When Home Hurts

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Authors: Jeremy Pierre & Greg Wilson


A Guide for Responding Wisely to Domestic Abuse in Your Church

A pastoral guide to dealing wisely with domestic abuse in the local church. 

This book is intended to equip pastors, church leaders and church members to respond with the heart of God to situations of domestic abuse that occur in their local church. Prioritizing the safety of the victim at all times, Jeremy Pierre and Greg Wilson seek to help you be the kind of church leader, church member, friend, parent, sibling, or neighbor who responds wisely. We want the church to be a new normal for those grown accustomed to abuse. A home that doesn’t hurt those inside, but instead welcomes them into the tender care of the Lord. 

Split into three sections, When Home Hurts begins with an overview to provide a framework for understanding abuse and the people caught up in it, before moving on to advice on how to help in the short and long terms.

This very practical, pastoral book acknowledges the reality and the horror of domestic abuse, but also the reality and power of God to heal. It will be a helpful guide to anyone who suspects abuse within their church family but is unsure how to help without making things worse.

The five appendices at the end of the book offer helpful answers to difficult questions as well as additional resources.

Section 1 – How to Understand Abuse

  • Understanding Your Role as Agent of God’s Love
  • Understanding Abuse Dynamics
  • Discerning Abuse Dynamics

Section 2 – How to Help in the Short Term

  • Caring for the Victim
  • Confronting the Abuser
  • Considering Collateral Damage

Section 3 – How to Help in the Long Term

  • Helping the Move from Victim to Overcomer
  • Helping the Move from Abuser to Servant
  • Leading Your Church to Respond with Wisdom and Compassion

Appendix A – FAQs in the Initial Stages

Appendix B – FAQs on Separation, Divorce, and Reunification After Abuse

Appendix C – The Authority of Scripture and Abuse Research

Appendix D – Resources

Appendix E – Care Advocate Role Description


About the authors:

Jeremy Pierre, PhD, is Professor of Biblical Counseling & Dept. Chair at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and author of The Dynamic Heart in Daily Life, as well as co-author of both When Home Hurts: Responding Wisely to Domestic Abuse in Your Church and The Pastor and Counseling. He and his wife, Sarah, have five children, for whom they are exceedingly grateful.

Greg Wilson is a Licensed Professional Counselor and leads Soul Care Associates, a counseling and consulting practice in Texas. His practice areas include counseling victims and perpetrators of domestic abuse and consulting with leaders of churches and other organizations on adopting best practices for care.


When Home Hurts is packed with clarifying biblical insights and concrete action steps for church leaders who encounter Domestic Abuse. Tremendous wisdom and experience have gone into the shepherding plans and assessment tools found in this book. This makes it an essential and invaluable guide that every church should have at the ready.  ~Darby Strickland, Author of Is it Abuse? A Biblical Guide to Identifying Domestic Abuse and Helping Victims & Faculty member, CCEF

There is a great need for more Christian resources on abuse which understand that safety is the primary concern when a victim has the courage to confide their experience of abuse. That is why I am grateful for When Home Hurts.  ~Brad Hambrick, Pastor of Counseling, The Summit Church, Durham, North Carolina

Written by wise and experienced church leaders, for church leaders, this book takes an extremely practical approach rooted in very clear and thoughtful theological categories. I am thrilled that this book finally exists!  ~Alasdair Groves, Executive Director of CCEF

An accessible and practical handbook for the church and her people. When Home Hurts is written with care, attention to even the most minute detail, and a dedication to seeing the whole body built up and flourishing. A needed work for these times.  ~Lore Ferguson Wilbert, Author of Handle With Care: How Jesus Redeems the Power of Touch in Life and Ministry