Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in the Church

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We Become Like the Master we Choose

Psalm 115:4-9 Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands. (5) They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see. (6) They have ears, but do not hear; noses, but do not smell. (7) They have hands, but do not feel; feet, but do not walk; and they do not make a sound in their throat. (8) Those who make them become like them; so do all who trust in them. (9) O Israel, trust in the LORD! He is their help and their shield.

Here is a very important theme the Bible teaches numbers of times. We become like the master we choose. Those who make mute, blind, deaf gods will progressively become mute, blind, and deaf themselves. I suppose this is another way of saying idolaters are becoming lifeless just like the chunk of wood or metal they carved into a god.

Now, I want to be very clear that in this article I am NOT talking about domestic abuse victims who want to be free but simply cannot do so immediately. There children, finances, dangers and so on that have to be considered. And in so many cases the victim is on her own, having been rejected even by her “church.” I understand completely.

But here I want to talk about a kind of person who is a target of abuse, but who knowingly and willfully chooses to yield to their abuser, to in a way “ally” with him and to remain with him even though the victim has a plain avenue of escape. I have known enough of these people to know that they do exist.

Now, when we willingly choose a master, Scripture tells us that we will increasingly become like that master. When we make the right choice and choose Christ and follow Him, we are on the road to becoming like Christ. This is called sanctification. We will have ears to hear His Word (His sheep know His voice). We will have eyes to see things as they really are. We will be able to speak His truth and recognize the enemy’s lies. His life flows more and more into and through us.

On the other hand, if we choose an evil master…. You can complete the sentence. Our ability to see and hear and speak truth will grow weaker and weaker and weaker until one day it is no more.

Isa 44:15-20 Then it becomes fuel for a man. He takes a part of it and warms himself; he kindles a fire and bakes bread. Also he makes a god and worships it; he makes it an idol and falls down before it. (16) Half of it he burns in the fire. Over the half he eats meat; he roasts it and is satisfied. Also he warms himself and says, “Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire!” (17) And the rest of it he makes into a god, his idol, and falls down to it and worships it. He prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for you are my god!” (18) They know not, nor do they discern, for he has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see, and their hearts, so that they cannot understand. (19) No one considers, nor is there knowledge or discernment to say, “Half of it I burned in the fire; I also baked bread on its coals; I roasted meat and have eaten. And shall I make the rest of it an abomination? Shall I fall down before a block of wood?” (20) He feeds on ashes; a deluded heart has led him astray, and he cannot deliver himself or say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?”

Choosing to yield to and remain with an abuser or some other evil person rather than to obey the Lord and “come out from among them,” is to choose another god. This is why, for instance, Jesus said more than once that if we love even father or mother more than Him, if He calls us to follow Him but we delay and run back to the wicked “just for now,” then we cannot be His disciple. That means, we cannot be saved. It is a looking back to Sodom – remember Lot’s wife.

I have seen victims of abuse watch their children being abused by a wicked spouse. In so many of your cases, as you have told me, that was the defining moment. They realized that they cannot permit this any longer. Their love for their children drove them to leave. But the kind of person I am speaking of here sees the thing happening – even to the children – and yet remains with the wicked one even when the door is open for them to make an exit. I suppose they have swallowed the kool-aid of false teaching – “well, you know it’s always better for the children to have two parents.” Or something like that. But for whatever reason, they stay. And the kids, who have no choice, are stuck there too.

It is never, ever better to choose your abuser as your master.

Mat 6:24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

I have wondered about some of the abuse victims I have known who have shut down. You cannot ever really know what is going on with them because they won’t talk. They will even defend their abuser and refuse to hear truth. We all were at a similar point early on I am sure, but as the Lord shone more and more of the light of His truth in us, our spiritual hearing and sight switched on and pow! There it was. Once we were blind but now we see. But in these type of people I am thinking about here, that light switch seems to have been shut off for good. And like their abuser, they will hate the light.

Do not go down that path. Do not give in and and choose your abuser as your master. It is a path that will lead to nothing good, a road that leads into ever increasing darkness and ends in the death of your soul. We become like the master we choose.

The Abuser is a User: an Ab – User

Galatians 4:17 ESV  They make much of you, but for no good purpose. They want to shut you out, that you may make much of them.

This morning I was thinking about how, over the years, wicked people have used me. And the thought struck me that “abuser” is a very descriptive word in this regard. Abusers are users. To ab-use is to use someone or something for an abnormal, deviate, twisted and improper purpose.  The prefix “ab” means “off” or “differing from.” Ab-normal then means “off normal. Differing from that which is normal.”
To ab-use then means to use someone or something in an “off” manner as opposed to using for a proper purpose. The wicked use their targeted victims for reasons that are “off” what is a right and healthy use. Let me describe my experience in this business for the purpose of helping you see how it has come at you in your life.

We are Children of the Promise – Take Heart

We will stand as children of the promise
We will fix our eyes on Him our soul’s reward
Till the race is finished and the work is done
We’ll walk by faith and not by sight [Keith and Kristyn Getty, Stuart Townend, By Faith]

Do you know about the Promise? If you don’t, you really need to. It is at the center of the gospel and of our salvation in Christ. Let’s start here:

Exodus 19:5-6 ESV  Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine;  (6)  and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.”

You were probably taught in church that this was and is a promise for the Jews in some future day when Christ returns. But that explanation is far too small. God’s plan and purpose is bigger. MUCH bigger. Besides, we know that Israel, by sin, failed to be this kingdom of priests and this holy nation. But check this out:

Revelation 1:4-6 ESV  John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne,  (5)  and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood  (6)  and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

See it? The “you shall be” spoken to the Israelites has become “has made us…a kingdom, priests to his God and Father.” Who? Us! The true church. All people from all nations who have been born again in Christ. It is a finished deal. (Christian,  you are a king and priest serving the King of kings and the Most High Priest – live like it!)
Now, what of the Promise? The Promise is the promise God made to Abraham –

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