Child Verbal & Emotional Abuse

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. “

(Proverbs 17:22)

“The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.”

(Proverbs 15:4)

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A Hardened Heart

softheartA deep wound, a broken heart, disappointments, bitterness, and unforgiveness can cause the heart to become hardened with time. It causes us to put up walls. Our defenses go up. We self-protect, and we don’t let anyone in including God.

Self-protection leaves us running on reserve and is the cause of intimacy issues and conflict in relationships. It seems that it’s easier to be hard than soft and vulnerable because we don’t want to get hurt. But you were not created to live that way. God made you to be tender and responsive.

It’s hard to shape stone. As long as your heart remains hard you will miss out on the abundant life Jesus came to give. So let the living God come into your heart, heal your wounds and tear down your self-protection and defenses.

The amplified version of Ezekiel 11:16 says “And I will give them one heart, a new heart, and I will put a new Spirit within them, and I will take the stony, unnatural hardened heart out and give them a heart of flesh, sensitive and responsive to the touch of their God.”

Give your hurts to the Lord. Let God shape you and heal your heart. He makes broken things new.

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Domestic Abuse

I will sustain You.One out of three women is a victim of domestic abuse. They are everywhere. It could be the neighbor next door, the girl sitting next to you in Bible Study, or a family member close to you. They are very skilled in hiding their bruises and live lives filled with shame.

Because their spirits have been broken, they are terrified to get help for fear their abusers will follow through on their threat to kill them or their children. When they do seek help from their church, they are told to go back home and submit to their husbands. However, they are not giving the whole counsel of God.

The Bible teaches mutual submission in love and reverence to the Lord not a one sided abusive and demeaning tyrant like authoritarian submission that tears down and destroys hearts and families. That goes against God’s very Word which tells us to “Above all else, put on love which is the bond of perfection.” (Colossians 3:14) It also teaches that “Love does no harm to its neighbor.” (Romans 13:10). Nowhere in Scripture does it teach that wives are to submit to abuse.

However, as awful as the abuse is there is a root driving it, and there are reasons why victims allow the abuse to continue. Both are in need of help. But in order for the cycle of abuse to stop only one person needs to change. Either the abuser will get help, or the abused will stop allowing it. God offers healing to all who are hurting and broken. He sees it all. You are not alone and are not without hope. Seek help and stop the abuse.

“Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered. Or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.” (Proverbs 22:24-25)

True wisdom and guidance are found only in the whole counsel of God.

 

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The Critical Spirit

Critical SpiritReckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 18:21

When others criticize us as difficult as it may be to handle, God may be using them as ‘heavenly sandpaper” to teach, correct, and refine us. But constant harsh criticism, the kind that leaves us feeling demeaned, discouraged and devalued can cause emotional wounds, strain relationships, and stunt emotional growth especially when it comes at the hands of those we love and trust the most.

We are called to build each other up not tear each other down. Sadly, those who have a pattern of tearing down may be acting out modeled behavior of harsh criticism from early childhood. Don’t personalize a person’s critical spirit. They are acting out of woundedness causing them to sin against you.

Guard your heart against believing lies about yourself, set healthy boundaries to protect yourself, don’t retaliate, hold fast to God’s truth, pray for your offender and release them to Jesus.

You are His precious child. He will lift you up dispelling the lies with the truth of His word. Let the Balm of Gilead bring healing to your heart.

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A Crushed Spirit

StonesThink of a precious child. Maybe it’s your grandchild, a friend’s little boy, the little girl you teach at Sunday school who 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 heart. 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. “(Proverbs 17:22)

Stop the cycle. Seek help. God takes broken things and makes them whole. Run to the Balm of Gilead. Jesus is the balm who can heal the wounds of God’s children.

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