A Cry For Justice

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

“Clueless” by David Cox

I reckon I will never forget how I found Megan (now my lovely wife) and her children (now my sweet children, too) about a year ago when I went to Nebraska to fetch them. The year prior, Megan had fled an abusive husband who managed to suck all the hope, health, esteem, life and peace out of her life and the lives of the four little children she led in tow.

Some of what I would discover about their lives I think I truly understood. But I was clueless regarding most of it.  Though I had pastored for 25 years and had counseled hundreds of troubled couples, single mothers, and broken kids, I didn’t have — and don’t think I could have had — a real idea of what she had experienced.

Megan had lived with an abuser for more than a decade, and the kids had grown up with a father who had abused and manipulated them in a multitude of ways. Though hers (and theirs) is only one story, it seems like the themes and experiences of thousands of others are exceedingly similar.  Here are just three of the many life-lessons that I have learned in the past year regarding women and children from abused marriages/homes.

They often have few or no anchors in their lives.  They are vulnerable and, in many ways, helpless.  Scared.  Unsure. Uncertain.  What will happen to us tomorrow?  Where will we get the money for food to sustain us? Where will we be living next month at this time? What’s going to happen to us? Megan and her kids were asking themselves these questions daily. They loved the Lord, of course.  And it was obvious to me that their faith was very much intact.  But there just wasn’t anything visible, guaranteed, rock-solid-for-sure to cling to except that they knew God loved them.  Us church folks may say, “Well, that’s all they need.”

Get real. When you don’t have money for food tomorrow, and the heat bill in that tiny, freezing house is almost 30 days overdue, and the gas tank in the old and very unreliable car is running on E, sometimes God doesn’t seem near. They need people . . . people sent by God to help them. People to anchor their faith, steady their hearts, and reassure them that they are not alone and that they are going to “make it” through this frozen winter season in their hearts. What they don’t need is religious people condemning them for breaking a covenant marriage and “disappointing God”.  (Tell that to a little child whose father beats and bruises him on a regular basis and see what his concept of God is when he is fifteen.)  No, women and children who have found themselves in this life-and-emotional-death predicament need others to anchor them, not judge them for doing the only thing they had left to do.

They have little-to-no resources. Megan’s story is not unlike many others. The wife spends her time homemaking and taking care of the children.  Though she is highly educated, she had spent her life investing in the children.  Now, as a means to survive and give her kids a chance to be healthy and safe, she is on her own…with almost nothing to live on.  Little money.  Little food.  Inadequate clothing.  When I arrived to pick up Megan and the kids in the tiny, run-down house (though grateful she was for it), all four kids were sleeping on mattresses crammed into one room. No beds. I am aware of a formerly abused wife and mother who tonight is sleeping on the floor of a home-with her children- fighting off the rats with whom they share their house. It sounds unthinkable.  But when you have so little resources, sometimes it is the only way to survive. It’s better than sleeping under a bridge, but it just shouldn’t be this way.

What abused women and children (who have fled their abuser and have little or no income) need is practical help. Coats if it is winter. Gas if there is a car.  Blankets if they are cold. Food that is edible.  And dignity in it all.  So many are reduced to near-beggars, never having imagined that their lives could have ever gotten out of hand like this, but also having never imagined they would have to go to such extremes to just save themselves and their children.

They have little or no boundaries around them to protect them.  Like a medieval city with broken down walls, a woman-turned-refugee is exposed to many dangers . . . most of them people. Many assume she is easy and open prey.  She may be hit-on by men hoping for an easy target.  She is haunted by the ex-husband who won’t leave her alone.  He calls her, texts her, and tells her how horrid her heart is for “breaking the convenant marriage” and that God cannot be with her any longer. This is manipulation, of course, but it confuses her momentarily and potentially drives her into deeper despair. She is often guilted by friends who have no concept of abuse.  Even some in her original family blame her for leaving her “Christian” husband.  Worse, they say she made up the whole idea of being abused. In short, she is unprotected.

Megan had no parents as both are deceased.  She did have some friends who did what they could to pitch in  from afar.  Most didn’t realize what she had been living through for 11 years, nor did they know the height of the daily challenges she was facing once she left.

In many cases, she is even blamed by the church and treated as unfaithful. She is blamed by the church…because her husband abused her.

