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Praise the Lord, brethren! Two articles came my way through Ed's Loop about Verbal Abuse, and I thought that this ministry would benefit from it. I am trying to just go through here. He wrote his article based on a book that he read, and apparently there are a lot of survivors of verbal abuse. I just want to quote a couple of things that he states here. I am not going to put the name of the book on the message. He says, "Two books into which I gained tremendous insight into control through verbal abuse are..., and he names the books.
We see that the goal of verbal abuse is to control. We have had a lot of discussion off of the message this evening about control, witchcraft control, and mind control, control through manipulation, and control through seduction. Brethren, it is all through the nation, not necessary the Christian. It is just all through the nation.
When you find yourself in a controlling situation or in a controlling relationship, the end of control is abuse, and in some relationships it goes on to physical abuse. I believe that most people, especially women, do not even know that they are verbally abused.
We do a lot of work in this ministry about exposing attitudes and ways of communicating that are abusive. I have revealed a lot of forms that you can communicate which are abusive. You are going to get a second witness to several thing that I told you about what people here do from time to time. Large numbers of our society are relating to one other in ungodly ways. They do not know that it is ungodly. They are probably doing it because it is been done to them.
The abuse is so subtle and so woven into the way a lot of people communicate with one another that the average person is most likely to say that you are just knit‑picking. "I did not do anything wrong, and I am not going to address this issue." I have been trying to impart to you here for years that the things that I show you are not nit‑picking. They are really spiritual attacks upon one another, and we need to know it.
If you are relating to other people in a verbally abusive way, the chances are that you are being verbally abused are very great. We are exposing this here, because I am telling you in Christ. I do not know about the world, but I am telling you in Christ that if you get a revelation that you have being verbally or emotional abused by your husband, or your mother, your father, or any other relationship, sometimes it is your children who abuse you, and you want this situation, this relationship to turn around, what you have to do is that you have to stop abusing. You have to stop abusing before the Lord will deal with the other people in your life.
I am not talking about physical abuse. I am talking about emotional and verbal abuse, the way people relate to one another. They have been taught that way. It has been done to them since they were a child. They do not even know that they are being abusive. This is the work that we are doing here.
Let us take a look at it coming from another form and hope that it strengthens us with the work that we are doing here.
The Verbally Abusive Relationship. I guess I will put the names of the books on the message. "The Verbally Abusive Relationship‑‑How To Recognize It And How To Respond," and "Verbal Abuse. Survivors Speak Out On Relationship And Recovery." Both books by Patricia Evans. This is not a Christian book, but the woman has a lot of insight into verbal abuse, and she says, "It is the nature of the abuse that is never justified, and that it is not about a conflict."
Abuse is not about a conflict. It is, instead, about control. A very significant and prevalent attitudes that confuses many survivors and counselors, as well, is that if there is verbal abuse in the relationship, it is believed that it can be resolved, because two adults should be able to work out their conflicts. Actually, in the verbally abusive relationship there is no conflict around the abuse. That is what we have here. Frequently, there is no conflict about the abuse. I will go to somebody and say, "Why did you just say that? Do you realize that you just slipped a knife in someone's back?" That is the kind of things you will see here if you stay around here long enough.
This woman is saying there is not necessarily conflict in the verbally abusive relationship, because the verbal abuse is said with a soft voice and a smile. A lot of people who verbally abuse do not know that they are being verbally abusive. There is no conflict around abuse. When one is criticized, one is being abused. Criticism is abuse. There is no justification for this abuse and certainly no conflict. A lot of people criticize me when they say that they were just kidding. We are just going to go down a list here:
Verbal abuse is used as methods of control.
1. TRIVIALIZING: It is abusive, brethren, to pretend that your partner or the person that you have a relationship with, or his or her actions, or perceptions or opinions, or thoughts, or concerns are less than they are. The verbal abuser is saying, "When you see how insignificant that you are, I will have more power to control you." I have seen this happen.
I have experienced this for years at the hands of my own father. There was nothing that I could do or say that would please him. My opinion was worthless, and every aspect of my life was worthless unless he was in it, telling me to do it, recommencing it to me, or somehow in control of my life. The bottom line was that anything that I did apart from my father's control was worthless. This is verbal abuse and emotional abuse.
