You and Your Church Can Fight Against Domestic Violence

Church Stop Domestic Violence - AdobeStock_70012758 copy“Do SOMETHING to help me!!!” That is an outcry of many that are wounded because of the domestic violence they are suffering from within their homes. They reach out for help, and no one is there to give a supportive and empowering hand.

The whole issue of domestic violence and abuse is something that needs to be addressed. This is particularly true within the Christian body. It just isn’t being dealt with as openly as it should be. I believe that’s one reason why so many victims are crying alone within their homes and aren’t seeking the help they need. This is a darkness that needs to be exposed to the Light.

Part of the reason I know this is because it’s so difficult to find articles and Christian literature on this subject. Because of the work within Marriage Missions, we are continually looking for resources to help those who reach out to us. And in my search, I’ve found very little.

Ignoring God’s Leading

I know that in Christ, God is transforming us into His image. But I also know that many people ignore the Lord’s leading, counsel and empowerment. They end up instead doing what they want to do despite the power available to them to do otherwise. Tragically, abuse is not absent from the church. It SHOULD be, but it is not. People gravitate to sin and embrace it, rather than embracing the good that God has for us instead.

So, on this subject of domestic violence I have come across some articles that may be able to help you and your church fight AGAINST domestic violence instead of turning a deaf ear or a blind eye to it. If you are already doing something, maybe this article will help you all the more.

First:

I recommend that you click into the following Hidden Hurt.co.uk article to learn what the Bible says about abuse and violence in the home. It also goes into what it calls the church to do about it as well. Please read:

THE BIBLE ON ABUSE AND VIOLENCE

In my studies on this subject, I came upon a blog that deals with the subject of abuse against women. But it needs to be said that many men also suffer from abuse. It’s just not looked at in the same way, which is wrong. Abuse is abuse, whether it’s a man slapping a woman or a woman slapping a man.

But this particular blog addresses women (although many of these principles can be applied to a man’s abusive situation). Below I will supply a link so you can read it in its entirety. But before I do, there are a few parts of this blog that I’d like to point out because I think they are especially noteworthy. April Gilford gives the following insight:

“I understand Christian marriage to be a covenant whereby two people affirm before God their commitment to love, to respect, and to cherish one another in all of life’s circumstances. With God’s help, the couple promises to love another just as God loves us. Domestic violence is a violation of this covenant. It should not be tolerated in a Christian marriage. It is the role of the church to provide a safe and loving environment for the victim of the abuse. There should be help the abuser to see the wrong in his/her actions and to seek repentance and help for what he/she has done.”

Silent Too Long

I believe for too long, the church has closed its eyes or looked the other way concerning domestic violence. This takes away the “safe and loving environment” that should be contained within the covenant of marriage.

It reminds me of the parable Jesus taught of the Good Samaritan (in Luke 10). Even the religious leader, who should have known better and shown the most mercy, ignored the person needing help. Jesus pointed out that the Samaritan who stopped was more of a “neighbor” who was doing good than anyone else. This would include the religious leader. He said to the person (and all of us), “Go and do likewise” in referring to giving help to others who need it.

As a church, we simply can’t keep looking the other way because we don’t know what to do with the situation of violence in the home. We may not know NOW what to do, but we need to make it our business to find out. We also need to pro-actively minister to those who need help. Marriage is a sacred commitment of love and faith and mutual caring for one another. And when one partner is violating another in such horrendous ways, we as a body of Believers, need to help in whatever way we can, to cause the violence to stop.

To help in this mission:

Please read the following articles posted on the Crosswalk.com web site. I believe it will help your church to reach out to those who are suffering in abusive situations. I also hope that your church will talk about this issue from the pulpit. It’s important that what is being done in darkness, will be exposed to the Light. That way it can be properly dealt with.

The first article deals with Pastors and reasons why they and their church members often shut their eyes to violence in the home. It doesn’t justify this. It just gives a fuller perspective on reasons WHY this could be happening.