I used to preach on all the false, bad religion in our world today. Turns out that not all religion is bad, afterall. Though the word religion is scoffed in the circles which I ran for 30 years, there is such a thing as real religion . . . In fact, the Bible explains what this not-at-all-fake and unpolluted religion is: “Pure and undefiled religion is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” (James 1:27)

I have come to understand in this latest season of my life that many women abused by their husband (or young children abused by their father) are spiritual widows and spiritual orphans in a very real sense of the word. They are on their own. Not all of them are, of course.  Some of them have parents, pastors, siblings, friends, or others who rescue them right away and help them.  But this isn’t the case all the time.

What is your religion?  There is so much to be done in the Kingdom of God.  This . . . THIS is real religion.  With eyes to see and ears to hear, I would challenge you to lift up your head . . . and refuse to be clueless.


  1. Elizabeth Kraus

    Reblogged this on elizabeth goes to church [Internet Archive link] and commented:
    Love the take this writer has on what women and children leaving abusive relationships really need and the role of God’s people – thank you, David Cox!

  2. Bethany

    David- this is beautiful! I have no words to say…I hope this is read and comprehended by every Christian!

  3. Wanda S. Maxey

    What a beautiful post, David, thanks so much for sharing. My heart is touched to hear from some of the “Good Men,” out there. When I left my abuser, I was helped by my children and I’m so thankful for each one of them. Otherwise I may still be living in Drama Land.
    Bless you,

  4. Amy

    A fantastic post. I felt so abandoned by a majority of the church I had attended for years when my ex walked out on me and our two sons four years ago. After my ex left in what I now see to have been his way of showing me that I could not live without him, he decided he wanted to come home. it’s a long story, but basically he weaseled his way back into our home about three months after he initially left and lived on the couch for 5 LONG weeks because I could not get him to leave. His verbal, mental and spiritual abuse escalated while he was back and by that time I had decided I would no longer stay in that marriage and knew I was going to file for divorce.
    A majority of the men’s group at the church supported my ex and said he was head of the household and had a right to be there. Even the pastor tried to get me to see how my ex was changing. Huh?? So those nasty emails, the abusive way he treated me while back in the house…those were all signs of him changing?? Could have fooled me…oh, but wait, he no longer could fool me. In the three months he had been out of the house the Lord had opened my eyes to so much of what had and was still happening with my ex and I gained the courage and strength through the Lord to finally say ENOUGH!

    But when I did not only did my ex start trying to convince everyone, including our boys, that I was not willing to work on reconciliation like he was and the said part is that many church members saw him as the poor victim of what his unGodly wife was doing…filing for divorce and yes, breaking the covenant of our marriage. They turned a blind eye to what my ex had done and was still doing to me and our boys, and even told my sons they needed to honor and respect their father through all of it.

    I was fortunate that I had my family who knew what had been happening in my marriage for twenty years and a few friends that stood by me too, but honestly, no one offered too much help other than, “I’ll pray for you” and I think most just do not realize the reality of it all. Most don’t get how difficult it is for a woman who has been a stay-at-home mom for two decades of her life to get a job, put food on the table, pay the mortgage, buy clothes, take the kids to the doctor or dentist, and carry around this worry in the pit of her stomach about how she was not only going to survive that day, but the following one and the one after that.

    I used to always say that I got the least help from the church. The Christian community just wanted to devour me up and my wonderful husband I now have would say to me when we were dating, “yeah, Christians like to eat there own kind!” Haha!

  5. Joey

    I DO feel like a widow, Not only is the man I loved and committed my life to gone after 30 years, but I am left without the good memories and knowledge of his love knowing that he left because he WANTED to, that the bottle was more important than his family. I was blessed by a strong church family and loving in-laws…without them, I would never had made it through these past two years!! They are truly my angels on earth!!!!!

