19 Oct

By Terry Loving

Many abused persons pray in vain for their church leadership to speak out about domestic violence. Unfortunately, most ministers avoid the subject, and those who do – briefly – touch on it,  most times give wrong advice to the abused. I have yet to sit on a pew and breathe in a sermon concerning violence in the home – especially Christian homes. The one time I did hear a minister mention this evil, he quickly moved on to other business. He stated in anger, “A 200 pound man beating on a 100 pound woman is shameful – it ought not be.” And that was the end of it.


 I came across a web site that has several “audio” sermons about domestic abuse. I found twenty-one sermons concerning this topic that you may be interested in. I will list the titles and descriptions and let them speak for themselves. As I discover more helpful sermons video or audio – I will post them. Please note: I am not personally endorsing any particular minister or institution. However, truth and helpful information is what I research.


Sin of Abuse Exposed by the Light of Christ

 The nature of sin and in particular the deceptiveness of sin operates behind the scenes, in the darkness, undetected – just as the Bible warns us. How often have we read a news report of some person who just “went off” and committed some horrendous crime? Everything appears well in this family in a typical family in a typical suburban neighborhood. Then the father kills his whole family and then himself. Or he robs a bank, etc. People are shocked – they have been deceived. This man’s life has been a masquerade.


Worship Me, or Else – The Abuser’s Command

 The abusive, controlling, power-craving person does not walk with humility. He is NOT characterized by gentleness or patience or forebearance, nor does he seek the unity of the Spirit.


More Weapons in the Abuser’s Arsenal

 One aspect of sin is that it feeds on power and control. When things are going “well” in a relationship, the abuser’s control and power are really not very evident. There even appears to be a pleasant, co-equal relationship, and the abuser hates this. He then launches his surprise attack, at least in part to remind his victim and himself that HE is in control. Sin in its very nature is malevolent.


Bow Down – The Abuser’s Command

 An abuser almost never does anything that he himself considers morally unacceptable. He may hide what he does because he thinks other people would disagree with it, but he feels justified inside.


The Deception of the Abuser

The road we are on is evidenced by the fruit of our lives. Similarly, REAL REPENTANCE is evidenced by a radical change in the fruit our lives are producing because it necessarily and inevitably entails a change in our way!


The Abuser Wants You to Make Much of Him

 The false teacher, the abusive man, hates the freedom we have in Christ. He introduces his own “gospel,” therefore, to shut us out from that freedom so that we can then be made his slaves. He becomes, you might say, our “priest” through whom we must go and whose dictates we must obey if we are to get set right with God.


The Abuser and Satan’s Devices

Sin is darkness. Evil craves and thrives upon secrecy and hiddeness. The wicked man exerts great energy and elaborate devices to make sure most people only see his mask.


Domestic Violence Awareness Embroidered Patch
(click on patch to see more)

The Deeds of the Flesh Evidenced in the Abuser

 Let’s illustrate the relationship sins from what we have learned so far about the abusive man – thereby helping us to see more clearly what these deeds of the flesh are that are opposed to the Spirit.


The Abuser as a Servant of Righteousness

 “There is something in us, something in our sinful flesh, that is drawn to the powerful, to the controlling, to the abusing man. Deceived as to his true nature by his disguise, we seem to view him as someone to follow, someone who knows better than us what is good for us, someone who can even tell us what we are thinking and what our motives are.”


                                                             The Abuser Provokes His Children to Wrath        

 Every father here no doubt must confess that far too many times we have been guilty of this very thing in regard to our children. Rather than instructing them and discipling them as the Lord instructs and disciplines us, we have exasperated and frustrated them to anger so that they despair of even trying to do right.


 The Abuser Provokes His Children to Wrath – Pt 2

 Fathers do not provoke your children to anger. What are some things required in order to be a good parent to a child? What is this raising up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord? It is, of course, loving Christ ourselves and modeling that love of Christ to our children.