Please click onto the following article written by John Shore to read:

WHY PASTORS STRUGGLE WITH CONFRONTING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

And then:

Please read the following Crosswalk.com articles. They could help you if your pastor and/or church members want to get involved in dealing with violence in the home:

• HOW CHURCHES CAN HELP VICTIMS OF ABUSE

WHAT CHURCHES CAN DO TO ADDRESS DOMESTIC ABUSE

The following article posted on the Eagles Wings Global Ministry web site can help inform you as well:

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND THE CHURCH

Another article to read is written by Tiffany Sanders. She points out that although a woman Biblically is to submit to her husband, Peter and the Apostles pointed out in Acts 5:29 how there exceptions to following man’s ways if they violate the greater picture of God’s will. It says “We must obey God rather than men!”

Tiffany writes something that many people look past when it comes to domestic violence:

“A woman must not, then, risk her life or serious injury in submission to her husband. It violates a higher duty to protect human life and welfare. It also cooperates in her husband’s sin. Many ministers, in fact, agree up to this point. Many agree that a woman must flee to protect herself, but must “return and submit” when the danger has passed.”

Tiffany goes on to point something out that we really need to note if we are going to help the victim remain as “safe” as possible. She writes:

“When, Exactly, Has the Danger ‘Passed’?

This ignores a fundamental reality of domestic violence: the danger does not pass. A woman who calls the police for help in a moment of crisis can usually expect to pay for that call when she returns home. It could be an hour, a day, or a week later. The dynamic of an abusive relationship is one in which there is never a moment of safety. Even the most careful, most observant, most vigilant of victims can be blindsided at any moment.

Something she does inadvertently might be the trigger. Something that happened outside and she doesn’t know about might be the trigger. Also, something her husband imagined might be the trigger. The moment when it’s ‘safe’ to ‘return and submit’, if it comes at all, comes after long hard work with a minister or counselor or anger management program.

“It’s clear that a woman has not only a right but an obligation to protect herself from physical harm, and that protecting herself requires more than simply getting out of the house for an hour to let her husband cool down.”

Different Approaches

The point I want you to understand here is that domestic violence does not have a “one size fits all” solution. Sometimes leaving is the best way to protect oneself from further violence. But other times it will just increase the resolve of the abuser to find and hurt them even more. Sometimes, getting through the situation so the victim can come up with a plan for the future is a better way. It’s a very difficult thing in which to be involved.

Please don’t counsel abuse victims to do things one way that makes immediate sense to you. Be prayerful and careful in your advice, giving them many options that they can use and then helping her or him to discern which would work best for the dynamics of their situation.

The important thing is to realize that abuse must be stopped. No one deserves abuse. And if God wants to use us in some way to help in stopping the violence, then we must have our ears and eyes and minds open to His leading.

More to Read

In the blogging article I refer to, Tiffany then goes beyond this to explain more about abuse against wives, which you really should read. You may or may not agree with all she says. And some of you may even judge what she says because of some doctrinal stands she makes for her religion which you may not hold.

But let’s not miss the forest for the trees. While you may agree whole-heartedly, or disagree on certain points for whatever reason, the bigger picture is that domestic violence outside of the church and within the church needs to be addressed. People are dying here. They’re dying physically and also spiritually because as we turn a deaf ear and/or we look the other way, the compassion that is to be so evident within us as Followers of Christ, is no longer being seen.

God wants to work in us and through us to help others to know Him better. He wants to use us to poke holes in the darkness that surrounds peoples lives. And this is one of those areas of darkness that I believe He wants to use us. This is so that sin is exposed to His light for cleansing and healing.

Do Something

Each one of us may not be able to do a lot to address this issue to help those who are being violated by domestic abuse. But if each one of us does something —it can be like a mighty rushing water. Each drop combined with others contributes something to moving this terrible situation into one in which God’s mercy can wash away the debris. It can then be better seen and dealt with, within the church body.

