A Cry For Justice

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

TRUE things I wish I’d been taught

I don’t have a relationship with most of my adult children. This wasn’t supposed to happen.  If I followed all the rules and sacrificed my life for my family I was told that I would be enjoying the fruits of my labor and that society would benefit from them as well. Lies, lies, and more lies keeping us working like monsters only to realize that it was for naught.

There are three things I wish I’d been taught — TRUE things I wish I’d been taught:

  1. Not all humans are capable of loving others, and what this means is that they are always only playing games with other humans.  And like their father, the devil’s fate has already been determined because “These have chosen their own ways, and their soul delights in their abominations…” Isaiah 66:3. I was NEVER taught this biblical truth and I certainly wasn’t allowed to believe it once I discovered its relevance. The church community tried to KEEP me from believing it but God has shown me the truth of it all–in His word and in my life.
  2. Being well-behaved with good manners and articulating words perfectly are simply another means that abusers use to make us feel they have a right to judge us and waste precious brain cells too. I wish I’d have spent time with the few people I’ve known over the years who do have a conscience and have been through hard times. This would’ve been time well spent. They didn’t even notice that I didn’t display perfect behavior or pronounce every word just right. Unfortunately we were all going through the same honing process and didn’t realize it and we were in the midst of raising the many children we couldn’t afford or figure out how to guide because none of the Christian books we read explained it so we were just trying anything thinking if we just did MORE, all would be well.
  3. Marriage and children are not God’s plan for everyone. Jesus didn’t say that we needed to have kids in order to please Him. He did forewarn us that when the end times comes it will be hard on nursing mothers. And Jesus (in His word) is always about our individual relationship with Him and God and how we are to view Him and how we are to view our biological families. Matthew 12:50. And if He does put it on your heart to marry, there’s no hurry, no pressure. He’ll guide you.

If I had to do it all over again my life would be completely different and as a result I would not be the person I am today. I’m not saying I’m grateful that I am this person just that I wouldn’t be who I am if I were given the chance to change it all. So that means that any of the hard, hard, super hard wisdom that I have been forced to learn is in spite of what I want and thus it only comes from GOD himself, so if it blesses anyone else, you can thank HIM. I would have high-tailed it years ago and found a nice cave to live in with maybe God sending some food on the wings of a dove or some thing like he does. And I’d remind him every time he visited me, that he was to tell no one where I was, and that I need several decades of no emotional and spiritual rape in order to be well rested enough to be prepared to be around other humans. I’ve been sucked so dry from them all!

So there’s my Christmas card! (I stopped doing Xmas cards years ago. Another of the social norms that kept me feeling guilty — like I needed to do more and more).

I would LOVE to receive a card in the mail like this. I would laugh and cry and be amazed that somebody else got it, and I would hold onto them and love them.


An anonymous reader left this comment on our post Don’t Fall for the Abuser’s “Repentance” — Lessons from Zacchaeus.  It was so good we wanted to give everyone the opportunity to see it.  Thank you, Anonymous!


  1. Tess

    Wow anonymous…..How beautifully you have expressed my current state of mind…After a lifetime of abuse by people and churches….I am almost totally destroyed….Your words have pierced my broken heart…..With empathy and compassion….. Whilst also producing healing balm. How I wish I could give you a hug, a symbol of sisterhood, meaning “I understand and I get it”!!
    The results of years of emotional rape are bad enough…But followed by Spiritual rape after admitting pain and vulnerability to Christian leaders….Being told to “shut up and grow up” as I was recently, well, where did the compassionate and gentle Saviour disappear to…Where is He, this understanding God of ours??….. Because He certainly isn’t within the churches I have attended recently…Yes, it is heart breaking all this brushing us under the carpet because we speak truth.

    Thank you Pastor Jeff, Barbara and all the Wonderful and victims who have courageously spoken out….We did the right thing.

    Love to all,


  2. Jessica

    WOW! This is incredible. Sounds so bitter… and I understand every bit of it! And thanks for that Isaiah verse. May God richly bless you!

  3. TuffEnuff

    If this guest poster reads this and would like to respond, I would like to know why she does not have a relationship with her adult children, as this is my biggest fear. Do they blame her for not leaving sooner? Have they become like their father? Did she go along with it so that the children think it “wasn’t that bad” so why did she leave?

    This was a helpful post. Thank you and bless you.

    • Abby

      I can tell you how we lost our kids. We had a joyous, happy, close family for 25 years. Then my oldest son fell in love with and married a psychopath. I didn’t know who she was until just before the marriage. I loved her. I thought she was wonderful until I realized who she was. She tried very hard to steal the hearts and minds of all 4 of my kids but she only got 2. My son, who loved her and felt protective of her (I do understand that), but she also turned our youngest daughter against us. She left home and moved in with them at only 17 years old. Their marriage only lasted 2 years before she was done with my son but now it is 7 years and we are still not reconciled.

      All this was done with lies. A smear campaign on me and my husband. To this day we can’t get to the truth (we have tried talking with them on a few occasions.) They just refuse to answer the hard questions. They’ve got their story and they’re sticking to it.

      What has changed in our world is that nobody seems to care about the truth anymore. It’s too hard to take a side in situations like this. Nobody stood up for us. But, even just one generation ago I don’t think it would have happened.

      We have also lost a third child, a few years later. It is a story for another day but basically it came down to the same behavior. If we didn’t go along with everything she wanted and love it, she would punish and abuse us.