 No Abuser is Hidden From His Sight

God sees us and knows us better than we know ourselves. NOTHING is hidden from Him. He knows the motives behind all that we do and say and He knows the heart of the abuser as well.


Sinfulness of Sin Denied by the Abuser

 Sinner minimize their sin. They minimize the sinfulness of sin. They minimize the effects of sin. They minimize their own responsibility and culpability for their sin and the abuser blames it on others.


Dealing With the Abuser

 Sanballat is a very good picture of the abusive, controlling, entitled man. You see his mindset. You see his tactics. Deception. Fear. Mockery. Slander of the victim to cause others to think the victim is the real problem.


 Dealing With the Abuser – Part 2

 Every real Christian whose heart is set on following Christ faithfully IS going to meet the abuser – the Sanballats and the Tobiahs. Satan is there and he sends his emissaries…


Dealing With the Abuser – First Deal With Yourself

 Before you can properly deal with your abuser’s sin, you must examine yourself. You must ask yourself such things as, ‘Why did I choose an abusive spouse/partner?’ ‘Why have I been putting up with his abuse?’ ‘How have I been enabling him in his abuse?’


 Dealing With the Abuser – He is a Trespasser

 Just as locks and doors and property lines, proper manners and security clearances are all concerned with setting boundaries and providing proper means of granting selected people permission to cross those boundaries. Our lives are filled with boundaries against which we must not trespass. Boundaries are GOOD and necessary in a fallen world.


The Abuser as Jezebel – 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 clearly an abusive, power-hungry, controlling woman 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.


 Abuse and the Doctrine of Headship and Submission

 Headship, as we will see in our examination of 1 Peter 3 and Ephesians 5, is not something that means a wife is bound to obey her husband’s every whim. The husband is to lead his wife “in the Lord,” and this does not mean that a wife is obligated to take abusive behavior as her lot.


 Abuse and the Doctrine of Headship & Submission Pt 2

 In this study of themethods, mentality, deceptions and damage of the abusive man, certain elements of the Danvers Statement jump out at us. Headship and submission in marriage NEVER commands a person to “follow a human authority into sin.”


 Abuse and Doctrine of Headship & Submission – Pt 3

 We have come to the last message in this series on Abuse and Domestic Violence which we have also called The Psychology of Sin, because in studying the mindset of the abusive person, we find ourselves gaining real insight into the very nature of sin.


I applaud Pastor Jeff Crippen

Let us pray for more strong servants of our Lord to speak out about domestic abuse.

UPDATE: 10/29/11 – I have listened to several of Pastor Jeff Crippen’s sermons on abuse, and I highly recommend his teaching on this topic. I plan to listen to all of the sermons in this series. Finally! A preacher gets it.

Pastor Crippen’s blog




Pastor Crippen and Anna Wood – THANK YOU!

A Cry for Justice: How the Evil of Domestic Abuse Hides in Your Church


Domestic violence sermon: Be safe and well. Peace. Joy. Courage.

“Welcome to America the brutal.”


DOMESTIC VIOLENCE – Taking On The Dark Side (Dominic Smart)



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© Spiritual Side of Domestic Violence Org., 2009
All rights reserved.


Posted by on October 19, 2011 in Preaching The Pure Word Of God!


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  1. Joan

    January 28, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    Dear Terry,

    The Lord is using both your blog and website to help heal the wounds of a recently ended abusive relationship. I was listening to Moody Radio and heard Pastor Tony Evans delivering a sermon series on Biblical Manhood. He specifically mentions abuse as being a church problem and what a travesty it is to be kept private.

    Please keep doing what you are doing. Your words reassure me that I am not crazy.

    • ssofdv

      January 28, 2012 at 10:40 pm

      Hello my sister,

      You are not “crazy” I assure you. One of the components of domestic violence is “crazy making,” and you will feel that you are losing your mind at times. This is a tool of the devil, and it can be very effective if we allow it to be so. Combat these fiery darts with the Word of God, and in time you will experience “the peace that passes all understanding.”

      Your “wounds” are fresh, and as you go through your transition you will have many doubts. This is the time to lean on God even more than before. Satan is constantly tugging at our souls, but we have our spiritual weapons to help us endure. Whatever you do, please don’t look back! If you need a shoulder to lean on, I am here for you. You may contact me via my blog or web site at any time.

      And yes, the church can do more to assist the abused, but there is only silence. Indeed, Pastor Evans is correct, this is a “church problem” – a spiritual problem – a sin problem. The church can do more to help abusers as well, again – silence. But rest assured, there is a small army that cares, and I am a member of that force that cares.

      Stay strong, and keep looking forward. Remember, you are not to blame. May the peace of God be yours in abundance.

      P.S. Here is a link that may be helpful.


      You will also understand more about “crazy making” when you read this information.
      Psychological torture that can lead to nervous breakdowns, insecurity and memory problems.


      • Joan

        January 29, 2012 at 10:26 pm

        Dear Terry,

        Thank you for your reply and for the link on gaslighting. I think the hardest part for me is wondering if I could have done anything differently and not raking myself over coals for not leaving sooner – we were together about a year but I saw red flags about a month into our relationship. I don’t know how not to blame myself for the pain, since I should have left earlier and/or I know I’m not the perfect mate. I feel I need to ask for God’s forgiveness, but I’m not exactly sure what sin(s) I have committed. I know all I have to do is ask for God’s forgiveness and move forward and I will have his forgiveness, but how do I forgive myself?

      • ssofdv

        January 30, 2012 at 1:47 pm

        Dear Joan,

        You are welcome. It is my hope that the following response will help you.

        “Thank you for your reply and for the link on gaslighting. I think the hardest part for me is wondering if I could have done anything differently and not raking myself over coals for not leaving sooner…”

        You are not alone in thinking what you are thinking and feeling. Many abused persons question themselves after the fact, and blame themselves for putting up with abuse, and not leaving “sooner.” Wondering if you “could have done anything differently” is for future reference. Because we cannot go back and change the past, beating ourselves up only brings on depression and keeps us from moving forward. You can come up with a laundry list of things that you could have “done differently,” but, will that change anything? Will you be the better for it now? Will it take away your hurt? – Shame? – Self-loathing? No. You left when it was safe for you to leave. You left when you were mentally and emotionally strong enough to leave. If you have not gone back to your abuser, then you left at the right time – when you were strong enough never to return.

        “We were together about a year but I saw red flags about a month into our relationship.”

        You are not the only person to admit this, and you will not be the last. Women in particular are “built” to believe that we can change our men. Where this notion began, I cannot say. Perhaps it is because we are the glue in the relationship, and at times to a fault. Somehow we tend to think that it is the “other woman” that brought out the beast in him, and with us, it will be different. On the other hand, the “bad boy” persona is appealing, for often it reflects a “strong” man – but masks a really brutish soul that will make our lives miserable. Also, we tend to dismiss “red flags” when they are not directed at us, as yet. Too often we only see ourselves, being nice persons, and tend to think that others will see our worth and treat us well. We need to look outside of ourselves more, really get to know the other person – but we don’t.

        “I don’t know how not to blame myself for the pain, since I should have left earlier and/or I know I’m not the perfect mate.”

        There is no such thing as a “perfect mate.” We may strive to be one, and look for that in others but it never happens. We are flesh and blood humans that are prone to making mistakes. How do you stop blaming yourself for the pain? Stop listening to the devil telling you that you deserved it! For every negative thought that he plants in your mind, find a positive in the Bible to combat it. Here is an example of how to personalize scriptures:

        New American Standard Bible (©1995)

        “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.

        “Peace I leave with you Joan; My peace I give to you Joan; not as the world gives do I give to you, Joan. Do not let your heart be troubled Joan, nor let it be fearful.”

