Spiritual Abuse

Researching information for this month’s articles I ran into something, that yes, I’ve seen but it had not clicked in my mind when I thought about abuse and it’s the term “spiritual abuse” in a relationship. This relates to when a spouse uses God to control or manipulate the other spouse with the Word of God or an alleged spiritual gift or “power”

These abusers use their spouses faith and a legalistic vision of the Word of God to manipulate, control and undermine their spouses. With this behavior the enforced their authority and the victim submits to avoid consequences not only with their perpetrator but with their higher power, as they believe this is coming from God himself.

The fact that the victims are being abused will make them be more submitted as they think that they must be doing something wrong, as they continue to be criticized or chastised by their abuser. On the other hand this can hinder their faith as they would have trouble understanding why God would allow them to live in such conditions, when it’s not God, it’s the other person’s free will that is attacking them.


Jeremiah 23:16 says “This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD.” But if this is your husband or boyfriend, how can you tell?

  • Study the Word yourself.
  • If your spirit says something is not right, it probably isn’t. Look it up before you agree to do something.
  • Pray and ask the Holy Spirit for clear direction.
  • Read the Word in context and not singling out scriptures. Sometimes just reading a few more sentences can bring clarity to the context.
  • In doubt, research. Sometimes just reading different versions of the same scripture will bring clarity to our notions.
  • Talk to other Christians (be careful about this one, you don’t want someone who is misguided as well)

If you want to identify a potential spiritual abuser, read Matthew 23:1-39 ESV Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, so practice and observe whatever they tell you—but not what they do. For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long”

Be safe!

Remember to check out my new devotional Growth Lessons, and obtain a 10% discount the coupon code PN34W

7 thoughts on “Spiritual Abuse

  1. Thanks for this – many women need to be educated- for without knowledge, people perish. After 28 years of this kind of abuse God set me free. I never imagined myself as a divorced Christian !! Shock, horror- but now 15 years after God set me free- I am so happy, contented, delighted with God- so free to be me. Sadly our children now well grown- bear the scars of this abuse and one remains far from God because the bible was used as a weapon in a bad sense- not with love. Glad you have written to enlighten others 🙂

    1. Wow Mary, I’m so sorry you went through this but glad that you are a testimony that there’s freedom in the Lord. It is so sad that people would use the Word of God to hurt other people. I pray that your child will be seduced by the real love of God and discover that what they experienced was someone’s misuse of their free will and not the will of God. Thank you so much for sharing. Blessings 🙂

  2. You’re so right. There’s a flip side to that spiritual abuse as well–unequally yoked partners that won’t let their spouses attend church, mock them when they pray, send them articles that mock God, and laugh when their spouse tries to teach their children. I’ve witnessed the damage of that in friends and family members. It’s awful. Any time one person makes demands on the other person’s spiritual life in a disrespectful, controlling way–that’s abuse. Thanks for writing this!

    1. Thanks for your visit. This is what I love about these conversations, we get to learn so much from each other. I have witnessed unequally yoked partners who don’t allow the Christian spouse to serve in church and how bad they feel about not being able to share their faith with their spouse, but I had not thought about those who actually mock their spouses for their faith. Thanks for sharing this nugget of awareness 🙂

    1. As much as I’ve been involved in researching about abuse, I had never considered it before until I ran into this information. Awareness is the key! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s