I remember one time I came home, I was a young woman and I had just started to work in Manhattan. At that time they had what was called, "The Silver Shop." It had all kinds of silver jewelry for sale there, so I bought myself a ring. I was so pleased when I came home with the ring, and his response was, "Now, why did you come home with a silver ring for? If you had just asked me I would have told you never to buy a silver, because silver tarnishes." I felt that wound very deeply, and it just so happens that there is a lot of silver jewelry sold now and, at that time, that is chemically treated. It does not tarnish.
When someone is all happy over something that they have accomplished, and something comes out of your mouth that does not support them, you have to ask yourself, "Why." If somebody is all happy over something that they have done, or purchased, and you have a suggestion that is a better suggestion, you have to ask yourself why you are making a better suggestion when the person has already solved their own problem and is very satisfied with that problem.
This is a veiled criticism. It is a veiled criticism. If you are not expressing your pleasure, and your happiness, and your joy to what the person is telling you, if you are telling them to do something different than what they have done, even though they are happy having done it, this is a veiled criticism. That is what it is. You need to know that is what it is.
2. WITHHOLDING: By withholding, the verbal abuser is saying, "I have got something that you want, and I can withhold it from you; therefore, I am in control, or if I do not respond, if I refuse to answer I can control the outcome."
Brethren, this is something that I have brought up in this meeting several times. A refusal to answer is an attempt to control. I am challenging all of you to pray about this, because this happens here. No answer, no response is an attempt to control. At the very least, you should say, "I do not know." All breakdown of communication is abusive to the person who desires to communicate. Even if you do not know that you are doing it, now that you know that you are doing it, now that you hear my voice, now you know that you are doing it.
Refusal to communicate, no response, is a breakdown of communication, and a breakdown of communication is abusive, because we should be able to pray our way through everything. We should able to negotiate, to compromise. We should be able to hear the other person's side. We should be able to hear how the other person feels, and even if we cannot give them what they want, we should be able to say to them, "I understand how you feel, but I just cannot give you what you want." No response is abusive. No response is withholding. Withholding what?
Withholding your response. If I do not respond, if I refuse to answer I can control the outcome. That is, I can contain the status quo. I can be sure that there will be no change. When someone does not answer, that is their agenda, conscious or unconscious. If I do not answer I can maintain the status quo. I do not have to ask. I do not have to say, "No." I do not have to say, "Yes." I do not have to be vulnerable. I can be in control and, therefore, risk nothing by not responding.
When you respond, you are vulnerable. If you say "no," the person might be angry at you. If you say "yes," the person might take advantage of you, or they might reject you. No response is a strong wall of defense, but it is an ungodly defense that wounds the person who is trying to communicate with you.
3. THREATENING: With this very obvious means of control, the verbal abuser is saying, " I have power over you. I am in control. Do as I say, if you do not I will‑‑‑‑‑ so and so." Or, "If you do not, you might get hurt," implying physical harm by a fit of rage or by an unspoken threat, like punching the wall.
Brethren, fits of rage, fits of rage are abusive, and they are designed to control. All abuse is designed to control the other person.
4. COUNTERING: By countering his partner, the verbal abuser is saying, "I can think for both of us." Do you hear this? Do you hear this? "I can think for both of us. You are not allowed to think. What you think is wrong. What I think is right. If I can get you to doubt yourself, I can control you more easily. If I can get you to doubt yourself I can control you more easily, therefore, I will not agree with anything you say. I will not support anything you do. I will ask you to think it over a hundred times, indicating that you really do not know what you are doing."
5. NAME CALLING: By calling names, the abuser is saying that you do not exist. You are annihilated. You are now blank. Since you are wiped out, I am in control, just like in a war. Name calling utterly cuts off communication. Name calling, accusation, any form of attack, breaks down the communication and cuts off all hope of a Godly, peaceful resolution of the problem.
6. DISCOUNTING: By discounting his partner's perceptions, the verbal abuser is saying, "I can decree the worthlessness of your perceptions and actions. I am not accountable. I can stay in control. You do not know what you are talking about. You do not know what you are talking about. I am not even going to listen to what you have to have to say."
