The Ladies Parlor- Encouragement and Help Column.
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A Morning reflection by Antonie
December 25, 2010
The theme of faithfulness danced its way through my time of reflection this morning. I thought of the
old hymn, “Great is thy faithfulness” and it brought tears to my eyes when I arose to see the daily
example of the unchanging faithfulness of God. The sunrise appeared in its glorious steadfast example
of faithfulness. Some mornings we are often fortunate enough to hear the herald of the sunrise with the
rooster’s crow. I thought of God’s “object lessons” in nature; in His creation, of the steadfast faithfulness
He wants us to observe. We might erect buildings reaching to the sky to block it out or sleep through
its faithful appearing but hard as we try to ignore it, it remains. For me, it shows His great love for each
of us. The example of faithfulness in the sunrise/sunset, reminded me of the scene in “Fiddler on the
Roof,” as Tevye’s family and friends sing at his daughter’s wedding. This leads us to another object
lesson God has designed for us in that of the marriage bond. The sunrise/sunset and marriage have a
common feature; they were God’s design for His creation and speak of His unchanging nature. Both
are reflective of what faithfulness is and if we follow God’s example, we realize there is a way to live in
harmony with one another. God’s commitment to us, His creation says it all.
Why Words Can Hurt - by Antonie and Rosie Beth - October, 2008
Ephesians 4:29 "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers."
Definition of verbal abuse
Verbal abuse, the pre-cursor of emotional abuse is a negative behavior involving the use of language directed toward another.
It is likely that the verbal abuser suffers from a personality disorder. The verbal abuser often has poor coping skills, poor self-esteem, and will target those closest to them. The abuser controls their victim through demeaning remarks designed to lower self-esteem and can cause depression and post traumatic stress for the victim.
Emotional abuse is ALWAYS verbal abuse first. You must first hear something in order to emotionally respond. This is abuse in its most basic and subtle form.
Red Flags to Look For in a Potential Relationship
There are three progressive phases of verbal abuse. The phases are as follows:
1. The Bum’s Rush - finds the abuser a charming and intensely loving individual who has the ability to literally sweep you off your feet with their attention and affection. You find yourself believing it is all too good to be true and it is. They tend to usurp a great deal of your time and desire to make long range plans designed to manipulate (suck you in) emotionally. While you may be thinking they are very good listeners as you share your strengths and weaknesses, what is happening is they are gaining information about you which they will later likely use against you. This is all in the guise of caring for you, but in reality, it is a method of control and manipulation. This sets you up for the next two phases.
Verbal abusers tend to like warm and nurturing individuals and migrate toward caretakers. Perhaps these individuals appear to be vulnerable and easy prey for the verbal abuser.
2. Mr./Ms. Cool - emerges in the second phase. Typical of those who suffer from a personality disorder is the extremely high valuing of an individual which quickly turns to a de-valuing of that same individual. Inherent to this stage is the subtle withdrawal and complacency which leaves you wondering what has happened. Once the verbal abuser has you where they want you, an indifference emerges. There are inconsistencies in their stories and they oftentimes fail to live up to your expectations which they created for you in the beginning. They begin to call less frequently and you are calling more. Mood swings begin to appear and you find yourself asking them what is wrong. You find that affection and previous levels of communication become less frequent. The stage is being set for phase three.
3. The Dud - is suddenly not satisfied with you and makes it known. You will hear the “you should” and “you don’t” remarks. Repeated “why” questions emerge rather than seeking a true explanation for little things which is the healthy way to communicate. You will be asked to answer leading questions which are presented in an unfair, unkind, and unbalanced manner. You are suddenly asking yourself, “What just happened?” Statements that leave you feeling badly or confused become fairly frequent. Comments are made that leave you wondering what YOU did wrong. You begin to try to please this person while at the same time something is niggling at you. You sense that things are just not quite right. Since you are such a nurturing person, you blame yourself and try to work things out. It is at this point that you need to re-think your relationship with this person and follow up on that niggling feeling you are experiencing. There is nothing wrong with you. You chose this partner based on their highly-skilled false presentation of themselves. It happens to many of us. The important thing for you is to make the decision whether or not you choose to maintain this unhealthy relationship.
