still working towards my own freedom. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAb9vBzaV9Q, Why We Must Never Forget Even When We Do Forgive. Wounds to one’s soul and spirit are longer lasting and often more damaging. I have done so for over 20 years. Many teachers still reproduce those ideas when they teach that only physical abuse is real abuse, that only physical abuse should be escaped. Thank you! But God’s heart is always for us, whenever we are being harmed, whether spiritually, emotionally, psychologically, mentally, or physically. When there has been repentance sought and forgiveness granted, I have seen marriages healed and restored. All rights reserved. An abusive person does not know love and does not know God. People who haven’t experienced emotional abuse will ignorantly claim that real abuse is being beaten, and you have to beaten a lot for it to be serious enough to justify legal protection through divorce. This article is very encouraging. . It was confusing because the character of God isn’t that of a cruel, heartless punisher.”, “One hard question I really struggle with is how do I really believe God loves me? Mutual obligations characterize that kind of relationship. Box 126555 Fort Worth, TX 76126Phone: 877-ABC(222)-4551 Lastly, when is the line crossed? Therefore, as biblical counselors, why would we tell a woman or man who is being emotionally abused that they must stay in their marriage because being pummeled by words is not serious enough to justify a biblical separation. When is an abusive behavior biblical grounds for separation or even divorce? “ A stone is heavy, and sand is weighty, but a fool’s provocation is heavier than both. It is a deep, deep comfort to hear someone declare God is for me. If however we speak words of rebuke that may cause hurt but it is done for the edification of the other person this may in fact be a righteous act depending on the context. How long with this type of abuse be PROTECTED by the church? (See my video on “What is Emotional Abuse” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAb9vBzaV9Q for Bible verses that support God’s care for the emotionally abused person.).  Barbara Roberts, Not Under Bondage: Biblical Divorce for Abuse, Adultery and Desertion (Australia: Maschil Press, 2008), 75,  Tyndale Bible Dictionary, Tyndale Reference Library (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale, 2001), 323,  J.B. Payne, “Covenant (in the Old Testament),” from The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, Vol., 1, Merrill C. Tenney, ed., (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1976), 1001-2. The spiritual and emotional impact of verbal abuse has led many of us down dark paths of pain and regret. IF I CAN DO IT OTHERS CAN TOO. “A stone is heavy, and sand is weighty, but a fool’s provocation is heavier than both.” (Proverbs 27:3), “A man’s spirit will endure sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?” (Proverbs 18:14). The famous passage about love in 1 Corinthians 13 makes it obvious that emotional abuse is wrong. I don’t know how I can ever really love him again. Here’s just a taste of the kind of emotional abuse Jesus endured on our behalf, and I hope this helps you realize how much compassion Jesus has for you: “The Jews answered him, ‘Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?’” (John 8:48), “But some of them said, ‘He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the prince of demons,’” (Luke 11:15), “The Pharisees, who were lovers of money…ridiculed him.” (Luke 16:14), “As he went away from there, the scribes and the Pharisees began to press him hard and to provoke him to speak about many things, lying in wait for him, to catch him in something he might say.” (Luke 11:53-54), Jesus said “Has not Moses given you the law? What is his greatest need right now and how can I meet it? Her choice will bring opportunities for growth as well as temptations to sin. We must come to Him as our good father who always has another chapter for our stories and who gives us the courage and strength to close and bar the door against evil. ” (Proverbs 27:3) “ A man’s spirit will endure sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear? What Does the Bible Say About Emotional Abuse? by Natalie Hoffman | Aug 29, 2018 | Advocacy, Articles, Emotional Abuse, Learning, Waking Up | 18 comments, “I knew that God love me, but I couldn’t figure out why those I sought help from didn’t treat me as He did. God has declared that our central purpose is to be His, to be faithful to Him, and to worship Him. . RUN YOUR RACE AND RUN IT WELL FRO THE GLORY OF GOD.! I love how our loving father sends me messages through you to guide me. You live with a marriage wrecker – so you are right to feel hopeless as far as fixing your marriage. How many emotionally abusive fathers create a chaotic, confusing, hypocritical environment for their children to grow up in, causing those children to want nothing to do with their father’s God. It is He who gives us the courage to say, “Thy will be done” in the unexpected and unwanted, when we must flee from indignity and cruelty, when we must undertake an honest and biblical mission where we can find our liberty and safe place to stand firm before Him. 