Luke 18: The Parable Of The Unjust Judge

Helping Widows – Women Married To Pornography / Sexual Addicts

The parable of the unjust judge explains a lot about how to care for widows who are hurting because of their husband’s spiritual death, often caused by his pornography use and subsequent lies and hypocrisy.

In Luke 18:2-9, Jesus teaches the parable of the unjust judge. A widow comes to the unjust judge and asks him to hold her “adversary” accountable. At first the unjust judge does nothing. He’s unhappy with her continued requests for help. He decides to pacify her with words.

Jesus Teaches That Leaders Need To Do Something To Protect Widows

Jesus adds here, listen to what the unjust judge “saith”, making a point that there is no action done on his part to avenge the widow.

The unjust judge placates her, feigning righteousness, “Will not God avenge you? You pray to Him all day and night, and He listens to you. I’m sure God will help you. When Jesus comes again, will He find that you have faith?”

Christ targets this parable “unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others.”

As this kind of widow myself, when I read this scripture, it rang so true to me. I have found myself in this exact situation. 

We know the judge is unjust. So this is an example of what not to do.

One of the most common examples of a widow petitioning for help is a wife wanting her church leader to hold her husband accountable for breaking his covenants: lying, pornography use, and abuse. She does this because she loves her husband and she wants to save her family.

Related Behaviors Of Porn Users

Active pornography users exhibit some or many of these behaviors, but the severity differs from individual to individual:

  • Lying
  • Manipulation
  • Gaslighting
  • Lashing Out In Anger
  • Neglecting Emotional Needs Of Family Members
  • Emotionally Abusing Family Members
  • Neglecting Household Duties and Other Family Responsibilities
  • Narcissistic Traits

Men who exhibit these behaviors have lost the privilege of being in a family. It’s emotionally and spiritually unsafe for wives and children to be exposed to these types of behaviors. Women who have lost their husbands to pornography need to be protected. Support people need to hold their husbands accountable. They need to “avenge” these spiritual widows to enable the family to heal. 

Many times, at the very beginning of the disclosure / discovery process, widows don’t recognize the lying, manipulation and abuse. So she too might not understand that setting boundaries and holding her husband accountable is the only way to safety.

Because she is compassionate, she too may think that being supportive, forgiving, and loving is the answer – but what judges and widows miss is that setting boundaries and holding someone accountable is the most compassionate, forgiving, loving thing you can do for a person who desperately needs to cleanse the inner vessel. Luke 5:37 “And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish.”

Since there is a lack of specifics and guidance when it comes to policies about how to help pornography users and victims, women are not given consistent help. In my work with thousands of widows all over the world, the responses and ways to deal with it are all over the map – even if the behavior in the men is fairly consistent.

Telling a woman that her husband hasn’t committed adultery because is he hasn’t actually slept with someone isn’t helpful because she knows full well that Jesus himself said it is. She also knows full well how she feels. Her heart is breaking, her family is at risk because he has committed adultery in his heart.

“Freedom from accountability means that the abusive man considers himself above criticism. If his partner attempts to raise her grievances, she is “nagging” or “provoking” him. He believes he should be permitted to ignore the damage his behavior is causing, and he may become retaliatory if anyone tries to get him to look at it” (Why Does He Do That? 58).

It is essential that friends, relatives, courts, and communities understand . . . and give the woman the most complete support and protection possible, while simultaneously taking steps to hold the abuser accountable” (Why Does He Do That? 101).

Abusers think that their wives dwell on grievances and refuse to forgive “because she sometimes attempts to hold him accountable rather than letting him stick her with cleaning up his messes – literally and figuratively” (Why Does He Do That? 142).

Contrast that parable with Acts 7:24-25 

24 And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed . . .

25 For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not.

I interpret that to mean, when he saw the suffering, he defended her and avenged her. He supposed that other leaders would have understood how that God by his hand would help her save her family and heal her marriage – by holding her husband accountable for his misdeeds and helping him through the process of sincere, back-breaking repentance. But they simply told her to pray and read her scriptures, and that God would help her. Have faith, they said. But they understood not that they should be God’s hands to help.

