All Wives

An Open Letter to Christians and Pastor John-Paul Miller

May 13, 2024

Mica Miller, wife of Pastor John-Paul Miller, died by suicide on 4/27/24 after living in an abusive marriage for years.

Because much of my days are spent sitting across from wives like Mica and husbands like John-Paul, I want to share with Christ-followers what we need to know so that we can better recognize and best serve those around us.

Myths we believe regarding the Mica Miller case:

Myth #1: Abuse isn’t common among Christian marriages. The abusive dynamic within Mica’s marriage to Pastor John-Paul Miller is unfortunately so common among yes, even Christian marriages today. The Institute for Family Studies have reported that 1-in-4 highly religious U.S. marriages have intimate partner violence. Read that again. Followers of Christ must recognize that these couples are sitting next to us Sunday morning, they’re in our small group, and they’re leading in our churches.

Myth #2: People would know and/or see if there were abuse within someone’s marriage. Abuse within Christian marriages in particular is often more hidden due to the expectation that religious spouses should have healthy homes where the husband ‘leads’ and the wife is ‘submissive’. What this often equates to in abusive Christian marriages is the husband exercising power and/or control over the wife and the wife expected to be silent and told to only pray. This only perpetuates abuse in Christian homes. Instead, Christ followers must know that what is seen is not what is reality within homes. We must teach the body to recognize the many forms of abuse and how to take steps to get safe in the church. The church must regularly communicate no form of abuse is allowed in relationships and if there is any type of abuse, it needs to end, and how to get safe.

Myth #3: Alleged abusers are so kind that it’s hard to believe they’d ever be abusing their spouse. Abusers are master manipulators, and who they are in public wins people over while who they are within the marriage is completely different. Many abusers are narcissists, able to gain admiration from people, therefore making it difficult for people to believe they could ever be abusive. It’s important for Christ followers to believe the abused, be a voice for the abused, and get them help – period. Do not play games with the abusers of them attempting to smear their victim (which they will do). 

Myth #4: Physical abuse is the only type of abuse within marriage. There is emotional abuse, verbal abuse, spiritual abuse, financial abuse, sexual abuse, and physical abuse. Emotional abuse is the most common type of abuse within marriages, which is characterized by non-physical behaviors that are meant to control, isolate, or frighten you. This can be threats, insults, constant monitoring, excessive jealousy, manipulation, humiliation, intimidation, and dismissiveness, among others. It can be obvious, like a partner yelling or name-calling, or it can be more subtle, like jealousy of friends or not wanting a spouse to hang out with someone, minimizing or dismissing thoughts or concerns, shifting blame, or making the victim feel crazy (gaslighting). Christians must recognize the varying types of abuse so we can give words to what victims are experiencing, verbalize this is not reflective of God’s love for them, and then be able to help them get help and safety.

Myth #5: ‘Abuse’ is only ‘abuse’ if one partner physically touches and harms the other. John-Paul recently shared, “Never once have I hurt Mica in any way,” meaning that because he didn’t physically hit her, he believes he never hurt her. Much research exists showing that emotional abuse is oftentimes more harmful than physical abuse. Christ-followers must call these various types of abuse what it is – abuse. A spouse never needs to physically touch their spouse for it to be abuse. In fact, most abuse in marriage doesn’t involve physical harm.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) recently published a report titled, “Submit to your husbands: Women told to endure domestic violence in the name of God.” The subtitle highlights the important need for Christians to sober up and take a stand, stating “Advocates say the church is not just failing to sufficiently address domestic violence, it is both enabling and concealing it.”

To John-Paul Miller: 

You have been abusing Mica for years. You’ve stalked her, put tracking devices on her car, slit her tires, tried to make her feel crazy when she’d call your behaviors out as unhealthy, you forced her to do sexual acts she was uncomfortable with, and made her feel powerless because of your misrepresented position in the church and home. Although you didn’t pull the trigger, your actions led Mica to this decision. You did whatever you could to make Mica do what you wanted her to, and you think you’ve won because she’s no longer here. Your refusal to be broken over your behavior only perpetuates the toxic masculinity pervasive within the Christian culture. The many ways you’ve abused her is pathetic, demonic, and will be your legacy as long as you refuse to see it, repent from it, and publicly confess it. You have not won, John-Paul. Whether or not you will ever recognize it, Mica’s voice is finally being heard and we see you for what you are – an abuser. May God overwhelm you with His kindness, and may it lead you to full repentance. Mica, we hear you and we see you, and we will fight for your voice to be heard.

If you question whether you’re in an abusive marriage, visit and get help today. Listen to our three-part podcast series about abuse in marriage, here, here and here. To learn more about abuse in marriage, head here.

Amanda Davison is the Founder and Executive Director of the nonprofit, A Wife Like Me. This national team of speakers, writers, podcasters, and counselors, collaborate to equip wives with biblical community, resources and services so wives can experience healthier, happier marriages. She is the co-author of Dear Wife: 10 Minute Invitations to Practice Connection with Your Husband, a speaker, coach, and teaches at her local church. She is the wife to a Minnesota farmer, mother of three, and lover of ice cream. Find helpful resources for marriages and help build strong marriages in Christ, at

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