Expose, Confront, Correct: Marital Abuse through the Eyes of Christ

Shining Light into the Murky Depths of Marital Abuse


By: Kimberly Dimick


Women are often sent demeaning messages from well-meaning but misinformed Christians that minimize and marginalize what they suffer in surviving an abusive marriage. 


Later, in post-divorce recovery, especially when the perpetrator's behavior is on-going via co-parenting, they continue to be sent messages that invalidate their pain. We often make this mistake because we don't see the deep bleeding psychological wounds, mental bruises, and emotional scars.


Psychological abuse is as destructive to a woman as being repeatedly, physically assaulted.


Comfort those who mourn, weep with those who weep…

A victim of psychological abuse needs validation. One comfort for a victim of injustice happens when she sees you confront her abuser and, through you, is made aware that God sees the truth and has compassion for her and her children. 

Some abuse is well-hidden under the murky waters of deception as her abuser recruits allies for his "righteous" cause. He will portray himself as the victim and her as the abuser. This ends up re-victimizing her, unless church leaders are educated about abuse and can help prevent this from happening.

Jesus demonstrates the spirit of love in action, in confronting abuse.

He spoke most vehemently against abusers. We know this because Jesus said to the abusive ones: "You are children of your father, the devil." These men were the epitome of godliness, in their own minds.


Unless we confront and call abuse what it is we are empowering it.


Naming someone as an abuser is an act of love. It helps to establish an abuse-free zone around both victim and perpetrator.

God's grace and mercy is always available to the one who asks for it. COME boldly before the throne of grace in our time of need. One must COME to Christ to receive His graceIf we do not come we are saying, I can sin so that the grace of God abounds. Paul, said, may it never be! When one's heart is to love Christ by obedience, to do the will of God and to love others their inward man would not even think it is okay to hurt others.


Hurting others consistently without regard for another is abusive. It is a mockery of holiness.


A true believer's conscience is tender and they are quick to repent. It's because it's the spirit of Christ living in them. He is the spirit of Love and Truth.


God's measuring line is LOVE and TRUTH.


God has been clear what love is and what it is not. If we do not love, the love of God is NOT in that person nor do they know God. We are to have NOTHING to do with those who choose to walk in darkness.

Confrontation in the face of abuse rings a bell that calls the abuser to accountability and rouses good people to come to the aid of the victim. It's like the immune system deploying white blood cells into your circulatory system to kill the infection, slay the virus, and eradicate the cancer.


It is one thing to stumble and another to choose darkness over and over again. Many Christians are accused of being unloving for cutting off a so called brother when Paul himself instructs us to have nothing to do with them-not even to eat with such a one. 


God simplifies it for us by teaching us that those who do not practice the love of God are not God's at all.


Christians minimize the utter evil of SIN. 

God takes sin very seriously.


Grace becomes evil's accomplice, in the case of mishandling abusive relationships.


A person who stumbles is not "abusive" because their identity is in Christ, at their core. His Spirit is at work changing them as they invite the Lord into that process – "here a little, there a little."


Conversely, a person who has all the outward signs of being Christ's but has no regard for others does not have the love of God in them nor do they know God. (1 John 1: 3). They care nothing for others, unless it benefits them.


Paul is clear that abusers do not inherit the kingdom of heaven. Paul tells us to not even eat with such a one.


  • We know them by their fruit. A sincere believer is rooted and grounded in Christ's love. They allow the seeds of truth to grow in them unto maturity. Yes, of course this takes time.
  • Sanctification includes taking our failures, mistakes, tests and trials to conform us to the image of God's Son. God invites us into this process. If we refuse or resist that process then one cannot change into the image of God's Son.
  • A refusal to surrender to God, to refuse being changed inwardly is rebellion against against truth. Truth IS Jesus Christ. Yes, we may wrestle and war within ourselves and resist change but God's Spirit convinces us of the truth.


Here's what to look for: if a person cares deeply how their behavior affects other people and their relationship to God, they are children of God.


David is a good example of this in his prayer, "against God alone have I sinned, restore a right spirit in me, take not away the joy of my salvation."


If person's attitude is one of claiming God's grace and mercy without ever truly assimilating that truth then they are in danger of being deceived.


How does God tells us to deal with those who are being deceived or walking in darkness? God's Word tells us to expose, correct and confront.


God tells us to point out the sin so that they can have a change of mind and go in another direction. We call that knowing God's ways. Jesus tells us to judge others rightly so we will not ourselves be deceived. When a man walks in darkness they are rejecting the light. Jesus IS the light of the world and so they reject Jesus Himself.


How to spot a contrite heart and true repentance:

  • Is an abusive behavior, attitude or motive of heart consistent/persistent?
  • Is there contrition/repentance and restitution or simple remorse that they got caught? 
  • Is there a seeking of understanding of the the other person's hurt, giving empathy, and validating the other person's pain? 
  • Is there a determination to change a behavior that hurts the other person

Summary of how to tell is a husband if abusing his wife:


In marriage this is what Peter means by the command to husbands, "Dwell with your wives in understanding, according to knowledge." When a husband consistently is deaf to his wife's cries then yes, he is abusing her. If a man is in a process of change and he stumbles or sins then he is not abusing her.



With love and concern,



Kimberly Dimick and her husband, Joshua Dimick, know how it feels to lose everything: marriage and family, church and reputation, finances and careers, and so much more. Together and separately they have walked the path of Love, a narrow path, a path that is lonely and not well-used.

They intimately understand the soul-shattering pain of separation and divorce and they also know "The Way Home" to a life of choosing unconditional love.

The surprising answers to a happy marriage are shared in her posts, articles, and their book-in-progress.

As you venture on this journey with Kimberly and Josh you will experience how God shines His most brilliant light in her darkest hours. Today their mission is to provide a voice to women suffering in silence, shining the Light of Truth into the dark places.

As you journey with Kimberly and Josh you will witness a true life transformation that will shatter the misinformation and lies commonly fed to women that keep them in false submission.

More Marriage Advice & Letters from Kimberly Dimick

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan Schiller December 28, 2015 at 11:52 pm

Kimberly is a wise woman and she's helped me more times than I can count – I'm glad she is here for you, too!


Joyce December 28, 2015 at 10:24 pm

I needed this tonight. I need to know that it is okay with Jesus for me to separate from my husband so that Holy Spirit can get through to him. Thank you for sharing.


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