Tag Archives: Domestic abuse

Family Court Protest 10/18/2019

Family reunification camps and policies like those run by Overcoming Barriers https://overcomingbarriers.org/trainings/  are proven to be ineffective and dangerous to children. Overcoming Barriers is in town tomorrow to lead judges, lawyers, guardians ad-litem, and mental health professionals in a conference. The purpose is to help court personnel learn how to force children to spend time with both parents, and how to give financial consequences to parents who don’t agree, or don’t want to make their children comply. The Washington Post reported in 2017 that Overcoming Barriers workshops were shut down after studies failed to prove their efficacy. These camps are a danger to all children, but imagine the impact especially if the child is afraid of a parent due to prior abuse and then is court-ordered to attend camp with the abusive parent. It is NORMAL for a child to be scared of their abuser and to suffer from a trauma or stressor-related disorder such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, or have suicidal thoughts. It is NOT normal or healthy to require a child to let down their protective barriers so they ‘get over’ being scared or stressed by their angry and controlling abuser, or so they believe the abuser loves them, wants the best for them, and is worthy of a closer relationship with them.

Here is a snippet of my interview with FOX 2 news from Tuesday.

Dr. Leslie Drodz says the training is “to arrive at actual solutions instead of endless court battles.” Here’s the problem: When you are dealing with an abuser and a protective parent there is no solution that will please the parents or the court. The abuser is out to hurt the protective parent’s heart, turn family and friends against them, and financially ruin them. The protective parent’s goal is to insure the children are safe. The court wants shared custody, or at least visitation, regardless of abuse. The court needs better training to help the victims. I’m not sure I can agree with Judge Banas that highly contested custody cases are the problem and the reason for needing ‘Overcoming Barriers’ to hold a conference this Friday. The problem I see and continually hear about is domestic violence being seen by the court as a high conflict divorce/custody case. High conflict divorces and domestic violence are NOT the same thing. This is why court personnel need training on how to identify and deal with domestic abuse. This will require ongoing education; not a 5-8 hour class. This is why I’m participating in a peaceful protest outside the court house this Friday at 10:30 AM. Please join me!

Watch Judge Burlison’s rebuttal below..

Organizers of the protest suspected she would say she takes the side of the protesters, and she did so. Judge Burlison says a parent can be stripped of their rights if there is abuse. They can, but are they?

What about all the protective parents who come in with professional documentation from one or many of these? Child protective services. child psychologist, family therapist. school counselor or teacher, or a police report. These reports are most commonly ignored in St. Charles County family court. And…if a child discloses abuse they have to disclose it a second time to the ‘correct’ county child advocate so it can be video recorded as evidence for court. If the child doesn’t re-disclose…it’s as if the abuse didn’t happen in the eyes of the court. For toddlers and preschoolers it is often difficult to get them to re-disclose. The interviewer isn’t allowed to ask leading questions in hopes of retrieving the information from them.

Of all the women I, Carolyn, have ministered to in St. Charles County who left their abusers, only the one whose husband went to prison was able to have the abuser’s rights taken away. Another was able to get the abuser to leave them alone if they agreed to a minimal financial settlement.It wasn’t because the court was willing to take his rights away. I also know of multiple cases where the protective parent lost custody to the abusive parent. This happened when they provided professional evidence to abuse. Bringing up abuse to the court often doesn’t end well and is used against the protective parent.

Organizers of the protest believe that more than a ‘parenting plan’ and the right of an abusive parent to have a relationship with a child; a child has a right to a non-abusive home.

Don’t just say these things have to be looked into. LOOK INTO IT! Children’s safety is in your hands and are you are not using the fullest extend of the law, state statutes, to protect them. Criminal courts would not get buy with ignoring and over riding professional testimony like family court does!

Dear readers, please go to overcomingbarriers.org and read for yourself what they teach in their seminars. If our judges want to do a better job for children of family court; we recommend ALIVE STL, BarryGoldstein.net, or https://www.law.gwu.edu/joan-s-meier #CourtToo

Link to FAMILY COURT WATCH: ST. CHARLES COUNTY’s Facebook page here to find out the many reasons the protest is being held. I know it’s last minute, but please, join the protest.

12 problems with Kerry Messer’s Version of Lynn’s Case

July 8, 2019, marks the five year anniversary of the disappearance of Lynn Messer. Lynn disappeared July 8, 2014, from the bed she shared with her husband. Lynn’s remains were discovered on their farm over two years later, November 1, 2016.

Lynn’s husband Kerry Messer is a Missouri state lobbyist who represents family, homeschooling, right-to-life, gun rights/safety, and Christian/Biblical values. 

You can read the reason I began writing about the Lynn Messer case here…

Here are what I consider to be the top 12 disputable issues with the case:

  1. On the morning of Lynn’s disappearance, Kerry stated to the Sheriff’s Department that Lynn had never been depressed and had never taken any kind of antidepressants. False: Lynn suffered from depression for years and was taking antidepressants. Facts which many family members were aware of, even Kerry himself was fully aware of this, referring to Lynn’s antidepressants as her “happy pills”.
  2. During Kerry’s time line of the first morning he told the police he didn’t leave the farm. False: He left his phone at home and left the farm. He only admitted to having left the farm after he failed the polygraph in May of 2015. Why would you leave your phone at home when looking for your lost wife? What if you found her hurt, harmed or worse? You would need the phone to call for help. What if someone found her and needed to call you? It seems like the most important tool you would want to have with you while searching for a missing person. Well…unless…possibly you don’t want your location to be pinged by the phone company for law enforcement.
  3. Kerry has been cooperating with law enforcement. False: Law enforcement revealed in April of 2015 that Kerry was not cooperating with the investigation, and had not been “for quite some time.” All just before investigators informed family members of his new relationship with Spring Thomas.
  4. Spring Thomas is just a family friend who has been helping him cope, helping him with eating, and caring for him. When I talked to some family members, homeschooling friends, and church friends of Kerry’s they told me what they had heard from Kerry; that his sons Abram and Aarron, law enforcement, and the media were all lying about the relationship between himself and Spring. False: We know according to law enforcement she has admitted to being in a relationship with Kerry at least 8 weeks after Lynn went missing. Abram has messages from Spring that date the time to at least 6 weeks after Lynn went missing, but he thinks the romantic relationship predated his mom’s death.  He has based this upon the previous years of watching his father interact with Spring. In fact, before Abram knew anything about Kerry’s relationship with Spring, he expressed concern to his father about their inappropriate behavior around one another in the past as well as their behavior around each other when Spring showed up for organized searches to help look for Lynn; after Lynn’s disappearance on the family farm. Aarron has stated on Facebook that he witnessed numerous romantic interactoins between Kerry and Spring while he, Aarron, still lived on the farm. Kerry and Spring Thomas married last year, August 4, 2018.
  5. Kerry told law enforcement the first morning that he didn’t make copies of the note. False: He made multiple copies of the note before the police arrived. Months later investigators found out from third parties that Kerry had made copies of the note and was showing it around, but not showing it to his sons.When questioned again about making the copies, Kerry responded by saying “because I knew this was going to be a long drawn out ordeal, and I didn’t know when I was going to get the note back.” So once again investigators scratched their heads wondering, how could he possibly know that this was going to be “a long drawn out ordeal” because that’s certainly not what he told the public, or the family. He took those copies; cutting the note in two and claims to have burned the other half of the note.  In one of the more bizarre interactions when the investigators were asking Kerry about that portion of the note, he said, “I told her not to write that.” The officer asking him stopped and said “what did you tell her not to write?” And Kerry said, “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to correct myself, I did not just say I told her not to write that- that is not what I said.” He has never explained how or what he could have meant by that. Just that he accidentally let slip that he watched her write the note, and that he criticized what she had written, and maybe that explains why he cut out that portion of the note and burned it. Perhaps he knows that it doesn’t have anything to do with Lynn’s disappearance?
  6. The note: Kerry told law enforcement and media he didn’t understand the note and it didn’t make sense. False: He told his sons that law enforcement demanded he, Kerry, not talk to his sons about the note. False:  In private he told Abram and Aarron he understood the note and understood it from the beginning.  Aarron’s daughter commented nonchalantly “Grandma didn’t write that.” “What do you mean?” Aarron asked.  She replied, “Grandma didn’t call grandpa, “Pa” she called him “Pop.” That’s correct. Grandpa would get so frustrated and correct her because he wanted to be called Pa, but she called him “Pop.” These facts and others have only been complicated by the way Kerry took a portion of the note which he retained, enlarged it, and enhanced the lettering for a TV interview he orchestrated.
  7. Different articles and Facebook posts over the last two years led readers to believe Lynn’s husband, Kerry, was the one who called the sheriff’s office. Several media outlets have stated that Kerry called 911. False:  Kerry had over four hours in which he could have called law enforcement—but did not. At least a four hour window of time for Lynn to have been missing exists, but if one retraces the timeline there are possibly eight hours of missing time during which something could have happened to Lynn.
  8. Kerry passed his polygraph. False:  Kerry (that we know of) has taken two polygraph tests. The first one, was considered “inconclusive” and the second polygraph which he took in May of 2015 was considered an outright failure.
  9. On Facebook Kerry publicly pines away for his “bride.” False: In private he pursued secret and private rendezvous with another woman. Even after claiming that his relationship with Spring was on hold, he still continued to actively lie and hide her. Abram describes; “He puts on a public act of piety. In private engaging in sin. The word of God repeatedly warns us about making a public profession while our hearts are far from God. We must all be aware of the biblical cautions for attempting to “serve God and man.” These attempts to serve God while secretly gratifying our own lusts exemplifies what the word of God calls a double minded man who is unstable in all his ways.”
  10. Kerry has repeatedly claimed that no evidence has been found. False: Lynn’s scent trail was immediately found and it led through the field where Kerry had Abram move to cows early the first morning. Which, in the end, led to where Lynn’s body was recovered. Kerry chose to hide this information from family, friends, supporters, and Lynn’s extended family. Adding emotional, mental, and psychological stress to their lives through worry and efforts of mile after mile daily searching— month after month, and year after year. Efforts which were still active until her remains were discovered. “They found a towel in the edge of the creek (on the back corner of the farm) that had been washed up,” Abram said. “One of the reasons we were rechecking all of the creeks is because we were hoping and praying if she was out there somewhere, there might have been something, anything that could have been washed down in that significant rain. “(After the towel was spotted) “We get up to this towel that is laying in the edge of the grass, which had obviously been washed up there and my father walks up to the towel and says, ‘has anybody touched it?’ I told him no, because that was one of the first questions I asked the folks who discovered it originally.” Abram explained that they needed to get the detectives out there. “My father said ‘well I’m going to touch it’ and he reached down and picked it up,” remembered Abram. “Keep in mind this is early August, it’s sweltering hot outside and we are all drenched in sweat. My father picks up this towel, rubs it all over his face, then he rubs it up and down both of his arms, wipes all the sweat off of him, he rubs the back of his neck and then he takes the towel and says he doesn’t think this is anything.” Abram said Kerry said it was some towel that a searcher must have dropped. “As he is saying this, he is vigorously rubbing the towel up and down on the outside of his chest,” recalled Abram. Never mind the fact I’m looking this plain white towel knowing that it matches the other five or 10 plain white towels that they have under their cabinet.” Abram said they now understand the location of that towel was a few hundred yards downhill from where his mother was discovered.  “We had been searching, begging, hoping and praying that we would find something, anything and we did. There is no doubt in my mind, I feel very, very confident, saying publicly and openly that my father has taken very direct active steps into destroying the trail of evidence. (Searchers, including Kerry, were instructed in recovery protocol. They were told NOT to touch anything that was found. Kerry violated this. Why?) Yet, some of Kerry’s lobbying principals expressed glee in how upright, forthright, and honest Kerry has been for keeping them abreast of every detail and development in the case from day one.
  11. Kerry and Lynn were happy in a loving and abiding marriage. False: There have been witnesses step forward with contrary testimony of what took place in the marriage. See:  Lynn Messer Case History, April 26, 2017, : Random Thoughts. Abram explains, “He had deliberately misrepresented their marriage, relationship, and family structure. They did not have a healthy marriage. Loving husbands do not hide financial information from wives. Christ honoring  husbands love there wives as Christ loved the church. Kerry’s relationship even by his own story telling seems to be one which required Lynn to make personal sacrifices while he enjoyed the public accolades of political achievement. Not the biblical picture of husbands sacrificially giving themselves to their wives. For years his public story telling on Facebook is one which defames Lynn’s honor, promotes himself, while minimizing the severity and impact of his own unbiblical view of marriage.” The Facebook stories seem to be full of fabrications and untruths; according to family members who can recall the real stories.
  12. Lastly, I will allow Abram to once again use his words. After all the boys have been through they deserve to tell it from their viewpoint; not Kerry’s Find Lynn Messer Facebook version; or how he has deliberately misrepresented the investigation, and especially his family. Kerry has claimed that his son Abram who worked for him in the capital for over a decade has mental problems, and Kerry has accused his entire family of abandoning him and turning their backs on him. False: “Kerry has gone to great lengths to tell absurd and unfounded stories and accusations for the sole purpose of misrepresenting his own children. These obvious attempts on his part to control the narrative reveals not only his own desperation but his desires to suppress the truth. Including but not limited to a consistent theme claiming that he has been abandoned by his family. By all accounts public and private; Kerry’s family members have repeatedly begged him for reconciliation and pleaded for truth and honesty so that Kerry can come to a right relationship with the Lord. Instead, my father has turned his back on us and accused us of abandoning him. When in fact he himself has abandoned his self-professed personal ethos. Choosing the pleasure of sin for a season over the freedom and forgiveness which God himself offers.”

