I just had an amazing weekend in Lincoln, Nebraska at Lincoln Berean Church where I spoke on the topic of The Emotionally Destructive Relationship. It’s so encouraging to be at a church that not only gets it but is actively helping women, men and families to learn how to be safe and have healthier relationships.
Your prayers were especially needed as I had little sleep while traveling there and yet God gave me everything I needed for the weekend, including patience with the technology gremlins in my PowerPoint. Does anyone know of a good remote clicker (that won’t advance the slides two and three at a time) that you can recommend?
My daughter’s birthday was also this weekend and this is the first time in years that we have been able to all celebrate together. It was truly special and I’m so glad that she moved to Arizona.
Question: I wanted to thank you for having this ministry that addresses abuse. I particularly can relate to the article titled Five Indicators of an Evil Heart.
I am also married to an abusive man who is a preacher and he fits the five indicators of an evil heart. He has accused me of having affairs and has made threats against my life recently. In one instance I called the cops on him.
Sorry for the lengthy background before getting to my question. I want to know if I should make a final attempt and ask him to go to counseling to address his suspicions about my infidelities. It has been ongoing for so long that it has worn me down emotionally and spiritually.
It's sites like yours that give me renewed hope. Thank you for sharing your godly insights.
Answer: I’m glad you put a little background here for me because I might have answered you differently if you had not added some key information.
You said that your husband fits the Five Characteristics of an Evil Heart and that he has threatened your life. Friend, you have far more serious problems going on than asking him to go to counseling to address his suspicions about your sexual faithfulness.
Let me tell you a story. This weekend I was speaking and a woman came up to me and said, “Your article, The Five Indicators of an Evil Heart saved my life.” She told me that after reading the article she prayed God would show her clearly her husband’s evil heart. Two days later, police came to her door informing her that her husband had been arrested for soliciting her murder. He is now in jail and she is divorced.
Why are you still with a man who has made threats on your life? Right now I’m concerned for your physical safety, as you should be. I’m glad you had the courage to call the police once, but now you need the courage to leave. You cannot feel safe with someone if he has threatened to kill you.
God does not value the sanctity of your marriage more than He does your physical safety. Click To Tweet
The Bible warns, “The prudent see danger and take refuge” (Proverbs 27:12). There is danger here for you and now please take refuge.
Here is an acronym DANGEROUS that I developed to help counselors and people helpers to quickly discern the level of physical danger someone might be in. Please read it through and see what else might apply for you.
D – Divorce Or Separation: Understand if you leave (which you need to), your level of danger may actually increase. Therefore have a good exit strategy and safety plan. You can get some additional help developing a safety plan from your local domestic violence shelter or the following links:
A – Alcohol or Drugs: Alcohol or drug use does not make someone abuse others however, it does lower internal controls and so if someone is abusive or has those tendencies and also is using drugs and alcohol, it increases the degree of your danger.
N – Narcissistic Tendencies: Someone who lacks empathy, objectifies and uses people has little regard for their feelings and sometimes even their lives.
G – Guns Or Weapons: Are there guns in your home? Are they locked up? Are they loaded? Having weapons easily accessible greatly increases your danger levels.
E – Emotional Instability: Does your spouse or his family have a history of mental illness? If so, it increases your danger levels.
R – Rebellious Towards Authority: Does your spouse have other people who he is accountable to? Does he submit? As a pastor, does he have elders or a church hierarchy who holds him accountable? How did he handle it when you called the police? If he is rebellious toward authority, this indicates a higher risk level for you.
O – Other Violent Behaviors: Does he have a history of other abusive behavior? Has he harmed pets or animals? If so, that increases your danger.
U – Unpredictable Dr. Jeckyl/ Mr. Hyde: Does he have a secret separate life that only you see? Is he one person in public and another at home? If yes, that makes your danger levels increase.
S – Suicidal And Homicidal Threats: Anytime someone threatens to take his or her own life or someone else’s life, take it seriously. This is what alerted me to your danger. If you have experienced more than just this one danger warning signal, please consult with an expert on domestic abuse on your next steps forward. The hotline for help is 1-800-799-SAFE or 1-800-787-7233.
Please don’t ignore these warning signs. God is showing you that you are in danger. He cares about your well-being and wants you to steward your safety and your very life. Please let us know that you have taken steps to get safe.
Friend, when you discovered you were in danger, what steps did you take to get safe? Include the mental, emotional, or spiritual preparation you needed to take those steps.