Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in the Church

Tag: wife as abuser

Abuse and the Jezebel – Women as Abusers – sermon by Ps Jeff Crippen

The Abuser as Jezebel – Women as Abusers
Sermon 18 from the series:  The Psychology and Methods of Sin
A 21 sermon series on domestic violence and abuse
First given on November 21, 2010
Sermon Text: 1 Kings 21

NOTE: Eight years have passed now since I delivered this sermon series on domestic abusers hiding in the church. As is true with us all, I have learned much more about this subject since 2010 and so, as is the case with this sermon, I often need to “tweak” a sentence or two when we publish here. In this case I found that I used the phrase “we are all sinners” but neglected to make it clear that my meaning was “we are all sinners when we are born into this world.” It is a gross error to claim, as is so common today, that those who are genuinely in Christ are “all sinners.” Try to find that teaching in the Bible. You won’t.
Also, let me say that as I re-read this sermon I was uncomfortable in regard to this subject. Why? Because the vast majority of abuse victims I know and communicate with are women. Christian women. I don’t enjoy speaking about women as abusers because I do not want to give any ammunition to those who want to “blame the woman” for the abuse they receive – after all, they “pushed his buttons” you know. However, Jezebel was a real person. And her progeny still exist as enemies of Christ and Christ’s people. So deal with the subject we must.
This morning we want to at least begin a consideration of women as abusers.  All through this series we have reminded ourselves that though we use “he” as the pronoun for the abuser (since in the great majority of cases the abuser is the man in the marriage), nevertheless women are sinners as well and women can be abusers.  If you have lived on this earth very long at all, you have no doubt met some.  Jezebel was a woman, and Jezebel was clearly an abusive, power-hungry, control-seeking abuser who had a profound sense of entitlement and justification to use whatever means necessary to obtain the power and control she believed she was entitled to. Jezebel and her daughters are still with us today. We see that she turned up again in the New Testament church –

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.