DISCLAIMER:

The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. The information is provided by SpiritualBattles.org and while I endeavor to keep the information up to date and correct, I make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.

This website offers domestic violence/abuse, psychological, and spiritual information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace professional medical, psychological, psychiatric, legal, law enforcement, or spiritual advice, diagnosis, charges, services or treatment.

My opinions are my own. My guests who contribute to articles are going off of their memories and opinions.

Lynn Messer Public Prayer Vigil, July 8, 2019

July 8, 2019, marks the five year anniversary of the disappearance of Lynn Messer. Lynn disappeared July 8, 2014, from the bed she shared with her husband. Lynn’s remains were discovered on their farm over two years later, November 1, 2016. Law enforcement continues to investigate her death while waiting on the conclusion of all forensic testing. We now know that Lynn has been deceased the entire time and law enforcement confirms that her husband Kerry Messer has not been cleared in the investigation surrounding Lynn’s death.

Kerry Messer is a Missouri state lobbyist who represents family, homeschooling, right-to-life, gun rights/safety, and Christian/Biblical values. 

I have written dozens of articles on my thoughts about the case, evidence in the case, questions and answers to the lead detective on the case, and oddities and questions surrounding Kerry Messer’s actions, testimony, and writings on the Find Lynn Messer Facebook page.

You can read the reason I began writing about the Lynn Messer case here…

Many women who disappear do so at the hands of their significant other; not by the women’s choice. Fifty percent of women who have been murdered are killed by intimate partners. I combined this knowledge with what, in my opinion, were duplicitous writings of Kerry Messer on his Find Lynn Messer page, and some similarities Kerry appeared to have with my former husband. The similarities gave me reason for concern. Talking to some of Lynn’s family members and friends strengthened my concerns.

I have not forgotten about the questions surrounding Lynn’s disappearance and death; neither have her children, grand children, extended family, and friends.

To keep Lynn’s case in the public eye, to remember her life, and to pray for answers, truth, and justice there will be a public prayer vigil on Monday, July 8, 2019, in Ste. Genevieve. It will be held outside the prosecuting attorney’s office at 55 South 3rd Street, Ste. Genevieve, MO 63670. I will be speaking and praying along with a few other people including Cheryl Summers, founder of the For Such A Time As This rally. FSATAT rallied at the Southern Baptist Convention in 2018 and 2019. FSATAT is a group of Christians asking the SBC for: 1. A clergy database to track sexual abusers. 2. Mandatory training to recognize and address abuse (sexual assault and domestic abuse). 3. Treating women with honor and dignity.

I will post the complete prayer vigil line-up soon.

This is open to the public. If you have followed Lynn’s case we hope you will attend. If you are new to the case, you are invited to attend. If you are an advocate, abuse survivor, current victim, or concerned citizen; please join us.

Together we will seek #JusticeForLynn through a peaceful prayer vigil.

*This is not sanctioned by a church, law enforcement, or government agency.

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DISCLAIMER:

I’ve been asked if I’m concerned about being sued for writing about Lynn’s private life.

The thought has crossed my mind but I have this information that keeps me protected from anyone winning a lawsuit against me:

To hold someone liable for slander or defamation the plantiff must prove the defendant purposefully  lied/ made a false or defamatory statement for the purpose of  bringing harm to the plantiff.

I’m amazed at the freedom that we have in our country. Information from Dee at thewartburgwatch.com  

Here is a simple outline of what a person MUST prove when claiming defamation. All three things must be proven in order for a successful lawsuit for defamation. As you will see, it is exceedingly difficult to prove defamation.

  1. The writer must lie.
  2. The writer must knowingly lie.
  3. The writer must knowingly lie in order to bring malicious harm to another.

So, when it comes to my website, I listen to stories and make a judgement on the honesty of the statements. I don’t have to prove that it is true but I must believe that it is true. I can assure all readers that I would never deliberately lie and I take great care to be as truthful as possible and to investigate claims and accusations because I write to shine light on the problem of abuse in the church and abuse in Christian homes.

A strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) is a lawsuit that is intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition.[1]Such lawsuits have been made illegal in many jurisdictions on the grounds that they impede freedom of speech.

In the typical SLAPP, the plaintiff does not normally expect to win the lawsuit. The plaintiff’s goals are accomplished if the defendant succumbs to fear, intimidation, mounting legal costs, or simple exhaustion and abandons the criticism. In some cases, repeated frivolous litigation against a defendant may raise the cost of directors and officers liability insurance for that party, interfering with an organization’s ability to operate.[2] A SLAPP may also intimidate others from participating in the debate. A SLAPP is often preceded by a legal threat.

My homestate, Missouri, has enacted an Anti-SLAPP statute, § 537.528.1 R.S.Mo., designed to protect conduct and speech made in connection with a public hearing or public meeting. By enacting this statute, Missouri has created a policy by which speakers under its jurisdiction shall be afforded extra protection against lawsuits merely aimed at stifling speech and conduct related to public participation.

Plus, Kerry Messer is a public figure in the state of Missouri who raises financial support to fund his lobbyist activities. This makes Lynn’s case a public interest story.

Pedophile or Molester?

WARNING: GRAPHIC WRITTEN CONTENT

Diagnostic criteria for pedophilia

Pedophilia is a well-known disorder. It’s defined by the American Psychiatric Association in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM-IV-TR.

To be diagnosed with pedophilia, a person must:

  • be sexually aroused by, have intense, recurring sexual fantasies of, or be involved in sexual behavior with a prepubescent child or children (generally 13 years or younger);
  • be aroused by, have sexual fantasies of, or be involved with a child for at least six months.;
  • be at least 16 years old, and
  • be at least five years older than the child or children he or she is attracted to.

