15 thoughts on “3 signs of repentance every church leader should learn

  1. Wonderful article and excellent reminder. I wish people involved in my situation would get a clue but they seem either ignorant or unwilling to understand this for their own selfish reasons.

  2. Many thanks for this helpful article. I am a sufferer of domestic violence & abuse of some 28years out of a 40 yr marriage. I sought , by prayer, to hang in there & trusting for a heart change from my dear husband. But he only hardened his heart over the yrs & the latter 15 have been very difficult to understand, from a Christian view point. Your article has helped me to put much into place. I have had to leave our family home & find safety. God is so loving as He has not forsaken me at all. I encourage others do not leave it so late ; seek help even if your husband will not.

    • Thanks, Robyn, but I only re-posted this article and can’t take credit for it’s helpfulness. I am thankful that you are now safe after long years of abuse. You might be interested in looking at another blog by friends of mine http://cryingoutforjustice.wordpress.com/2012/06/13/the-deception-of-abuse-scripture-memorization-as-a-remedy-by-jeff-crippen/ and also to read a book “Not Under Bondage” by Barbara Roberts (found on Amazon), who is also a survivor of domestic abuse. This is a book on divorce and remarriage for Christians who have been abused, saying that God DOES allow it, that he wants his children freed up to experience love the way he intended it to be. Glad you are reading the blog. I don’t know if you have read any earlier articles, but the one on “Charmers” might be of interest to you, among others. Blessings, Morven

  3. Dear Morven, Many thanks for your reply; Yes I have studied the Book “Not under bondage” & the truths therein have taught me much & actually set me free in many ways. My hardest thing to overcome is to realize the horrible bondage my dear husband must have lived in & yet he seems helpless to gain peace & freedom; I stiil pray for him & trust in the mercies of our God to come to him & open his eyes to the truth of the gospel. I actually met your dear wife whilst you both were in Aust in 2010. She was a great help to my daughter & myself on the first days after we left home. Your site has been a blessing, I shall check out the other you have suggested. Blessings. Robyn

    • Robyn,

      I AM the wife 😉 David is the husband! I’ve thought about you often, and am so glad you are okay. Many times I have prayed for you. I’m so glad that the seminar was helpful to you. Many, many blessings. M

      • Dear Barbara & Morven,
        Many thanks for your time given to me here; I really appreciate you both. Barbara, your recommendations I shall follow through; I had not wanted to face this suggestion but I shall & by His grace & through prayer. I believe He will open for me an understanding of my desire to see my dear ex husband brought to the glorious liberty that is only found at the feet of the cross in repentance & faith. Many , many thanks for your book, Barbara. Others have had the privilege of its teaching too. Morven, I am so sorry for the mess up in names; just lost it for the moment ; you were such a great help & my daughter has been so helped by your counsel that day. We often marvel at the gracious Providences of our God that had you here right at our time of need. How He loves us; breaks my heart . Love to you both in Christ Jesus.Robyn x

  4. Dear Robyn
    I don’t know whether you’ve read any of the posts at cryingoutforjustice.wordpress.com, but I think some of the articles on repentance on that site might ring bells for you. You can use the ‘categories’ search bar to look for the topic of repentance.
    Another topic you might find useful is the question of whether an abuser can be a Christian (Ps Jeff Crippen argues convincingly that the abuser cannot be Christian). If we understand the abuser as an unregenerate man, a lot of other things make sense. The bondage the unregenerate man is in is the bondage of slavery to sin. And only God’s electing grace can quicken him from death to life.

  5. While there are many who have now clarified for the church what true repentance looks like and how leadership should not be fooled, as they so often have been, I’m wondering what the next step looks like. If it IS true repentance, what does leadership offer the abuser? Do many have access to the right type of ministry to help them with long-term growth and accountability? If there is no sign of repentance, what does leadership do with that information? No sign of repentance equates to lack of safety for the woman since nothing has changed. How does the leadership provide that safety?

    • Good questions. Educating the leadership is beginning to open some eyes. I gave a workshop last weekend at a church and from that group two support groups are being formed, one for victims of sexual abuse and the other for victims of domestic abuse. This particular church is interested in helping to fund a safe house in our town. While much has to be done still, small steps are taking place. We all need to spread the word in our individual churches, not only about how to protect the victims, but how to recognize the narcissism/sociopathology of many perpetrators. Leadership needs to realize they can’t fix the problem if there is no repentance (even if there is repentance, there needs to be consequences, including counseling by trained professionals), and to refer to legal authorities. The silence has to stop.

      • Of course I don’t mind, Barbara! There are so many good referral blogs for our friends to connect to. Thank you for sharing your heart with my readers!

  6. “If it IS true repentance, what does leadership offer the abuser? Do many have access to the right type of ministry to help them with long-term growth and accountability?”

    Any pastor can find out by a few simple phone calls or an internet search, whether there is a Men’s Behavior Change program in his local area. This is what he should be directing the perpetrator to even IF the abuser is already showing some signs of true repentance. It takes LOTS of work to change entitlement thinking and habits that have been entrenched for perhaps decades. Change is not quick; for an abuser it may be a project that lasts the rest of his life.
    And if there is no Men’s Behavior Change program in his local area, the pastor should make it his business to lobby for getting one set up. Let him motivate the men in his church to make this *the business of the church* to work with secular agencies to see if they can get a Behavior Change Program started locally. But these programs MUST be run by trained and accredited professionals and conducted according to Best Practice guidelines as per the secular domestic abuse service system provision in your State. No wanna-be’s should imagine they can take it on.

    “If there is no sign of repentance, what does leadership do with that information? No sign of repentance equates to lack of safety for the woman since nothing has changed. How does the leadership provide that safety?”
    (1) 1 Cor. 5:11-13 *Purge the evil person from among you* = Put the abuser out of the church. Forbid him attending services while his victim(s) are associated with that congregation. Let HIM be the one who has to find a new church, not HER! That’s if he actually bothers to find a new church; some will just slink off into the world and drop all their Christian coloration, once they are treated firmly enough by true pastors.

    (2) Assist the victim (if she wishes) to obtain protection orders, find safe or safer housing, make statements to the police so they can lay charges.

    (3) Teach like Billy-Oh from the pulpit about the nature and tactics of abuse, so the rest of the congregation are less likely to be enlisted by the perpetrator and the victim will feel protected, believed and understood by her church family.

    Jeff Crippen’s sermon series is the best available (21 sermons – go to the Resources page of cryingoutforjustice.wordpress.com). Let the pastor have 21 weeks off from sermon writing while he plays these each Sunday morning to his congregation! And with the time he saved not having to write sermons, let him minister to all the victims who come out of the woodwork!

    Now THAT’S a win-win situation, is it not? 🙂

  7. Pingback: If the abuser shows signs of repentance, what should pastors do? And what if there is no repentance? « A Cry For Justice

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