In light of the pornography epidemic, and the lack of understanding around the topic, including the severe emotional and financial suffering of the widows involved, Acts 6:1 seems especially pertinent: “And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring . . . because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.”

Make Peace On Earth – Set A Boundary

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We have a heart-wrenching share from V. She’s talking about holding boundaries during the holidays which is so difficult.

During this holiday season, please consider donating to help other women in pain

Holiday Boundaries To Keep Myself Safe From Emotional Abuse

V is sharing today about her Thanksgiving experience. So many of us have experiences like this: experiences where we desperately want our families to be a safe and peaceful place, but because of our husband’s behaviors it’s not an option at this moment. I have felt the terror of realizing, my husband hates me or my husband is always angry and irritable. That terror caused me to ruminate about our interactions instead of taking action to keep myself safe.

I’m so grateful for V’s share today about how she sets boundaries, even when it’s the holidays and even when her greatest desire is to be with her family.


My husband and I are currently separated. We’ve been separated for three months. He is not working recovery right now. That is what led to me asking him to move out… because he was lying constantly and was emotionally abusive. And I felt like I was going crazy and it came to a point where I said you have to be working recovery or you can’t live here.

The First Boundary I Set

He said he would go to a meeting. I found out that he lied and didn’t go. I asked him to move out at that point. And that was one of the first boundaries that I enforced.

I remember feeling so desperate for a peaceful home, that it was as if I had no other choice than to ask him to leave because I was so surrounded by trauma and pain constantly because of his lack of recovery.

I’ve held that boundary. It’s been really difficult. I didn’t realize how hard it would be. I did spend Thanksgiving with my husband’s family and he was there. It was very uncomfortable because I don’t spend much time with my husband other than interacting when he’s coming by to watch our son while I’m at therapy or group.

So Thanksgiving was really hard. Physically being around him was very triggering.

We talked about getting a Christmas tree. I love Christmas. It’s my favorite holiday and I love the idea of my family being together and doing the holiday traditions together.

There’s so many things I want to do as a family. But I realized this morning that I needed to make a boundary about the amount of time I spend with him. I thought about it for a long time, and I talked with a recovery contact, and I prayed about it.

I came to the conclusion that I didn’t feel I was safe to go get a Christmas tree with my husband as much as I wanted to. He has not shown me that he is safe for me to spend that time with him and that time as a family. And I don’t feel comfortable spending that time with him.

So I wrote out what I would read to him.

I told him I wanted to feel comfortable with him. I expressed that the way I would feel comfortable is if he would work recovery with a sponsor and a therapist. After I was finished reading, he ignored what I had to say and asked about our plans to get a Christmas tree. Even though I had made it clear in the boundary I had made that that’s not something I’m comfortable doing when he’s not working his recovery. When I restated my boundary to him, he immediately started verbally attacking me.

It was aggressive. He started asking “What are we going to do about Christmas? Am I gonna get to spend Christmas with my son?”

I was at a loss for words. I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t expect that. And so I tried to restate my boundary, but then I realized I had to remove myself from the conversation because I wasn’t going to get anywhere with trying to explain my boundary to him.

And so I said, “How about you take some time to think about this and we can talk later.”

I got off the phone. Since then I’ve felt uneasy, but not because I did the wrong thing. I strongly believe that I’m protecting myself and doing the right thing by holding a boundary with my husband when he’s not in recovery. But I feel uneasy because my desire is to spend time with him and to enjoy the Christmas spirit and holiday because I feel very lonely sometimes.

My Boundary To Avoid Emotional Abuse Caused Me To Doubt Myself

His reaction to my boundary caused me to doubt myself–am I doing the right thing? All those questions ran through my head. I was able to get back in contact with my recovery friend who helped me realize I was putting my husband at my center, and I needed to re-center myself. Which is what I’m doing this evening.