Let’s say a man with sexual addictions toward children was caught multiple times over the last two decades; although investigators in different states who have investigated are certain the history goes back to early teenage years and most likely includes dozens, possibly hundreds, of victims. He likes very young children both boys and girls, with brown hair. Is he a pedophile or a molester?

Is there a difference between being a pedophilic sex offender and being a molester?

Answer: Yes

The media tends to use these terms as synonyms (a word having the same or nearly the same meaning as another) though they are not. Although both pedophilic sex offenders and molesters abuse children; statistically pedophilic offenders have a ‘look’ or ‘type’ of child they prey upon plus they victimize more children over time.

Pedophiles and Child Molesters: The Differences

Although virtually all pedophilic sex offenders are child molesters, not all child molesters are pedophilic sex offenders. Pedophiles have a clear sexual attraction for children. The focus of a pedophile is a child or children generally under the age of 13. Pedophiles often report they are attracted to children in a particular age range (DSM-IV), build, look, hair or eye color. Pedophilic sex offenders are those who act on their attraction to children by violating a child.  Child molesters are sexual offenders who have committed either intra-familial sexual offense (incest) against a child victim or extra-familial sexual offenses against a child victim or both.

Pedophilic Sex Offenders:

  • True offenders may abuse family members, but the majority of their offenses is extra-familial and is directed toward vulnerable children whom they court or groom for the purpose of victimization. Their relationships with children are based on exploitation of the children for sexual gratification.
  • Offenders, who seek out children to victimize by placing themselves in positions of trust, authority, and easy access to youngsters, can have hundreds of victims over the course of their lifetimes. They are always on the look out for opportunity.
  • Offenders, especially those who molest boys, or both boys and girls, are the sex offenders who have the highest recidivism (relapse) rates after incarceration and/or treatment.
  • Offenders frequently are uncomfortable with adult intimacy and may spend their lives maneuvering to be near children. They may be extremely charming and skilled at manipulating adults, and they may use adult relationships to gain access to children.
  • The pedophilic sex offender may spend years working up to a position of authority and trust within a church, school, or youth organization in order to have access to children. Of course, unlike offenders, most individuals in these types of authoritative positions have no sexual interest in children.

Child Molesters:

  • The non-pedophilic molester is someone whose primary sexual orientation includes adults, but who may molest children in a maladaptive attempt to meet emotional needs.
  • Research has found that many men who molest their own children or related female children have sexual interests that are indistinguishable from those of non-offending males.
  • Data suggest incestuous offenders, regardless of the gender of the victim, have lower numbers of victims and are less likely to be rearrested for new sex crimes after they have been convicted.
  • A child molester may turn to a child for sex out of a perceived inability to be close with an adult partner, out of poor self-esteem, or to escape feelings of powerlessness and loneliness. This type of offender usually has had appropriate (but often dysfunctional) relationships with peers and may be married

—Outcome studies have demonstrated consistently low rates of recidivism (relapse) for incestuous only offenders.

Retired FBI special agent, Nancy Fisher, says pedophiles and molesters don’t change.

“I’ve never had a success with a child pornographer or pedophile, never, not one, ever, ever, ever, ever. They never change,” said Fisher.

Read more: My Fox Austin

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There is no cure for pedophilia. A number of proposed treatment techniques for pedophilia have been developed, though the success rate of these therapies has been very low.[1] Medications are used to lower sex drive in pedophiles by interfering with the activity of testosterone, such as with Depo-Provera (medroxyprogesterone acetate), Androcur (cyproterone acetate), and Lupron (leuprolide acetate).

The Mayo Clinic reports perpetrators who meet the diagnostic criteria for pedophilia offend more often than non-pedophile perpetrators, and with a greater number of victims. They state that approximately 95% of child sexual abuse incidents are committed by the 88% of child molestation offenders who meet the diagnostic criteria for pedophilia.[2] A behavioral analysis report by the FBI states that a “high percentage of acquaintance child molesters are preferential sex offenders who have a true sexual preference for [prepubescent] children (i.e., true pedophiles)”.[3]

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Please pray this Psalms over innocent children who have been abused. May their day of justice be upon them.

Psalm 3

Lord, how many are my foes!
How many rise up against me!
Many are saying of me,
“God will not deliver him.”

But you, Lord, are a shield around me,
my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
I call out to the Lord,
and he answers me from his holy mountain.

I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
I will not fear though tens of thousands
assail me on every side.

Arise, Lord!
Deliver me, my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
break the teeth of the wicked.

From the Lord comes deliverance.
May your blessing be on your people.

Psalm 27

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

When the wicked advance against me
to devour me,
it is my enemies and my foes
who will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then I will be confident.

Psalm 54

Save me, O God, by your name;
vindicate me by your might.
Hear my prayer, O God;
listen to the words of my mouth.

Arrogant foes are attacking me;
ruthless people are trying to kill me—
people without regard for God.

Surely God is my help;
the Lord is the one who sustains me.

Let evil recoil on those who slander me;
in your faithfulness destroy them.

P R A Y E R acronym



Previous post on prayer for innocent children.

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1.  Crawford, David (1981). “Treatment approaches with pedophiles”. Adult sexual interest in children. 181–217.

2.  Lanning, Kenneth (2001). “Child Molesters: A Behavioral Analysis (Third Edition)”(PDF). National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. pp. 25, 27, 29.

3.  Hall RC, Hall RC (2007). “A profile of pedophilia: definition, characteristics of offenders, recidivism, treatment outcomes, and forensic issues”. Mayo Clin. Proc. 82 (4): 457–71. doi:10.4065/82.4.457PMID 17418075.

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Abusers, Denial, and 10 Tips From Their Playbook

I keep writing about abusers because once you know one, live with one, survive one…you can see patterns of abusive personalities in society.

This is one of the reasons I took on the Lynn Messer case which you can read about here. I thought I was possibly seeing glaring red flags of Lynn being the victim, not survivor, of domestic abuse.

Understanding abuse is like understanding a football playbook. Abusers have a built in playbook and if you know the signs you understand the lurking danger.

Abusers can be found in different settings: domestic, clergy, spiritual leadership, athletics, educational, family court, or anywhere in society. They follow the same playbook/guidelines regardless of where you witness them.

Today I’m comparing what I know to what I saw in
Gayle King’s CBS interview with R.Kelly last night. Singer/songwriter Robert Kelly (R.Kelly) is charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault, with children and underage girls, dating back to 1998. He is also accused of holding women against their will in a so called sex-cult. Court documents show three of the victims were between the ages of 13 and 17. At the time of the alleged crimes, Kelly was at least five years older than these victims and there are other allegations that include a child.

R. Kelly’s reactions are typical among abusers, regardless of their background.

Play #1: It begins with denial, repeatedly reaffirms denial, and ends with…denial.

R. Kelly was explosive in his denial but denial can look different from abuser to abuser.

Here are some acts of denial I’ve seen:

  • Angry and hurt…becomes silent.
  • Angry and violent…hoping fear and wanting to maintain safety will stop the conversation/confrontation, or achieve agreement.
  • Calm and positive…they believe the victim has problems and they are willing to give said victim time to heal.
  • Befuddled….turns accusations against them into questions while placing the focus on victim/interviewer.
  • Reflectful and prayerful…toward the victim who is obviously emotionally unhealthy.
  • Angry but calm…spins the story.
  • Hang their head, shake their head, roll their eyes…because some people are just too stupid to understand the lies.
  • Condescending with a straight face…while explaining why they were justified to do what they did.
  • Sad and hurt…cries.

These are all forms of denial even though many do it with an air of believability.

Please understand that any emotion mixed with tears IS NOT because the abuser is sorry for what they did. It is from their frustration of their specialness being called into question; their sin or crime being brought into the light of truth. They believe they are above moral code and law and shouldn’t have to answer to anyone. (This is especially true of individuals with narcissistic personality disorder). The tears are not for the victim and not from remorse of doing wrong.

“When we do not understand an abuser’s capacity for deceit we make it is easy for the offender to continue in deception and sadly, often call it ‘grace’.  If it lacks truth then it is not grace.”  ~Diane Langberg

Here is a detailed list of denial from an abusers’ playbook:

  1. Select, groom, and brainwash your perfect victim.
  2. They (abusers) are the real victim.
  3. The person speaking truth is made to be the liar.
  4. The offender is the good, healthy, benevolent person.
  5. The victim is retaliating for vengeance, money, or notoriety.
  6. Believes the heart of their motive has been misunderstood.
  7. Judgement has fallen on them for conduct that was ‘private’ and should never be made public.
  8. They deny all private abuse or explain why it was necessary or beneficial.
  9. There is one way to do anything and everything and it’s their way. To them this is perfectly normal and logical.
  10. They hold power over the victim they claim is victimizing them.

How do we know if an abuser is rehabilitated? Conviction, repentance and change all have to take place. This is the only way you will know if your abuser is sincere.


Don Hennessey, relationship counselor and former director of the National Domestic Violence Intervention Agency, refers to abusers as psychephiles and lumps them in the same category as pedophiles when it comes to recovery. Statistics agree that abusers stand little to no chance of recovery because they don’t believe they have a problem, and “I’m sorry” isn’t in their vocabulary.

We all know that pedophiles target children for sexualized abuse.” Don Hennessy coined the word psychephile for the man who abuses his intimate female partner. “A psychephile targets the psyche of the woman he has selected as his target for a long term intimate relationship.”

Link to Gayle King interview here… (it has been broken into several shorter segments so you will need to scroll down to watch all of them).

