A Cry For Justice

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

How Abusers Act Like the Enemy

When the Dragon saw he’d been thrown to earth, he went after the Woman who had given birth to the Man-Child. The Woman was given wings of a great eagle to fly to a place in the desert to be kept in safety and comfort for a time and times and half a time, safe and sound from the Serpent. The Serpent vomited a river of water to swamp and drown her, but earth came to her help, swallowing the water the Dragon spewed from its mouth. Helpless with rage, the Dragon raged at the Woman, then went off to make war with the rest of her children, the children who keep God’s commands and hold firm to the witness of Jesus. Revelation 12:13-17, The Message Version

I have been reading the book of the Revelation because I have slowly attempted to read through the New Testament and this was the only book left. I had not been too excited about it because I don’t really understand much about it. But, I do know that it is probably important for us to know the book, just in case we see some signs. I really do not think that Jesus is coming back in my lifetime but I feel like a responsible Christian for reading through it. (Smile!) When I got to chapter 12, I perked up. I think I might “get” some of this better than other chapters. When I read prophecy, I do not really try to decode anything . . . I just try to learn about the nature of God, the nature of humanity and the nature of evil.

The Dragon is obviously Satan, as previous verses make that clear (“Satan”, “that serpent of old”, “the Enemy”). He wanted the child the woman birthed. He wanted to devour Jesus and he was not allowed. So, he went to Heaven to get the Lamb and fought a war with Michael and his angels there. Satan lost and was hurled to the earth with a third of his angels-turned-demons. When he realized what had happened, he was angry. He could not have the Child so he went after the mother (I assume this is Israel). But, there were boundaries everywhere. He could not have the mother so the enemy goes after us (Believers). The Enemy just keeps on going . . . never giving up and never stopping. Angry, he lashes out at whomever he can get . . . well, if I can’t get HIM, I’ll get her . . . and if I can’t have HER . . . I’ll have THEM. Satan was angry:

The Accuser of our brothers and sisters thrown out,
who accused them day and night before God.
They defeated him through the blood of the Lamb
and the bold word of their witness.
They weren’t in love with themselves;
they were willing to die for Christ.
So rejoice, O Heavens, and all who live there,
but doom to earth and sea,
For the Devil’s come down on you with both feet;
he’s had a great fall;
He’s wild and raging with anger;
he hasn’t much time and he knows it. Revelation 12:9-12, The Message Version

Such is the nature of evil. Such is the nature of accusers. And there is wisdom, I believe, in understanding this. Those who work like the Enemy never stop accusing . . . day and night they accuse. Abusers whisper lies in the ears of their victims night and day. . . they gossip and whisper to others night and day . . . they do not stop. And, if they cannot have one part of our lives, they try to take another. The Enemy goes after whatever is vulnerable (or so he thinks?). Abusers are the same way. They go after what is vulnerable. And, if boundaries go up, they go after the children until boundaries are drawn again and then again and again. It is exhausting work to be in the path of an angry and evil abuser. It is why being a warrior is sometimes so very necessary.

The Enemy accuses and the enemy lashes out at anyone associated with Christ. And it is systematic. If an abuser can no longer abuse you, he will go after those associated with you . . . friends, family, co-workers and the like. He does not stop, I believe, unless he has found a new victim. That is why we read story after story of survivors who have lost their families because the abuser only sets out to destroy.

The good news is that the Enemy cannot destroy us . . . not really . . . not if we cry out to God. To be sure, he can hurt us, scar us, near-break us . . . but he cannot take our souls, which is want he really wants. Abusers cannot take our souls, they are safe in the care of Jesus. I believe it makes them so angry. They are entitled, they want to own . . . but they cannot own our spirits. Our spirits are sealed. And that is one of our many hopes.

21 Comments

  1. As I See It Only

    Thank you, MC, for drawing my attention to this parallel. Yes, the devil goes dragon and many are deceived, but the wrath of God is then poured out, ‘Babylon’ falls (read carefully, Jerusalem = Babylon), Jesus conquers and reigns forever. I don’t want to spoil the ending of Revelation for anyone, but ‘In the End, it’s all good’.

