Think of a precious child. Maybe it’s your grandchild, a friend’s little boy, the little girl you teach at Sunday school which God leads you to lavish extra love on. Now picture someone screaming “You’ll never amount to anything!” “I wish you had never been born!” “You’re worthless!” into their innocent little hearts. It’s unimaginable that people could hurt a child in such a way. Unfortunately, it happens every day in homes across America. And the wounds in the heart of that little child can last a lifetime. Maybe that child was you long ago.
Often because all the child knows is abuse they will be drawn to people in adulthood who will abuse them much in the same way where control is at the forefront of the abuse. Angry threats like “If you leave me, I’ll kill you!” Or, “You and the kids won’t get a dime from me.” Both are examples of verbal and emotional abuse and are controlling tactics in abusive relationships
Abuse can also happen without a spoken word – it can be degrading looks, threatening stares, aggressive body language or other threatening behaviors. These actions are meant to inflict fear with great success leaving the person who is on the receiving end with emotional pain that stunts emotional growth.
In some circles even Christian ones, people don’t want to talk about emotions and when they are discussed the importance of emotional health and wholeness is minimized. Yet, we know that with deeply wounded people negative emotions are at the center of thinking, feeling actions, and poor choices.
Emotional abuse attacks at the core of a person’s value, crushing their confidence, and chips away at their self-worth, breaking their spirit in the process. God’s word says,
“A cheerful heart is a good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries us the bones. “
“The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.”