Emotional abuse checklist


Here is a checklist to help us determine if we might be in an emotionally abusive relationship. This is by no means a complete list, but merely questions I ask based on what I’ve survived, observed and studied.

It’s easy to brush problems aside, believe we’re over reacting or are especially sensitive, or wondering if we are the problem. We can deny the abuse just as much as the abuser denies their abusive behavior.

These are some of the less obvious signs of emotional abuse that no one outside our home will likely see. A few of the below items done with love, concern, and gentleness for the sake of understanding and being understood do not constitute abuse.

If we read this checklist and feel an ache in our heart because a few, several, or all of these negatively apply then we have elements of a toxic, destructive relationship. Please know there is help and we can find healing.

If this list applies to you, please find help so you can take good care of yourself.  Learn ways to interact with and set healthy boundaries with your angry and controlling person.

Often times when someone else names the problem or writes a list of symptoms, it’s easier to see reality.

Disclaimer: These questions can apply to men or women. I minister to abused women so I frame my questions from this basis. There are men who are abused by women. Not all men are abusers. There are many wonderful men in this world, but again, I minister to women who are being, or have been, abused.

Checklist/Questions:

  1. Is there a climate of fear of disappointing him?
  2. Do you, or the children, dread when you know he’s coming home?
  3. Does he make it clear what behavior is unacceptable, and the list is getting longer and longer?
  4. Does he make it clear how he wants the house, food, and laundry cleaned and organized?
  5. Is he consistently condescending in his tone of voice when he disagrees with you or doesn’t like something about you?
  6. Is there a sense that you have to check with him to make sure you are doing the right thing and in the right way?
  7. Do you constantly feel like an outsider in your own home?
  8. Do you feel a sense of shame around him for being different than him?
  9. Does he justify, minimize, spiritualize, or deny hurtful words or behaviors when you attempt to talk to him about them?
  10. When you try to speak logically does he treat you as if you’re unbalanced?
  11. Do you sense that he delights in (feeds off) disagreements?
  12. Does he turn love ‘off’ when he disagrees with you, is disappointed with you, or gets mad at you?
  13. Have you noticed that he never apologizes for angry outbursts or hurtful words?
  14. When you try to explain your feelings or needs does he habitually stare blankly at you, or walk away?
  15. Does he consider the house, the money, and belongings his and/or take your pay checks/earnings from you?
  16. Do you find that he has no interest in you as a person other than needing you as a wife/mother to take care of the house?
  17. Have you realized that he has no interest in your work, hobbies, talents, or outside activities?
  18. Does he want to make all the decisions for you regardless of your needs?
  19. Are your experiences, thoughts, or feelings automatically discounted and considered wrong?
  20. Do you find that you keep your thoughts and opinions to yourself because you know they won’t be considered, or that he will mock you?
  21. Does he control the family money by keeping you on a restrictive budget while he spends as much as he wants to spend?
  22. Do you find when he wants his way about something that he will keep bringing the subject up in hopes of getting you to change your mind?
  23. Does he treat you more like a child than like an adult who is equal with him?
  24. Do you feel like you’ve lost your personality, drive, talents, likes, and joy being married to him?
  25. Is your health deteriorating due to the stress in your marriage?
  26. Does he often give you the silent treatment when he’s in a bad mood or when he disagrees with you?
  27. Does he withhold words of affirmation, affection, and/or sex when he’s mad at you or disagrees with you?
  28. Does he come across as charming to people outside of your house; especially at church?
  29. Do you find extended family consistently express concern about his treatment of you?
  30. Does it seem he has unspoken rules that you’re supposed to know and obey?

If this leaves you feeling overwhelmed or sad, please find help in the margin of my website. I assure you that you can make healthy changes to protect yourself and your children while in an emotionally destructive /abusive relationship.

Click here for article: Biblical permission to leave a toxic spouse?

Look for these categories in the margin:

Articles/Videos: Other sources

Safety concerns in destructive marriages

Solutions – Hotlines – Help

Training Christian Leaders to Recognize Abusive Behaviors

I know that I don’t bring a lot to the table
Just little pieces of a broken heart
There’s days I wonder if You’ll still be faithful
Hold me together when I fall apart?
Would You remind me now of who You are?

That Your love will never change,
that there’s healing in your name
That You can take broken things,
and make them beautiful
You took my shame
And You walked out of the grave
So Your love can take broken things
and make them beautiful

I’m better off when I begin to remember
How You have met me in my deepest pain
So give me glimpses now of how You have covered
All of my heart ache, oh with all Your grace
Remind me now that You can make a way

You say that You’ll turn my weeping into dancing
Remove my sadness & cover me with joy
You say your scars are the evidence of healing
That You can make the broken beautiful

You make us beautiful, oh oh
You make us beautiful




Happy New Year: You can do this!

I know many women who have walked a long and lonely road in a difficult, unhealthy, unfaithful, abusive, destructive and/or dangerous relationship. Some of you decided to leave and have been re-traumatized by your church who insisted you forgive, forget, pray for, and stay with your abuser while you wait on God to change his heart. This happens due to misapplication of scriptures and because of deceptive tactics used by abusers. See: Do You Have Biblical Permission to Leave a Toxic Spouse?(Please remember: God does not make anyone change if they do not want to change. Rarely will an abuser want to change). I applaud you for your courage to stand strong, shining a light on the evil around you; for darkness cannot overcome the light.

You have made it through another year! As Samuel did in the Old Testament, raise your Ebenezer stone and repeat, “The Lord has helped us this far.” (I Samuel 7) You can do this! You’re learning how to care for yourself, set boundaries, and protect your children. You may be limping into the New Year with a tear stained face, Bible pages wet from those tears, barely breath to speak at certain moments, but you have your sanity and are actively exercising your faith. God knows! He sees, He hears, and He has counted every tear (Psalm 56:8). God’s grace will again be sufficient this new year.

“Abuse, adultery, and addictions are not marital problems. They cause problems in a marriage for sure. But they are first and foremost character issues, personal issues, sin issues and are best treated working individually with the person who has damaged the marriage. It is only when that part is done can you attempt to do the work to repair the relationship.

So many therapists and pastors treat these issues as marital issues and the victim starts to feel as if she or he is the bad guy for “causing” someone to act out in such a destructive way. That is not true.

Each person is responsible for his or her own reactions and behaviors. If you’re living with a guilt trip or are taking responsibility for someone else’s ways of managing their frustrations or problems, stop it. You are not at fault. Yes, there may be mutual marital problems for you to work on once the destructive behaviors have stopped but until safety is maintained, there can be no close marital or any other kind of relationship.”  ~Leslie Vernick


(This applies to a few men I know too, but my ministry is for women surviving destructive marriages or leaving them.)

The 2 sides of abusive men

  1. Number of people per minute who experience intimate partner violence in the U.S.: 24
  2. Number of workplace violence incidents in the U.S. annually that are the result of current or past intimate partner assaults: 18,700
  3. Number of women in the U.S. who report intimate partner violence: 1 in 4
  4. Number of women who are killed daily in the U.S. by their intimate partner: approx. 3
  5. A history of domestic abuse is a common, disturbing thread connecting the majority of America’s mass shooters. Google: mass shootings and domestic violence for more articles on the subject

For friends and extended family of domestic abusers the possibility that the person they know could be capable of having a dark side seems impossible, so they reject the idea. This amounts to rejecting the abused survivor, accusing them of lying, or implying they are crazy.

When people find two different versions of a person incompatible, they often render the other person’s view point as false.

I want to submit that both sides can be telling the truth about what they witness. There can be two sides to the story because a duplicitous personality is involved.

Let’s start by inserting some names into this picture:

Laci Denise Peterson was an American woman who was the subject of a highly publicized murder case after she disappeared while eight months pregnant with her first child. She was reportedly last seen alive on December 24, 2002. Her husband, Scott Peterson, was later convicted of murder in the first degree for her death, and in the second degree for the death of their prenatal son, Conner. Peterson is on death row at San Quentin State Prison.

Drew Walter Peterson is a retired Bolingbrook, Illinois police sergeant who was convicted in 2012 for the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, a few months after their 2003 divorce. Peterson first received national publicity in 2007 when his fourth wife, Stacy Ann Cales Peterson, disappeared. Although law enforcement and Stacy Ann’s family suspect foul play, she has never been found, and Peterson has not been charged in her case.

There are currently two cases near me which are unsolved:

One involves a missing woman, Amanda Jones, who was last seen with Bryan Westfall, the alleged father of her unborn child. Bryan Westfall phoned Amanda and made arrangements to meet her on a Sunday afternoon. They met, but Amanda never returned home. Her car never left the parking lot where they met. Amanda is presumed dead and has been missing since the summer of 2005.

The second involves a woman I’ve written about many times, Lynn Messer. Lynn disappeared July 8, 2014. We now know that Lynn has been deceased the entire time and I have been told by law enforcement multiple times through the years that Kerry Messer, her husband, has not been cleared in the investigation surrounding Lynn’s death.

Disgraced former Judge Lance Mason accused of fatally stabbing estranged wife in Shaker Heights, sources say.

Yesterday, an Ohio grand jury has indicted this former trial court judge accused of fatally stabbing his ex-wife, Aisha Fraser Mason, on aggravated murder and murder charges, according to prosecutors.

He had “spent nine months in prison for beating his then-wife in front of their children.” The system utterly failed this woman and her children; as it fails many women. This time he murdered her when he was returning the children to her.

There are so many things to say about the Judge Lance Mason case…such as the friend of the couple who says of the abuser/murderer, “He really loved those girls though.” No, no, no! Any man who loves his children will love or, at the very least, respect their mother. Abuse and murder bear no resemblance to love for anyone other than himself.

