Abusive Behavior should Not Be Ignored By Christians

National Domestic Abuse Hotline

Hotline 24/7 – 1-800-799-7233

Website – http://www.thehotline.org/is-this-abuse/

It’s not always easy to tell at the beginning of a relationship if it will become abusive.

Possessive and controlling behaviors don’t always appear overnight, but rather emerge and intensify as the relationship grows. Many Christians can be in a relationship with someone that claims to be a “Christian”, but their actions don’t line up with their behavior or words. Some lie about their conversion in Christ, just to gain the affection of their future victim. They deceive others and themselves, but not God!

Sometimes and very often the abuser comes across to outsiders as the “perfect” loving partner,. Domestic violence doesn’t look the same in every relationship because every relationship is different. But one thing most abusive relationships have in common is that the abusive partner does many different kinds of things to have more power and control over their partners. It’s all about control and power.

“You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act” Matthew 7:16. NLT

If you’re beginning to feel as if your partner or a loved one’s partner is becoming abusive, there are a few behaviors that you can look out for. Watch out for these red flags and if you’re experiencing one or more of them in your relationship, call or chat online with an advocate to talk about what’s going on.

  • Telling you that you can never do anything right
  • Showing jealousy of your friends and time spent away
  • Keeping you or discouraging you from seeing friends or family members
  • Embarrassing or shaming you with put-downs
  • Controlling every penny spent in the household
  • Taking your money or refusing to give you money for expenses
  • Looking at you or acting in ways that scare you
  • Controlling who you see, where you go, or what you do
  • Preventing you from making your own decisions
  • Telling you that you are a bad parent or threatening to harm or take away your children
  • Preventing you from working or attending school
  • Destroying your property or threatening to hurt or kill your pets
  • Intimidating you with guns, knives or other weapons
  • Pressuring you to have sex when you don’t want to or do things sexually you’re not comfortable with
  • Pressuring you to use drugs or alcohol

If you’re not married to an abusive partner, it is wise to reach out and get help. Don’t ignore this abuse, the longer you stay in, the harder it will be for you to get out. If you are married, the Bible doesn’t condone divorce, due to abusive behavior, but does encourage separation. The purpose of a legal separation is for God to be sought out, prayer over the situation, repentance to occur on behalf of the abuser and the eventual reconciliation. Usually, this process is not quick, but can take years! With the help of a licensed Christian counseling and prayer, God can change hearts and heal relationships, but God must be at the center of it.

Anger and abuse are sin. Jesus had righteous anger, but uncontrolled anger is wrong because it hurts others and is not of God. Here are some Bible verses that tell us what God says about uncontrolled anger issues::

Anger Verses

Matthew 5:21-24 (New Living Translation)

Teaching about Anger

21 “You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ 22 But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.

23 “So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, 24 leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.

Hebrews 12:14-15 (New Living Translation)

A Call to Listen to God

14 Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. 15 Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. 

Romans 12:14-21 (New Living Translation)

14 Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. 15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!

17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.

19 Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge;
I will pay them back,”
says the Lord.

20 Instead, “If your enemies are hungry, feed them.
If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap
burning coals of shame on their heads.”

21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.

Proverbs 18:19 (New Living Translation)

19 An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city.
Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with bars.

Romans 2:4 (New Living Translation)

4 Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?

Psalm 37:8 (New Living Translation)

8 Stop being angry!
Turn from your rage!
Do not lose your temper—
it only leads to harm.

Proverbs 14:17 (New Living Translation)

17 Short-tempered people do foolish things,
and schemers are hated.

Proverbs 14:29 (New Living Translation)

29 People with understanding control their anger;
a hot temper shows great foolishness.

Proverbs 15:1 (New Living Translation)

1 A gentle answer deflects anger,
but harsh words make tempers flare.

Proverbs 15:18 (New Living Translation)

18 A hot-tempered person starts fights;
a cool-tempered person stops them.

Proverbs 16:32 (New Living Translation)

32 Better to be patient than powerful;
better to have self-control than to conquer a city.

Proverbs 19:11 (New Living Translation)

11 Sensible people control their temper;
they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.

Proverbs 22:24-25 (New Living Translation)

24 Don’t befriend angry people
or associate with hot-tempered people,
25 or you will learn to be like them
and endanger your soul.

Proverbs 29:22 (New Living Translation)

22 An angry person starts fights;
a hot-tempered person commits all kinds of sin.

Ecclesiastes 7:9 (New Living Translation)

9 Control your temper,
for anger labels you a fool.

Ephesians 4:26-27 (New Living Translation)

26 And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a foothold to the devil.

Ephesians 4:31-32 (New Living Translation)

31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

Colossians 3:8 (New Living Translation)

8 But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. 

James 1:19-20 (New Living Translation)

19 Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. 20 Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. 

Proverbs 12:16 (New Living Translation)

16 A fool is quick-tempered,
but a wise person stays calm when insulted.

Proverbs 17:27 (New Living Translation)

27 A truly wise person uses few words;
a person with understanding is even-tempered.

Proverbs 20:3 (New Living Translation)

3 Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor;
only fools insist on quarreling.

Proverbs 20:22 (New Living Translation)

22 Don’t say, “I will get even for this wrong.”
Wait for the Lord to handle the matter.

Proverbs 25:28 (New Living Translation)

28 A person without self-control
is like a city with broken-down walls.

Proverbs 29:8 (New Living Translation)

8 Mockers can get a whole town agitated,
but the wise will calm anger.

Proverbs 29:11 (New Living Translation)

11 Fools vent their anger,
but the wise quietly hold it back.

Romans 12:21 (New Living Translation)

21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.

Galatians 5:19-23 (New Living Translation)

19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

Ephesians 4:29-32 (New Living Translation)

29 Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

30 And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.

31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

2 Timothy 2:23-24 (New Living Translation)

23 Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. 24 A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. 

1 Peter 3:9 (New Living Translation)

9 Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it. 

Safety first, you and your children deserve to be as far away from danger as possible! If you are in an abusive situation right now, whether the abuser is a spouse, parent, child, caretaker, teacher, relative, or anyone else, please know that God does not want you to remain in that situation. It is not God’s will for you to accept physical, sexual, or psychological abuse. Leave the situation, find someone to help you stay safe, and involve law enforcement immediately. As Christians, we should help fellow Christians by giving them sound advice that is scripturally based and directing them towards help. Forming a safety plan, without the abuser finding out. As an abused Christian, we should always seem to find what God’s Word has to say about our situation. Through it all, pray for God’s guidance and protection, but do not ignore it.

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