Tag Archives: psychephile

Headline: Abused women need to stay and pray

 An abuse victim needs to stay and pray for their abuser until the abuser changes.

Sadly, this is what many churches and counselors teach. I think they believe they are scriptural, but they are incorrectly applying scriptures from 1 Peter 3:1-6, while completely leaving out verse 7, and then tack on Malachi 2:16 as a one-size fits all verse.

Any abuse that a husband perpetrates against his wife is sin, not only against her, but against a holy God.

Any pastor who sends a wife home knowingly to an abusive husband sins against a holy God. 

In case you’ve missed the hoopla surrounding what some high-ranking Christian leaders believe and teach about marital abuse; I’ve attached 2 links at the end of this article so you can read for yourself the original wording.

Almost every day I read of yet another Christian leader who believes divorce is sin…period. I could blog full-time on this one issue; however,  my calling is to minister to abused women. But today, since this headline involves a leader high up in a denominational setting, who has leadership over hundreds of thousands of Christians (one report I read listed the membership at 15 million), I want to address this as a courtesy and protection to abused women. 

I want to validate what survivors are living through and affirm that they are strong; not emotionally unstable, loving; not going against scripture, setting healthy boundaries, not being hard-hearted,  caring for themselves and their children, not turning their back on the abuser out of vengeance, and correctly applying scripture; not sinning against God. 

This current headline refers to a leader who has for a decade received backlash from survivors of domestic abuse over his legalistic, uncaring counsel that has further kept victims in abusive relationships. He refused to believe 25 cases of sexual abuse against one man. He sided with and protected a serial abuser by mandating that any woman who wanted to bring charges against the man must have witnesses to verify the abuser’s behavior of her. The audacity of that is undefinable! He and others who have been known to teach that abused women need to stay and pray for their abuser until God changes his heart, or until the abuser changes, don’t understand the nature of abusers.

Fact 1: The Holy Spirit won’t make anyone do anything they don’t want to do.

Fact 2: According to specialists in the field of domestic violence there is little to no proof that abusers will ever change. In fact, these abusers have been referred to as  Psychephiles and are ranked in the unhealable category as are pedophilic offenders.

That’s a hard dose of reality to add to a sick and lazy approach many church leaders take when ministering to abused spouses; an approach which cost some victims their lives. It’s easy to give lip service and do nothing. It’s difficult to helplessly listen to descriptions of abuse and even more difficult to offer intervention, a safe place to live, practical gifts of service and financial help to the oppressed.

The stay and pray slant is a popular instruction in many churches and institutions. If the subject were a normal marriage with two healthy people; going through a difficult time, disagreement, or fight then ‘stay and pray’ would be sound advice. In this case it’s dangerous instruction. The women I minister to testify how difficult this is for them and their children. Church leaders put them in an unbearable position and when the women sit down to talk to me they all relay similar thoughts of feeling crazy…depressed…confused. Remember, they have already been beaten down at home for years; if not decades by the time they muster up the courage to tell their story to their pastor or church leader. They are often expending their last ounce of strength so when they are told to ‘stay and pray’ they have no strength left to challenge their pastor. They are traumatized at home and retraumatized by the church.

 The above mentioned pastor sent a women back to kneel beside the bed and pray for her husband. His counsel resulted in the woman receiving two black eyes from her husband.

She came to church one morning with both eyes black.  And she was angry at me and at God and the world, for that matter.  And she said, “I hope you’re happy.”  And I said, “Yes ma’am, I am.”  And I said, “I’m sorry about that, but I’m very happy.”

This was abuse of authority. When the woman walked into church with two black eyes the pastor should have called the police and had the man arrested.

