How to Stop Abuse in Your Christian Church Going Family

Sometimes people leave their church, not because of rebellion or sin or sermons they don't agree with, but because of emotionally abusive people. It's time to recognize the hypocrisy of those people, and work towards eliminating the emotional abuse.


  1. Image titled Stop Abuse in Your Christian Church Going Family Step 1
    Realize that Christ is against abuse in the family. We see this in verses such as: "Husbands, love your wife as Christ loves the Church and gave Himself up for it," and "Provoke not your children to Wrath." These verses are often ignored or given very little sermon time. Instead verses such as "Wives submit to your husband" are emphasized. Strong women in the Bible, such as Deborah, Leader and Prophetess over Israel, are usually ignored or used to denigrate women because they are in leadership positions. Rarely is Miriam, one of the Leaders of Israel mentioned in a sermon unless her faults are talked about in great detail. Esther is usually only mentioned for her beauty. Perspectives of women in the Bible and in the Church must be changed before abuse can be stopped.
  2. Image titled Stop Abuse in Your Christian Church Going Family Step 2
    Be prepared for resistance. Rarely will the leaders and men in the Church allow you to bring up this issue. Rarely will the women in the Church allow this to be discussed - because it makes everyone uncomfortable. Women in the church have learned to put up with emotional abuse and domestic violence. If they don't, they are labeled as "troublemakers." The only way to begin addressing this issue is to talk about it with men and women of faith, and don't be disheartened when they get angry.
  3. Image titled Stop Abuse in Your Christian Church Going Family Step 3
    Ask for help. Find men and women of faith who truly are supportive of each other, their families, and others, and ask them for help. Ask them to speak up about any derogatory terms they hear in church services, classes or social events that bash women, children or men in general. Work out a key phrase they can say such as "we should respect our women and children, not insult them."
  4. Image titled Stop Abuse in Your Christian Church Going Family Step 4
    Notice what's happening. Begin noticing how much you or your own closest friends at church use humorous insults about their own family members. Begin noticing how little they actually encourage or compliment their own family members. We need to address this issue with our closest Christian friends who don't encourage their family members.
  5. Image titled Stop Abuse in Your Christian Church Going Family Step 5
    Speak up. If you hear a pastor or church leader make a derogatory joke about their spouse in a humorous way during a sermon or teaching, humbly say that what they said bothered you because you happen to know that there are families in the church who emotionally abuse their families and they use the pastor's example to continue to do so. Tell them that we need to try to watch our words and that you too are becoming more aware of emotional abuse. If the pastor acts awkward, makes an excuse or doesn't apologize - that's okay... it will still have made them think. If the pastor begins to lecture you, fuss at you for being too critical or gets angry... leave the church immediately and don't return - that church wants to keep their religious status quot of power against those they feel they are weaker so that can keep being in control.
  6. Image titled Stop Abuse in Your Christian Church Going Family Step 6
    Educate yourself. Begin reading books from the library about abuse and domestic violence so that you can learn about different behaviors of abuse.
  7. Image titled Stop Abuse in Your Christian Church Going Family Step 7
    Stay safe. If you feel that you or your children could be in danger in any way due to the abuse in your own family, call an abuse hotline or research leaving abusive relationships. Figure out how to begin an action plan to leave as soon as possible. If you feel that your nervousness will give you away concerning this matter, try to think of a way to take yourself and your children to go to visit a close, supportive friend or family who lives out of town. Say that they are having a crisis and you need to visit them, or say you want to go on an inexpensive trip. If you feel need to leave immediately, try to bring all your important papers, money, clothing, medicine, special items, etc. Leave a note saying you went to visit a friend for a week - but don't tell them where - and say you'll be back after your vacation is over. This will reassure them and give you a week to really think about your situation. Do this only if you feel you could be in danger if you try to change the abusive situation in your family, or if the person you live with is intensely jealous or controlling. If they give you plenty of freedom to come and go as you please, it is better to plan carefully.
  8. Image titled Stop Abuse in Your Christian Church Going Family Step 8