To help in this cause, we are going to give links to articles we hope you will prayerfully and carefully read —both for your own education, but also to see if while you are praying, you can visualize how God can use you to help fight AGAINST domestic violence. We pray this will make a difference.

The following articles can be found on the Crosswalk.com web site that may be enlightening to read:

Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International wrote this article.

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Filed under: Abuse in Marriage

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Comments

29 responses to “You and Your Church Can Fight Against Domestic Violence

  1. (SOUTH AFRICA) I’ve been to 3 churches with ‘my problem’, not one of them helped us through it. I am now going to one more church and I pray that someone will help!!

    Just as the article says “When, exactly, has the danger ‘passed’”? For 10 years I’ve thought that the danger had passed only to realize time and time again it hasn’t. I even moved out of the house but after a few months he moved in with me and said that he has changed and agreed to counselling. He says he made a commitment before God for better or for worse. The counselling eventually phased out and two months later the abuse has started again.

    I continuously live thinking, what is going to happen if this argument gets out of hand? What will he do next?? Will he hit me??Will he break/smash something?? I’m dying inside…and my children are scared as hell!! -An abused Christian woman

    1. (AUSTRALIA)  Sue, I don’t know what your situation is now, but I hope and pray that God has intervened and helped you – vain is the help of man. What you describe is all too common, but I have never seen God abandon someone in your position who reaches out to Him. “The Lord gives righteousness and justice to all who are treated unfairly.” Ps 103:6

      Karen McAndless-Davis, who counsels women (whenlovehurts.ca), says that almost all the women she counsels are in your position: they have only one or two friends who understand and no pastors who do. She is one of the fortunate ones whose husband was an abuser who transformed and now runs programs for men in his church where he pastors.

      This article may give some insight into why it is so hard to get help from churches: http://johnshore.com/2011/05/05/pastors-and-domestic-violence-six-degrees-of-separation/

  2. (USA)  My heart goes out to women in abusive marriages, especially because I was once one of those women. Many Christian women feel bound by their beliefs, their church, and their faith to remain in abusive marriages. I was such a woman. I divorced my husband, who was an associate pastor in our church, due to domestic violence. We separated several times, prior to the divorce, due to domestic violence.

    Each time, I sought counsel from the church to resolve the issues. Finally, when it became too much for me to bear and to continue to allow my two-year old daughter to witness, I decided to file for divorce. This, of course, left me feeling displaced, awkward, and ostracized in the church because there are no ministries that address this issue in particular (i.e. singles and marriage ministries).

    Out of this experience, God led me to write a book, "I Will Survive in Jesus’ Name! How three Women, who are fighting for their lives, use the Word of God to Triumph over Domestic Violence" While women from all walks of life purchased the book, the church shunned it. The church doesn’t want to deal with this "taboo" subject, in part, because they help to perpetuate the abuse by remaining silent and failing to hold the abuser (often a member and, at worst, a church leader) accountable. God has raised me up as a part of His remnant to continue to call attention to and shed light on the church’s flagrant disregard of domestic violence. Jennifer Mitchell Earley

  3. (GHANA)  I am presently in an abusive marriage of just 10 months. I have a baby girl and the truth is simply that the slightest provocation just triggers my husband. He has never hit me, but has threatened to several times, and he is quite abusive verbally. When my mum came around to take care of my baby, she noticed the telltale signs of abuse and wasn’t pleased with my husband who hated her because of this and says that we should not discuss her for the marriage to move on.

    He threatens to leave the house for me and the baby when he gets angry, and the most recent outburst is that he wants me to move out of the master bedroom to another room, and says that if he is so bad, then I should leave the marriage simply because he knows that I’m not too comfortable with that. He could shout the house down and seek attention from the neighbors just to make me look bad. I’ve decided to alert the church of all these, since he professes to be a Christian, but I really don’t know which son of God would act this way.

  4. (US) I too am now separated for the hundredth time from my husband. I tried marriage counseling; he made it thru two sessions. He also says he is a Christian and has ‘got his self right with God’. I went back in December to him mostly out of what I believe was conviction. I have filed the divorce myself. He’s still waiting on me to ‘come to my senses’ and come home.