What you have encountered is a predator. The definition of a predator is interesting as it is an organism that exists by preying upon other organisms by victimizing, plundering, destroying them for one’s own gain (Dictionary.com).
Verbal abusers often project. Projection is a psychological term meaning that an individual attributes their own repressed motives, feelings, or desires onto others. In other words, if there is something they do not like about themselves, have no insight into their own behavior, nor take responsibility for it , they may attribute that to you. An example of that would be, “you always lie to me” or “you don’t listen to me.” You know you do not lie and you know you do listen, and what you should realize is that projection is all a part of verbal abuse. They can project all their own inadequacies upon you and you almost believe it.
Verbal abusers can act like they are being victimized by you. You almost feel sorry for them and think you may be wrong and are responsible when things tend to go wrong. This is their way of manipulating you.
Reflecting back on childhood, some parenting styles can lead children to feeling badly about themselves. Children may frequently be told they are bad when they do something wrong. It is a parent’s responsibility to point out when a child does something wrong, however to repeatedly tell them they are bad is verbal abuse. Many of us are set up for adult situations where we easily fall into relationships that end up in verbal abuse. We may already be conditioned to think we are “not good enough”. We often carry subconscious thoughts stemming from our childhood. Perhaps our parents likely did the best they could. We all know we have made our own mistakes. Those mistakes have likely left us feeling bad without having to be told we are bad.
Very Important Note!
If you are unsure about what to do with an abusive relationship, or feel you need help... do not hesitate to seek professional assistance or counseling!
1 John 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
The Great Mistake - by Antonie - September, 2008
The design God has for Christian couples is clear in I Corinthians 11:3…But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God (KJV).
Clearly, the Apostle Paul states the head of the woman is the man. It does not say that the man is to be her God. It is far too easy for us to displace God in our relationships with men, making men our God rather than giving God his rightful place. It is also unfair to expect that our man is a God. It would be far easier to recognize that our men are after all, human and we would be less likely to be disappointed in their behavior when they do not measure up to some imagined ideal that we have erroneously assigned to them. In an imperfect world this scripture offers stability and order in relationships but we have to adhere to it as it is intended….Christ is the head. Once we have realized the perfect order God has assigned it will be easier to accept and support men in the role God has intended.
The Secret - by Antonie and Rosie Beth -
A favorite portrait of Yeshua is where He is praying at the rock. The importance of the example being emphasized in that portrait is sometimes not realized by His followers. We may experience the “canned prayer” we have established for ourselves as Christians; the quick morning prayer, the meal blessing, and the good night prayer, believing we are dedicated to prayer. We often ask God to bless us, watch over us, and provide for us. No doubt God wants us to ask Him for all these things but we fail to realize that the secret to prayer is in spending a lengthy amount of time in talking with God.
I often wonder how much of Yeshua's power to perform miracles was due to the fact He was the Son of God or if the ability was a direct result of the power and strength He gained from spending time with God.
“You will do greater things than I.”
“For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.”
“Yeshua answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and if you do not doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you. So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
Faith, increased through our devotion to prayer will move us toward the relationship God wants to share with His children. We limit ourselves by failing to tap into the secret power of prayer. God always answers our prayers. The answers may not be what we expect and sometimes the outcome is a surprise.
Through availing ourselves of the promise in the scriptures outlined about prayer, we allow ourselves as Christians to experience firsthand what God can do if we listen. Sharing the power of the secret has brought special blessings to our lives. Experiencing the secret has changed our lives through the provision of grace, discernment, and faith which can only come through the Holy Spirit. Give the Lord the chance to prove His word is true and you will not look back.
July 4, 2008
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