A Cry For Justice

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

You’re Not Like Them

A while back I witnessed a car accident. As I was pulling over to check on the drivers, the car that was at fault [car A] drove away. I was already on the phone with the police, so I nonchalantly followed the car to give the license information. The car that was hit [car B] caught up and car A’s driver realized car B was behind him. Car A had another wreck and became inoperable. Car B’s driver ran across the road furious and ready to take car A apart with his bare hands. I was on the phone with 911 and in between the 2 vehicles, shouting at car B’s driver “Stop it! You’re not like them! You’re going to be ok! GO BACK TO YOUR CAR!” He stopped, looked at me, and returned to his car.

Car B’s driver said that when he heard, “You’re not like them!” and “You’re going to be ok!” it cleared his head and he thought to himself, “Yeah, I’m NOT like them” and “I am going to be ok.” I asked if I could pray for him. He said yes. I asked him and his friend with him if they are Christians. Yes again. We prayed. We thanked God for keeping us safe, for ordering our steps, and we gave Him the rest of the situation.

On the day that Jeff’s Abusers Don’t Just Snap post published, I read the story of a Houston, TX woman [Internet Archive link] who died in a fatal collision while trying to run her estranged husband and his girlfriend off the road. I saw some people empathizing with her. And I thought about Jeff’s post and I thought about the car wreck I witnessed and I wanted to tell you something.

You’re not like them. You won’t just snap and try to run over your abuser. Even if you have those thoughts, you don’t have to act on them. God will provide a way of escape from those thoughts of vengeance. Take it. When car B’s driver was about to go all Hulk Smash on car A, God provided a loud voice shouting at him to stop.

You’re not like them. You can reject thoughts of acting out the desire for vengeance in ways that would be sinful (or criminal). The Apostle’s teaching permits us to be angry, while at the same time reminding us do not sin (Eph. 4:26).  You don’t have to retaliate. God will show you what to do.

Isaiah 30:21 ESV And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.

You’re not like them. You’re going to be okay.


Coda from Barb:

For those who may have tried to retaliate — If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1.9)

But there is an important caveat for those who might be pierced with Satan’s hook of self-condemnation: remember that the abuser and the Pharisaic church will try to portray your boundary setting and your resistance to abuse as sinful — so don’t fall into the trap of confessing ‘sins’ that aren’t actually sinful!

This is a big part of the work on this blog: dispelling the myths about domestic abuse so that victims can disentangle and disconnect themselves from the entrapping hooks of false guilt.

Final note: it is not wise to be on your phone while you are driving. In fact, where I live, it is illegal and you will be fined if you get caught doing it. I know things are different in some other parts of the world, but I’m a protective schoolmarmish person 🙂 and I do not recommend calling the police while you are at the wheel, unless perhaps you have hands-free phone operation in your car.


  1. 7stelle

    The number #1 verse that has been deployed (like a parachute keeping me from destroying myself) most often interacting with a-h is:

    Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. –Romans 12:19

    I have had a few people suggest ways of dealing with a-h. It’s very important to stay away from UNgodly counsel; it comes from the Enemy and will entrap us beyond an immediate recognition of consequences.

  2. Greater Glory

    Yesterday I read on a marriage ministry page “A divorce lawyer is more expensive than a marriage coach” and I almost lost it. For a moment I felt that sick feeling of condemnation and panic. Then I came to my senses: I am already legally divorced and the cost of serving divorce papers and following through with the divorce was worth the expense. A marriage coach would have lead me on a path to antidepressant meds and a psychiatric ward just like that coach’s wife. The devil IS a liar.

    • Brenda R

      Greater Glory,
      I don’t believe that a divorce lawyer is necessarily more expensive. I’ve read of others who have been going to marriage counseling year after year with no positive results. A divorce attorney was still needed. There was no savings there. More to the point, there was more spent in the long run.

      I’ve gotten away from reading much, if any at all, from those that try to “keep the marriage together no matter what” people. They only bring pain to those of us that have been abused. I do understand why this would be triggering. It would be fore me. Once I left the xh, I realized how close I was to being admitted in a psych ward. I was definitely going over the edge.

  3. Bitter But Getting Better

    RE this from Barb:

    But there is an important caveat for those who might be pierced with Satan’s hook of self-condemnation: remember that the abuser and the Pharisaic church will try to portray your boundary setting and your resistance to abuse as sinful — so don’t fall into the trap of confessing ‘sins’ that aren’t actually sinful!

    This is a big part of the work on this blog: dispelling the myths about domestic abuse so that victims can disentangle and disconnect themselves from the entrapping hooks of false guilt.

    Being fairly new to this site this is a huge insight. Confusion abounded in my life about my own part in the abusive dance that is my marriage. He is very good @ making me feel guilty and then the devil would confirm the lies continually until I was totally under their control. So, “confessing sins that aren’t actually sinful” speaks volumes to my wounded spirit. Thank you!!!!! We do so desperately need to “dispel the myths and disentangle ourselves from a lifetime of lies and false guilt.”
    So this website is vital in helping me to come out of the darkness and into the light. Thanks again to all who are involved with this ministry!

  4. a prodigal daughter returns

    There was a point I wanted retaliation and tried to take it. That attempt backfired on me horribly and I was scalded with the acid of public contempt because the backstory wasn’t known. When I took my hands off, I quit trying to get people to understand me, and fell on my knees God unleashed an astonishing and breathtaking humiliation on my anti-husband. It would take too many words to explain, but it was custom designed to hit hard every area of his extreme arrogance and pride and reduce him to an object of complete contempt in the community. Because I had nothing to do with the events that unfolded, my hands were clean and there was no blame on me. It built my faith to watch God’s wrath fall.

    This passage really ministers to me as I think of the evil that wicked and arrogant bullies persecuted me with. I was broken by them, and thought them omnipotent, but God promises that he will “laugh” at those that oppress his children (Psalms 37) My abusers disgraced me, but God is a God that turns back disgrace and restores, the abusers fate is ugly.

    Zephaniah 3
    (17) The Lord your God among you is powerful—
    he will save
    and he will take joyful delight in you.
    In his love he will renew you with his love;
    he will celebrate with singing because of you.
    (18) I will gather the afflicted from the solemn assembly;
    those who were with you,
    who were bearing a burden of disgrace.
    (19) “Watch how I deal with everyone who oppresses you!
    At that time I will rescue the one who is lame,
    and I will draw to me[p] the one who has been driven away.
    I will honor[q] them with praise
    and with a good reputation in every land
    where they have been put to shame.
    (20) At that time I will gather you;
    at that time I will bring you home.[r]
    Indeed, I will give you a good reputation,
    making you praiseworthy among all of the people of the world,
    when I restore your prosperity before your eyes,” says the Lord.

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