Victory over Verbal & Emotional Abuse


VICTORY Over Verbal & Emotional Abuse

Words that Tear Down One's Character 

You know, just like a skilled lumberjack chops at a tree with repeated swings from an axe, verbal abusers use their tongues like a sharp weapon, hacking away at the spirit of another person. Chances are, you’ve experienced this kind of abuse at some point in your life.  

We often need help with this. We need someone who has either been down this road, or someone who knows how to counsel us through this situation… to help us come out on the other side with a healed heart, a whole heart. This is where you come in. You see, this Key for Living is made for two types of people, those who are hurting and those who can help them! As you listen to this series or read through our Keys for Living and you can become God’s instrument to share Biblical hope and practical help with those who are hurting. With these tools, you can help change minds, change hearts and change lives.

You don’t have to be a seminary graduate or work in a church; you just need a heart for God and for others! Remember the words of 2 Corinthians chapter 1, “The Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”

What Is Emotional Abuse?

It’s usually hidden, often occurring behind closed doors. It can look like bullying, mocking, insulting, yelling, or threatening another person. It can also be seen as neglecting, deceiving, manipulating, or rejecting someone. It’s abuse. And no matter what form it takes, verbal and emotional abuse can leave wounds that last a lifetime. Whether you’ve been hurt by abuse or have yourself hurt others, God can heal and restore you to be the person He created you to be. In these Keys for Living, learn how to heal from past pain, establish boundaries in your relationships, and find victory over verbal and emotional abuse.

“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.

Emotional abuse is the unseen fallout of all other forms of abuse: physical, mental, verbal, sexual, and even spiritual abuse. People often minimize the importance of emotions. Yet with deeply wounded people, feelings can be the driving force behind their choices. At that point, for those people, their emotions become the life-sustaining element of their very beings. Emotional abuse strikes at the very core of who we are … crushing our confidence … wearing away our sense of worth.

Abuse can 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 knows not only each and every sparrow, but He also knows you intimately and gives you worth.

“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

Luke 12:6–7

Emotional abuse is the unseen fallout of all other forms of abuse: physical, mental, verbal, sexual, and even spiritual abuse. People often minimize the importance of emotions. Yet with deeply wounded people, their feelings can be the driving force behind their choices … the life-sustaining element of their very beings. Emotional abuse strikes at the very core of who we are … crushing our confidence … wearing away our sense of worth … crushing our spirit. The Bible says,

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

Proverbs 17:22

  • Emotional abuse is any ongoing, negative behavior used to control or hurt another person.
  • Emotional abuse ranges from consistent indifference to continual belittling of character.
    • All forms of abuse—emotional, verbal, mental, physical, spiritual, and sexual—damage a person’s sense of dignity and God-given worth.
    • All forms of abuse wound the spirit of a person and, therefore, are emotionally abusive. Proverbs, the book of wisdom, says,

“A crushed spirit who can bear?”

Proverbs 18:14

  • Emotional abuse or “psychological mistreatment” scars the spirit of the one abused.
    • The damage from emotional abuse lasts far longer than damage from any other kind of abuse. A broken arm will soon heal; a broken heart takes much longer.
    • After extended periods of emotional abuse, many victims lose hope, feeling that life is not worth living.

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick.”

Proverbs 13:12

  • Emotional abuse can be passive-aggressive.
    • Passive-aggressive abuse is a means of indirect, underhanded control; hence, the term is passive-aggressive.
    • Passive-aggressive abusers express their anger through nonassertive, covert behavior. In an attempt to gain covert control, they often use manipulation as...

God desires to give you hope as you face life challenges, problems and difficult trials. The good news for us, God specializes in redemption and transformation.

He takes that which was lost and restores it. He takes that which was dead and gives it life. He takes that which had no hope and rewrites its story. This is our God! As you pray today, ask God boldly to transform the thing inside you that you want to see changed forever!

Our Women of Faith Keys for Living resources are designed to assist you in transforming and being the transformation story, you know God has in store for you.




Do you or do you know someone who has additional questions or requires help?

If so, please choose Women of Faith's other resources on this and other relevant topics (Quick Reference Guide, Keys for Living Books and e-Books).

Grace Filled Words:

“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” 

Proverbs 18:21

“Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”

Romans 13:10

Additional Scriptures:

Matthew 12:34–37

Proverbs 4:5

Psalm 37:8

Proverbs 29:22

Proverbs 15:1

John 1:12

NOTICE:  The information contained in this resource is general in nature and is not intended to provide or be a substitute for advice, consultation or treatment with a duly licensed mental health practitioner or other medical professional. This resource is intended to provide practical faith-based guidelines for balanced living and is not a replacement for medical advice. Professional services should be pursued whenever necessary and/or appropriate. By utilizing this resource, individuals acknowledge that Women of Faith is not providing direct clinically-oriented mental health treatment or therapy, and that it does not create a therapeutic relationship between any individual and Women of Faith.  Individuals who use this resource also agree to indemnify and hold harmless, Women of Faith, its licensees, affiliates, and assigns, as well as the officers, agents, and employees of Women of Faith and its licensees, affiliates, and assigns, from and against any and all liability, loss, damages, costs, charges, legal fees, recoveries, judgments, penalties, and expenses, which may be obtained against, imposed upon or suffered by Women of Faith.Additionally, certain views and opinions expressed in this resource may be those from sources other than Women of Faith and do not necessarily represent the views of Women of Faith, nor imply an endorsement by Women of Faith. All rights are reserved worldwide and no part of this resource may be reproduced in any form (print or electronic) without the expressed written permission of Women of Faith.

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