This is important for everybody. Abusers, so they can repent. Victims, so they can heal. Healthy people who have never experienced severe abuse, so they don’t fall into a relationship thinking they can save the victim. Most importantly for people to try and even fathom living in an environment where these things are happening, so that they can have compassion and a new view into the Cross and loving others.
If you are a victim, you can and will heal if you let God help you. You will become an abuser in some way if your pain is not dealt with.
If you are the abuser, more than likely you were abused also. God wants to forgive and heal you no matter what you have done but you have to face the pain and repent.
In order to really be in relationship with God you have to repent, this is the key after accepting Jesus as your Savior. You have to remain in him and him in you. You have to walk with Him in the light and go into the darkness to heal and put it in proper perspective, not just say you believe. If you really believe there will be change in your life. You will see good fruit growing.
Jesus feels our pain. He was abused by many on this earth. He came so that He could relate to us and free us. The cross has new meaning when you see it in this light. In the cross of Christ we see a suffering God who can help those who suffer from evil and abuse. Jesus personally understands the horrors of abuse.
The following signs are from a book I read called “Mending the soul” by Steven R. Tracy. I highly recommend this book to everyone. Abuse is the number one tool Satan has to make us angry with God and distort our image of who He is.
Below are the signs of an abuser, if you become uncomfortable while reading it, then you need to continue. There is a reason you feel uncomfortable. Remember ignoring things won’t bring you to repentance and healing, it will just put more wrath on you when Jesus comes again to judge. If it is just uncomfortable because you don’t like to see that there is evil like this out there, then maybe God would like you to understand it more so that He can be others strength through you and to help you see the Cross in a more meaningful way.
Repent. God is Just, He will never allow unrepentant evil to go unpunished. Psalm 58:10-11;119;137;145:17, Romans 2:9;8:32-34, Hebrews 10:1-18, Revelation 16:5
Remember this is not an attempt to hurt anyone. It is an attempt of shining light into darkness so that God’s healing and restoration can take place in one’s heart. Nobody is excluded from coming to the foot of the Cross for forgiveness
. Nobody will be rejected no matter what they have done.
Are extremely possessive, jealous– Insecure people may interpret this behavior as love, but healthy people do not endlessly scrutinize who their girlfriends, boyfriends, spouses and kids spend time with, call multiple times a day to check up on what they are doing and with whom, and so forth. There is a difference between knowing where your kids are and controlling them for your own satisfaction.
Display smothering, controlling behavior– Abusive people often seek to control virtually every aspect of another’s life. They don’t allow their loved ones to have their own views, their own lives, their own schedules, or their own possessions. Abusive husbands may not even allow their wives to buy the groceries on their own. Some don’t even allow their wives to drive. Often every single purchase is scrutinized and controlled.
Have unpredictable, extreme mood changes– Some have described this as a “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” pattern that is very confusing and often makes victims doubt their own judgment. The abuser can be very sweet one minute but explode in anger the next. Abusers’ bad moods are unpredictable, causing family members to “walk on eggshells” so they don’t set them off.
Are unable or unwilling to acknowledge any personal fault or responsibility– This is a nearly universal characteristic of abusers. They will not take FULL responsibility for their behavior: it’s always someone else’s fault. Abusers have an uncanny way of finding unhealthy partners who struggle with low self-esteem and can be easily bullied and shamed in to believing they are always the problem.
Are hypercritical– One of the ways abusers avoid taking responsibility for their unhealthy and sinful behavior is to be hypercritical of others, which is largely the result of their own deep seated shame. Abusers tend to be hypersensitive, so that any little thing upsets them. Family members of abusers can never “get it right” and constantly find themselves being scolded and shamed for their mistakes.
Abusers shift focus from themselves when confronted by bringing up another person’s faults or sins, who they consider worse than themselves.
Abuse alcohol– Roughly 50 percent of domestic physical abusers have a serious drinking problem. They may blame their abusive behaviour on the alcohol, but it’s nothing but blame shifting. Alcohol or drug abuse is often their sinful way of numbing past trauma.
Isolate the vicitm’s from family and friends– Abusers cut off their victims from all other social resources. They accuse others of causing trouble. They may try to pull the victim away from family saying the victim is too dependent on his or her family or that the family is not supportive. Sometimes abusers will even make victims quit their jobs or not get one at all to cut them off from other relationships to make them more dependent on the abuser and easier to control.
Insults and ridicules victims family and friends– Abusers justify isolating loved ones from family and friends by insulting and ridiculing other individuals, especially if those individuals are perceived as someone who can help the victim out of the abuse.
Prevent victims from leaving– Because an abuser likes to control all behavior and has no sense of appropriate boundaries, he will often refuse to allow a family member to leave, especially during an argument. He may do this by physically stopping her, by verbally harassing her, or by verbally manipulating her.
Employ a rigid model of gender roles– Abusers typically have a rigid, extremely conservative understanding of male/female roles. Most often men are abusers and looked at as the male headship and there is a need for women and children to be submissive. Woman are not disqualified as abusers, this is confusing the role of male/female even further putting the woman in the position of the man and head of the household. Scripture says men are to be loving servant-leaders, not to use their power to forcefully submit people in their lives to obey them.
Threaten to harm themselves– Abusers often successfully manipulate their partners into remaining in an abusive relationship by threatening to harm themselves if the partner breaks off the relationship.
Threaten to hurt victims or their families– This is another common way abusers manipulate their partners to stay in the relationship and to passively accept abusive behaviors.
Insult and degrade victims in private– Often abusers are charming to their partners and others in public but are demeaning and degrading in private. Crushing dreams, destroying self esteem, and even blaming victims for the way the abuser treats them.
Ignore or ridicule victims’feelings and wishes– Abusers’ inappropriate domination, control, and sense of superiority is evidenced by the way they constantly ignore, reject, and even ridicule their partners’ feelings and wishes. The victim is always wrong for how they feel and can be lead to believing they are crazy.
Have a volatile history of broken romantic relationships and friendships– Abusers often have extensive histories of broken relationships, and in these cases, it was always the other person’s fault. Often abusers were physically and/or verbally abusive in these previous relationships.
Always posture themselves as victims– Everyone is out to get them: everyone mistreats them: their boss is unfair: they are never given a fair shake: and so forth. When confronted they might say “You make me feel so bad about myself”, in an attempt to stop you from confronting further.
Cause victims to fear ever confronting or even disagreeing with them– Abusers systematically and chronically erode their partners’ self confidence, sense of safety, and emotional well-being through manipulation, violent outbursts, and verbal intimidation. This makes partners and family members of abusers fearful of ever disagreeing with or confronting them, even over trivial issues. This also brings on the concept of “kissing butt”, victims feel the need to buy gifts and do favors for the abuser to keep things calm and not abusive. This also puts family members against family members, victims will purposely bring up or point out something a family member did that was wrong in the eyes of the abuser to stay in their good graces, while putting the abusive focus on the other person and off themselves.
Blame the victims for their feelings– Abusers blame others for “making them mad,” for “making them feel bad about themselves,” and so forth
Have intense, quick development of romantic relationships– Abusers are often very intense in the early stages of dating relationships. They smother and overwhelm the other person with attention and shows of affection. They often press for quick commitment and even marriage before the other person has a chance to really get to know them. Victims of abusers often report they had many nagging doubls when dating them, but they felt so pressured that they ignored their feelings and proceeded to get married and found themselves being abused.
Place impossible demands on family members– Abusers are very insecure and have quite distorted views of what others can and should do for them. Family members, girlfriends, or boyfriends are made 100% responsible for their happiness. In a very strange and sick way, abusers need to physically, emotionally, and verbally control family members because they have transferred responsibility for their emotional well-being to their spouses or children. Abusive mother also tend to do this with their children.
One step to forgiving other’s who have hurt you is to “let go of the right to hurt them back”, know God will take care of any unrepentant abusers. It also greatly helps to see your abuser as a fellow human being who was more than likely treated in similar ways. We were all once children who needed and depended on our family to nurture and protect us. We all fall short and need God. Letting go is a process but when done, it allows God to bring shame and repentance onto the abuser so that they can have the chance to be forgiven and healed also.