  4. Moving Forward

    Oh, I could sure have used that cave, even now! But, there is a mansion waiting for me with an eternity abuse-free, and a loving Saviour – I can’t wait!

  5. cave dweller

    This is the most glorious post I’ve ever read.
    Thank you for posting.
    I’d rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.
    The church is full of wicked men and do-gooders placating all the sin.
    I switched churches after my pastor declared neutrality to my divorce. My former pastor even told me “your husband is an abuser”.
    Others in the church enlightened me that he was a narcissist.
    No one would support me in court.
    My soon becoming x stayed.
    The next church was a love bombing experience.
    I got support.
    My x began attending too.
    He sent others to spy me out.
    They slandered me in the church.
    Then, the near fatal attacks of abusers who shouldn’t have been allowed in leadership tried to “minister” to me.
    I was trying to heal.
    Instead, I got a platter full of more works to do and expectations that I could not meet.
    I love my cave- non church!
    My home singly with God.
    I’m still praying for my children and learning to stand up to be my own advocate.
    God is bigger than failed human beings!
    No tragedy is permanent for the Christian.
    Through tragedy, He brings triumph!

  6. standsfortruth

    I also wish I had been taught that evil people walked among us looking just like us-early on in my childhood, and NOT to believe every persons front of being a good person.
    But to check out their fruit over time.

    I tried countless times to tell others of the hurtful things done to me, durring my decades of marital imprisonment, and the countless dehumanizing statements said to me – only to be told and reassured that my abuser “meant” well, or surely he loves me and he cant be all that bad.

    And told by the church that I must be wrong about what I percieved, because what they saw was a different person who was someone I did not see.

    But all along my Spirit was telling me-If this is the definition of love, then I’d rather be alone.

  7. Notlongnow

    That IS really good. Can really relate to the wanting to live in a cave thing.

    Also the writer mentions another taboo that is not talked about much, even in domestic violence circles, and that is that some children grow into adults to be abusers in some form like their abusive parent, or they become allies of the abuser, and we can lose the relationship with our adult children. It’s horribly sad and unfair, but it does happen to some of us.

    Will print this one out.

  8. Karen

    Thank you Anonymous for posting your heart. I believe every word of your testimony and have experienced similar situations. I believed the façade of the family I married into as being very Christian as their doctrines were based solely on works and outward appearances. Not even a month into our marriage, my mother-in-law was busy at work behind my back, complaining to my husband of my helping in the church. As she favored her one son over the other (I married the hated son), my life, since signing the marriage certificate, had become a competition of the daughter-in-laws. This included every facet of family dynamics, including the competition of the grandchildren.

    After years of putting up with my mother-in-law’s words of abuse, her threatening letters from her lawyer, and her lying and slandering my name in her church (I left her Lutheran church so I didn’t have to put up with her abuse there any longer) and to her so called friends and acquaintances, and her using my children for her means in trying to turn them against me as well, I have finally seen the darkness in her and decided to go no contact, including not visiting with her via the telephone. She is now using her grandchildren to meddle in my marriage, several even asking my husband, “Why doesn’t Karen speak to Grandma? It hurts her so?”

    I am told that I am to forgive her and be ‘friends’ with this wicked woman of a mother-in-law for this is what Christians do. My mother was not an abuser, thus I cannot fathom continuing to live under my in-laws destructive behavioral patterns for everything she says and does, equates with trying to destroy everything that is good within my life.

    My heart aches for you Guest Poster and it seems so cliché-ish to just say I will pray for you because the hurt, rejection, and despair is so crippling. Jesus does see your pain and please know, there are others experiencing much of the same suffering you are in. And I will pray that God will help you heal and bring new life to your soul.

  9. healinginhim

    I kept this post in a ‘draft file’ … so glad I saved it as I needed to reflect on it today.
    (tired of trying to explain that yes, children can also be rude and abusive to a parent who genuinely sacrificed much for them; just tired of people telling me to be thankful for a roof over my head)
    Grateful for the sermon series Pastor Jeff Crippen has been nourishing us with. Rev Sam Powell is also faithful in bringing hope to the oppressed.
    Thank you ACFJ for sharing and caring.

  10. broken not shattered

    A lady in my old church tried to guilt me for deciding to stop having children for financial reasons, after having had two. She had moved away and I decided to ask her how she was doing, and it came up that I had decided not to have more children. She said, “having children is a wonderful thing and I hope you will seriously consider changing your mind. you have to trust that God will provide.” I said, “I am making a common sense decision here, not to have more kids than I can afford.” So she said, “God’s ways are not our ways, He doesn’t do common sense”. I stopped talking to that person and didn’t feel bad about it.

    • I stopped talking to that person and didn’t feel bad about it.


  11. Finding Answers

    The only thing I did “right” in my “marriage” was opt out of having children. Many reasons, none relevant to the topic at hand.

    While I was “married”, someone asked if I had any children. When I replied “No.”, she said, “Oh, you still have time.”….to which I replied, “After thirteen years, I think I’ve figured out how not to have kids.”

    Taking the liberty of adding to the Guest Post:

    4) If we are “ships passing in the night” with little common ground, my personal choices are none of your business. Not sharing intimate details during a chance encounter does not make one unkind or unChristian or a child-hater or…..pick from a long list of “labels”.

    Although I am now No Contact, when I read all the survivors stories, when I consider my “parents”, when I look at my siblings’ children, when I consider my anti-x, I thank God I was too afraid to have children.

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