Lori Alexander, Domestic Abuse, Spiritual Abuse
I have the privilege of volunteering with a local police department as a victim advocate. I consider it an honor to work with the officers at this department because I find them to be kind and compassionate toward victims of domestic abuse. During my training, I was excited to see the above information that goes in our area resource guide given to victims on scene. This was the first time I had ever seen spiritual abuse acknowledged as a component in domestic abuse.
Why is it that a police department understands that spiritual abuse happens within domestic abuse, yet the church has a difficult time identifying this?
The above is an outside-the-church perspective of indicators of spiritual abuse within domestic violence. Those of us who have been on the inside of the church for years can likely identify other signs of spiritual abuse. How many stories have we heard where the abuser is believed over the victim? How many accounts have we heard where victims were compelled to stay with their abusers due to the influence of a church leader or another Christian? How many wives have been told that they need to submit more to their husbands? How many victims have been told they need to pray more and trust God to heal their relationship? Who has heard Bible verses referencing why one should stay married and that there is no room for divorce from an abuser?
On the last book review of Lori Alexander’s The Power of a Transformed Wife, I highlighted this comment on Lori’s blog from a reader, Trey, and Lori’s response:
Lori followed up with a second blog post, “Christian Women are Floundering,” which is Trey’s full comment from the original post she wrote. (Extra notation added for reference.) The following is quoted material from Lori’s post:
This post was written by Trey from a comment on this post. Yes, there were women who were terribly angry and offended with Trey for writing this and wrote that it wasn’t biblical. I added scripture to everything he wrote to prove that what he wrote was scriptural.
Here is part of what I highlighted in the earlier screenshot, with additional notes and Biblical references:
She is to submit to, serve and obey her husband in everything, as long as he does not ask her to sin. She is to do this even if her husband is mean, unreasonable and cruel and it causes her unjust suffering. (Ephesians 5:22-24; 1 Peter 2:19-23; 1 Peter 3:1; 1 Peter 3:5, 6; Titus 2:5; Colossians 3:18) “For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable to God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps…Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously” (1 Peter 2:20, 21, 23)
Yes, Lori actually provides scripture to back up Trey’s response that a woman should stay with her husband who is mean, unreasonable, cruel, and causes unjust suffering. I cannot even begin to express how this has sat with me since I read her post. To think that Lori would “mentor” a woman who is experiencing domestic abuse by telling her that her suffering is acceptable to God leaves me heart-broken and angry.
The use of scripture to keep someone in an abusive relationship is spiritual abuse.
Not to mention the fact that she applies scripture out of context. The 1 Peter 2 verses are about slaves, not wives. 1 Peter 3 discusses suffering due to expressing belief in Christ. And, she doesn’t even bother to follow up Colossians 3:18 with Colossians 3:19 which says, “Husbands love your wives and do not be harsh with them.” Her sole use of scripture that tells women to submit to their husbands leaves out the prior verse, Ephesians 5:21, “Submit yourselves to one another because of your reverence for Christ.”
When I read this post, which is filled with scripture validating Trey’s view of women, I immediately knew that this is why I have such a hard time with the Bible – it’s the use of God’s word to keep some in power and others in submission, no matter the cost. This sits heavy on my heart as I think about victims who believe that they must stay in abusive relationships because the Bible says they have no way out.
Once again, Lori proves that she does not care about women. She only cares about her beliefs. Thank goodness there are others who understand the dynamics of spiritual abuse within domestic abuse.