    • MeganC

      Haha! I love that — ‘In the End, it’s all good.’ I actually read that part yesterday. Again . . . not getting it all but loving reading about it. Tucking it away . . . 🙂

  2. Yep abusers are exactly like Satan, they can’t help but be like their father :/ Sometimes we have to battle and sometimes we have to hide.
    (I have about as much enthusiasm as you do for Revelation 😛 too confusing)

    • MeganC

      ‘Glad I’m not the only one. 🙂

    • As I See It Only

      Don’t let this detract from the discussion, but anyone wanting a fresh look at Revelation should get a hold of Ken Gentry’s ‘A Survey of the Book of Revelation’, a video teaching series. It’s not confusing anymore . . . .

    • Brenda R

      I am slowly beginning to get into studying Revelation. I was taught it was confusing from a young girl. It was NEVER preached on. Too confusing for pastors too, I guess. I’m not going to pretend that I get it all, but it is making some sense as time goes by.

  3. Kim

    Thank you for once again exposing the Truth! Abusers do indeed behave like the enemy & I believe are directly used of him to perpetrate evil on the children of God. Therefore, although there is much we can do in the natural, our war is not against flesh and blood, & the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God to pull down strongholds.

    • MeganC

      Amen, Kim!

  4. Reblogged this on Speakingtruthinlove's Blog.

  5. This might seem slight far fetched for some people but over the past year or so when I look at my husband I see a snake.. not literally but he has this snake like look about him. I never really thought much of it but a few months back I read Ps140:3 where the scripture is speaking of men with tongues like vipers … I then knew what God was showing me. The snake also representing Satan.
    This morning the light went on again… Proverbs 31: 30 Charm is deceitful…. I realised that charm, abusers are good at it, is deceitful… I then realised why, when my husband is like this it repulses me. One of my bibles used a cross reference to where it spoke of the adulteress that had words that dripped with honey … oh yes how charm is like that alright! flattery, lies, deceit just to ensnare the victim enough.
    I am quoting these scriptures from memory.. havnt a bible in front of me just now.
    Thanks for this post…

  6. Laurie

    MeganC…just a quick note on Revelation. Best study I ever did was to draw the things I was reading, since Revelation is given in the form of a vision. Really amazing.

    Owning our souls…my ex told me he didn’t want to go to heaven unless I would be his wife there (i.e.; serve him). He also got a church fellowship to tell me that I needed to back off on my relationship with Jesus and the studying of God’s word so that he, the head of our home, could lead me. I tried to “obey”, and he still refused to lead. He just wanted me to stop reaching out to God, learning of Him.

    Now the rumor mill is that I “somehow” got the judge on my side in the custody case. He could not be bothered with the divorce, which I count as a real blessing from God.

    Problem? I still hurt so deeply and struggle with feeling worthless and unloved. But, Psalms says that God will be the lifter of my head, on this one I cannot summon my own strength. But the blows, oh, the multitude of blows: eviction, debt, two broken-down cars, illness, exhaustion. Yep, the enemy of our souls seeks to wear out the saints.

    • IamMyBeloved's

      Those feelings and hurts are part of the grief process, Laurie, and they will pass as you heal.

      Those men are idiots for telling you to seek your husband first. (I too, was told to stop studying and also to stop other acts of ministry to others, and focus only on my husband.) They told you to disobey the Word of God. He tells us to seek Him and His Kingdom first and everything else will be added unto us. They told you to seek someone else first – ugh! But, over time, you will begin to see how God intends to care for you and help you and provide for you, and I can guarantee it will be better than it sounds like you have been being provided for! Praying for you during this time of weariness.

  7. He also got a church fellowship to tell me that I needed to back off on my relationship with Jesus and the studying of God’s word so that he, the head of our home, could lead me.
    ????!!!!!!!

    I still hurt so deeply and struggle with feeling worthless and unloved. But, Psalms says that God will be the lifter of my head, on this one I cannot summon my own strength. But the blows, oh, the multitude of blows: eviction, debt, two broken-down cars, illness, exhaustion. Yep, the enemy of our souls seeks to wear out the saints.