    I’m a babe in Christ. I also sought the help of our church. Whether they just turn their heads or believe him when he says ‘I’m just crazy and imagined it’ I don’t know. I sought another pastor outside of our church. He did the counseling for us. But it is a waste of time if it’s not being applied. I tried. My vows were/are very important to me. But the safety for me and my two four year olds are also important.

    I believe I will always feel married to him, but divorce seems to be our answer. This is his forth marriage. I prayed out before this separation for God to please save us. 2 days later he left our home. He came back of course, but so angry the sheriff made him leave. He then turned all utilities off. We were forced to leave and he took over our home. I don’t have much support but I am leaning hard on God.

  5. (USA)  Hi Wendy, I’m sorry to hear of your circumstances. As you may know (from previous comments I’ve left on this website), I was in an abusive relationship as well. Our church actually did not turn the other way, the first time but then, when I saw the pattern of escalation starting all over again (we had an intervention by our church leaders a couple of years ago), I became concerned. They did turn the other way the second time around. But I’d already started to see that wasn’t the right “church” group for me and have since disassociated with them.

    Any church that does not take spousal abuse seriously is not truly operating under the love and freedom of Christ and what His sacrifice represents. It is a false truth.

    God made a way out for me, personally. You do not go into specifics of the abuse. If it was not physical, then it’s hard to say what people are thinking. But I do know from the research I did in response to the abuse I suffered, that even verbally threatening a spouse (with death or bodily harm) is criminal. And, according to the authorities I spoke to, anything a spouse does that intimidates the other can be considered abuse. In my case, just intimidation was enough to be arrestable because it was combined with a history of physical abuse, death threats on more than one occasion and threats of bodily harm on more than one occasion.

    I will tell you from my own experience, people who have not lived with this most likely don’t know what you are talking about, find it easy to say that we, as the abused spouse, should “just leave” and why don’t we “just leave.” People that say that do not know what it is like to truly fear for their lives at the expense of their spouse or a significant other/family member. They speak out of true, unabashed ignorance. They have the luxury of judging where they ought not judge because they themselves have not experienced those circumstances. The statistics say that when an abused spouse chooses to leave, the odds of death or severe injury jump by 70%. That means your odds of being killed or beaten within an inch of your life are literally 70% higher, by choosing to leave, than they were by staying and “dealing” with the abuse.

    I’m sure Wendy knows what I’m talking about, but for those of you reading who don’t deal with abuse and never have, and have wondered why people don’t leave – that’s why!!! I’ve even read from mental health professionals that they don’t know why a victim stays. These are people who get paid to know about emotional and mental issues, who don’t know about the emotional and mental issues involved with spousal abuse. How sad is that? In addition to having nowhere to go, no money, no support system, etc., etc., etc. that Wendy is now having to deal with.

    At any rate – I digress. Wendy, I wanted to tell you this. I had the last straw (of many last straws) recently with my own spouse. I’m very anti-divorce. My mother is very anti-divorce. My parents were married until my father passed away and I, too, went to counseling. My counselor was anti-divorce and a Christian.

    When I told him of the latest incident and that I saw the pattern of escalation going back up again, after the intervention of our church, just like it started when we first married, my counselor’s response was – get a divorce (or at least a separation). I believe he said divorce for legal reasons (like me not having my kids or property stolen from me, which my husband has threatened to do and tried to do since I told him I’m separating). My husband also calls himself a “believer.” He is in serious spiritual bondage and does not know the true love of Christ, nor does he have that in his heart.

    Here was my counselor’s advice: I will share it with you to perhaps answer some of your questions as well as guide you, should you wonder about reconciling with your spouse. He said do NOT go back with my husband unless he gets specific counseling, on his own, for abuse and those issues. He also said that my husband is to get a psychological evaluation and to allay his fears (or mine) or my husband’s accusations that I’m crazy or making it up (just like what you’ve experienced) I could have an evaluation done as well. He also said that counseling by pastors is NOT adequate. It has to be someone specialized in abuse and those issues (including, but not limited to, anger).