Chris Watts, a Colorado father accused of murdering his pregnant wife and two children in August pleaded guilty to nine related felony crimes Tuesday during a court appearance in Weld County. I previously wrote about Shanann Watts and this case here, here, and here.

A timeline can be found here…

Larry Nassar was a pedophilic offender the outside world refused to believe was an abuser. Despite numerous young girls telling countless adults, over two decades, in detail, how Larry Nassar was abusing them, the girls were not believed. Why? Because people at work and in the community thought Larry was such a nice guy…a terrific guy…a helpful neighbor, and that the girls were lucky to have him. “Nassar’s cumulative criminal acts of sexual assault were the basis of the USA Gymnastics sex abuse scandal, in which he was accused of molesting at least 250 girls and young women and 1 young man including a number of well-known Olympic gymnasts, dating as far back as 1992.”

November 20, 2018, Thomas Bruce, 53, entered a St. Louis, Missouri, Catholic Supply store where he ordered female customers to remove their clothing. He committed sexual assault and murdered a woman. He was charged with first-degree murder, eight counts of armed criminal action, three counts of first-degree sodomy or attempted sodomy, three counts of first-degree kidnapping, first-degree burglary and tampering with physical evidence in felony prosecution. No prior arrest record. According to a church official at a St. Louis-area Calvary Chapel, Bruce was the minister of a Calvary Chapel in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, about a decade ago.

For the above men who were found guilty, I’m sure that friends and extended family members had a difficult time believing in their guilt.

“We would rather believe a reassuring lie than an utterly inconvenient and disturbing truth.” Diane Langberg, PhD

Women disappearing or being murdered by an intimate partner happens multiple times a day around the globe. Other times, men who commit crimes outside of the home are domestic abusers in their home.

I’m not saying with certainty that all the above mentioned men are guilty of wrong doing in the disappearance or death of these women; although I know family members of the missing or deceased women have strong opinions on the subject. The point I’m making is that people outside the family often know the nice side of a person and refuse to understand how a seemingly nice guy could be responsible for such dark acts of violence.

Of all the people I’ve talked with over the years a common thread runs through stories of abuse. The parents of the abuser usually refuse to believe the truth. And if they know the truth, many take it to the grave with them. It’s rare to find a parent of an adult child/abuser who admits to the faults or failures of their child.

The outsiders looking in want to know how a person could be so vile. Were all his good acts just a pretense? Was his ministry a farce? What about all the times he was kind, the times he was hysterically funny, the times he helped us, and the times he prayed for us? What about all the souls he led to the Lord? He seemed so professional. How can he be evil? So, they don’t believe there is a dark side to the alleged abuser or murderer.

To the family the abuser can be angry, controlling, rigid, isolating, with holding, and verbally, emotionally, sexually, reproductively, financially, and/or spiritually abusive.

Do not think, “Well, at least he didn’t hit her.” Yes, he did. He just didn’t use his fists. Diane Langberg, PhD

Please understand that abusers can be all these bad things and more to their loved one or their victim, while being kind and thoughtful to others. They can be both. Some people admire him while others are repulsed by him. Decency and depravity can exist in the same person. Conceding to one does not mean rejecting the other. It doesn’t mean everything we always thought about them was a lie. It means we weren’t with them every minute of their life. We never know what goes on in someone else’s home. We never know if an individual lives a double life.

Like Jesus, we need to come from a place of love; not a place of inconvenience or disbelief when considering accusations of abuse.

Remember: Abusers are word spinners who tell half-truths and justify their behavior. When the woman is divulging the abuse and the man explains, justifies, minimizes, spiritualizes, and denies the severity of what she is describing; you are looking at the number one sign of dealing with an abuser; denial. They are wolves in sheep’s’ clothing. They do not change for the better, but rather adjust their game so as to not get caught by outsiders; especially not caught by Christians or church members.

I learned from my experience and from women I minister to that men with personality disorders tend to gain energy supply from upping their game. It’s as if they are daring someone to catch them at the abuse; whatever from it may be. Many of these men tend to think they are more intelligent than those around them and they enjoy boldly doing something outrageous in front of others because they know no one will ever believe they are actually committing an act so mean or dark. Healthy people tend to think, “surely he didn’t just do or say that.” Believe your eyes and trust your instincts. Heed the intuition in your spirit.

When you sit with a griever, your work is to be with him where he is, not drag him out where you are more comfortable. Diane Langberg, PhD

“How to handle a marginalized person’s or abuse victim’s anger:

1. Sit quietly 2. Listen carefully 3. When they are done, say “You didn’t deserve that and I’m sorry.” 4. If they start talking again, refer to step 1.” Mandy Nicole, First of Her Name

All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in court. Arrests and charges are merely accusations by law enforcement until, and unless, a suspect is convicted of a crime.

Lynn Messer Update November Election

Lynn Messer disappeared July 8, 2014. We now know that Lynn has been deceased the entire time and I have been told by law enforcement multiple times through the years that Kerry Messer, her husband, has not been cleared in the investigation surrounding Lynn’s death.  Kerry is a Missouri state lobbyist who represents family, homeschooling, right-to-life, gun rights/safety, and Christian/Biblical values. Lynn’s remains were found on her husband’s farm property November 1, 2016. 

*Disclaimer: There have been no arrests made in the disappearance of Lynn Messer. Kerry Messer remains innocent of any charges. I am not claiming a diagnosis or guilt; but simply pointing out concerns which are of my opinion. See disclaimer in the margin.

JustsiceForLynn 1 yr anniversay of remains

I continue to look into this case for many reasons.

I committed to it see it through to the end; whatever that may be.

Although for me this is a local case; it has also garnered national and international headlines; including being featured on TV programs internationally.

As a survivor of domestic abuse I want to speak for those who aren’t comfortable with a public platform, or who no longer have a chance to use their voice.

I advocate for women living in, or leaving, domestic abuse. I have reason to think that Lynn was a victim of domestic abuse. I base my opinions on her husband Kerry Messer’s Find Lynn Messer Facebook page and on the testimony of a few of her friends and family members. I go in to this more in-depth here…My Original Interest in the Lynn Messer Case.

I contacted Detective White of the Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff’s Office by phone and email to confirm that the investigation is still open, but he is no longer answering questions. I knew this might be the case since he told me back in January of 2018 that he would no longer be giving press interviews or answering inquiries surrounding this investigation. In January he confirmed the case is still open. Although I wasn’t able to speak to the detective, the person who answered the phone confirmed that the investigation is still open.

I wanted to confirm that Kerry Messer and the woman he was reportedly in a relationship with shortly after Lynn’s ‘disappearance who is now his wife, Spring (Thomas) Messer, have not been officially cleared in the investigation of Lynn’s death.

I’m comfortable with no reply from the detective and I understand the case takes first place above public interest. This boosts my confidence in the integrity of the case and gives me hope that Lynn’s cause of death will not remain a mystery much longer.

This Tuesday, November 6, Ste. Genevieve County will be voting for a new prosecuting attorney. This is the person who will be handling legal proceedings if it turns out a crime was committed against Lynn Messer which resulted in death. Attorney Wayne Williams is running uncontested and I see why. First, I’ve heard good comments about him and second, after doing some internet reading I found that Attorney Wayne William has a stellar reputation in his field as a criminal defense lawyer.

Photo Credit: Amy Patterson  DailyJournalOnline.com

Read the article here…Daily Journal Online: Farmington public defenders’ office receives award for excellence, by Amy Patterson

I look forward to the outcome of Ste. Genevieve County’s election, and January when the new P.A. begins his job.

Many questions remain surrounding Lynn Messer’s death. Here are a few of them:

How did Lynn die?

How could a small woman with an injured toe and hip replacements walk through pouring down rain in a thunder storm, in the dark of night, over muddy ground, and according to family member, have to avoid electric fences in the dark, and open and close multiple heavy gates to arrive at her destination? All while carrying belongings from the house with her? (For reference; click text and scroll through article to:  11/23/2016 Lynn Messer: Abram answers more questions. References to items being recovered with Lynn’s remains can also be found here..

Was it murder? If so, was it premeditated?

If it was murder, was her body moved or somehow concealed to keep search and rescue from finding her? Trained dogs should have found her scent; especially after a few days of her remains being in the elements.

How is it possible her remains were not discovered in the extreme heat of the summer, in a location that had a marked grid/map for everywhere the search teams and search dogs had looked? The first night alone had 50 people and search dogs exploring the farm with the teams expanding in the coming days.

This article places search teams still on the farm August 10, 2014.

I know I received invitations for several weeks through our local home school community asking for volunteers to help search, and for help providing drinks and food for the searchers.

Why did Kerry Messer insist the cows be moved to a different pasture the first morning Lynn was missing…moved in the direction of which Lynn’s remains were found? Who would be thinking of moving cows around on the farm when a loved one is missing and possibly in danger? Besides, according to family, Lynn was the person responsible for pasture rotation of the cows, not Kerry.

Why, as reported, did Kerry Messer leave his cell phone at home the morning he was said to have been searching for his missing wife?

According to Lynn’s son Abram, and daughter-in-law Elizabeth, when law enforcement arrived at the scene the first morning, Kerry insisted his wife didn’t suffer from depression. Yet after her remains were discovered he is quoted as saying his wife “was suffering from depression in the months before she went missing.” 

Why did Kerry keep the content of ‘the note’ a secret from his sons and not admit to law enforcement he had made copies of the note?

Why did Kerry Messer insist to friends, co-workers, and church members that he and Spring Thomas were never romantically involved and that talk of such a thing was incorrectly portrayed by the media and his sons? How does one come to marry someone with whom they are not romantically involved?

