A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

Dishwashers, Lawnmowers, and Leaky Roofs

UPDATE Sept 2021: I have come to believe that Jeff Crippen does not practise what he preaches. He vilely persecuted an abuse victim and spiritually abused many other people in the Tillamook congregation. Go here to read the evidence. Jeff has not gone to the people that he spiritually and emotionally abused. He has not apologised to them, let alone asked for their forgiveness.


Galatians 6:2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

I am spending some time this afternoon trying to fix a pesky dishwasher.  Stops on one minute and keeps running.  So I got on the internet and ordered the control board that they said needed to be replaced.  It came today and the paperwork that came with it said it was an “easy” install, only one step above beginner level (beginner being you can use a screwdriver or hammer but that’s about all).  Not.  I have it all put together and things are running but I don’t think I put it together the same way it was.  The buttons don’t feel the same, so back apart it has to come.  When my wife gets home she can back me up and show me which side of this or that these little metal brackets go on.

I used to declare such things “pieces of junk” and bend them into position until they were useless, then go out and buy a new whatever.  For the most part, those old days have passed and I hope some new things have come.  Years ago I slammed a cupboard door shut after I bashed my head on it while working on some plumbing.  Then you have to fix the cupboard door too, so it just isn’t very productive.

Which brings me to the point.  When a woman has to depart from an abusive spouse (can work the other way round too), suddenly everything is dumped on her.  This should be a giant opportunity for the church body to step in and help.  Broken dishwashers, lawnmowers that won’t start, a leak in the ceiling, car issues…. you name it, it’s all hers now.  As we have said before, abuse victims are largely the biblical widows of our day.  Barbara Roberts has written about this and proposes that the best way to handle it is for a married couple in the church to jointly “take on” a situation like this and lend a hand.  Older retired couples are the perfect team — like grandparents.  It is always best, for the sake of wisdom and propriety, for both “grandpa and grandma” to be present when helping.

The stress on single mothers is just a huge burden.  Often she has to work outside her home to make ends meet.  There are children’s issues to deal with.  And on top of that, all of those “fix-its” that normally a husband/father would do.  That doesn’t mean that a woman can’t do these things.  What it does mean is that one person can’t.  If the following instructions are given in regard to how we are to treat our enemy, surely we must do them for Christ’s people:

Exodus 23:4-5 “If you meet your enemy’s ox or his donkey going astray, you shall bring it back to him. (5) If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying down under its burden, you shall refrain from leaving him with it; you shall rescue it with him.

If you see Jef’f’s dishwasher busted, feel free to go fix it for him.  (That’s in the Bible someplace, but I can’t recall the reference just now).


  1. Oh, I love this! I’ll never forget a kid’s face when I dropped a plate of brownies off at his house so his single mom wouldn’t have to make them for his school treat tomorrow. My husband often mows our widow neighbor’s yard. We can offer to do a couple of loads of laundry and deliver them folded. Give her a girl’s night and sit with her kids. Pick up a pretty pot of bright red geraniums and drop them off at her front porch. It doesn’t take much to be Jesus, friends. I’d help you with the dishwasher, Jeff, but you’d probably end up paying a plumber to fix the mess I created ‘helping.’!!!

  2. Not Fair! I think you quoted that verse wrong, Jeff. I’m sure it says “If you see Barb’s lawn getting long, feel free to go mow it for her!”

  3. Maree

    No, Jeff and Barbara, I think you’ve both got the verse wrong. I seem to remember reading a verse, now how did it go…? “If you think Maree needs a holiday on a riverboat with her dog, pay for the holiday!”

    I loved the bit about when you hurt your head and damaged the cupboard door! Maybe I’m not supposed to be laughing. Oops. Sorry!

  4. Maree

    Seriously though, I had no idea how to deal with bank managers, how to operate the computer properly, understanding house and car insurance etc… I really struggled with all that.

  5. Anonymous

    Yes, it’s embarrassing, but if everything had been taken care of, you just don’t know how to do certain things. Until recently, I had never even paid a bill or opened a bank account. I didn’t know how to fill up the tyres or mow a lawn. But how fast we learn when there is no help. For the sake of privacy I won’t list the things the Lord has incredibly helped me do, but it was a pretty long list of stuff even some skilled men couldn’t do – they broke my stuff when they tried. But now they’re all fixed – without paying a tradesman.

    Speaking of computers, I have noticed that many female survivors are intimidated by having to navigate the computer and many don’t even regularly check their emails. So there might be an area we might hold some free classes on. Sometimes, it is just a matter of being shown once. These women are not daft, although they have been told they are – they just need someone to explain and go through things.

    The other side of the coin is when he (the abuser) decides to be gallant and arrange for his men to be the heroes to his damsel in distress. I have had men in my house whom I had never invited in, more than once. Didn’t it occur to any of these Christian men that I might have felt invaded, being a single mother? They all thought they were being a great help because HE said I needed their help to do things women couldn’t do.

  6. Finding Answers

    (Heavy airbrushing…)

    I call myself a jack-of-all-trades for many reasons, not solely in professional lines of work. In either case, I contact the experts if / when necessary. (I was doing this long before the divorce.)

    The biggest small gesture I remember from shortly after the divorce? Finding a seasonal outdoor project unexpectedly completed when I came home from a late shift at work. (Omitting details for my protection.)

    Since my walls crumbled less than one year ago, God became my expert Renovator.

    Maybe I can add what I learn to my jack-of-all-trades, both personal and professional.

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