  6. Jeff Crippen

    Thanks David – Megan is Ruth and you are Boaz! This is a wonderful story of God’s guidance and protection and blessing in bringing all of you together. The incredible thing is however that so many in the church would be booing you instead of cheering the happy ending. Divorce! Remarriage is adultery! I think to a large degree we need to respond to those kind the same way Jesus did – let them go. They are the blind leading the blind. Don’t let them rain on your party:):)

    • MeganC

      Ah . . . Thank you for these words, Jeff. There were more booing than cheering but we tried to tune them out. I LOVE the similarities between Ruth and Boaz and David and me. God truly did bring us all together. We are so happy. We wish that many others could share in our happiness. We are just thankful for THIS community . . . for your joy in our joy . . . for those precious few who do see our happy ending! You are the BEST. 🙂

  7. Heather 2

    Your story warms my heart, David. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Anonymous

    You are absolutely right, David. We cannot imagine the horrors faced by victims. The worst part is that they often blame themselves too. They need practical help from people who will not abandon them.

    • healinginhim

      This post was brought to my attention as I continue to struggle with self-doubt since so many around me feel that it must be ‘my problem’ since even the adult children have abandoned me. 😦
      Anonymous … you stated my sentiments very well.

  9. Jodi

    I know exactly what you mean Amy. Currently I am trying desperately to get a divorce from my abuser-but he keeps finding ways to keep it from happening.Meanwhile he has cut me and kids off financially-knowing I don’t have a job or any other source of income-my attorney won’t do anything about it or even respond to my multiple pleas. When I have told people about what he is doing, they tsk, tsk, but that’s about it. No one at all seems concerned that I don’t have money to pay his bills or buy food or do anything. All I am able to do right now is because I am borrowing money from my daughter just to get through the day to day things.As of this month, I am 3 months behind in my mortgage payment. Or should I say, “his” mortgage payment, as my name is not on it. I honestly don’t know what I am going to do if something doesn’t happen soon to change this situation.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Jodi- How hard! What a trial. Will be praying that the Lord gives you some specific encouragement very soon. Keep telling us about your status. At least we can help bear your burdens by hearing about them and praying for you.

      • pamplamoussejuice

        Thank you so much Jeff and everyone!

    • MeganC

      Oh, Jodi. 😦 This grieves my heart. Something surely has to be done! I am so sorry to hear of your plight right now. We will be praying.

      • Jodi

        MeganC. You would think that something could be done, but I think my attorney just can’t be bothered.I am trying not to panic and just the Lord to take care of us like He has always done.

      • Anonymous

        Jodi – Do you think you could just get another lawyer’s opinion? If it is his house, then you bear no financial responsibility for making or not making the payments, but you need a roof over your head and it sounds like you may lose that. Praying for you.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Jodi – Praying for you today too.

    • thepersistentwidow

      Jodi, I am sorry that you are going through financial abuse. I have been in that situation for the past several years, and it was very difficult and stressful. No one in the church seemed to grasp what a serious problem this is, and I didn’t get details from my attorney until recently about what to expect.

      I would like to recommend that you document any loans that you get, even from family. Later, you can likely have that figured into the marital debt, and that will help you when things are settled. Be sure to keep notices from bill collectors, and and copies of any correspondence you may have sent to your ex pertaining to the bills, along with his response, as he is really going to look bad in the court for doing this to you and the children. I have never regretted documenting everything pertaining to the divorce, and everything in my dealings with the church’s involvement as well. I showed bills/letters/non-responses to the gardian ad litem and she didn’t seem impressed with my husband. Finally, my situation is about to go to court.

      Again, I am sorry for what you are dealing with, and we know that God will sustain you. We care about you.

      • What excellent suggestions, PW. thank you — I think many of our readers will file away your ideas for future use. . .

      • Jodi

        Persistent- thank for you for the good advice. I will do that as much as is possible.
        I have all kinds of those notices from before our separation where he didn’t pay bills or was always late- I will start doing that now. I am wondering if getting a new lawyer will cause a major setback in my case-but then again, absolutely nothing is happening now anyway.

    • With the mortgage only in his name, but presumably whatever equity you have in the house is joint marital property, it sounds like you are in a very tough situation, Jodi. I really strongly suggest you get further advice if you can. Are there any legal hotlines for DV victims who can at least give you some suggestions or help you think this through a bit more?

      I have known victims in situations like yours. The abuser delighted in holding her over the coals by not paying anything towards the mortgage, knowing this was putting her at risk of homelessness. Only one thing is pretty certain: your abuser will almost certainly persist in taking actions (or in-actions) that will make your life difficult in every which way he possibly can. He is ‘fighting’ you with all the weapons he has at his disposal. I know. It’s awful. But don’t expect him to change. Plan for the worst, and sometimes it’s better to cut your losses. I shall pray for you to be able to get more ideas (and energy) about how to paddle through the rapids.