A young married woman was telling me a story about her husband the other day. She is pregnant, and this young lady reads a lot, and she is interested in things of the world. The other day, she read an article about circumcision, how a lot of people are not circumcising the male children any more. She said to her husband, "Should we circumcise the child if he is a boy." Her husband yelled at her and said, "What are you talking about? Of course, everybody circumcises."
He Just made mince meat out of her and made her feel like nothing, and the truth of the matter is she had read an article in a magazine that said a lot of people are considering not circumcising any more, but her husband would not even consider the issue. Just told her that she was stupid and, of course, they would do it. This is verbal abuse and emotional abuse.
7. UNDERMINING: By undermining your partner the verbal abuser is saying, "When erode your confidence and lessen your determination, you are easier to control."
I know I have talked about this issue, not in exactly these words, but I have taught here that any statement or attitude that discourages or undermines some one's confidence, makes them weak or infantile, or infantilizes them or discourages them from what they have determined to do, it is coming out of a Satanic root in the person. I have told you that we have to watch what we do.
It is not good enough to say, "I did not mean to hurt you." You know you did. That person was trying to diet, and you tempted them with food. You waved food under their face. I have seen it so many times. People‑‑ it is so accepted in our society, but it is wrong. It is wrong to do it. If someone is dieting, if someone is trying to discipline themselves in any area, we should be supportive and not tempting the person to fail.
8. DISGUISED AS A JOKE: By telling his partner that the abuse is only a joke. You did that twice in the last couple of weeks. The verbal abuser is saying that I feel so up, putting you down that I never want to give it up. Of course, that is an extreme. "I feel so up, putting you down that I never want to give it up, so I decree that my comments are humorous. I am in control. I can say whatever I want and say that it was a joke."
I still have not figured out what was behind those two times, but it was definitely a knife in my ribs. There is no such thing as a joke if you say something that is hurtful to somebody, or if you say something that is untrue about somebody. It is not a joke, and if you want to stay in the Lord, the Lord requires you, especially if the person calls you on it, to admit that you did it.
If you do not know why you did it, at least summit yourself for prayer, and ask the Lord to show you why you did it. What kind of veiled hostility was operating in you? Or did something happen? Did the person annoy you so that you repressed your annoyance, or your rejection, or your wound, and then that hurt, or rejection, or wound came out in some way, or in some hateful thing or some untrue thing that you said, and the way you covered it was to say, "I was just kidding."
We are here to expose our sin nature so that we can destroy it, but we have to face these things. If we want to go on we have to ask the Lord, "Why?" I am here as a "touchstone" to you. I am pretty sensitive when sin comes forth in your mind. I am really very sensitive about it. I do not always understand it, but I feel it in Christ. I feel that it is another spirit, in Christ, and I feel the attack.
I am the "touchstone." I am the mirror. I will come to you and I will say, "Something was wrong with what you just said." Frequently, there is nothing wrong with the words that you say, but there was something wrong with your spirit, because two people can say the same thing, and it can be sin for one person and not sin for another person. Depending on what? Depending on their motives for saying it.
If you have some hostility towards somebody, and you make some kind of remark and cover it up by saying it is a joke. that is acceptable in the world, but, in Christ, you have to find out what was upsetting you. What made you do something like that? We must get it out in the open and talk about it. Maybe the person really did something wrong to you. You really have to give them a chance to apologize to you, or maybe they did not do something wrong to you.
The whole point is communication, communication, communication. That is what is going to destroy our sin nature. it is going to expose it and destroy it. I am the "touchstone" in this ministry, because I am so very sensitive. Therefore, if I come to you and tell you that there was something wrong with your spirit in which you said that, and you really cannot see it, and you are really serious about going on in God, you really should at least pray about it and say, "Lord, if I had a wrong motive, I would really like to understand why I did it."
If you are doing it to me, you are doing it to other people, and our goal is that we should be blameless, and every communication that we have should be out of Christ, and this is how we are covering over Satan. This is how we are ascending up into full stature.
9. FORGETTING: When the abuser regularly forgets appointments, agreements and/or incidents, he is saying, "I am in control of your time, your energy, or reality and I do not have to be accountable because I am in control." I have talked to you about that. You do not have to be innocent because you do not remember. I understand that all of this, a lot of these things most people do not know that they are doing it. We blind ourselves to our motives, and we say that we do not recall things, because that way we do not have to answer for them.
