelled or felt was even real.

Now, still another way that the wicked use this gaslighting (as it is sometimes called) tactic is to twist and distort Scripture. For example, consider the following passage:

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