This has been the hardest boundary I’ve had to hold with my husband because it seemed like getting the tree as a family would be a positive and harmless thing. But I know that even though I’m excited to see my husband, once I’m in his presence I realize how uncomfortable I really feel. And how his lack of recovery makes being around him so undesirable.

I really do love my husband, and I really sincerely desire to work out our marriage. And it’s really hard when it doesn’t seem like that’s what he wants. And I’m trying one day at a time to connect with God and follow His will for me.

But I definitely don’t do it perfectly. I struggle with knowing what His will is for me. I’m just trying to be open and to let Him know that I desire to carry out His will and surrender my desires and my will. Because I know that He has a plan for me. And His plan is the best plan.

Boundaries have been really important in my recovery. I’ve learned a lot about God through boundaries, and how He holds boundaries with each of us.

Why Boundaries Are So Important

I’ve also gained a stronger testimony that He desires me to hold boundaries to protect myself. He wants me to keep my son safe because it’s my responsibility to keep my son safe physically and emotionally–that’s where boundaries come into play for me and when I think of it that way, it gives me a lot of strength.

I do feel like I’m carrying out God’s will when I protect myself and my son. And I pray for my husband that he will find healing and recovery and that he’ll find God. But I can’t make him do any of those things.

I’m grateful for the support I feel from my sisters in recovery, and the strength I get from them. I’m trying to take life one day at a time, even one moment at a time right now. And I believe that things will get better. I have found peace and happiness through working my recovery. There are hard days, and today is one of those days.

I have faith that it will get better and I’ll have good days again.


V is a trauma warrior and I love her so much. I’m so grateful for all of you listening.

We’re grateful for your donations. Again on this #givingtuesday please donate so we can continue to bring you free content. Also we’re on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google +, and I’m still going to try to get the podcast up on Youtube. I haven’t figured that out yet, but I’m working toward it because those of you who do not have iPhones can access it through a Youtube app on whatever phone you have. I’m so grateful for all of you. Keep coming back. It works when I work it, and I am worth it.

What Tortuous Betrayal Trauma Sounds Like

I’m having a really bad day. Just when I think I’m feeling better and that everything is going to be ok the trauma hits, and the only thing that goes through my mind is that I want my husband back. I want him to come home. It’s been over a year since we separated, and still I ruminate on thoughts like, my husband hates me. Why does he hate me? My husband betrayed me. Why? 

He has the kids this week and it’s a beautiful, beautiful Fall day. I would give anything to be with my husband and children again as a family. I have these days sometimes (I’m still healing), where I wonder when I will be able to truly heal because right now I feel like the only way I could heal in this moment of trauma is if he repents, truly changes, and comes home to us.  And then the ruminating thoughts come back: My husband lies. My husband doesn’t love me. 

What Betrayal Trauma Recovery Sounds Like When Triggered

This whole year I’ve kept been faithful to my husband and to the commandments. I’ve prayed, I’ve fasted. I’ve gone to therapy, and I trust that God will heal me eventually. But right now, in this moment of trauma, the pain is so intense. I keep praying, “God, please, save my family. Please. I don’t want to get divorced. I don’t want my family to be separated like this.”

On a day like this a few months ago, I called one of my friends from group and I told her that I just want to tell him, that I just want to talk to him and be able to explain this to him. And she said, “Because of the mindset that he is in he’ll think it’s about how great he is, not how forgiving and loving and caring and what a wonderful person you are. And it will just set you up to be abused again and to be hurt again.” 

Holding Boundaries During Betrayal Trauma Recovery

It has been really hard to hold no contact this long. There have been nights where I just cling to the sheets on my bed – it’s so painful and so difficult. So right now I have faith. I’m having faith still hold my boundary – even though I don’t want to, even though I want to talk to him and explain to him these things. I have held my boundary for over a year. I’ve only had one conversation with him at a soccer game. It was so strange. He didn’t show any emotion, and as I cried he sort of patted me on the shoulder from a distance and brought up strange things that didn’t make sense.