10-11. People sin, and they do horrible things to other people. I want to forgive him,” she said. There are other resources for narcissistic abuse perpetuated by parents of both sexes. God says it’s a matter of life and death. . I LEFT MY HUSBAND IN 2016 FROM CHICAGO AND NOW RESIDE IN MINESOTA WITH A GRETA LOVING CHURCH, NEW APARTMENT, NEW JOB AND NEW FRIENDS. It happens in the past, but asserts itself over and over in the present. The primary difference is that physical injuries usually heal. In an ideal world, we wouldn't ever have to deal with people who hurt us, but unfortunately, we live in a fallen world full of fallen people (including us! But the tears have flowed as I have read this to understand that He does not agree with what my husband is doing to me. Consider joining my Flying Free group. God says emotional abuse is a heavy burden to bear up under. And every single one firmly believes his particular opinion about abuse is the absolute truth, and anyone who disagrees, especially an abuse survivor, is wrong and deserves to be shunned. Barbara Robert’s writes in her book Not Under Bondage, “God did not say “I hate divorce”, nor did he condemn all divorce. God is a healer but the abuse takes a big toll on my personhood and it’s still years after I left. (Psalm 32:8). God will not be mocked. “If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.” (James 1:26), “I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren.” (2 Corinthians 11:26), “But it was because of the false brethren secretly brought in, who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage.” (Galatians 2:4), “He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous, Both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD.” Proverbs 17:15. Seven Red Flags in a Toxic Christian Dating Relationship, Emotional Abuse: When Your Husband Doesn’t Take Responsibility for His Behavior, Message to a Baptist Church: You Preached Death to the Hearts of One Hundred Women Today. One very final comment about emotional abuse.. Matthew 22:37 we most love God by our whole heart, whole mind and whole soul. It is He who is calling us to see our condition, even when our hearts are aching with desire that what is true might not be true. They told me God had called me to suffer, and it was my job to suffer well. Their depravity knows no limits. Why do you seek to kill me?” The crowd answered, ‘You have a demon! Yet with deeply wounded people, feelings can be the driving force behind their choices. God does call us to be good stewards of our physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, sexual and financial health. I love him. I have a lot of trust issues and anxiety. Not possible. Their time is … Every effort we make to tell the truth, pray the truth, live the truth, and put our hope and trust in our Creator, advances His Kingdom a little bit further on this earth. I do not say this to discourage women leaving, nor am I against divorce. Each person who has been grievously sinned against will need to wrestle with the impact that the abuse is having on his or her body, soul and spirit as well as on their children. In fact, there is no record in the Bible of child abuse. Is emotional abuse enough grounds for separation or even divorce? Who is seeking to kill you?’” (John 7:19-20). The apostle Paul describes the actions of real love. Faithfulness to those promises brought marital blessing (Psalm 128; Proverbs 18:22); violation brought a curse.”, In another source, various types of covenants are explained. We see the effects of this on a global scale. Sometimes staying at all costs is too high a price to pay. What does the Bible say about dealing with toxic / abusive people / relationships? Unlike those who refuse to believe you or understand what it is like to live in an abusive environment every day, Jesus understands perfectly and takes what is happening to you seriously. With abuse, it is often many years that we spend trying to support the dysfunction, hoping that we can make it better or at least make it tolerable. I do wish this article had language concerning abusive wives and mothers also. Know that emotional abuse is wrong and hurtful and can only perpetuate in silence. That brings great joy and glory to God. The Bible does not directly name emotional abuse, but it certainly provides us with a wealth of examples of God’s view concerning it: Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. “…the companion of fools will suffer harm.” (Proverbs 13:20), “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” (Proverbs 18:21), “Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death is the man who deceives his neighbor and says, ‘I am only joking!’” (Proverbs 26:18). When we take a stand against abuse, whether it is abuse in our own life or in the lives of others, we are working on His behalf and for His glory. I have such a hard time reconciling God’s love with putting so many of us women in these situations pretty much from day one. The Bible doesn’t use the label “emotional abuse,” but it does prohibit it. It is He who has taught us that no wolf in sheep’s clothing must ever be tolerated or enabled, that each must be removed from any place where he is determined to cause harm. And He also sees our abusers (especially our religious abusers) as His enemies, as enemies of the truth, and as enemies of the Gospel. Especially when it is endorsed by the church. Your email address will not be published. Human beings do that all on their own. He sees that emotional abuse and psychological torture do measurable harm to our brains and endocrine systems. Second, emotional abuse violates the two greatest commandments: love God and love others as yourself ( Matthew 22:35-40 ). And God sees us, His precious ones, when we suffer. In this, an abuser is ignoring that we are beloved by God, that we have been redeemed at great cost, and he openly wars against God, shaking his fist in God’s face, demanding to have us, use us, consume us, and destroy us. I know many will disagree with me on this point. Therefore, evaluating what toll staying in this marriage is taking on your counselee and her children is a legitimate concern. I believe that the divorce happens when the abuser breaks the marriage and the rest is just logistics. Thus a covenant relationship is not merely a mutual acquaintance but a commitment to responsibility and action. It’s in the Bible, 1 John 4:7, 8, NKJV. An abuse victim’s pastor and Christian friends not only minimize what she is going through (as if they know), but they also callously lecture her about how God wants her to glorify Him through her suffering. Emotional abuse is any nonphysical behavior or attitude that controls, intimidates, subjugates, demeans, punishes or isolates another person by using degradation, humiliation or fear. He knows that PTSD is more painful and harder to treat than some bruises or a broken nose. There seems to be some fuzziness on the meaning of covenant as well as the oft misquoted passage in Malachi 2 about divorce. I’m sure that sounds dramatic to anyone who hasn’t been in this position, but it probably rings true for people who have. He knows that evil gives very little advance warning, but He taught us to identify the one who is deceitful, destructive, malicious, and malevolent, and He taught us to protect ourselves and others from harm and danger. Scripture is often used to keep women silent about their experiences as domestic abuse victims, to urge them to stay with an abusive partner, and even to justify abuse. Severe consequences could follow one breaking his covenant agreement. First, he says love is patient and kind (1 Corinthians 13:4). Of course, most of them haven’t even studied the subject. Many emotional abuse victims are told that emotional abuse isn’t real abuse. Nowhere does this include abuse. Our awakening is often very gradual as God teaches us to see clearly and weans us from our initial expectation, that we made our wedding vows as the beginning of healthy love and biblical marriage. In almost all cases, the abuser harnesses litigation like their most blunt instrument of complete annihilation towards their former spouse, engaging in scorched earth tactics. Who is sinning: the person who abuses, or the victim who wants to be free? Is it best for him to remain blind to his sin, unrepentant and unwilling to repair the damage he’s done? In the NIV Zondervan Study Bible, Rikk Watts says: “The Scriptures assume divorce’s reality (Deuteronomy 24:1-4), and all Jews accepted that it was legal; they debated only its grounds. I have wanted to give up for so long and think of death as a release or somewhere to get some peace . Economic Abuse : Is defined as making or attempting to make an individual financially dependent by maintaining total control over financial resources, withholding one’s access to money, or forbidding one’s attendance at school or employment. God doesn’t perpetrate abuse on human beings. Thank you so much for this! He stands with us, and He walks with us while persecution takes its secret, underhanded forms in the most hidden places of our homes. How long with the men inside the church and leading the church continue to empathize with the abuser or just do absolutely nothing at all? God’s word says it best, “Reckless words pierce like a sword” (Proverbs 12:18) and “Who can bear a crushed spirit?” (Proverbs 18:14). Biblical love avoids vengeance, seeks justice, and trusts God with every outcome, whether we are taking flight or appealing to courts for justice. The Bible doesn’t use the label “emotional abuse,” but it does prohibit it. They just buy into the propaganda fed to them by teachers who believe in a historically pagan, power-over structure of human relationships. One of my favorite blogs. But not Jehovah God. Knowing that these stumbling blocks and stepping stones are ahead of her will keep her eyes open so that she can be more vigilant over her heart and mind. YES!!!!!!!!! Sorted by most helpful votes from the Topical Bible. First, he says love is patient and kind (1 Corinthians 13:4). WE ARE DEEPLY LOVED BY GOD, WE ARE WOMEN OF WORTH AND VALUE. 2. Proverbs warns, “Life and death are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21). But emotional abuse? Proverbs warns, “Life and death are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21). His speech was smooth as butter, yet war was in his heart; his words were softer than oil, yet they were drawn swords.” (Psalm 55:20-21). But the Bible is clear that God opposes those who oppress, marginalize and abuse others. Many Christians believe God condones some kinds of abuse. People often minimize the importance of emotions. A parity covenant is a contract between equal parties–an agreement entered into that includes promises to each other. God sees our abuse as it is, when our lives have become battlegrounds with real suffering and the risk of real casualties. As we stand firm against evil, we can pray that God will enable us to grow in grace, to see our weaknesses and errors, and to learn what it means to love others well and truly. Biblical love for an enemy provides what enemies require most, including accountability and justice. (Leviticus 5:1). He sees true suffering wherever it is, and when He sees it in us, He views it with compassion. Just dried up inside. Here’s an idea: as long as we are getting radical about the things God hates, why not get radical about dealing with abuse? Abusive mothers awareness is so sadly lacking. Thank you for writing this. Refund Policy / Privacy Notice / Site Feedback Other Christians always encourage me to keep praying for and loving my abusive husband. (((Hugs))). But there are marriages that are more than disappointing or difficult, they are damaging and destructive. GOD BLESS YOU ALL. It’s fascinating and tragic. The simple answer is YES! The voices of others? Thank you, Kristine – I’m so glad it was a dose of encouragement for you today! Please ask your followers to pray for me for healing. The goal of biblical parenthood is to raise children to love and follow God (Deuteronomy 6:2) and to meet their individual potential (Proverbs 22:6). Making Sense of Your Confusing Marriage. God hates the idea of anyone being abused. He knows what emotional abuse does to your body, mind, and spirit, and He sees the seriousness of what you’re going through. So I just cope day to day waiting for God to reveal a path that’s hopeful. “There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.” (Proverbs 6:16-19). While it’s true that abuse is an opportunity to love an enemy, biblical love does not collude with an evildoer or keep him comfortable while he is on a quest to harm us, to harm others, or to destroy his own soul. “There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” (Proverbs 12:18), “My companion stretched out his hand against his friends; he violated his covenant. I feel like I was set up to fail, like I never even had a chance. Baal, maybe. ), so pain and hurt is going to happen at some point. My upcoming book will perhaps help you see a way out. First, we are not to curse people who have been created in the image of God ( James 3:9 ). There is only one Savior. So I feel a constant sense of guilt over not wanting to try to better our marriage and I cannot imagine a future with him. Are there scriptures on abuse and domestic violence? Religious people will say it’s no big deal. For example, the Tyndale Bible Dictionary says, “The essence of covenant is to be found in a particular kind of relationship between persons. He let Adam and Eve choose, and He has let every human ever since choose. I grew up in an abusive home and ended up with an emotionally abusive marriage. Child abuse is not only physical violence, but it can be emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and child neglect as well. But they won’t do a thing about abuse even though God clearly hates it just as much. I think that would also be extremely beneficial for you. Emotional abuse is the unseen fallout of all other forms of abuse: physical, mental, verbal, sexual, and even spiritual abuse. Ask yourself where the guilt is coming from. He is a God firmly rooted in reality – and He wants to walk with you and help you make choices for yourself based on your reality. You are truly helpful in my life. But any form of abuse is opposed to the ruling principle of God’s kingdom—unselfish love. He sees the heart of malevolence that craves an innocent victim and intends to cause injury. It takes two to build a marriage – and you are only one person. In that case, the victim needs to hang on to 1 Corinthians 10:13, which promises that God will provide a way through every situation that will not require sin, and James 1:5, which says God will always give wisdom to those who ask. In our awakening, we can continually remind ourselves that God is faithful to teach us that what we see is real, what we hear is being said, what we remember really happened, and that what we know is true.”. Just because one has biblical grounds does not mean one should pursue separation or divorce. Or is it the enemy? I just want to cry, except I don’t seem to have the ability any more. Your words are profound. OMG. It becomes a level of abuse that makes what went on in the marriage seem like it was easy, even when it was torture as well. Does it even address it? God promises to love us, to be with us, to assist us in our efforts to overcome the effects of sin here on earth, and to one day set us free for all eternity. M so glad it was my job to suffer, and i eagerly FORWARD. To save our abusers confusion or lies or magical thinking this type of abuse too. Toll on my personhood and it ’ s not safe to even go a... 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