    ((((Laurie))))

    • Brenda R

      BIT, Any man who would “lead” his wife and/or family in that way has a special reward awaiting and they’re NOT going to like it.

  8. slavesetfree

    I’m a newbie here. Thank you LORD for bringing me here. I left my abuser 3 years ago but still struggle every day with the after effects. Thought I’d share a little vignette from my experience. THANK YOU ALL FOR BEING HERE….I have been helped so much by the sharing here.

    Reptile Dreams

    Standing at the edge of the swamp

    Dark, misty, moss hanging low from ageless cypress trees

    Dank wild odors from somewhere in time permeate the air

    Animals of old just beneath the black glass surface; waiting

    Gliding silently, purposefully; reptile eyes watching me

    Armored tails propelling them toward me; all around me

    Friends and family safely on the other side

    Calling to me, urging me, “Come quickly!”

    Paralyzed by fear, thinking it’s safer to stay trapped and alone

    Then to risk the wrath and torment of the creatures below

    One look at my boys and I’m moved to action – I can’t let them down, I have to try

    Taking a first step onto a protruding stone, holding my breath, as if that will keep them at bay

    I find another and make to it, slipping slightly on its blanket of algae

    Next a log, spinning, spinning jumping quickly from it

    Almost there now, I see them waving me over. I have hope! I can do this!

    Taking my eyes off of my dirty feet for a moment I dare to expand my view

    Twin eyes of unblinking scarlet surround me.

    For a moment before my brain has time to register, I think, “Beautiful, like Christmas!”

    Now it dawns on me, eyes of killers; waiting for me to slip – to make one wrong move

    Lost focus and fear returns like a punch in the gut

    Can’t breathe. Feeling sick. God please help me.

    I see them now motioning to me. Jumping up and down. Shouting at me to hurry.

    Pointing at something; is it behind me?

    Turning my head I catch site of the dark fast moving form breaking the water, coming so fast

    Instinct takes over, “Swim! NOW!”

    Jumping in it’s as if the primordial earth itself has swallowed me up. Somewhere I feel like the swamp is smiling…”Yes, yes…come in my pretty.”

    Putrid thick water is up my nose and down my throat. I kick and flail. I forget how to swim.

    I lose all sense of direction…which way is up? Which way is the shore?

    Slimy swaying plants slap me in the face, I’m tangled in them. I kick something. Something that is hard and alive.

    Surfacing, I vomit swamp and kick and claw at the water; so desperate to make landfall.

    I can see it now…I’m almost there. I see my boys! They are calling me, “MOMMA!” They look scared.

    All at once a thousand searing knives are in my leg. There is intense pressure.

    I’m yanked beneath the surface. I watch as the boys fade from view. God, I love them more than they could ever know.

    It’s spinning me over and over. A death roll I think they call it. It makes me dizzy. It’s not as bad as you would think, though. I open my eyes to see Him. His eyes are closed. He’s enjoying this very much. “I’m going to die now” I think. Then, everything goes black.

    *CLICK*

    Suddenly there is light; bright light. Ok, so I must be dead. If I’m seeing light I guess that is a good thing? But why is the alligator still biting my leg? Clawing my way out of a deep sleep I groggily open my eyes to see my bedside lamp on and my husband’s rage-contorted face a mere 2 inches from mine as he roughly shakes my leg. “What IS this????” he demands as he shoves a highlighted piece of paper in my face. My consciousness has not caught up to speed yet and I’m still trying to comprehend the fact that I was just eaten alive by a swamp creature. Even so, my adrenaline begins pouring out into my system once more – my body has this thing down pat even if my brain does not. Prepare for battle, soldier!

    Selfishly, I take a moment to wonder what it must be like to wake up in the morning with a kiss on top of my head and a smile from a loving spouse. My eyes well up with tears as I consider it. I want to cry. I want to be 2 years old again and crawl up into my Daddy’s lap and rest my head on his firm and faithful chest and go to sleep forever. Quickly, I recover from my childish longing. I can’t show any weakness to him as he thrives on it. “I don’t know, John, what is it?” I sing song. He jabs his large finger at phone numbers dressed in yellow. “THIS. Who is THIS?” he yells.