I hope, and I think, that the Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff’s office, with the help of the F.B.I. has a solid case to move forward with presenting Lynn Messer’s cause of death, possibly an arrest(s), and some form of closure for Lynn’s loved ones.

Authorities won’t disclose details until her cause of death is determined and the case is closed. 

I’ll end with a quote by Sheriff Gary Stolzer, “It’s going to be an open case until we figure it out.”

 

Hope lost in a difficult marriage?

DMV awareness month

Life is hard, and life married to an angry, controlling spouse seems impossible. Without realizing it you withhold hope as an area in which you allow God access. Hopelessness is an easy place to arrive when talking to counselors, doctors, domestic violence, and advocates for women in abusive marriages, but mainly after praying for years yet seeing no improvement in the abusive personality with whom you live.

Don Hennessey, relationship counselor and former director of the National Domestic Violence Intervention Agency, refers to abusers as psychephiles and lumps them in the same category as pedophiles when it comes to recovery. Statistics agree that abusers stand little to no chance of recovery because they don’t believe they have a problem, and “I’m sorry” isn’t in their vocabulary.

We all know that pedophiles target children for sexualized abuse. Don Hennessy coined the word psychephile for the man who abuses his intimate female partner. A psychephile targets the psyche of the woman he has selected as his target for a long term intimate relationship.

 

Today I want to remind you not to lose hope. If you have lost reason to hope for a healed marriage then find another reason for hope. Hope for the future, for what God is working out that you can’t yet see, for the strength you are gaining, for the boundaries you are learning, for the wisdom you are gaining…hope for answers to your questions.

Abuse brings questions that cause wrestling through our faith. This can strengthen, weaken, or destroy our faith.

Ministering in the advocacy community has shown me countless survivors who have friend of a survivorturned from church and some from their faith. Please don’t let this be you. I pray you can be encouraged, strengthened, and validated through the wrestle. If your church family isn’t capable or willing to walk this road with you, look for a church that will welcome you.

 

If you are struggling and asking God questions, I want you to know He hears every one of your inquiries. Ask away! He is not angered, frustrated, or afraid of our questioning. He tells us to ask, seek and knock (Matthew 7:7-8). Don’t feel guilty for asking Him. He knows, He sees, He counts every tear that falls from your precious face. Every tear is recorded by Him (Psalm 56:8). Allow your sincere questions to grow and strengthen your faith in God. The woman you are becoming will be amazingly strong and different in the years to come.

“No one toxic will offer you apologies, explanations or closure. The toxic person does not recognize their own issues. In any case, you have the power to heal without their participation.” Peter Shepherd

I know there have been people who haven’t given you grace on this journey. They are human; Jesus isn’t. Jesus allows weakness, He allows questions, and He gives grace. Jesus says, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” He’s the only perfect one; the only one who has the right to cast the first stone, but He chooses not to do it. Instead He offers mercy and grace (John 8:1-11).

When you re-engage with your difficult spouse you need to know what is true; not what he says about you, and not what you feel. So…ask Jesus what is true.

I’ve been going through The Quest bible study by Beth Moore where she proposes “five recalibrating questions” God presents in scripture. Anytime we are wrestling or off track these questions will help us find our footing.

I’ve memorized these questions so I can ask them of myself when I’m wrestling.

  1. WHERE are you? (Genesis 3:9) But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
  2. WHO told you that? (Genesis 3:11) “Who told you that you were naked? 
  3. WHAT are you seeking? (John 1:38) Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”
  4. WHY are you afraid? (Matthew 8:26) 26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
  5. HOW much more? (Luke 11:13) If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

 

To find joy and hope in an unhappy or difficult marriage you must guard your heart (Proverbs 4:23).

Remember that you don’t wrestle against flesh and blood, although it feels like it when you are living in the battle day after day. Your fight is against your enemy, the devil (Ephesians 6:11-13). Your difficult spouse may feel like the enemy in the heat of the moment, or when remembering previous difficult memories but the enemy is Satan. Jesus warns us that Satan is out to steal, kill, and destroy, but Jesus has come that we may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10).

Have you been busy surviving and lost track of your hope? Open your hope to God. Search out your questions!

 

 

 

Toxic Tuesday: Emotional Roller Coaster

 

DMV awareness month

 

Today we will look at the duplicitous personality; the nice version and the destructive version of the angry and controlling partner. I refer to living in this type of relationship as a roller coaster ride because it starts out smooth and gradual, but once we arrive at the top and see the drop we know it’s going to take away our breath; in a bad way. For those of us who thrill over a fun amusement park roller coaster; we know the emotional roller coaster is not a ride of choice or enjoyment. Just when we think the ride is calm Toxic Tuesday biochem hazard smalland safe, and we are enjoying the cool breeze blowing through our hair; it goes through a dark cave, down a steep drop, rotates us upside down, or takes us for a cork-screw dive.

This is life when living with an abusive personality. They are nice one moment; argumentative, angry, controlling, withholding, or some toxic quality the next moment, hour, or day.

Please hear me, you are not crazy. You are not confused. You are however most likely exhausted and in need of validation, encouragement, and truth. 

It can take months or years of living with an abuser for a victim to realize that the nice, charming, or caring version of the abuser is in fact an act; a show, and is a phase of the abuse.

If we pay close attention we will come to find cycles in the abuse. It might go something like this:

Phase 1. Nice and engages in conversation or activities. (The ‘Honeymoon’ phase).

Phase 2. Discontent if they can’t control an aspect of the relationship with us. (Experts call this the tension building phase).

Phase 3. Turns to rage when they have no tolerance for our ability to make our own decisions, have an opinion, or perform a task differently than how they believe it should be done. They may withhold affection, attention, sex, or words of affirmation. They may verbally shred us, or become physically abusive. (Experts call this the incident or acute explosion phase).

Phase 4. They may give us the silent treatment for days, weeks, or months. They are in denial of their attitude/personality problems and place all blame on us.

These phases are not representative of a onetime relationship cycle, but of a continual cycling, phases 1 through 4…over and over.

Cycle of abuse (tension, incident, reconciliation, calm) was a term coined by Lenore E. Walker.

When we apologize or attempt to appease an abuser they will often interact more peacefully with us, but it isn’t real. The reason they show kindness is because they believe our apology or appeasement is an acknowledgment that they are right, we are wrong, and we deserved their abusive treatment.

They want us to believe:

  1. The kind version is the real them.
  2. When tensions rise and abuse takes place; it’s the victim’s fault.

They want to trick us and tangle us in their web of deception. They desperately want us to believe these lies; after all, it’s their unhealthy truth; their toxic reality.

They will use their justifications and deceit to discredit the victim should she decide to disclose the abuse.

Remember: Abusers look like everyone else. You can’t pick them out of a crowd or spot them by looking in their eyes. They come from all walks of life. They can work in the secular world or minister in faith communities.

 

“Those who are labeled as brilliant/godly/successful are accorded power simply by virtue of their reputation. They can walk into a room and because of their reputation people give their words/actions a certain weight or power. We assume such powers indicate character. They do not!” ~Diane Langberg, PhD

 

Abusers do not care for others as a soul with worth; they care about their own power and control. Do not believe for one second that we have the ability to influence the abuser’s behavior, or that anything we do will change the way they treat us. This thought has landed many women in the depths of depression, and has led to the murderous death of others at the hands of their abusers.

Domestic violence rates are on the rise. If you are unsure of your safety, or lack thereof, please click on the “Mosaic” threat assessment in the margin of this website.

 “Do not speak to fools, for they will scorn your prudent words.” Proverbs 23:9

 “As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly.” Proverbs 26:11

“Stone is heavy and sand a burden, but a fool’s provocation is heavier than both.” Proverbs 27:3

“Though you grind a fool in a mortar, grinding them like grain with a pestle, you will not remove their folly from them.” Proverbs 27:22

 

 

“Fighting Words”

Fear is like a broken record, same old songs of accusation play
Like, “who are you to speak the truth, just look at all your failures and mistakes”
And “If they really knew you, there’s no way they could love you anyway”
Oh-oh-ohh, but I will…

Fight the lies with the truth, oh-ohh
Keep my eyes fixed on You
I will sing the truth into the dark
I will use my fighting words
Oh-oh-ohh, fighting words
Oh-oh-ohh

The enemy keeps talking, telling me to hide my face in shame
Whispering that everything I’ve done will drive the Father’s love away
Saying, “It’s too late for hoping, that something in your heart could ever change”
Oh-oh-ohh, so I will…

Fight the lies with the truth, oh-ohh
Keep my eyes fixed on You
I will sing the truth into the dark
I will use my fighting words
Oh-oh-ohh, fighting words
Oh-oh-ohh

My debt is paid up
I’ve been set free and
You gave Your life up to rescue me
You say that I am
Worth fighting for and
Grace is like waves that keep crashing on the shore!

Fight, the lies with the truth, oh-oh-ohh
Keep my eyes fixed on You
I will sing the truth into the dark
I will use my fighting words
Oh-oh-ohh, fighting words
Oh-oh-ohh…

I’m so tired of forgetting what I’m worth
So I will use, my fighting words

 

Toxic Tuesday: Traumatic bonding

tell your story

Toxic Tuesday biochem hazard small

 

 

Abuse comes in many forms and knows no boundaries. 1 in 4 women will experience domestic abuse during her lifetime and more than 3 million children witness domestic violence in their homes every year.

*Men can also be the victim of abuse, but my ministry is mainly to women so I address my readers from this viewpoint.

 

Traumatic bonding

 

Yes, it can happen in Christian marriages.