The truth of the matter is the fact that you do not recall your motives or why you do not recall why you did something, or you do not recall something that happened two weeks ago, as far as God is concerned it makes no difference, you are still guilty. You are working against yourself, because if you recall what you did, and you are willing to face up to the hard feelings that you had, or the hurts that you had, or the rejection that you had, the chances of working it through in Christ Jesus is 100%.
If you will just face up to what you are really feeling. If you can just admit that you were hurt, or jealous, or whatever it was and submit, give it to God, and you pray in Christ Jesus, the chances of healing the wounds are 100%. If you bury it, if you deny it, if you refuse to admit that you are doing things based on events that have happened in the past which you have blocked out of your mind, there is almost no hope of healing the wounds and being blameless before God is nil, because you buried it. It has to be dealt with. You have to look at these things.
10. BLOCKING AND DIVERTING: By thwarting, his partner is saying "I do not accept any responsibility to respond to you as a rational person, so I can change the conversation at will. I am in control." I want to tell you that this is so common in the church, because I really do not fellowship with many people outside of the church.
When I first came up against this, it was right in the middle of the conversation. Just utterly cut you off and changed the subject, and finally...I used to get all upset over this, to tell you the truth. Finally, I got the revelation that this is the tactic that people use when they do not like what you are talking about, but it is very ungodly.
For a while, I thought that it was me. So many people were using this tactic to not deal with what you said to them, that I was really thinking that there was something wrong with me, but I knew that there was nothing wrong with me. It is ungodly to not speak honestly to people, it is ungodly to not let your "yea" be "yea," and your "nay " be "nay." It is not the right way to do things, but I had to come to the conclusion that so many people were dealing with problems that way, that I had to deal with these people, because I could not be getting upset every time somebody did that to me.
I went before God and worked the whole thing through with the Lord, and I just had to deal with it, and I just had to accept the fact that, that person did not honestly want to respond to what I said. They chose to change the subject, or walk away, or turn around, or do whatever they were doing. I have to accept that. As wrong as it is, when someone does that, I have to accept that. You cannot force people to do anything, but it is wrong. It is really wrong. When someone ask you a question you should answer them, and you should give them an honest answer, even if that answer is, "I do not know."
He calls this thwarting, blocking, and diverting. By thwarting, it means that you stop from bringing forth communication they want to bring forth. By thwarting his partner the verbal abuser is saying, "I do not accept any responsibility to respond to you. I can change this conversation at will. I am in control." Let me tell you, that is a control issue. When somebody says something to you, and I see people who look you right in the eye, nobody here. I have somebody in mind, nobody here, they just change the subject and might just as well have said to me, "I do not want to talk about this," and it is tough on you. "I am in control. I will not respond to you." You need to know that this is a control issue.
11. DENIAL: By denying all of his abusive behavior the abuser is saying, "I can keep everything exactly as it is with you under my control, and I will not be held responsible." One thing that I hear repeatedly is, "I will not be held responsible." I will not be held responsible." "I will not be held responsible."
We see that a major motive behind verbal abuse is to be not be held accountable. "I want to control you, but I do not want to be held accountable. I do not want to answer to you. I do not want to respond to your complaints about me. I do not want to face the fact that maybe I am doing something wrong, or maybe that I am not doing something wrong, but I am not doing what you want me to do, but I do not want to confront you and tell you that you are pressuring me, and I do not want you to pressure me. I do not want to talk to you. I just going to do what I want to do, and you have nothing to say about it. I am just going to bypass you like you are not there, like you are an object, and I am going to sneak around corners and do whatever that I have to do to accomplish what I want. Then I am going to deny that I did it. I am not accountable."
12. ACCUSING AND BLAMING: By blaming his partner for his abuse of her, the verbal abuser is saying, "You are to blame for your pain and for everything I say and do to you and for everything that is not the way that I want it to be, so that I do not have to stop my behavior. I am in control. You deserve it. You started it. You provoked it."
Brethren, everybody is responsible for their own behavior, and everybody is responsible in areas where they have authority. If you have authority in situations it does not matter if the one under you provoked you. If you are a man, and it is your wife, or if you are an employer, or a pastor and it is your employees or your congregation, if you have the authority, it does not matter if the other person instigated it, or the other person dominates her husband.
