Listening to this sermon (here) really helped me understand how abusers think and the physiological harm they heap on their victims over a period of years. This is also very helpful as to why a few women I've met throughout the years seemed to be off emotionally. They have been in a POW camp for crying out loud!!
In an earlier post I mentioned a friend of mine who endured many years of abuse from a man who was brought up in a church. She recently fled that abuser, yet he still attends that church (of course she had to leave).
Here is a little spoiler of how victims and church leaders should take nothing less than a Paulific repentant transformation from alleged abusers: "Finding out that you're a verbal abuser/controller is a bit like falling down the rabbit hole. Your entire reality is shaken to the core to find out your relationships are broken, and that those around are frightened of you; that something is horribly wrong with the way that you view and communicate with the world. It is a very scary and life changing event. That is the spirit of fear...that is the Holy Spirit at work. It is the trauma of seeing ourselves as we really are; condemned before God."
Where are the Shepherds?
Pretend Repentance is Worse Than No Repentance