      • Jodi

        Barbara, I am looking into other options- it’s just hard to know what to look for sometimes, or if it will even be helpful. I am wondering if anyone will even rent to me if I don’t have a job or good credit. I am also trying to figure out what I could threaten him with that would finally make an impact on him.

    • Memphis Rayne

      Jodi H. This is the most horrible thing. Financial abuse is part of what seems to be EVERY abusers M.O. Its the worst feeling in the world, the despair it can bring about you to be at financial mercy of people like this, and they never correlate it to affecting andybody poorly, as long as they remain in control. They also never stop to think that hurting you is hurting children, that matters little to them as long as their victom feels powerless. Just makes me so, so angry. I personally was at a point at the end where we were seperated but the despair over the MIW continually manipulating any financial resources we may have had was just insane. The MIW would continually give after a rampage THEN take back more than was originally given, so we never had any kind of security, even after being seperated, and having a legal document stating he had to give us support, he STILL abuse us over him HAVING to pay…I still had to find myself jumping through his hoops just to keep a roof over our heads, always putting me in a position where I was FORCED to seek him out to ask for it, then he would convieniantly tell everybody all I wanted was money, if the money was mine it mattered little, if the kids suffered because of it, he could care less.

      I often wonder to myself how this can be? Why so many of us are left with nothing, nothing to provide the children with, and yes I get that divorce court wil/may eventually give some sort of pay out, but at what cost do we have to pay for what should rightfully be ours, and was ours to begin with? So so deppressing, we have to suffer more intense fear and abuse just to get out. All these storys really get to me. 😦 People who have not been financially abused or at the mercy of an abuser most likely wont get how much despair this can cause. The intensity of the MIWs financial abuse was directly related to everything else he did, I can remember so many times feeling such despair over going to the bank and finding everything was gone, how the simple task of asking for milk money was some sort of way to see me quiver, or deem me a wicked money sucking woman? It got to where I finally realize the money he spent on us, was in fact a show for him…..part of the inner rationalization process, something to realive him of any guilts or wrong doings, that way there was always something tangeble he could point out that he had given….money itself was never given, that would allow us choices and that was not part of the agenda. We all know abuse intensifies when you try to leave, along with that goes all your resources to maintain any kind of security, if a victom ends up homeless then its just looked at as bad parenting, the cause of the homelesness is never acknowledged…the abuser will just use it against you to defame you more, WOW its sort of deppressing to think that money itself can be used in such a devastating way.

      • Jodi

        Memphis- Amen and Amen! This is the worst. He has always been financially abusive, but this takes the cake. Meanwhile, my youngest daughter is still letting him take her places and wine and dine her, even tho, she knows what he is doing and it’s her money I am borrowing to make it. I swear to myself that one day I will NEVER be financially dependent on any man! As God as my witness!

      • Memphis Rayne

        Jodi H. Me too, and God is our witness. Here is another disturbing twist too regarding the church….the MIW would have us starve, insecure, and homeless while tithing these big offerings up!! Thats why, most likely the church NEVER helped us!!! Yet they took from us literally, and most likely still are…and dont even give it a second thought because the MIW gladly gives our money away to them (for the glory and pat on the back) and they kept, and still do take it!!! Even when I would have to humble myself to beg for a place to stay, or go to the food pantry and ask for whatever they could give us, and then they turn us away!!

        One of the cruelest ironys having your freedom literally stolen from you and your children, then shunned for it happening to you, then watching while the enemy is lifted up with good praises, for his selflessness? Why did they never apply Gods warning to this person? I NEVER once heard anybody tell him he is suppose to provide for his family? He never got held accountable for not providing a home, or food, or any kind of shelter/ and the kids were NEVER even thought to be affected? I somehow was just suppose to wave a magic wand,toss up the fairy dust, and survive….in the SAME swoop I was told I am to uphold my marriage vows regardless if he stript everything out from under us on a weekly basis? Is it wrong to feel like the church literally stole from my family? Cuz that is kinda how I feel, I suppose I would not care IF it was not attach to the wholesome goodness and selfless offerings of the MIW, and IF they took our monies and actually used it for helping the widows, and the abondoned and abused. I am only certain of one thing, the MIW does not serve or know the God I know….the people who take his money do not serve the God I know. The MIW NEVER provided for us, but he did manage to take what little we had and get even MORE attention and praise for it. …..I REALLY wrestle with how this can be? How anybody could view a man controlling his family, especially financially leaving them with nothing, how can this possibly be viewed by the church as a marriage? Why in the ten years of counseling with these NUT jobs did they conviently leave out the scripture regarding a spouses, the husbands responsiblitles?
        I mean the scripture I am referring too about the man that does not provide for his household has NO chance to get into the gates of heaven? (ok..by now you all are aware of my scriptural dimn wittedness) Like most of us, within our marriages all we ever really asked or fought for, was to be loved…we wanted all we gave to be an equal exchange of love….then we realize we have entered into a battle of NOT saving our marriage(cuz it was NOT from God)but rather “asking” for permission to have our dignity, our basic human rights to be given back to us? Also we think IF we make the hard choice to enter the free fall of leaving, we will reclaim those back….right now I am still hitting every branch on the way down, some day I hope to smack right into that solid ground….as with EVERY aspect of abuse their is that double bind, with finances it shows a very ugly head. with the MIW I was damned if I did not work (being called, lazy, telling everyone all I want is money…) that really makes me laugh now, because this person made 9dollars an hour, and I provided the autos, the house, the clothes, the food etc….and if I was fortunate to make a little cash while taking care of the house, the kids, and this tyrrant, then that cash was a red light for the MIWs abuse, he just became paranoid over any little amount of money I was “”Caught”” with. Everything I did I saw as an investment, like if I provided him a car(leaving me without one) If I made more money (the poor MIW would not be so stressed about his working class life, that of course was put upon him by us!) If I NEVER asked for anything for the kids or myself (he would feel better about his provisions, and of course we all know everything hynges on an abuser FEELING better about himself)….if I try to hold down a job, then I was not a good mother (really he was just demanding more time spent on him) If I did not homeshool then i was NOT a good mother (we all know how easy that is, because living with an abuser is such a nurturing environment for learning)….If I was not put together like all the other church Mums then I was not serving his needs, if I dressed up for church then somehow MY dressing up was “”Just a show to be looked at”……of course I could go on forever on the double binds of abuse, but the truly sad thing is, the church echoed all this freak of natures thought process. Looking back I do not think any of the thinking I had was my own? I was just doing a puppet dance, flopping around trying to straddle one big pit of stupidity.

        gosh? I would love to be that dragon slayer, is that normal? lol

        They could all benefit from some Algae brownies, you know? Given the cleansing qualities they provide = )

    • Amy

      I’m praying for you. Can you get another attorney? Or at least a second opinion? I know the feeling of people just expressing their sympathy for your situation but not doing anything tangible to help. Even bringing groceries or a meal or two would mean the world, but honestly, I just don’t think people realize how bad it is.
      My ex pulled so much financial crap on me when he left and even up to a year ago when our house finally sold he really worked hard to hurt me financially.
      When he left my ex took my name off the only credit card we’d had and then took our checkbook when he left. I still had access of course to the bank account, but luckily with my mom’s help I was able to open my own checking account and get a credit card. A month later though when our tax return was due to be directly deposited into the bank account we still shared, I discovered through our accountant that my ex had them reroute the deposit to a bank account he had opened because he told the accountant that him and I had opened a new account. At the same time my ex closed out a joint savings and another checking account we’d had. I ended up confronting him and after a week of him telling me that I hadn’t contributed enough to the family over the years to deserve any of the money, he finally agreed to give me half of the tax return and the money from the bank accounts he had closed. And I still had people from the church saying he was trying to change and had the right to be in the house because he was head. “I don’t think so, Tim”, as my wonderful, witty husband would say! LOL

      • Jodi

        Amy- I have to say, I need the sympathy and empathy right now as mostly no one I have told this to seems to understand the desperation I am feeling. Or how bad it could get if he doesn’t do something soon. It’s like they are thinking- well, you say you don’t have any money, but you probably are just exaggerating-or trying to make him look worse than he is. I just can’t for the life of me, figure out why my attorney won’t do anything about this or even respond to my many complaints . Probably because now she knows I can’t afford to pay her to do anything. 😦

      • Still Scared( but getting angry)

        Father God, your are Jodi’s advocate, above her lawyer, above all and we ask for Your presence and nearness to Jodi right now! Provide for the years the locust have eaten!