The people who have authority are responsible. The people who have authority are responsible. I cannot blame you for my behavior. No matter how provocative you are, if I lose my temper and scream at you, I am responsible for screaming at you. You are responsible for provoking me, if you have done that, but no matter how you have provoked me, I am responsible for screaming. I am responsible for screaming, and you are responsible for provoking me, so for either person to say that I had nothing to do with it, if in fact you did have something to do with it, is denial and abuse on both persons part.
There is such a thing as scape‑goating. There is such a thing as scape‑goating, where one person does absolutely nothing, and someone, let us say a woman's husband comes from work, and his boss has abused him, and he has not seen his wife all day, and he starts taking it out on her. These situations do exist, but there are also situations where people never raise their voice, they are just very subtly making comments, and dominating, and controlling, and then the person who had a very hard day breaks out into a rage.
He is still responsible for his rage, but if you have provoked him in any way, and you have to ask the Lord, him or her, you have to ask the Lord, "Have I provoked him in any way?" If you have, you are responsible for your provocation, but not for his raging.
A big problem that I have found in the years that I have been ministering is that the people who have a tendency to not be aggressive tend to condemn those who are aggressive, with their abuse, because you can be an un‑aggressive abuser.
I have talked about this earlier. You never stop smiling. You never raise your voice, but you are manipulating. You are controlling, you are discouraging, you are infantilizing. This is just as serious as the person who is screaming. Please do not make your judgment based on whether not you are passive or you are aggressive. Do not base your decision that you are not aggressive in any way on the fact that you never raise your voice.
When I was in "Old Order Deliverance," we called it "Silk Stocking Jezebel." "Silk Stocking Jezebel" never raises her voice. She puts a knife in your back with a smile on her face. Then, "Aggressive Jezebel" Is screaming and scape‑goating and yelling. The fact that you are "low key" does not mean that you are home free. We all have to ask the Lord to show us our sins in all of this. We all have to ask the Lord where we are doing this stuff if we are doing it, and be brave enough to face it, if we are, and ask the Lord help us to stop.
13. ORDERING AND DEMANDING: With these direct displays of control, the abuser is saying, "I have a right to insert power over you in an overt act of control, if all the other intimidating behaviors achieve my goal, you will do as I demand." "You will do as I demand." We are supposed to be, Ideally, kind and pleasant to people that we have authority over all the time. I remember some one saying to me, "Why do I have to say please and thank you when it is their job to do this?" Because that is a nice way to live your life.
You can say..."please," even though you know that the person has to do it. I know when I had a secular job, my boss always said to me "Would you please do this for me?" If I said "No," I would have been be fired. He always said, "Would you please."
The fact that someone says "please" does not mean that you have the right to say "no." Our goal should be to relate to one another in the most positive, inoffensive way possible all the day long, and make life pleasant for everybody.
Just be nice. You can say, "no," and still be nice, although discernment is required. I know that there was a time that some people here thought that Christ would never be stern. Christ can be stern when the situation calls for it. You can be stern, and speak in a harsh voice. I do not know if harsh is the right word (strong voice), but necessary, but you hope that it is not necessary.
14. JUDGING AND CRITICIZING: By judging and criticizing your partner, the verbal abuser is saying, "When I tell you what is wrong with your thoughts and actions, I put myself in charge over you and, therefore, in control of you." This is interesting, because that is what we do here, except that here it is in Christ, and the fruit of the exposure of error in the way that they are thinking and their actions has been proven.
If you go to a physicist in the world or physiologist they do the same thing. They will help you to see where your thinking is wrong or you have taken wrong behavior that has been destructive to you, but in relationships where one person has no authority over the other person, where there is no agreement that this kind of relationship exists to be telling somebody that they did something wrong or that their thoughts or actions are wrong is an attempt to control the person.
When I tell you that there is something with your thoughts or actions, I put myself over you. Therefore, I control you. Brethren, the whole church is doing it. The whole church is doing it. I had someone send me an email. He did not like my translation of the Old Testament, and he told me, "I am not criticizing you. I am doing this to warn you."