And this didn’t in anyway indicate that he was safe or that he was changed or anything. It was just strange. He sent me a text once that said he couldn’t be what I wanted. I guess part of my problem is that I don’t believe that. I believe that who I want him to be is who God wants him to be. My God provides a way for people to obey the commandments. He provides a way for people to change. I believe that with all my heart. Because I believe that, it puts me in a very difficult position. To betray someone also means that you harm them and then you refuse to acknowledge the harm or try to repair it.

Hope During Betrayal Trauma Recovery

There are many people who say that people with a personality disorder or an addiction can never change. But I believe that through Christ anything is possible. So because I believe that so strongly and so completely, that just leaves this little thread of hope. Hope for him, hope for my family.

It’s become so painful for me to look out the window when he picks up our children. There’s no semblance of remorse. He just puts this mask on that he’s happy and he’s glad to pick up the kids. Even with people he interacts with there’s no semblance of remorse or sadness or understanding. It’s been so painful that I’ve had to stop looking out the window.

Most of the time I have God at my center and I feel peaceful, and I’m grateful for the experiences God has given me. But I decided to record today so you know what trauma sounds like. This is what it feels like. This is what it feels like to be abused, betrayed, and then abandoned. Abandoned by someone who made covenants with God and with me to stay. I know this is probably painful to listen to. I’m sorry.

I just know that there are so many of you out there who know what this feels like. And I’m sorry. But I know that God can heal us. As we work with an APSATS coach and join a support group, as we surrender to Him, as we attempt always and over and over again to get God in our center – and our addicted spouse who is creating chaos and who is abusing us out of our center – we will find peace. Days like this will come and they are very painful and someday, someday, we will be in a place where we don’t get triggered. Where we are at peace. 

Sometimes I think maybe it won’t be until the next life, but I think it will be in this life. And I just pray, Heavenly Father, please help us. There are those of us who have been hurt and are seeking healing. Please! Please come to us and heal us. I’m so worried about my husband’s salvation really. I truly love him and want the best for him.

I’m worried that what I see looks righteous and happy, but I know it’s just a mask. Because if he were truly righteous and happy he would not have broken his covenants, and I wouldn’t be in this situation. 

Part Of Betrayal Trauma Recovery Means Recognizing Victim Mode

This is what it sounds like to be in trauma. And now I’m going to go, I’m going to go do some self-care. I’m going to surrender. I’m going to ask God to come back in my center and have faith that if I do what he asks me to do, as I have been doing faithfully for over a year, that all things will be made right. And that my children and I will continue to have peace, happiness, and joy here in our home. 

Redesigned Betrayal Trauma Recovery Site

Thank you so much for being here with me during these difficult times. 

I’m so grateful for all the women who work with me. They are in trauma too and they share and they care. I’m so grateful to know them. 

We do need your donations. We have a lot of costs right now for the website, equipment, fliers, etc. We want to be able to keep this content coming to you and keep hope coming through the radio. 

Why I Started Betrayal Trauma Recovery

I don’t know what it was like in World War II, but I imagine that maybe a radio show like Little Orphan Annie kept people’s hopes up. I kind of envision myself like that sometimes…like this lone voice on the radio during this intense spiritual battle, coming to you through the internet, letting you know you’re not alone.

God loves you, and even though it’s hard to set boundaries and that you might be blamed for the destruction of your family, it’s better to set a boundary and be safe. God wants us to be safe. And He will hold our abusers and our betrayers accountable. But He wants us to forgive so that we can move on and be happy and have joy. That’s what he wants for us. I hope, I just hope, that the information that we give to you through will help you… that it will help me and that it will help all of us together. 

We’re all on this journey and this path together and we can rise triumphant. Thank you for those who have donated and those who have gone to iTunes and left a review. This helps more women find us and the information that they need. Keep coming back, it works when I work it and I am worth it.