A Worthy Sacrifice

If you didn’t know better, you might think a controlling individual can change instantaneously. If only they heard the right thing, in the right way, at the right time. If only God would convict them, they would suddenly see the destructive effect they’ve had on others and fall to their knees in brokenness and humility. If only, if only.

[It doesn’t matter if there is physical violence or not. An individual who strips another of her very being for his sake is a destructive force spiritually, mentally, emotionally, financially, personally.]


The truth is that this is not a behavior. It’s a way of thinking, speaking, and acting because it’s driven by his heart. He wants God status: to control all things at all times, to benefit from, and be the sole initiator of all.

This desire is clearly frustrated by reality. He isn’t God. He can’t control all things at all times for his benefit and at his discretion. For that reason, his wife (or girlfriend) is a necessary part of a faulty reality. He isn’t at fault; she is. He didn’t fail; she did. He can’t bear the pressure and responsibility; she must. This is why she becomes the focus, the center, of his world. Without her, he cannot rule, exact vengeance, or exalt himself. He must have an offering for his sin and failings.

To have a ready excuse, gasket, compost heap, catch-all is necessary in order to play god as a broken person in a broken world.

That is why there is no easy fix. No behavior change solves the problem. This is a whole life issue–heart, mind, soul, strength–driven by pride, self-exaltation, self-dependence, self-worship. Only God can intervene. Only a ready acknowledgement of who God is and who he, the fallen man, is can bring him to his knees. And in that moment it is his choice, and his alone, if he will repent of self-worship and submit to the One who is worthy of all worship.

That is why temporary change is a manipulation and words are meaningless. There is no way to make up for the fact that he has used others as the sacrifice for self-worship–the hide, flesh, head, legs, entrails and refuse thrown out, the best offered at his altar (see Leviticus 4:8-12; the sin offering). When he is worshiping at the altar of self, giving in to his demands (“submitting”) does nothing except require more of her. Her life–energy, efforts, body, time, dreams, desires–is the price of his sin. And it is wrong. It is wrong for her. It is wrong for him. It is wrong for the church to overlook, make excuses and allowances for it to continue. He is an insufficient god; her sacrifice will never satisfy.

A man who uses his wife to exalt himself competes with God–God who opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble (Proverbs 3:34, James 4:6, 1 Peter 5:5). Only Jesus is able to bear our sin, guilt and shame. Only Jesus is worthy of our lives, heart, mind, soul and strength. Only Jesus gives freedom, peace, and joy. He alone is our goal, purpose, reason for living. Worship is our calling; He is the Provider, Sacrifice, and Recipient.

As God’s bond-servants may we expose blasphemy and wickedness that opposes Jesus, the Lamb that was slain, the One who alone is worthy “To receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!” (Revelation 5:13)

Thus says God the Lord,
Who created the heavens and stretched them out,
Who spread forth the earth and that which comes from it,
Who gives breath to the people on it,
And spirit to those who walk on it:

I am the Lord, that is My name;
And My glory I will not give to another, (Isaiah 42:6, 8)

The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness,
The world and those who dwell therein.
For He has founded it upon the seas,
And established it upon the waters.

Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?
Or who may stand in His holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol,
Nor sworn deceitfully.
He shall receive blessing from the Lord,
And righteousness from the God of his salvation.
This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him,
Who seek Your face.

Lift up your heads, O you gates!
And be lifted up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord strong and mighty,
The Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O you gates!
Lift up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord of hosts,
He is the King of glory.
Selah (Psalm 24)

5 thoughts on “A Worthy Sacrifice

  1. Pingback: The Cleaner | Seeking Sanctuary

  2. Sydney,
    This is so good.
    “Giving in to his demands (“submitting”) does nothing except require more of her. Her life–energy, efforts, body, time, dreams, desires–is the price of his sin.” I was my ex’s “sacrificial lamb” and believed that role was given to me by God; to just take all the abuse until the Lord took me Home. And why did I think that? Partly because it’s hard to see the dysfunction when you’re in it, and also because no one, not even the church, and Christian counselors, were telling me any different. Time for the body of Christ to wake up and stand for women & children who are being oppressed in their own homes!


  3. This is me. I was blamed for members leaving the church. He said it was because of my disobedience to him. I am still in it for 18 years now. There has been new developements in my marriage that would make others scream out that this is not of God. I keep praying that God show me what is truth. But he said that we dont praý to the same God that is why prays would never be answered. Please pray for me. I dont have peace and love in my marriage.


    • Oh, Michelle! I’m so sorry. You’re right. That’s not the way God works. The Bible actually says that if your husband is not living with you in an understanding way, God will not hear HIS prayers (1 Peter 3:7). I am praying for you. Please reach out to me. I am available to visit and pray with you.


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