Last Updated on February 9, 2014 by pastor.rocklyn
Can you spot an abuser? Are you sure?
Back in 2010 I came across the book â€œWhy Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Menâ€ by Lundy Bancroft. It was eye opening – especially because in it Bancroft writes persuasively that abusers have a thinking problem rather than an anger problem. They think that their wives/girlfriends/partners are their property and they get angry whenever their â€œpropertyâ€ doesnâ€™t behave as such. This book, written for a secular audience, includes some excellent â€œparablesâ€ that describe how abusers develop and what they have to do to change.
Since then Iâ€™ve discovered more books and web sites dealing with this subject and it was especially enlightening to read material on abuse in a Christian context. I now realize that several of the counseling situations Iâ€™ve been in actually involved an abusive spouse (usually, although not always the husband).
Iâ€™m not finished exploring this very important subject, but here is some of what Iâ€™ve learned already:
- Abuse isnâ€™t always physical – emotional abuse can do great harm without leaving physical wounds.
- Abusers have more of a thinking problem than an anger problem.
- Abusers are often very charming. This is how they lure their victims in the first place.
- In church abusers often masquerade as loving, faithful, godly, mature believers while their wives and/or children suffer in the privacy of their home.
- Traditional marriage counseling is generally ineffective with abusers.
- Many pastors donâ€™t realize that God permits divorce for abuse victims.
- Abusers have a lot in common with the â€œfoolâ€ described in the book of Proverbs.
You can find links to resources on abuse (including the ones Iâ€™ve mentioned above) at our Community Blog on the Relationships Problems Page: