The Hidden Signs

Christians and verbal abuse –

The Hidden Signs 3


Written by Anne L. Bicks, Editor for Dana Bicks LLC

 

I have a close friend who is a wonderful Christian woman—a regular participant in church activities and worship. She devoutly lives her life and is raising her children (from an earlier marriage) by the Ten Commandments. She married a Christian man  twenty-two years ago. With a beautiful future ahead of her, she has relished in the joy of holy matrimony.

One day, upon visiting her home, I witnessed her husband’s verbal abuse to both her and the children. Later, I approached his anger issues with her and she made excuses for his behavior – “he’s stressed out from work”, “he’s tired,” “I’m not perfect either,” and even, “but he’s a good man!” Finally, in a weak moment, she admitted that leaving her marriage was not what God would intend for her to do. So, she would stay with him and just pray for his salvation. As you can see, abuse is often more difficult to see because, in public, the abuser is the perfect Christian. In private, however, they are a different person.

Most of us know someone who is verbally abused or perhaps you, personally, are involved in an abusive marriage. You understand that it is NOT God’s will for this to happen as angry and critical words destroy confidence and self-esteem. Verbal abuse is about having power and control over another human being…. an un-Christlike drive to meet and keep dominance. Its harmful and destructive to everyone, including any children who may be part of the picture.

So, what are the hidden signs of an abuser? Here are some true indicators:

Do they withhold information?

Do they constantly counter and correct everything you say and do?

Do they take verbal jabs in the form of humor?

Do they accuse you of doing things that could harm the relationship?

Do they judge you and become critical of expressing your point of view?

Do they take something that is said or done and make it insignificant?

Do they undermine you by withholding emotional support?

Do they threaten you? This may include threatening to leave or threatening to get a divorce.

Do they call you names?

Do they consistently forget about the promises they have made which are most important you?

Do they give orders instead of asking, treating you like a slave or subordinate?

Do they use the Bible as a weapon against you – usually taking things out of context?

Do they isolate you from family and friends and insist on knowing your every move?

Do they deny you access to financial information or accounts or prevent you from attending school or getting a job?

Do they mock you or put you down?

Do they accuse you of being controlling, disrespectful, unsubmissive, and self-important?

Are they in denial they are verbally abusive?

 

If two or more of these questions may be answered with a “YES”, the chances are very good that an abusive personality is in your midst. A verbal abuser doesn’t characterize the truth that comes from God. They are being used by Satan to accomplish his evil plans. If marriage partners are truly seeking to honor Christ, they will not want to hurt each other, but instead encourage each other. The Bible clearly warns us about the dangers of being in the presence of an angry person:

 

Proverbs 22:24
“Do not associate with a man given to anger; or go with a hot-tempered man.”

and….

Proverbs 29:22
“An angry man stirs up strife, and a hot-tempered man abounds in transgression.”

 

As is so often asked, is there hope that some abusers can change? The answer is yes, but with certain stipulations. It begins by recognizing verbal abuse for what it is and taking deliberate and immediate steps to stop it and bring healing. The abuser needs to repent!

Sadly, most Christian women are less likely to seek help, because many believe the Bible says they must submit to their husband regardless of his behavior (as in the case of my friend). Being submissive in a marriage does not mean allowing yourself to be verbally beaten by your partner! The best chance a marriage has of surviving verbal abuse is to seek professional help. God does call for us to be good stewards of our physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, sexual and financial health.

Some important things to note:

#1: Know that God loves you!

The Hidden Signs

#2: Understand that verbal abuse is NOT YOUR FAULT! You may be feeling that the problems in your marriage are caused by you or that you’re a bad person. Deal with the feelings of guilt and shame through a parish or a professional Christian counselor. Build a support system!

The Hidden Signs 2

As Christians, and on behalf of the unity of the church, let us pray –
Dear God,

You are the God of all comfort. We pray for those who have been abused within our churches and across our nation. Have compassion upon all who suffer the injustice, humiliation and pain of abuse. During their stressful circumstances, give them courage to speak. May your perfect love drive out fear and anxiety. We humbly ask you to create opportunities for these men, women and children to share their pain, reveal their struggles and expose the hurtful actions of others. Strengthen them with Your precious love. We humbly plead these things in the name of our Lord.

Amen.

 


EDITOR’S NOTE:
I found a wonderful article written by a Christian woman who lived through an abusive marriage. I would like to share it with you –

https://www.todayschristianwoman.com/articles/2009/january/myabusivechristianmarriage

A Theft In The Night

Cursed, a city can’t get out of the way as nature steers a direct hit….


A Theft In The Night 5

 

As the gale’s howled and thunder rumbled, torrential rains inundated where fears were so fragile. You laid in bed worrying, wondering, and praying as God was the only one who would hear. Awake, the tears streamed. Feeling helpless, you wondered what the morning would bring. Looking at the clock – no electricity! The world had stopped and Satan reigned. A peaceful night’s sleep had turned into a hell you couldn’t imagine. The night was darker as the pressure closed in…

 

Preparing for another enjoyable day of work and a sunset cruise on the lake later tonight, I was unaware that a few hundred miles away Satan had unleashed his fury. Cursed, a city can’t get out of the way as nature steers a direct hit. Sympathetic, I listened to the news as a tear comes but there’s nothing I can do.

The phone rang. I answered, “Hey Sam….”

He responded, “Pack your bags! We are heading out in an hour.” My first thought, oh God protect us!

 

A Theft In The Night cover

By sundown we were the first to arrive on the scene. Now a deserted city, only the traffic lights work. We found a hotel on the outskirts of town where the first floor is flooded. The second floor is bearable; it has water but no electricity. Too dangerous to venture out in the dark, we are bedding down early not knowing what tomorrow will bring.

 

Day 1:
At daybreak, we knew it was the DMZ all over again. Firstly, and before breakfast, I walk into a hotel. The skylight on the twelfth floor is destroyed; windows in the lobby – gone! Walking on broken glass, there is nothing left worth saving. Staring at the walls, the wallpaper is peeled off by the gales and glass. Walking down the halls, all the offices show how high the waters were recently. Four feet up all the sheetrock and insulation is to be removed by our crews….

 

Day 2:
House calls, normally illegal…. this is life and death now. Breaking and entering, we look to see if anyone stayed behind. The stench unbearable, perishables ruined, all the memories of livelihood gone in a wrath. Antiques destroyed, soggy scrapbooks scattered on the floor and bookcases are turned over. Just nothing salvageable! Even the toilets are reversed – disgusting. Now, to the next house. It’s pretty depressing after eight hours.

A Theft In The Night

Day 3:
Drained, my disposition is uncomfortable. Not assured of anything, I just want to go home. Knowing it’s not just a race but a race against time, obligations prevail. Innocent victims, who never invited Satan’s hell, needs me…I’m off! Kicking in front doors, wading in water, pushing floating furniture out of my way, we feel for bodies submerged beneath our boots. Alone, we pray to God everyone is okay.

 

Day 4:
The tide is turning; some electricity, finally! It’s spotty though. Dryer roads, blue sky, and there is a God, I think to myself. Helping strained folks that can only afford a smile, “just sufficient” is enough to make our day worthwhile. People begging for water, I emptied my cooler in the first hour.

A Theft In The Night 2

God knows, it takes a catastrophe to bring people together. Though it’s the most deplorable of conditions, it does bring out the colors of some. Humanity and integrity equals dignity for your fellow man, no matter your race.
After arriving home where normal was real, I prayed for those who will never find their normal they lost again. I hugged my family and reminded them to never take life for granted. Be humble of what God has blessed you with every day…..

 

God bless all victims of Hurricanes Irma, Harvey, and Maria!

A Theft In The Night 4


Author’s Notes:

 

I was there….2008, after Hurricane Ike. It’s an image that instills forever.

A memory of helplessness…. a war against the elements.

A loss just immeasurable…..

 

Gallant Valor

August 28, 2017

texas


It’s Sunday evening….some are about to return to church, some about to sit down for a wonderful dinner; some may be ready to slide back in their recliners to watch the evening news or some football. But let me interject some thoughts….

“God Bless Texas”

These courageous folks…. not the police or military; but the humanitarians who launch their boats on the highways into uncharted waters. They travel rooftop to rooftop, listening for stranded victims. Unless you have been involved in search and rescue as I did, you can’t imagine the danger. The sewers flood out, alligators and snakes, and the mosquitos will carry you off. Then there are the caskets that surface.

Here is where black lives matter! White supremacists could care less what you and the rest of America thinks. This is war friends – Texans against nature’s worst. God is the only entity prayed to here.

You talk about coming together as united people? Well snowflakes, take a lesson – WAKE UP! This is how America was and will always be. People with dignity respecting those with integrity. God bless them!!!

Gallant Valor

By the grace of God, there is no color of race nor ethnic coupe. There are no boastful rednecks. They instead drive for hours to launch their boats on interstates to save those in dire straits.

Praise those who give their time! They leave their families behind to help the survived. They certainly command a medal to commemorate their valiant duty.

God bless them!

The Sandbox

Our minds are designed to create and build – not to tear down and destroy.

Sandbox top pic

Sitting in the shade, wiping my sweat, the yard is manicured once more. It’s so nice to enjoy the love that comes from looking to God and the beautiful blue sky. I thank Him for another day of gorgeous grace. In my little cul-de-sac, the concrete wraps in harmony; the blacktop sweeps in tranquility. Peace and love rings out in my little neighborhood. God abounds.

Reminiscing in the shade while continuously wiping my brow, I think back to when Kirk and I were little kids. We’d play for hours with our Matchbox toys; building tunnels and roads through the piles of sand in my little sandbox. Pretending to create a life of make-believe, we built a world where the only problem was leaving our toys outside if it rained.

With endless hours of sharing our childhood, we learned to live and get along. I guess we fought once in a while; I don’t remember anymore. But the fact remains, we got along and grew up in normalcy. Our interests grew and changed. Diversified, we lost contact. Some days, like today, I go back and sit on the edge of my little sandbox wishing for those younger days.

Today, I’m watching the parade of demonstrators marching in solidarity. They, I bet, never knew the love of God that grows from life in a sandbox. Our minds are designed to create and build – not to tear down and destroy. Memories are like a keepsake proudly displaying on the living room mantle. Framed pictures that commemorate the way things were, line the hallway. And a crucifix of Christ protects the covenant that God blesses the hearts of passed ones.

I see the innocent demonstrate their acclaimed individual rights. The fore-fathers, before them, fought for those rights. Now the monuments are all but destroyed. That which was commemorated, is now denounced. Ridiculous!

So what time is it….1967??

I’m watching the news…. fifty years too late! I’ve seen this rerun before!

I’m disgusted with the progress we are prospering – in reverse. Let’s go back in time and recreate the joy of God we found in our own little sandbox once more!

 


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But Jesus called them to him, saying, let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. (Luke 18:16)

A fool’s lips bring strife, And his mouth calls for blows. A fool’s mouth is his ruin, And his lips are the snare of his soul. (Proverbs 18: 6-7)

The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, But the mouth of the wicked conceals violence. (Proverbs 10:11)

 


Editor’s Comment:

God establishes government to be an authority, and he establishes family to teach the importance of respecting authority.

Engraved Hurts

Like soldiers on a battleground, our persistent thoughts are marching on….


We sit across the table from each other and the tension rises like ocean waves before a hurricane. Our hearts ache from the daily frustrations. Words fly like cannonballs across the bow. The night is lighting up from the fiery hurts and our broken souls is damforgiveness 2aging our spirits. There is not a “sorry” that can mend the fury; no kindness is coming from giving; no hugs healing the hardened hearts; just short little snippets that become too repetitive to hear. I’m asking for grace to bring some peace to the table. But when two hearts aren’t in sync, God has His work cut out for Himself. Our love is souring like month old milk.