The woman later said that her husband was sorry for what he did and their marriage became better. This is perhaps the only time I’ve heard a success story. In most cases of domestic violence the abuse escalates with time; not diminishes

This Wade Burleson article, along with yesterday’s Spiritual Sounding Board article, provides a great summary of the issues at stake with Dr. Paige Patterson and the Southern Baptist Convention. Our distaste for divorce or love of the institution of marriage cannot – must not – surpass the safety of the abused. This is not just a Patterson issue, although Patterson cannot be ignored. It’s time to get this right. No one hates divorce more than someone who has experienced it, but it always has a moral context and it is not always wrong or to be avoided.” Cheryl Bowles Summers


“To these brothers who may have ears open enough to hear from a sister who has come to love you and see glimpses of hope in you that maybe you’ll be willing to grapple with the tension glaringly present in the New Testament regarding women, I say to you with respect: Fix this, in Jesus’ Name.” Beth Moore


Physical abuse is not the only type of domestic violence. Emotional, spiritual, financial, sexual, and verbal abuse are also real types of domestic violence. If you are in an unsafe situation, please know that more than God hates divorce, He hates that you are being abused. God approves of you leaving and finding safety. In the margin of this website you will find links to help you decide if you are or are not safe; as well as, links to help you leave safely, or stay safely in the relationship while keeping a sound mind and a healthy heart.

Next time I will continue with, For Your Consideration: A Woman’s Role…Biblically. Jesus had some radical teachings in response to the patriarchal system that had deeply rooted throughout history and continues to lend itself to marital, societal, and spiritual abuse. 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 a personal hell; He would help her find freedom. He even helps the sinful woman find freedom. Doubt this? Read how He was counter-cultural in John 8:1-11.

Wade Burleson article

Spiritual Sounding Board



Listen to her frantic heart: Their abuser is trying to move their child away to an undisclosed location



ABOVE: I posted this flashback from high school on my friend Michele’s Facebook page. Michele and I were best friends who lived in Eagle Grove, Iowa, during middle school. I moved to Oklahoma at the beginning of high school and Michele would visit me in Stillwater during the summers and attend my church’s youth group camping trips to the Rocky Mountains with me {Youth Quake}. We have always been so alike in many ways…and so different in others.

I wrote on her FB page: “Happy Birthday, friend! I’m grateful for a friend who enjoys living boldly on the wild side of life. Never boring, usually difficult, excitement around every bend, going to uncomfortable levels to help others achieve freedom and a better life. Here’s to another year! This pic of us is almost prophetic/metaphoric of the separate paths we walk today…we’re both in front; you’re on the left and I’m on the right, holding on for dear life, but heading in the same direction for women and children with similar goals: to make a positive difference in the world. I hope you had a wonderful day today! Love and {Hugs}.

Here is a snippet of Michele’s current chapter of life: This is typical. Studies show that when the dad challenges the mom for custody, they win 90% of the time. When there is documented abuse, perpetrated by the father, he still wins 73% of the time. This is the trauma many of the women I minister to endure.

Michele needs help now before her child is likely transported across USA borders to an undisclosed location where she will have no contact with her child and no means to protect him from her family’s abuser. Please continue reading and if at all possible, grand or small, please contribute to this child’s safety.

I wish family court would understand that a child’s right is not about making sure they stay in relationship with both parents when a family splits apart, but that a child has a right to a non-abusive home. I also wish family court would believe the woman and children when they testify to abuse. Studies show that the protective mothers are rarely lying. 

“Abused mothers tend to receive a mixed message from our society about protecting their children. While still living with an abusive man, a mother can be harshly criticized for exposing her children to him, and given such labels as ‘failing to protect,’ even if she is actually making various efforts to keep her children safe. However, once she leaves the man—which is what the society appears to be asking her to do—she is then at risk of being harshly criticized by family court judges and evaluators for her reluctance to expose her children to the same man, and may be labeled vindictive or told that she is the one who is failing to focus well on the needs of her children.

The sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church contains some instructive lessons. In some ways it is not the actions of the priests that was the most shocking, but of the bishops, cardinals, and mental health professionals who enabled the abuse by reassigning known perpetrators or declaring them to be cured when they were not. Family court judges are playing an analogous role in some cases, requiring children to have unsupervised contact with men who have beaten or threatened their mothers, including in some cases where there is ample evidence that their fathers have also been beating or sexually abusing the children directly. Communities that want to rescue children from the wounds of witnessing abuse have to put a high priority on exposing the actions of family law judges and calling for wide-ranging reform to legal procedure in custody and visitation cases.”

When Dad Hurts Mom, by Lundy Bancroft


Click here to help Michele keep her precious, loved  little cutie, and help protect an innocent child! You can enter 0 for the tip amount.Keep the Kid



“February 15, 2018 SHEEP’S SKIN SLIDES OFF: Today the judge got to see what a bully my ex is. It was a grueling day in court with my ex, who is our abuser, but won primary custody of our son in court. It started at 9am, but ended well at 3:45.