      • Memphis Rayne

        Jodi H…..I understand, I am right there with you, went through it weekly for ten years, got MUCH worse during divorce, AND attorneys generally are worthless in abuse cases, and nobody in the court system understands the despair brought about by an abusers financial abuse…..the abuser will manipulate every aspect of the monies he possibly can, it is sadly all about winning and proving you are destitute without him, so then if you are not doing so well in life due to finances then the abuser has the sweet smell of victory, and a good portion of people follow them to their victory dance. Can I just say UGH!!!

        It got sooo bad for me, that the stress of living under this kind of diress, that I was forced to make concessions, cut all my losses, because even being broke, homeless, and not having any security was more appealing than dealing with the MIW any longer…In a way he won, got what he wanted…..all I can say is God saw it all. The MIW got everything, right down to the last dime…..but REALLY he gained little, he wont be getting his soul back anytime soon…..I regret sometimes I think I “let” his tactics bully me away, but NOTHING is worth losing a life over, NOTHING was worth having any connections to him…..My thinking was if the MIW WON in his mind, he could run around and tell everyone his stories, lie about why we lost, have his feelings of entitlement sufficed, that he would in fact, give up, go away…..but unfortunately that is rarely the case, they just find other avenues to continue abuse… being at the financial mercy of an abuser? That is the most horrific feeling in the entire world, in my humble opinion.

        I always say to myself “You can beat me, but YOU cannot BEAT me” because God has given us our spirit, and NO matter what this person does, or thinks they will get away with, there is something in us, that they CANNOT touch or destroy. My proof of that is, simply that I am still here, and God has required me to simply Stand, so I put all I have into still standing. I am not much help, because I am triggered by almost anything related to an abusers mentality, and I muddle through alot of my blogs like an Etch -N-Sketch….just keep standing, let them do whatever they do, you just keep standing.


  10. Glenn Crumpton

    If only the eyes of the righteous would be opened from the reading of this and quit the manmade rules that ruin peoples lives. Thanks to God that you were sent and that you responded to this need.

  11. Lisa

    Can I print this and share it with others? So many in the church need to hear these words. Thank You

    • MeganC

      Of course, Lisa!

  12. anewfreelife

    Wow! This is poignant! Thank you, David, not only for understanding but for helping the world to understand.

    I love that, Pastor Crippen! They are Ruth and Boaz, aren’t they?! I have to be totally transparent and admit that their love story gives me hope that there is a Boaz out there for me, that the hope of joy in love and marriage are not over for me, that my only experience in that arena will have been hatred and abuse. They make me believe in happy endings.

    Amy, I LOVE what your husband said to you! It is a very sad truth but what a funny way of expressing it!

    • Amy

      I love my man! He can always put a smile on my face and help to make any situation a little lighter. 🙂

  13. Patricia Johnson

    Love this. 40 years of waiting for something to change. God truly worked in my heart to leave. Thank God my kids are grown. I have loving friends who are letting me stay at their home. What a revelation to realize it wasn’t me. I couldn’t fix it. No matter how hard I tried all those years. Thank you

    • Heather 2

      I can relate to this. I was married for over thirty years, stay at home mom. When I finally left for good I lived in my new grandson’s nursery while my ex bought a new house. I had to hire an attorney to get him to legally turn over what my part of the settlement was. And he told others at church I had taken him back to court to get more money. All lies!

    • Hi Patricia, welcome to the blog! ((Hugs)) to you.