Love, like spring pollen, carries off to a neighbor’s lawn; walls are retaining the temper and silence is becoming enemy number one. So my conscience knocks on heaven’s gates and I’ll pray for our Lord to hear my heart. But like statues in the wind, the prayers are standing guard of the present. Life, cruel at times, has no invitation. Joy, the ultimate restorer between two hearts, is waiting on the other side.

mignon mclaughlin

I’m in awe watching the tears as they flow and sorrow can’t explain the reckoning. Blame is passing like vegetables at Thanksgiving. There is no rhyme or reason. Our Lord sits at the head of the table trying to join our hearts in prayer. Stubborn though, our minds are overruling the prayers. Like soldiers on a battleground, our persistent thoughts are marching on…. I’m carrying the flag trying to surrender but our guns are still drawn.

Morning arrives and a tranquility, like the dew from the night before, is falling over the engraved flowers. Hearts are listening to subconscious minds as we cease fire. Over early coffee, our guns are holstered. An anointing brings a smile as the sun breaks through the thunder. Love is being restored and the sun is warming little petals. God, the only true peacemaker, is reigning over the battlefields of our minds. We sit in peace and the quiet sermon is coming as the gentle breeze rings the wind chimes.

I’m asking myself, could this have been avoided? Unequivocally, yes, if God is first and past hurts are left by the headstones of our deceased memories. We’re limping away, now handicapped from the wounds encountered from the night before.

Mandrell

So, here we are off on our busy day….people to meet, bills to pay, and our Lord is holding down the fort. We are marching off, alone, to fight our own personal battles…

 

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EDITOR NOTES:  Did you ever hurt the person you loved?  Did you say unwanted things?  If you have hurt someone you loved, it is not easy to repair this mistake.  It is time to seek forgiveness.  You may have to go to great lengths to win over the trust once again.

Watch your words in a fit of temper and weigh the pros and cons of every word you utter. If you want to express your anger at an event, target the incident and not the person.

Be truly repentant…

 


Related Articles:

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1)

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; … (1 Corinthians 13:13)

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.   (1 Peter 5:10)

 


forgiveness

Mother’s Slippers

….for your children know not your footsteps you have walked


The day breaks and exasperating as life is, will we ever understand the meaning of it?? Reflecting on my mother’s spirit, her heart was in the right place. But we had our moments and it took me a long time to forgive her.

Situations merit decisions with consequences unbeknownst to our children. I, too, fell into that category. Generations later, little explains of a mother’s woes. I will never walk a yard in my mother’s footsteps. I remember the blood, sweat, and tears that came from my growing up years. A lady of stature, eloquence and reprise, I had no idea the hell she lived through all her life.

My thoughts of her linger as I watch the path you meander. God, I pray to grant you serenity, for your children know not your footsteps you have walked. Love is very deep and the hurts resonate from within. Blessed are the weak yet strong in their venue. I walk in your presence; I reach out to comfort your spirit. The harm is immeasurable, as children try to ruin a mother’s love. I listen to your silence as though it screams, like drifts of sand that crest in a storm.

A child might walk in a mother’s steps yet never wear her slippers. I, a mere child of wisdom and respect, can only now relate to the dust storms of my mother’s childhood. I watch this generation, with reflections of my own, resonating from the sixties. Though life was different, hardships are similar.

Testing the time, a mother’s love captivates the mind. All God’s creatures, instinctively, protect the bond. Yet, I watch those who try to revolt, losing themselves when their own offspring arise. Realizing their mistakes, as bi-products conquer in agony, they fight for the same respect of their own predecessors.

Quietly, I sit and watch the yearlings taking turns yielding to their parents. It just doesn’t matter if you fly or walk; children should learn “respect” of the age-old value of seniority. Today, the thought saddens me that we, as kids, didn’t learn the valuable lessons. Those who follow, think that at birth, they already know more than their parents.

But, scrap albums tell who wore the apron strings; for those that sat for the fMother's Slippersamily portrait, she bore the kids upon her lap; her arms stretched out encompassing them. And as you look closer at that old family portrait… notice “Mom’s Slippers”, worn out, against the couch. God love you, Mom……

 

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Related Articles:

Bible:  Galatians 4:19     “My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you…”

Bible:  2 Timothy 1:5      Be a woman of God  – “When I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.”)

What does it mean to honor my father and mother?  https://www.gotquestions.org/honor-father-mother


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