        Meditate on the Word of God. Claim scriptures that apply to your healing as your own. Call the devil a liar out loud – SHUT UP DEVIL – YOU ARE A LIAR! “It is written …..” Isn’t this what Jesus did to cause the devil to flee? Find a nice quiet place and meditate on scripture verses that speak healing and comfort to your soul. The inner dialog is not of God when it condemns. You are physically free from abuse, but Satan does not want you to be free in other ways. You have to fight for your mind.

        I feel I need to ask for God’s forgiveness, but I’m not exactly sure what sin(s) I have committed.

        I have asked God to forgive me for past sins that I forgot about, and acts I failed to recognize as sins. And our God is faithful and just to forgive us. Satan desires us to live in condemnation, not God. When you ask, He will forgive.

        I know all I have to do is ask for God’s forgiveness and move forward and I will have his forgiveness, but how do I forgive myself?

        First, understand that if you are condemning yourself after God has forgiven you, you are condemning an innocent person. You forgive yourself by accepting the fact that you conducted your life by what means of information, training, upbringing, and the like that guided you along the way. Once we know better, we do better – at least those who have hearts that are teachable. Look in the mirror every day, look into your eyes and tell the person you see looking back at you that “You are forgiven.” Make it more personal, “Joan, God has forgiven you, and I forgive you too.”

        The best way to get past your emotional hurdles is to ease the pain of another. Ask God to show you how you can best serve in His Kingdom with what you have experienced. We learn from our mistakes when we acknowledge them, but not when we get stuck in the past. We will most likely not forget all that we are ashamed of, but we can move on, survive, and live productive lives in spite of. And remember this, there is no need to feel inferior around others, they too have their share of mistakes to atone for. As the saying goes, “Let go – Let God.”

        I hope this helps in some way. I am here.

        1 John 5:14 “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”


  2. Joan

    February 2, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    Dear Terry,

    I cannot express enough appreciation for you not only taking the time to share what you do on your blog but also writing me back personally. This act in and of itself is as helpful as the wisdom with which you write.

    I am still abuser free 🙂 Honestly, regarding the red flags I saw – they were already turning toward me. I can’t say that I thought I could change him, but I did want to think that perhaps it was a blip on the radar as opposed to a deeply ingrained characteristic of his. However – I know that pride played a large part in not wanting to let go. I come from a home full of love, am Christian, and well-educated. How could I pick such a loser? Let’s not admit errors were made and see how it works out. I truly think pride keeps a LOT of people – otherwise intelligent people – in unhealthy relationships.

    As I continue to heal, I will seek ways to help others. I cling to Romans 8:28 – God will use this experience for good in my life. I’ve been called according to His purpose.

    Keep being awesome Terry 🙂

    • ssofdv

      February 4, 2012 at 10:37 am

      Thank you very much for your kind words Joan – they have warmly touched my heart today. I am happy to have been chosen by God for such a task. Although it gets heavy sometimes, I love what I do for others – especially when I receive feedback such as yours which makes me very happy. The wisdom – Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

      I am delighted to hear that you are “abuse free.” Allow the “red flags” of the past to help you in the future – embrace them as they guide you. As far as picking a “loser,” they are excellent masters of disguise – “angels of light” masquerading as persons who are good at heart. No one is exempt from being fooled. They practice their evil craft of deception so well that abuse happens to the best of us.

      We must renew our minds with programing that counteracts their intentions when we become aware of them, and attempt not to change who and what they really are. Just run, far and fast!
      Yes, God will use your experience to help others. Who is better equipped than someone who has walked in the shoes of the abused.

      May God continue to bless you with wisdom and strength.

  3. Barbara Roberts

    February 19, 2012 at 12:30 am

    Those wanting more material from Jeff Crippen can go to the blog that he does with Anna Wood. It’s called A Cry for Justice.

    There are also many resources on my site including my book that demonstrates how the Bible permits divorce for domestic abuse. I also blog and have a fb page too, which is where you will find my most up to date stuff.

    Barbara Roberts

    • ssofdv

      March 20, 2012 at 7:59 pm

      Hello Barbara, and thank you! I look forward to reading your book.



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