By Leonie A. Dennis
What would you tell a woman who is being beat up physically day in and day out by her husband? Would you tell her to pray; God’s going to make a way? Would you tell her that the prayers of the righteous availeth much; that as long as she is faithful, the Lord will deliver her out of all her troubles? Or would you use practical wisdom to encourage this woman to seek refuge in a safe place?
If a victim of domestic abuse came to you for help, I’m sure you wouldn’t encourage her to tolerate the abuse and just keep loving the abuser at the expense of her life. But what about abuse that is not directly physical; abuse that kills you slowly over time? Is emotional, mental, verbal or spiritual abuse more tolerable than the physical? Is this worth putting up with because there is no outward evidence of being battered and bruised?
What if the one being abused is the woman most other women in the body of Christ look to for leadership and encouragement — the very woman who is married to the well-dressed, ‘he sure can preach’ pastor? What if the abused woman is you, the pastor’s wife? Who does the pastor’s wife go to for support and advice? Do you dare tell someone in the congregation how abusive their beloved pastor is? Would they even believe you? Or would they think you’re making things up, blowing things out of proportion? Because pastor what’s his face is a good man of God, he would never hurt a fly.
If you’re married to a pastor and being abused, you may have been suffering in silence for a very long time. It’s time to break the silence of your inner prison. You have to talk to at least one person about what you’re dealing with; preferably someone who is not a member of your husband’s church. You need an outlet to express the psychological and spiritual trauma you’ve been going through as an abused pastor’s wife. You can’t keep forgiving and forgetting; leaving the abuser then going back; saying you’re not going to tolerate abuse, then going back on your own word.
What’s the breaking point? Is it after you’ve been mistreated and manhandled so badly that you have no fight left in you? If that’s the point you’re waiting for then you will end up right where your abusive pastor-husband wants you. You will end up an empty shell of a woman with no sense of who you are in the Kingdom of Heaven; no purpose and passion left within you. You will be in jeopardy of becoming an idolater who now worships her husband as the God of her soul.
You will never become the woman that God (Yahweh) has created you to be by staying in an environment that robs you of who you are. You will never fulfill your God-given purpose by allowing someone to literally drain the life out of you, manipulate you, control you, slander your character, minimize your significance, and downright eradicate any feelings you have as valid.
Pastors’ wives, suffering in silence is not worth losing your soul. You have purpose! You have value! That is why your abusive husband in allegiance with the Kingdom of Darkness wants to tear you down so much. It’s evident that you have greatness running through your veins and a powerful anointing on your life. Otherwise, what would be the purpose of tearing down someone who is weak and has nothing to offer? It’s because you’re strong and full of potential why your enemy, your husband, and the chief enemy of your soul, the Devil, wants to annihilate your purpose so badly.
If your husband is not loving you as Christ loves the church and is increasingly being abusive toward you, then he has become your enemy. He has set himself up as an adversary against you. In the Hebrew language, adversary is translated as Satan. Yes, your abusive pastor-husband has made himself a Satan in your life. And we all know what Yah did to the fallen angel Lucifer, now called Ha Satan (The Adversary). Yah kicked his behind out of heaven and did not tolerate his rebellion. If Yah did not tolerate the chief Satan of this world, then you also must not tolerate the Satan in your home; the very Satan who preaches behind a pulpit, touting a bible, and a deceptive smile. Light cannot have fellowship with darkness — so as a child of Yah, you cannot have fellowship with devils.
If your husband refuses to change, then he just refuses to change. Don’t think because he’s a pastor that his verbal confession of change is more believable and righteous than if he were a mechanic, a bus driver, an accountant or in some other profession. If your pastor-husband has shown you no fruit of change and is continuously torturing your soul through his abusive, manipulative behavior, then you have to come out from among your abuser.
Pastors’ wives, it’s time to break free from abuse. It’s time to come out from the shadow of death of an abusive husband and walk in the light toward a new and fulfilling life.
Leonie A. Dennis is a spirit-led author who strives to write empowering words that can help pastors’ wives break free from abuse, and become emotionally, mentally, and spiritually whole. Leonie survived emotional, mental, verbal, and spiritual abuse in her past marriage to a pastor, and hopes to use her testimony and writings to help other women heal.