    Recognize abuse. If you feel your situation of emotional, physical, financial or sexual abuse is a result of life patterns in you or your partner's family - then you must begin making changes one step at a time. If you try to make many changes or a major change all at once - it is pretty for sure - that you will soon abandon the effort. It takes the minimum of three weeks to change a habit. This includes changing abusive habits or victimization habits. If you must "ask" or get unspoken permission from your spouse or partner before you do anything unusual or different... such as going across town to treat yourself to a day of shopping and a meal... or going to visit a friend in the next town... or going to get new eyeglasses... then you are definitely being Emotionally abused. As an American citizen, you at ALL TIMES have the right to the freedoms of life, liberty and the "pursuit of happiness." If you have wanted to take guitar lessons or art Lessons or buy a few extra groceries to try a few gourmet recipes, but haven't done so because your spouse or partner continually tells you "we can't afford it" - this is emotional abuse - especially if they spend money to go hunting or fishing or to pursue their own interest or to fulfill their own needs without asking you. If you start reading books at the library on domestic violence, you will see a lot more traits of different types of abuse. Once you realize there is abuse in the family you can begin taking the next steps to start improving your life.
  9. Image titled Stop Abuse in Your Christian Church Going Family Step 9
    If the abusive person in your life says or does something that hurts your feelings or puts you down, you must immediately begin saying, "Please don't say that to me, that hurts my feelings," or "please do not treat me like that." You must be consistent about saying these statements from this moment on. When you say these statements, the reaction of the person will determine the next course of action. If they react badly or get angry, then turn and walk away, going into another room. Do not yell or give angry words back to them. If they follow you and continue to harass you and will not let you leave the room, then you know that you have a much more dangerous situation than you previously thought. If they only act awkward or fuss a little before turning away or going back to what they were doing - this is a good sign and shows that if you will continue to make these statements for three weeks, change is possible. If the reaction is not extreme, follow these statements with the words "I love you and really want to start making our relationship better again."
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    Examine your life and find one behavior between you and your Partner or the Emotionally abusive person that you want to change and work for the next three weeks on changing that behavior. For example if they won't let you buy a sufficient amount of groceries to feed the family, or won't allow you to get a job or attend a college class for whatever reason - you sit down and tell them as nicely as possible that you are going to pursue this activity and that it is "not an option." Tell them this is something you need to do and you need the funds available to do this. If they refuse, then you refuse to continue being their slave. If you are not an equal partner in the financial decisions, then you do not need to continue providing help around the house under slavery conditions. Their reaction to this will determine exactly how abusive they will be.
  11. Image titled Stop Abuse in Your Christian Church Going Family Step 11
    Continually use the above steps to make continual improvements in your Family's domestic life. If at any time, you are "paid back" for trying to make your life happier, or if the abusive behavior becomes worse - you need to let a trusted friend or family member know that the abuse has become worse and you are going to work on an action plan to get phone or personal counseling with the Women's Abuse Center in your area.
  12. Image titled Stop Abuse in Your Christian Church Going Family Step 12
    Talk to your Spouse or Partner or the Abusive Family Member as calmly as possible, if you believe you can do so safely without retribution and tell them that because you love them and want to continue improving your relationship - there are things you need to do to change both of your lives. You need to also tell a trusted Friend or Family Member, in addition to Church Friends that you are going to begin working on eradicating abuse not only in your own Christian Church Going Family but also in the Church population in general. If they give you a lecture that wives should submit to their husband, you tell them that there are just as many verses in the Bible that show that men should be kind to their wives and children and respect them and say that you refuse to continue living a life of abuse. This will test your relationships, but those who refuse to be supportive and encouraging about this matter are abusers themselves... and you need to find a more contemporary Church or group of Christian friends who will supportive you into having a happier lifestyle... rather than seek to keep you in bondage to a religious system that Christ says plainly in scripture he considers to be led by "snakes, scorpions and vipers."


  • If you feel that you or your children are in danger of any kind at any time, you need to immediately leave the situation or call the Emergency Services. Do not return without an escort or a police escort until you feel you are safe or when you know the abuser will be gone.

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Categories: Abuse | Christian Lifestyle