Words that Wound…
“You’re worthless!”… “You’ll never amount to anything!”… “I wish you had never been born!” Words like these in childhood can wound the heart for a lifetime. And further wounding takes place in adulthood when “control” is the name of the game. Threats like… “If you leave me, I’ll hurt the children!” or “I’ve taken the keys—you’re not going anywhere!”… are both emotionally and verbally abusive and are ways of maintaining control in relationships.
Abuse can also be perpetrated without a word—whether with degrading looks, obscene gestures, or threatening behaviors. These actions inflict immense pain and impede emotional growth. You don’t have to allow an abuser to make you feel worthless. Jesus says that God not only knows each and every sparrow, but He also knows you intimately and gives you worth.
“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.” -Luke 12:6–7
Q: “What hope is there for someone broken by abuse?”
For the one who has been broken by abuse, God offers great hope. That hope is in Himself. Begin to deepen your dependence on the Lord and seek His comfort and healing.
“Blessed is he . . . whose hope is in the LORD his God . . . who keeps faith forever.” -Psalm 146:5–6
“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” -Psalm 34:18
Q: “Why do people who are being abused continue to stay in abusive relationships?”
One major reason is fear. Isaiah 21:4 (NIV) says, “My heart falters, fear makes me tremble.” Instilling fear is a powerful weapon used to control another person. One effective strategy that instills fear is the use of demeaning messages, such as verbal threats, to inflict physical harm. Another fear tactic is to leave or to withdraw emotional support. The basic underlying fear, however, is the fear of not having three basic needs met—the needs for love, for significance, and for security. Yet the Lord wants us to turn from fear to faith and to trust Him to meet our deepest needs.
“The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.” -Proverbs 29:25
Key Verse to Memorize
“Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” Romans 13:10