It’s hard to explain. Hard to explain to friends, to family, and especially to your church. People do not understand how your “charming” spouse could be so difficult that you would separate or divorce. He seems so likable! She volunteers teaching kiddos in Sunday School! He’s such a fun guy!
These people have NOOOO idea…
A spouse with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) or an emotional/verbal abuser is a chameleon. They are experts at putting up a false self or image to others. And they are a terror behind closed doors. The contempt, manipulation, gas-lighting, dishonesty, name calling, criticism, lack of empathy and abuse is destructive to your heart and soul. But when you are in the middle of it, with your brain in a fog from all the confusion and lies, and your heart in shreds from being torn apart so many times by your partner’s cruel side, it’s hard to articulate clearly. It’s also easy to be in denial. Because it’s that bad.Continue reading →
As I was deciding whether to separate from my verbally and emotionally abusive husband, I wanted to know what the Bible really said about divorce. I knew the words “God hates divorce” and I had read what Jesus said about divorce in the New Testament. But I also knew that what I was experiencing was death. It was unbearable. Untenable.
I knew in my heart that this could not be what God wanted for my life.
As I talked to more people, read more books, and understood some of the context behind the various scriptures, I gained hope. Perhaps God valued me as an individual as much, or more, as he valued the institution of marriage. Perhaps he valued my safety and my sanity and my heart. Perhaps what what some churches have taught in our current-day culture (“marriage at all costs”) is a simplistic view that doesn’t look at the culture or context of Jesus’s words. Perhaps we aren’t expected by God to stay in relationship with a spouse who is contemptuous, deceptive, manipulative, controlling, full of rage AND unrepentant and let them continue to sin against us. The Bible says a lot about not associating with unrepentant sinners.
One article on what the Bible says about divorce that was enlightening and gave me hope was this one by David Instone-Brewer. Hopefully it will be meaningful to you. Continue reading →
Here is an excellent and thought-provoking article by Barbara Roberts of A Cry for Justice on the biblical grounds for divorcing an abuser. The scripture she uses is descriptive and well-applied. It should bring clarity and comfort to abuse victims all over the world. I forwarded the article to my church elders and asked for a discussion. Let’s celebrate the spread of this courageous message to more of the Christian church!