  14. Brian

    Thank you David and Megan for sharing more of your story. I wish there was a way to know about people that are genuinely in desperate need as Megan and the children were not so long ago in Nebraska. I would be honored to be able to assist someone in such dire circumstances either directly or indirectly through one of the administrators here. What you said about religion and the verse you quoted rings very true for me. “Winning souls” seems the number one focus of many claiming to be Christians, often at the exclusion of helping innocent, desperate, and genuinely needy families to have just the basics to survive each day. I am a single father and have had to rely on others to help to care for my son while I work long hours. (His mother is seemingly not able or willing to care for even herself, let alone a family. We have been divorced now for 5 years.) My son is often at the home of another poster here on this forum who is now a single mom that was in an abusive marriage. I have helped her by paying her for his care, even though she offered to do it for free. I know she needs the help. I have fixed her car, helped with her kids, bought groceries at times, helped them move when it was time to get out, got punched by her husband (it didn’t hurt!), helped them move back in their house once he was put out for good by her lawyer and the court. She got an order of protection, but it seems hard for her to get the police to enforce it. She has told me I am the best friend she has ever had and she does not know how she would have gotten to where she is without my help. Her (now former) church was useless, with the pastor and his wife blaming her for talking about her situation and her husband to get help. Their basic response was to pray more, submit more to him and to God, and never let herself or the kids ever say anything bad about her husband (their father). And that she was just as much to blame for all that had gone bad as he was, which was totally not the case. He has been “hell on wheels” since day one of their marriage, only got worse as time went on.

    Anyone out there in a situation such as this, needs real support from true friends and family, not criticism and fear of involvement by “friends” that would rather not miss their favorite TV shows. It is much harder for a woman to leave when she has kids and she has been reduced to an emotional train-wreck by the confusing, multi-pronged attacks of an abusive spouse.

    • Brian, thanks for all you wrote.
      Actually, there is a fundraiser on right now for a survivor which we are helping to promote. You can find more info here:
      Give Her Wings- Online Fundraising Concert

      It is serendipity that this post and your comment were published at the same time as the fundraiser is being promoted. We didn’t design it that way, it just happened. 🙂

    • Jeff S

      It is indeed timely that you wrote with a desire to help right now. When Megan (of Megan and David) and I started talking about doing a fundraiser, it’s because there’s something about tangibly meeting needs that is important work of the body of Christ. Sometimes it’s easy to “do Christianity” in the abstract and not get personally involved with the oppressed and forsaken, which many single monthers (and fathers) are after a divorce from an abusive partner. We started a group on FB for this called “Give Her Wings”- we don’t know if this will extend beyond our current task, to raise funds for a single mother who needs the kind of help you are talking about, but our hope is that we could allow people to connect exactly in the way you are talking about.


      We are currently doing two fundraisers- one is a concert that I’ll be doing online. Barbara provided a link for it, but here is the direct link to the online “stage” where you can buy tickets-

      Steady On (May 16, 2013, 2:00 AM, CEST) [Internet Archive link]

      Megan is also doing an auction to raise funds, but it involves purses and such so I’ve been focusing my attention on the music 🙂 That being said, we recognize that these efforts will not do all the this mother needs, but we are doing what we can and exploring what options we have, raising awareness along the way.

      If you are on FB, I’d check out the link above and see if “Give Her Wings” might be a way for you to connect to folks in need- what you talk about is exactly what we want to do. If you aren’t on FB you can send either Jeff or Barbara an email and they can get you in contact with Megan or myself directly.

      The need is so great, but if we can help support even one person, that makes a real difference. I think of this quote by Loren Eiseley:

      While wandering a deserted beach at dawn, stagnant in my work, I saw a man in the distance bending and throwing as he walked the endless stretch toward me. As he came near, I could see that he was throwing starfish, abandoned on the sand by the tide, back into the sea. When he was close enough I asked him why he was working so hard at this strange task. He said that the sun would dry the starfish and they would die. I said to him that I thought he was foolish. There were thousands of starfish on miles and miles of beach. One man alone could never make a difference. He smiled as he picked up the next starfish. Hurling it far into the sea he said, “It makes a difference for this one.” I abandoned my writing and spent the morning throwing starfish.

      • Jeff S

        Also, Megan just added a way to donate directly for those not interested in purses or concerts 😉

      • Just Me

        Oh wow! This is so great! And it comes at a perfect time for me. I was walking into Target the other day, and there was a woman outside with a toddler. She had a small sign that said she was a single mom with 3 kids and had no money for food or rent. I didn’t want to dig through my diaper bag in search of my wallet in front of her, so I decided I would quietly give her money on my way out. I went in (was looking for one thing which they didn’t have). I came out 5 minutes later, money in hand, and she was gone. I looked in the parking lot and couldn’t find her. I went to the grocery store and came back and she still wasn’t there. There was an employee walking out as I walked in, so I think he had asked her to leave. But my heart has been so heavy for her ever since. Whether she was an abused woman or not, she needed help and I didn’t help her. I’ve been praying for her and I hope she’s ok.