    • Linda

      To Slavesetfree…..Like Barnabasintraining, I too would like to hear more from you. Has anything changed for you? Are you still in
      this abusive situation or have you moved on? Please let us know, as we do care.

  9. Hi Slavesetfree,

    Wow. Tell us more.

  10. Linda

    I have little feeling about my abusers right now since the last incident was over 2 years ago. Over time, because I have separated myself from them and no longer attend that church, I can look at it more objectively now. It’s almost like it happened to someone else, even though the emotional scars remain. Yet God has called me to expose some things about what happened to me there and at another church to help those that are still being exposed and might even be in denial about it.

    I am glad that the pain is not so heavy anymore, but I can’t forget what happened since I have been called to help others in the Body of Christ that have been wounded in similar ways. Without the passion of it all, I feel almost numb. Like I’m glad I’ve forgiven, but I don’t want that to stop me from fulfilling my purpose.

    Forgiveness is good and necessary, but we can’t forget the ones that are still in the midst of abuse. It’s one thing to say “I forgive and forget and I will go forward”, and another to say “I forgive, but I can’t forget completely or I will lose the passion I need to help others escape abusive pastors and/or churches”. (Of course that could pertain to those living
    with marital or any other kind of abuse, also)….

    If there was no such thing as pastors or teachers that abuse, the bible would not have so much to say about them, even calling them “wolves in sheep’s clothing”. Yet, some church people would insist that if you help those that are being abused in the church, you have an “unforgiving spirit” or a “rebellious attitude”. That you are causing division. It’s not the ones that speak up about abuse that cause divisions. It’s the ABUSERS THAT CAUSE DIVISIONS!!

    Jesus said “Blessed are the peacemakers”. He did not mean “Blessed are the peacekeepers”….there’s a big difference between the two. Peacekeepers will do anything not to “rock the boat”. Usually it’s so they can stay in their own comfort zone and close their eyes to the problem.

    Jesus expects us to speak up against evil. He said “have nothing to do with works of darkness, but rather expose them”. He loves the abusers too. But they will not change their ways unless they are confronted. Even then they may not, but at least there’s more chance of it if they are confronted.

    To anyone going through that right now, just know that God knows and He cares. Many behind the pulpit are misrepresenting His heart towards His people, the sheep of His pasture. God will correct us, but it’s always in a way that draws us closer, and doesn’t push us further away.

    [paragraph breaks added by Admins]

    • Hi Linda
      I changed the screen name on this comment of yours to make it consistent with a name you have used before on this blog.
      If you want it changed again to something else, email twbtc.acfj@gmail.com

  11. Kandyce Brothers

    The definition of abuse: A pattern of coercive control (ongoing actions or inactions) that proceeds from a mentality of entitlement to power, whereby, through intimidation, manipulation and isolation, the abuser keeps his* target subordinated and under his control. This pattern can be emotional, verbal, psychological, spiritual, sexual, financial, social and physical. Not all these elements need be present, e.g., physical abuse may not be part of it.

    The definition of domestic abuser: a family member or dating partner (current or ex) who has a profound mentality of entitlement to the possession of power and control over the one s/he* chooses to mistreat. This mentality of entitlement defines the very essence of the abuser. The abuser believes he is justified in using evil tactics to obtain and maintain that power and control.

  12. Finding Answers

    Another one of those emotional boundary blank spots. The missing word is provision. I am puzzled – the blank spot is from infancy. Yet I also see how the missing piece has driven me to believe I have to support myself, my inability to see God as Provider.

    The abusers believe they are entitled to me. I am their provision, rather than they being my provider. I am prey for the Dragon, rather than child to the Provider.

    The Holy Spirit hasn’t yet taught me the light, pressure sense for provision, so I still believe I have to provide for myself, not knowing anything else.

Leave a comment. It's ok to use a made up name (e.g Anon37). For safety tips read 'New Users Info' (top menu). Tick the box if you want to be notified of new comments.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: