Are you in an abusive relationship?

Posted: May 5, 2012 in Christian Living
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I have heard of a lot of people who have found themselves in abusive relationships. Sometimes it begins very subtly. But there are always red flags for people if they only pay attention to them. Although abusers are commonly men, it is not uncommon for an abuser to be a woman.

Below are some tips to help you recognize the red flags that you may be in an abusive relationship:

1. They want you all to themselves and make an effort to keep it that way. They do not understand that you have a life outside of the relationship and work to keep you from family and friends.

2. They call you derogatory names then say they are joking. Abusers sometimes cover themselves by blaming you, saying that you need to lighten up or that you are too sensitive.

3. They throw tantrums or attack you verbally and blame everything on someone else, namely you.

4. They try to intimidate you with violence, dominance or power tactics.

5. They punish you if you do go somewhere or do something without them even if others are also there.

6. They feel entitled to be treated like royalty and expect you to be a willing servant, doing everything they ask.

7. They are often jealous of you, other people and even your dreams and goals.

8. They are manipulators and will sulk, threaten to leave, and emotionally punish you for not going along with his or her idea of how things should be.

9. They will try to make you feel guilty any time you exert your will and what is right for you.

10. At times the abuser may appear to be apologetic and loving but their “remorse” doesn’t last long; the abuse begins again when the abuser feels he or she has you back.

If you are in an emotionally abusive relationship, there is a good chance that eventually things may get physical.  At first, the abuser might pull your hair, push you, or grab you so hard that you bruise; these may only be warning signs that things can escalate further. A partner with an explosive temper who has reacted with violence before (breaking things, punching the wall, getting into altercations with others) may very likely physically abuse you.

Scripture plainly lays out what type of people we can have a healthy relationship with.

For women seeking a man:

They should be above reproach, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap. He should be man worthy of respect, sincere, and not pursuing dishonest gain. They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. Don’t be afraid to test them; and then if they possess most of these qualities it is safe to pursue a relationship with them. (From1 Timothy 3:1-10)

For men seeking a woman:

She should bring good and not harm. She should eagerly work with her hands to provide food for her family. She works vigorously and her lamp does not go out at night. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are well clothed. She has strength and dignity so she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Remember guys, charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Seek after a woman with most of these qualities and you will save yourself much grief in the future. (From Proverbs 31:10-31

The most important thing for believers to remember is that no matter how attractive, wealthy, or witty someone may appear to be DO NOT become romantically involved with an unbeliever.

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people. Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” – 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 –

I have had my share of bad relationships because I didn’t pay attention to the red flags and what Scripture plainly teaches about it. Today, God has blessed me with a beautiful godly wife; but it took nearly 40 years! We knew each other in high school but at the time I was too self-absorbed to realize that the best thing in my life was right in front of me! Don’t make the same mistake I made and waste 40 years in unhealthy relationships. Get the very best that God has for you.

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