    So, Wendy, if you only got counseling by a pastor, then that is why you probably had minimal results. Only specialized counseling will produce results and even then, it is not a guarantee.

    Hope this helps. Please keep going to God. In Christian love, LT

    1. (AUSTRALIA)  LT, I saw a previous comment of yours from 2007 – you were back with your husband after a separation and things were going well. My question is, how long did it take for abuse to start again? Did you notice it straight away? What convinced you to reconcile the first time?

      The reason I am asking is that I have read so many stories of brave women who separated then came back together again, only to have the abuse escalate. Some women went through the cycles 20 times before finally leaving for good.

      You see, I have only separated for a short while. Although this has been a huge step of faith, and I am taking it one step at a time, I already know that I don’t want to have a reconciliation that will see things return in only a matter of time. I couldn’t put my children through it. In my first interactions with my husband, he seems to be a lot softer and yes, it is hard not to feel sorry for men when they have lost access to their wives and children. And yes, I have read all the articles about the REAL signs of repentance but obviously a lot of women and pastors have too, and still they can be fooled.

      Please share your personal experience so we can learn from it. Thanks.

  6. (UNITED KINGDOM)  Hi Where do I start after 19 years of marriage 19 years of abuse? I sat here needing to talk and get advice, but my husband stopped church and I have no friends. I realized lately when my husband starts verbal abuse I have started to swear back and copy him and realized this was happening in front of my 13 year old. As of only recently I felt confident to do this – to make what I thought was a stand. I don’t want to do this anymore, but realized my arguing was to provoke him further so we could get the verbal and physical abuse over with – cause I don’t know how to make this stop.

  7. (USA) Hi Sarah, How sad I am for you that your marriage and family relationship has come to this. How I pray that somehow things can turn around so there isn’t such a power struggle and disrespect going on — particularly for your 13 year old to watch and learn from. You and your 13 year old sure don’t deserve this. I’m so sorry for your pain.

    A few questions come to mind as I read your comment that I hope you will prayerfully consider. How is it working for you in being abusive back? I understand the temptation — the urge to yell back would be tremendous, but does it really de-escalate matters? Does it make you feel better about yourself — especially as a woman of God? What do you think Jesus would do? What is this teaching your 13 year old when BOTH parents are doing this? Doesn’t someone need to be the hero here and not lower their standards?

    These are all questions, not to make you feel worse about yourself — quite the contrary. I just don’t want you to suffer from such abuse and then heap onto it all the pain of living with present and future regrets on how YOU react. That would make things even worse for you in the long-run.

    Please pray about this and keep praying that God will show you what you can do on your part to protect you and your 13 year old from this onslaught. Your husband has lowered his standards and has given himself permission to be abusive… but does that mean that you must do the same?

    Please know that my love and prayers are with you.

  8. (USA) There are very many resources for churches and Christians about Domestic Violence.The RAVE PROJECT has great videos on their website [rave Videos] @ http://www.theraveproject.org! Also PASCH [peace and safety in the christian home]has a website @ http://www.peaceandsafety.com!

    Then the domestic Violence site @ http://www.ndvh.org. And lastly You tube has a PBS documentary [one hour] called ‘Breaking The Silence” children stories. Also another website called MEN can help stop violence. Also Google KEVIN POWELL. He is a man that hosts monthly men’s workshops and collaborates with UNITED Nations, Amnesty International and does documentaries and many other projects he does. Hope this information HELPS!!

  9. (GHANA)  I would really love to join the campaign against abusive marriages in the Christian way. I am not in a physically abusive marriage, but in a psychologically and emotionally abusive one where my husband does not respect me at all and throws insults anytime he deems right. I have two daughers in the marriage and just don’t know what to do. But I am ready to fight abuse in marriages.