You dated. He showed healthy amounts of charm, tenderness, attention, affection, gift-giving and/or selflessness; perhaps even through shared Bible study, prayer, and attending Christian events together.

After much prayer you decided to marry him only to find out after saying, “I do” that he was fraudulent on many levels during the dating phase.

The years have passed and his anger, control, rigidness, and lack of attention and affection have chipped away, piece by piece, at the love, trust, and respect you originally had for him.

His withholding and passive aggressive personality (or fill in the blank with his toxic behavior) consistently remind you that you aren’t enough for him, you don’t please him, and he is punishing you for not being the object of his desire.

I mean object as in a possession; a possession to sit on the shelf and take down to use when he has a need. A need for a companion at a social function, a listening ear to hear how his day at work went, a person to clean the house, do the laundry, run errands, prepare meals, keep up with the yard, and care for his kids (yes, I know they are your children too, but most angry and controlling men don’t like to share their property, and often view the kids as theirs). Women come face to face with this truth when they try to divorce an angry and controlling man. You likely aren’t viewed as a human with worth and value other than being viewed as a mom; the mom of his children. You are a thing, a mom; not a person with dignity, wants, and needs.

I hear comments and questions such as:

·         “I know what he’s done to me, but I still have feelings for him.”

·         “Why do I still love him?”

·         “Why do I still long to be intimate with him?”

·         “Why do I cave-in to him every time he flashes a smile my way? I know he doesn’t mean it.”

·         “I find myself wondering if he was really that bad or if I made it up or over reacted.”

·         “My heart and mind can’t reconcile how normal he looks with his anger and abuse. I think I must be crazy…then I read my journal and remember I’m not crazy and I’m not making it up.”

·         After they have left: “I don’t know why I feel this way, but I want him back.”

·         “I must be crazy because I miss him.”

·         After he’s cheated: “I don’t make sense even to myself. He cheated and is likely abusing her…but I’m jealous and heartbroken that he left me.”

 

I’ve had women ask me why they still have feelings for the man they live with when he isn’t capable of unconditionally loving them.

The answer might be traumatic bonding.

Traumatic bonding, also known as Stockholm syndrome because it contains many of the same elements as Stockholm syndrome, “occurs in abusive relationships which are characterized by an imbalance of power, high intensity, and an unpredictable atmosphere, rapidly shifting between periods of cruelty and tenderness. Traumatic bonds can form very quickly and last long past when the relationship is severed.” –Bree Bonchay, LCSW, http://www.freefromtoxic.com

Add to this that abusers aren’t angry and controlling 100% of the time. Sometimes they are loving, gentle, and humorous; perhaps even capable of compassion and empathy.

Traumatic bonding/Stockholm syndrome does not occur in every abusive situation.

Abused women testify to a common fact surrounding emotional abuse, also known as psychological or narcissistic abuse.  Emotional abuse and the health crisis they experience from the abuse remains longer than the physical abuse they suffered.

When we are physically abused we know at the moment it is wrong and hurtful. Not so with emotional abuse. By the time we figure out we aren’t the problem and there isn’t anything we can do to appease the abuser; damage has already been done.  

Emotional abuse involves patterns of anger, control, dominance, manipulation, coercion, mind games, gas lighting, criticism, threats, and withholding. Over time it erodes our self-esteem, identity, and judgment. It can leave us feeling dead inside.

You are not alone.

 

In the margin of this website you will find help on safety issues, solid Bible teaching and free counseling videos on the subject of abuse and toxic relationships by Christ-centered counselors.  There are also links so church staff/leadership can receive training to combat domestic abuse taking place in their church body.

Shanann Watts case: 20 reasons abuse stays hidden and can lead to death

The last time I wrote I gave you my observations on the Shanann Watts case; specifically my thoughts on the husband’s behavior in interviews. 

*Disclaimer: Abuse crosses all genders, socioeconomic statuses, nationalities, tones of skin, and religions. I minister to women and therefore I use the term woman in most of my writings.

Allow me to explain what it could have been like in Shanann Watt’s home based on my experience of domestic abuse.

Here are lessons I’ve learned from my own background as a survivor of domestic abuse, and from ministering to other survivors of domestic violence:

1.      You NEVER know what goes on in someone else’s home. Sometimes a spouse doesn’t know what goes on in their home, or during the other person’s time away from home. Don’t assume you know better than them.

2.      You can live with a person and not know if they suffer from mental illness or a personality disorder.  

3.      Many women don’t understand that the difficult marriage is actually a destructive marriage by an angry and controlling man. When a woman tries to talk through a problem the tables are turned on her and he insists the only problems are the ones she creates. He often shames, talks down, belittles, withholds, and throws temper tantrums while telling her, “It’s all you.” Or, “I never did or said that.” Lots of crazy making/gas lighting goes on in this type of relationship.

4.  Constant denial or justification of the hurt and wrong they’ve committed against you is the number one clue that you’re living with an abuser.

5.      It can be nearly impossible to know if your loved one could kill you. (If you question your safety, please take the free MOSAIC threat assessment to determine if you are a candidate for violence or death).

6.      Angry and controlling men rarely change; in fact, the abuse usually escalates…not improves.

7.      Often times the system fails abuse survivors. Victims are statistically not believed in a court of law when they bring up domestic abuse.

8.      Promoting an ideal marriage in social media posts may be an attempt to throw the abuser off the trail of an upcoming separation or divorce; especially if the victim fears for their life. It could also be an attempt to appease the abuser and ‘respect’ his orders to make him look good.

9.      Talking well of the spouse is expected in most social circles. Truth telling about marital problems has caused many abused women to lose friends, or their children’s playmates.

10.  Positive media posts can be a coping mechanism for surviving a traumatic marriage. Maybe it’s a snapshot of a good moment in the midst of many difficult circumstances. It encourages outsiders to believe they have a wonderful life. What person wants to admit to domestic abuse?

11.  Sometimes the abuser controls the victim’s social media and electronics by posting for them; as them, going as far as to place spyware on the devices and GPS tracking on the vehicle. (The women I minister to all report having spyware placed on their electronics right before or during the separation or divorce).

12.  Domestic violence doesn’t always equate to physical abuse. It can manifest as sexual, reproductive, verbal, emotional, spiritual, financial, and one I had not included in my list before today; digital abuse which would be secondary emotional abuse.

13.  Domestic violence causes health care problems.  The  trauma caused by domestic abuse can cause immediate injuries, and contributes to a number of chronic health problems, including depression, alcohol and substance abuse, sexually transmitted diseases, heart problems, cancer, and auto-immune diseases.

14.  Domestic violence is about control and power. It’s not about anything the wife or children are doing wrong.

15.  Women are objectified and viewed as property. Property is disposable. (I haven’t seen a case yet that didn’t involve the use of pornography). 

Shanann and Nickole Utoft
Shanann with friend Nickole Utoft. Photo credit: Shanann Watts’ Facebook page.

16.  Victims need support from family, the church, and friends; friends like Nickole Utoft who knew enough to know Shanann and her children were missing and in danger. Be the friend a woman can safely confide in without passing judgement on her. 

17.  Most of the women I minister to report that friends, neighbors, and church family always looked at their family as normal, happy, and healthy. Very few outsiders would have guessed there was a toxic personality in their home.  

18. Instances of domestic abuse are not limited to isolated cases and there isn’t just one type of person who feels entitled to abuse and/or kill their family. It’s becoming more rampant for men to abuse women. I have my opinion on why abuse is escalating, (Pornography mixed with hand-held electronics. Any woman at any time; instantly. The devaluing of life.), but that is an article for another time.

19. Family, friends, neighbors, and church family have a difficult time believing these men exist and are as bad as the wife knows he is. They aren’t the only people in doubt. Law enforcement and those who work in the court system also don’t believe the depth of the problem; leaving the victims unprotected.

20.  Court cases requiring legal intervention are overwhelmingly domestic abuse cases, but the courts fail to recognize and act on this fact. This leads to retraumatizing the victims, continued abuse…and sometimes…death.

 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 

Here are some possibilities of why Chris Watts may have finally went through with disposing of his family based on other domestic abuse cases.

·         He could have suffered from severe, untreated mental illness or a personality disorder.

·         He could have been having an affair.

·         He could have taken out life insurance policies on his family members.

·         He may have known she was leaving, and since angry and controlling abusers must maintain power and control; he may have decided to kill them rather than allow her to leave.

·         Financial reasons: There is a legal obligation the court would have enacted on him for child support. If he wanted relational freedom to wine and dine a new romantic interest, paying money to an ex-wife and three children would greatly hinder his fun.

I don’t believe one thing could have caused Chris Watts (or any other abuser) to snap, but rather numerous issues building up over time led to it. This is why the MOSAIC threat assessment is important. MOSAIC takes all these issues in to account and determines if you are at risk.

There is NOTHING; not a thing…zero, zilch, zip that this momma or her daughters did that could have caused Chris Watts to murder them. Abusers and murderers do what they do because of evil in their hearts. In many cases, the abuser’s brain is wired wrong and there is no making sense of it. 

If you believe you, or someone dear to you, may be in danger please check out the links in the margin for safety concerns and other help. If you wonder if you are in an emotionally destructive marriage there is a free relationship test for you to take.

 

Read: The Shanann Watts case: My observations

8/21/18 5:20 PM update: COLORADO MAN CHARGED WITH MULTIPLE COUNTS OF MURDER IN KILLINGS OF PREGNANT WIFE, DAUGHTERS

8/21/18  6:20 PM update: Chris Watts claims wife strangled kids

His account of what happened doesn’t make sense to me. I would think if you saw one daughter blue from death, and the other being strangled by your wife, you would call 911 for immediate help; not go kill your wife and then hide the bodies. I don’t own a newer baby monitor, but would you be able to clearly see on a baby monitor if a child was blue? And who on earth could have a conversation, kill a person, decide how and where to dispose of the bodies, clean-up the crime scene, and load a truck with three deceased bodies & evidence in under 3 hours?

