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 Women of Faith resources, 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.”
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 and, therefore, are emotionally damaging.
- Emotional abuse or “psychological mistreatment” scars the spirit of the one abused.
Proverbs, the book of wisdom, poses this probing question. “... a crushed spirit who can bear?” (Proverbs 18:14)