  10. (USA)  To all. I have read this site to help the daughter of a friend of mine. I too fear for her and the boys welfare. I got real furious when the minister of this young woman went against the restraining order and is having them talk on the phone everyday trying to get them back together again. Of course her abusive husband just sweet talks her and brainwashes her.

    I don’t take marriage lightly, but there come a point that the abused spouse has to leave. I do not believe that God allows a marriage like this. This young woman was hit on her first night of the honeymoon, she’s been married for 6 years of increased abuse. The church and her own family did not do enough. At least now the family sees she needs to stay away from her abusive husband and took her in and the boys. Now the young woman wants to go back to her husband believing his words and we all fear for her life. From what I read very few abusive marriages get better. In most cases it just gets worse. The victims are not at fault, it’s the abusers Sin in his or her heart. These people are not close to God. Also the children need to be protected. I urge women out there to leave and do their very best never to go back to their abusers. Help is out there! I will be praying for all of the mistreated women out there.

  11. (USA)  Hi, This response is for Mel. Mrs. Cindy Wright brought to my attention you had inquired after me. Sorry, I’ve been VERY busy the last year or so and also don’t have internet in my home so my time online is short and sporadic.

    Mel, I did do a couple of separations the last 2-3 years of my marriage. The reason I did try to reconcile, apart from the obvious of not wanting my kids to grow up in a broken home, was also because I couldn’t find in the Bible where divorce is allowed for abuse (but I will explain that further down in this message). To be honest and to answer your question about how long it will take for the abuse to start again, well you just “know” whether or not he’s changed. However, do look up all the resources on focusministries1.org because they do have a list.

    One way is to see an outward concern from your spouse toward you, not an fake, contrived “I’m sorry” attitude mixed with a selfish love (as opposed to a selfless love). The truth is that the reason you don’t hear about many abusive relationships reconciling, even after separation, is because most men like that don’t want to seek professional counseling.

    Because they (in the majority of cases) grew up with that kind of abuse in their homes as children, and no one put a stop to it, they tend to think that everyone acts like that behind closed doors and has that in their backgrounds. By the grace of God I did not grow up in a home where my father abused my mother (either physically or emotionally/verbally) I knew from my own personal experience that NOT all marriages look like the one I was living in.

    I have now divorced (and that was a VERY risky thing to do). My ex’s background was so scarred and dysfunctional that even though we had been separated for months he actually thought I was just “blowing off steam” and was surprised when he got the divorce decree. He honestly thought I was going to return at some point so he had no reason to seek counseling or try to get me to go home or anything.

    In terms of biblical grounds for divorce, anyone looking at a strict interpretation of the letter of the law (also known as legalism) will not find abuse as grounds for a divorce, according to anything Jesus said during his time here on Earth in a fleshly body.

    Keep in mind, however, that MANY of the things Jesus did during his time here on Earth was against the “letter of the law” of that time. That is why the Pharisees gave him such a hard time. But the things that Jesus did were, in the larger scheme of things, to bring glory to God and also in accordance with what we now call the “spirit of the law.”

    In other words, does it seem fitting that God would want a woman living in a situation where her husband (the protector of the family and one who is commanded to love his wife above himself and sacrificially, according to the New Testament) is so out of control of himself (regardless of the reason) that he is hitting her, threatening to kill her, or constantly throwing out verbal insults and put-downs? No. That is not God’s will for anyone’s life.

    A man throwing out insults (on a continual basis) or assaulting his wife is also a violation of the letter of the law of the New Testament. It simply is not seen as grounds for divorce according to the letter of the law so that is why you have Christians out there who might give a woman a hard time in divorcing someone over abuse. But each situation is unique and a person in that situation has to rely on God’s guidance in how to proceed.