The scripture does not say that you have to warn me, because you do not like my translation. The scripture says to warn those who are disorderly and unruly, physically disorderly and unruly. We are not supposed to go around telling other people that we do not like their doctrine or their understanding of the Scriptures, and trying to correct people who are living differently from us. I admit to you that we are not to correct people who are in fornication unless you have authority over them. That is their life. The whole church is moving in witchcraft.
15. ABUSIVE ANGER: By being abusively angry, the abuser is saying, "As long as I am scary and threatening to you, I can have my way. A lot of people use anger to control and beat the other person down. If the other person is sensitive, they will do anything to get away from this anger. Peace at any price. Peace, peace, but there is no peace. It is a lie but, of course, you do not rage back. All of these attempts to control or response to his control should be, not to be controlled.
We, as sons of God, are to resist being controlled, but you do not get into a hassle with the people who are abusing. You do not get into a fight with them. You do not get into an agreement with them. You try to talk to them about it. If you cannot, you will have to handle the matter in prayer.
Of course, it depends upon who the person is who is trying to control you. If you are a woman, and it is your husband, you have really got a problem. You have to find out, and you have to go before the Lord and see how you are going to deal with it. If you have tried to talk to him, and you cannot reason with him, you will have to handle the matter in prayer.
If the person does not have authority over you, if it is a friend, I am all into communication. Every time someone tries to control me, I expose it. I say, "Why are you trying to control me? Why did you try to do that? For what reason?"
Why do we try to control people? Most of us do not even know why. We have been doing it for so long. It is been done to us but, in Christ, we do not control anybody. We control our children. You have to control your children.
We are supposed to be blameless in our relationships with other people. We are not to be thrusting them in any way. We are supposed to be supportive and loving. If they ask our opinion, and we do not agree we can tell them. We are not supposed to be influencing anybody. We can give our opinion, if asked, but what they do, they do. If what they are doing is offending you, then you tell them that you do not want to be a part of it, you do not want to be around it, you do not want to look at it, and that you do not want see it. That is all right. You have a right to do that, but you do not have a right to change them.
The average person, when they are offended, tries to change the offending person. This is a typical person that is untrained. If it is something somebody else is doing, they do not withdraw themselves. They try to change the other person. If something the other person said offends them, they will turn around and try to change the other person.
This is typical behavior in which we have to change. This is typical behavior in the carnal mind that has to change.
16. AMBIGUITY: The verbal abuser is saying, "I can be vague about my plans, what I am doing and how long it takes me to do it. I can be vague about finances, schedules, anything. I do not have to make a commitment to you. I do not have to answer you. Therefore, I am also in control in these areas. Your time and resources are, therefore, mine and I am in control."
I knew a young lady once that had a boy friend, who was two to three hours late for every date that they had. She was home waiting for him, from two to three hours, and he showed up when he wanted. She talked to him about it. She tried to reason with him. I mean, two to three hours that is sort of extreme, and he would not change. She finally broke‑up with him. That is a real control spirit. "You sit there and wait for me while I do what I am doing."
Sometimes people say things that make us afraid. Just in every day conversations, people say things that make us afraid, and the thing to do is to rebuke our own fear, but the average person will not rebuke their own fear. They will turn around and correct the person who said the thing that offended them. That person might not have meant any harm, and the offensive thing that was said might not have been directed towards the other person, but somehow it made that person afraid or uncomfortable in someway. The discomforted person turns around and criticizes the first person's comment to make themselves feel better. This is witchcraft, brethren, and it is a control spirit.
We have to deal with what other people say. If what they say upsets us, we have to take the victory within our own emotions. The average person tries to control the offending person, but we cannot do that. It is witchcraft, it is ungodly. We have to deal with ourselves, even if it means that we have to get up and walk away. We have to deal with our selves. We have to deal with the other person, but not control the other person. We have to deal with our own emotions. That was article number one.
Here are the symptoms if you are verbally abused: If you are on a emotional roller coaster, being put down, feeling confused, hurt, thrown off balance, experiencing frequent small shocks, feeling stunned, wondering how you could be hearing what you are hearing, wondering what you could have said or done, feeling isolated, being called names, disparaged or subtlety cut to the quick, and you have sought to nurture and understand the relationship.
If your experience was negative, the experiences of the women in this book will make you feel that you are not imaging things. You have encountered a verbal abuser.