 

 

Rally Outside SBC Annual Meeting Brings Abuse to Light

SBC rally

DALLAS, TX – June 5, 2018 – Discussing and responding to the epidemic of abuse within Protestant Christianity’s largest denomination has long been overdue. A rally to outline the prevalence of abuse and its enablement within the Southern Baptist Convention will be held at the SBC Annual Meeting in Dallas, Texas, on Tuesday, June 12th. Called the For Such a Time as This Rally, the organizers will gather outside the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. and invite any who are concerned about abuse in the Church to attend.

Organizers are gathering for these reasons:

1. The time has come for women to be respected and honored within the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention—as Scripture teaches. 2. The time has come for a clergy sex offender database for the Southern Baptist Convention. 3. The time has come for mandatory training of all pastors and SBC seminaries on the issues of domestic abuse and sexual assault.

Many rally organizers and attendees are involved in Southern Baptist Churches or have deep roots in the SBC. “The event is not anti-Southern Baptist or anti-Christian,” said Cheryl Summers, one of the rally organizers. “We are advocating for a reform of culture, and for training of pastors and church leaders. We follow Christ’s example who treated women with dignity and honor as equal, valuable members of His Church when the culture of His day did not.”

Cheryl noted the recent scandals that made this rally necessary, saying, “In recent weeks as the Paige Patterson scandal has erupted, the faulty ideas within the SBC about women, abuse and sexual assault have proven to be tragically systemic. We are praying for reform, but also are moved to respond, insisting that respect for women is rooted in Scriptural teachings and the culture within the Church needs to change.”

Speaking at the event will be abuse survivors and victim advocates including Ashley Easter, founder of The Courage Conference, an annual gathering of survivors and advocates; author, speaker, and advocate Mary DeMuth; the pastor of Emmanuel Enid Church, Wade Burleson; author and speaker Dr. Christy Sim, Carolyn Deevers, abuse survivor, writer and advocate and Gricel Medina, a pastor, writer, and advocate.

“The same systemic failures that silenced the victims of Paige Patterson also enabled him to remain in power for years,” said Ashley Easter, noting Paige Patterson’s abusive teachings and behaviors were known for decades. “We believe the time is long overdue for Christian women—and men—to work together and insist systemic changes in the treatment of women in the SBC.”
Carolyn Deevers, an abuse victim advocate and survivor of an abusive marriage to a pastor added, “When an abused spouse comes to the church or an institution with abuse allegations they are often told to be silent, submit, and stay in the abusive relationship. This faulty advice leads to more abuse as well as death,” Deevers indicated, citing how similar advice from recently-terminated SWBTS President, Paige Patterson, was used to keep women in dangerous situations. “The Church’s track record on these cases has made it one of the least safe places for victims to find help,” Deevers concluded.

Reference guides by victim advocates and professionals on how to respond to abuse disclosures will be distributed at the rally. Included will be a recommended reading list for pastors to build knowledge and understanding on how abuse works and ways to minister to the wounded and vulnerable. Rally organizers aim to share these best practices with the hundreds of Southern Baptist pastors and Southern Baptist Convention leadership who attend the annual conference. Rally organizers chose the name “For Such a Time as This” in reference to Queen Esther, a woman who was a victim of sex trafficking and refused to be silent to her authoritarian husband, the king of Persia. Esther’s story shows the courage that is required to speak necessary, hard-to-hear truths (cf. Esther 4:14).

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________________________________ About For Such a Time as This Rally: For Such A Time As This Rally can be found on Twitter as @SBCForSuchATime, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/forsuchatimeasthisrally and the web at http://www.forsuchatimeasthisrally.com.

 

 

 

 

For your consideration: A woman’s role…biblically; Part 5

 

Read Part 1  here  Part 2 here  Part 3 here…  Part 4 here

 You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted;
    you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,
 defending the fatherless and the oppressed,
    so that mere earthly mortals
    will never again strike terror. Psalm 10:17-18 (NIV)

Paul’s words to husbands, “love your wives, and do not be harsh with them” Col. 3:19 (NIV)

Here is the final installment of this series. Let’s tie it all together to consider the lens through which God sees this in the Bible; not just a select few verses. We’ve read numerous texts throughout scripture to see what a woman’s role is in marriage, the church, and our culture. Now let’s consider our responsibility to abuse victims and survivors.

Take a fresh look at the Proverbs 31:10-31. It shows absolutely no glimpse of a woman under the thumb of an angry and controlling husband, or living in a subordinate role of an authoritarian man.

Her husband trusts her completely and knows he will lack nothing in his relationship with her, and lack nothing as she runs their household. He knows she will always do him good. She is wise, creative, a business woman, energetic, and provides for her household and her servants. She is free to make purchases and decides how to farm the land. She is strong physically and in character. She makes good, informed decisions and keeps her house fully prepared for its needs. She keeps her family clothed and is a social advocate for the poor. She is confident! She lends to her husband being well-known at the gates. She is a positive, grateful, wise thinker. Her husband loves that she’s a strong, independent, capable woman and he praises her for it.

 Back to the New Testament…

Jesus didn’t sit quietly or close His eyes when He saw sexism or prejudice. He didn’t stay silent to keep from offending someone. He didn’t turn away as women were being abused or belittled. He didn’t tell anyone it was their lot in life to go pray and wait on God to change the other person’s angry, abusive heart toward them. He didn’t cover His ears as women called out to Him. Jesus wasn’t sensitive to cultural or political leanings when He saw injustice and sin. He didn’t try to run a smoke screen to blind society from the ugliness of what was happening. He didn’t tell condescending, distasteful jokes about women or girls. He didn’t defend men who perpetrated sin or made accusations against women so as to not bring ruin upon the man’s job or place of leadership. He kept one thing on His ever-loving mind; His Father’s business.

Paul, whose writings are most used against women in the church, was a man who worked alongside many women while travelling, ministering and preaching. He mentioned at least 10 such women by name.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

God has used women to speak, lead, prophecy, and change the world. God has always empowered women to think for themselves, held women accountable for their own sins, and used women in miraculous, history changing ways.

Does the Bible say we should confront the injustice of sexual assault, misogyny, and abusive marriages; call it out and do something? Yes, it does, when we apply these scriptures:

Prov. 31:8-9 “Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”

Is. 1:17 “seek justice, correct oppression, bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause”.

Jer. 22: 3 “Thus says the LORD: Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. Do no wrong to the resident alien, the fatherless and widow.”

1 John 3:17-18 “But if anyone has the world’s good and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in you?

Isaiah 61:1 “The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners”.

 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

When we have a heart for injustice that means we’re reflecting the compassion, mercy, and empathy of God. We are being a voice for those who have no voice, and are advocating for those who are oppressed or abused.

God does not care for men more than women. Women are equally as important, valued, and worthy in the eyes of God. Jesus spent time on earth breaking cultural rules and regulations to love, heal, and bring women to the life God intended for them. Women were never an afterthought, or a second class citizen to Jesus. And that is why I stand for women and speak out for women. It doesn’t mean I think men don’t face injustice or abuse (because they do) it just means that for me, personally, I am called to share my story and lessons learned, and be one who advocates for women – just like Jesus did.

Thankfully, Jesus didn’t have an unbending view of marriage any more than He had a narrow view of the Sabbath. Jesus is about relationship and putting people first. Jesus wouldn’t leave a woman living in an abusive situation; He would lead her to freedom.

Men have repeatedly been taught that they are to be the authority in the home. Angry and controlling men take this to an extreme, even when told they are to love like Christ. In their minds they believe the decisions they make are the wisest and best; and therefore that makes them loving…like Christ.

Male headship doesn’t cause abuse. No, that’s not what I’m saying, but it certainly intensifies it when practiced by an abusive spouse. Using words like leader, authority, patriarchy, and headship in church fans the flames of abuse in an angry and controlling man.

Patriarchy was a symptom of the curse in the garden; it was never part of God’s plan.

Jesus’ death and resurrection broke the curse of patriarchy. Jesus’ finished work on the cross confirms the dignity of all human life.

 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 

Here are unifying scriptures no matter our background, church affiliation, doctrinal beliefs, social agenda, or political leanings:

·         All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus Christ. Matthew 28:18.

·         A command that carries through the old and new testaments is this: Love one another as Jesus has loved us. John 13:34

·         Those of us living under the new covenant have all been gifted by the Holy Spirit and our sons and daughters shall prophesy. Acts 2:17.

·          We have clothed ourselves with Christ…there is neither male nor female. Galatians 3:27-28

·         It’s about serving; not leading. Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Ephesians 5:21.

·         “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. I Peter 4:10.

 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Biblical womanhood in marriage is this: be who God has created us to be. The Bible is filled with women who defied cultural and traditional norms, held positions of authority, took huge risks, and changed history. So, serve Jesus in whatever way He has created you to, calls you to, and gifts you to through loving service. There is freedom in Christ! You are not under bondage and do not have to submit to any form of abuse.

I encourage women to trust their judgment and speak up; if safety allows. If you are in an unsafe situation; leave immediately and seek help. In the margin of this website you will find help and safety precautions.  

Men, I encourage you to value the women around you like the Proverbs 31 husband esteemed his wife. 

Thank you for considering a woman’s role…biblically.

 

Read Part 1  here

Part 2 here

Part 3 here…

Part 4 here…