    My advice is that you need to stay separated until your ex-husband goes to counseling, has a psychological evaluation (this is what a professional Christian counselor told me to have my ex do) and shows marked change (and that will take a long time). You can’t just “take him at his word” because the one thing that people who grow up in abusive homes (and grow into abusive adults themselves) do is learn to manipulate. They learn how to put on a great front, how to look “normal” and how to function in society relatively well so that no one would ever guess what they were like at home. So someone like that is going to put on a good “act” to try and make you think they have changed that is why you must insist on the other things, along with looking for a change. Most abusers may try a little bit of counseling but eventually quit before it has done any real good or they may go to counseling but say, as they are going, something like they don’t need it, and that sort of thing. Unless their heart is in it, it’s not bound to succeed. It’s like making an addict or alcoholic go to treatment. It doesn’t usually work when someone else makes you go, you have to want to go yourself.

    So be realistic in your expectations. Statistically, the odds are low that your abusive spouse will do anything substantial and/or long-term to change because he doesn’t think there is anything wrong with him to begin with. Denial as well as extreme emotional detachment (lacking the ability to truly connect and bond with other human beings) goes hand in hand with abusive people.

    My ex has not gotten any kind of counseling and insists he has changed, even though my attorney and I have documented proof of all kinds of lies he has been telling people. Abusers play the victim once they’ve been called out on it. I’ve had people I haven’t spoken to in several months contact me out of the blue and relay to me some of the “tall tales” my ex has been telling them about me and his situation and then when I tell them the truth, they are pretty stunned. Professionals I’ve had to hire to straighten out the legal and financial mess my ex left me with in the aftermath of our divorce, who have not even met him, but have had some email correspondence with him, can detect that he lies after dialoging with him only a few times. And these are people that haven’t even met him.

    So, my sister, my advice is stay close to the Lord and let Him guide you. Each situation, as well as solution, for abuse is different. I’m sharing with you my personal experiences as well as information I’ve gotten from counselors and abuse resources (articles, websites, etc). If you have recently left/separated due to physical abuse (or threats where your husband was saying he would kill you or making gestures like he was going to hit you), and your husband is telling you he has changed, if it has been less than 6 months and/or he has not gotten any counseling or a psychiatric evaluation, do not trust what he says and do not go back and live with him.

    He needs counseling and needs to start with a psychiatric evaluation, before anything else (in other words that needs to be the first part of the counseling). Pray for God’s wisdom, pray for discernment and, if it comes to the point where you do feel God leading you to a divorce for your own safety (and I’m not condoning that, but I’m being realistic when I say sometimes there are no other options), then pray for God to also guide you to the right professionals. I was truly blessed to have the right attorney. There’s no way I can explain that except for that God helped me and put the right people in my path – the people he chose for me to be led to because it was a new town I had moved to and I didn’t know any attorneys or have any recommendations.

    I don’t know if I can check back on this page because I’m still heavily in the midst of custody issues and legal issues and I have young children that I stay at home with and I can’t afford the internet so I don’t get online much, but I certainly encourage you to write back if you feel led to and I will hope to read it at some point in the future.

    Here are some sites I recommend on the subject and that helped me:
    http://www.leslievernick.com
    http://www.focusministries1.org
    http://www.lifeskillsintl.org/index.html
    In Christian love, LT

    1. (AUSTRALIA)  LT, Wow! Great to hear your story. It does confirm what I have been thinking. Fortunately, I have found friends who have been through this and they tell me that abuse is a violation of the marriage vows to love, honour, cherish.

      My husband hasn’t had any psychological evaluation because his psychologist told me he didn’t see any psycho-pathological issues, even though I wondered if he had a personality disorder. When he did finally agree to go to counseling, things didn’t seem to change much, except that he could boast about going and learning the jargon.

      His parents are not close to him, but I don’t see his type of behaviour with them. They were quite old-fashioned and rigid in their parenting though.

      I must say that your husband’s reaction sounds like mine. He doesn’t seem to want to let me go and still behaves like we are together, and this is just one of my “phases”. I don’t know how long he will hold out hope for. We don’t have much in way of finances, and I am prepared for losing a fair bit through attorneys. God will provide what we need.