        I’m thankful now to have a chance to help.

  15. Cindy

    David, you very succintly stated the truth. Even though I was left by my husband (he was mostly emotionally abusive) so many years ago, it was still devasting and I thank God that I had my family to support me through it all. My pastor also supported me, but there were those in the church that did not. It hurt to be told that I would have to live alone for the rest of my life. I had a three year old and a six month old. I wanted a godly father figure in their lives. I also didn’t want to spend the rest of my life alone. But, not knowing for sure what was God’s will, I prayed and prayed and prayed for guidance. I basically told God that I wasn’t going to look for a husband but if He wanted me to have one then He would have to drop him in my lap. That’s what He did. I have been married to my precious husband for almost 27 years and he has been a wonderful husband and father to my children. I thank God for him daily. My children have asked me, “Did you sin by getting married again?” I tell them the truth. I don’t know. I searched the scriptures and basically fell on I Corinthians 7. BAsed on his fruit, my first husband was not a true believer and chose to leave; however, I tell them that only God knows for sure if a person is a believer, so I can’t be 100% sure. However, I do know that God expects me to honor my vows to my husband regardless as to whether or not it was sin to remarry. It would be sin to not stay married now. In my heart, I feel I did not sin, but I only know my heart for sure (sometimes:)). You are so right that we have to give love and support to those that are suffering whether it is abuse or abandoment, both are painful and hard to overcome without God and the support of His people. Thank you for making it clear!

  16. As I See It Only

    What a powerful story of grace and redemption. Thanks, Jeff, for pointing out the Ruth and Boaz connection! I love what David is saying. I too think that it is not enough to say ‘I will pray for you’. We must be ‘Jesus with skin on’, as one of my friends has said. OK, so Jeff and Barbara, will you please start a confidential list of those willing to do something in their community? Those who will step up, listen, believe, be there? I want to sign up. Maybe I don’t have money, maybe I don’t have all the answers, but I do know how to slay the dragons of misinformation and misinterpretation of Scripture. I do know how to show respect, I do know what it feels like to have my human dignity preserved. Sign me up.

    • Memphis Rayne

      Aisio…..”but I do know how to slay dragons of misinformation …” I like that.

      Right now though all I feel I have the power to do is slay a bag of M&Ms = (

      But I wanna be a dragon slayer of misinformation and misinterpretation of Scripture..

      • As I See It Only

        Haha, Memphis Rayne. We call our Bible study the M&Ms (Misfits and Malcontents). You just reminded me of that. You are already a dragon-slayer, for you have the spiritual weapons of war and know how to use them. Amen? When you take captive all teaching that is contrary to Scripture (thanks to those who are leading the charge in this!) you are in the thick of it. Continue to turn to Jesus, your Captain. He wins.

  17. Josiah

    This is great, Daddy. -Josiah

  18. Finding Answers


    (Writing through the fog…another piece of an answer to a post elsewhere.)

    When I downsized, I donated items to where the Holy Spirit led me. Furniture. Musical instruments / music books. Clothing. Kitchen ware. Whatever anyone else could make use of…the rest got either recycled or binned.

    I could not be bothered with holding a garage sale, And there were many people who could benefit from what I had. A win-win situation.

    David makes some cogent points. There is a vast difference between “C”hristianity and the boots-on-the-ground, hands-and-feet-of Christ.

    I am so tired of feeling somewhere down the pike. No financial wherewithal to assist. No physical items left to donate. And now, too exhausted from crawling out of the fog to support the abused with a gift of time.

    I am trying to recover enough to return to work before my financial situation becomes extreme. The Holy Spirit keeps telling me, “not yet”.

    And in writing these sentences, I have found another missing piece. I am not a sponge or leech. I am not trying to “use the system”. I am not “too stupid to live.” I am not a mistake. I desperately want to support myself…to lend a hand how and where the Holy Spirit guides me.

    Where does one go when caught in the middle / muddle?


  1. Clueless |

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