I haven’t paid him child support since he last assaulted me and he started using my money to pay criminal attorney fees. The AG in court tried to make arrangements for payments, but he refused to negotiate, insisting that I be jailed for my offense for 90 days (which is the standard sentence plus a $500 fine.)

The AG, unable to reach a payment agreement with my ex had to send it to the judge. I plead guilty to contempt for disobeying the custody order, agreed to the AG’s payment plan, but my ex kept insisting that I be jailed today anyway for my violation. They usually give you 3 months to pay before jail time.

It became clear to everyone in the courtroom that punishing me was far more important to him that actually receiving the money; or the best interest of our son, who would lose visitation with his mom and brother and sister for 90 days; and he obviously could care less about my two teenagers at home that I am responsible for. What would they do?

When the judge asked why I didn’t pay him, I recounted some of his latest criminal activity (stalking, harassment, child abuse, etc.) and told her how hard it is to escape domestic violence and get back on your feet. She didn’t even question it.

The judge didn’t sentence me to 90 days, plus gave me 5 years instead of the standard 3 months to catch up. Then she went on to explain some remedies to get my child back from this monster!!!! In court. In front of everyone! I walked out, not having to pay a dime today, and now he is texting me @#$%# @#$%&# text messages.”

That evening and the days to follow:  “There’s an open harassment case, yet he continues to send me abusive texts.”

This amounts to high stress for anyone on the receiving end of the abuse, harassment, and trauma.

“Survivors of sexual assault actually have a higher rate of PTSD than veterans returning home from the wars in West Asia. I believe this is because of the secondary abuse perpetrated by the police, lawyers, social workers and the court system, who betray the victims by not believing them and insulting them and rewarding or protecting the perpetrators of the assaults. I promise I will feel less traumatized if they actually held him accountable and put him in jail!”

April 2, 2018. “Aaaaagh! I just got served papers. My abusive ex, who won primary custody of our child, is now suing for sole custody of our child, asking the court to let him move away with him, and is asking the judge that I may not find out where they live! He has already gotten a passport application for my son, and I’m afraid he’s going to take him to Mexico!

I already have paperwork to file to get custody back, but lack the funds for a lawyer to present it. I’m afraid if we can’t raise the finances for this, we will not see our child again. Yikes! I’m paying this monster child support, and he’s using my funds to pull this crap!”

One of the most frustrating aspects of a case like this is the abuser’s ability to be a grand actor. To the outside world he looks kind, fun, engaging, a terrific parent, an encouraging provider, often professional…but make no mistake…he’s a monster in disguise; a master manipulator who spins stories to make the victim look unstable. The number one way to identify an abuser is that they never admit guilt or take responsibility for their actions. They deny, justify, explain, and minimize their words and actions against their prey.


August 20, 2018 UPDATE:

Thanks to your help in obtaining attorneys for our family, we have hope for our little one! My lawyers have filed our opposition to my ex’s petition to move away with my son. However, my ex has already enrolled my son out of the school district, and sent him to another school, against the custody order, and against the child’s best interest – so the lawyers have filed papers to either jail him or return him to our school district. We have also just filed an enforcement petition, listing many visitation violations, interference, alienation and harassment. My ex has already retaliated by filing to reduce my visitations to supervised only, based on my history with domestic violence. The domestic violence was perpetrated by him. This is a great example of an abuser using the court system to further coerce and abuse the victim. I am glad I am not alone in this any more! 🙂

 Here is what Don Hennessey, a relationship counselor and former director of the National Domestic Violence Intervention Agency, has to say about abusers. (This covers all types of abuse: physical, emotional, verbal, sexual, reproductive, spiritual, financial.) The ‘psychephile’ is a man who gains control of the mind of the target woman so that he can dictate the level of intimacy and sexual activity in the relationship. Don Hennessery compares a ‘psychephile’s recovery rate to that of a pedophile. There isn’t much proof that they are redeemable.

Click on resources below to read more about this wide-spread problem:

For Abuse Survivors, Custody Remains a Means by Which Their Abusers Can Retain Control