“Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, and in the hidden part
You will make me know wisdom.” Psalm 51:6
When my children were young, upon asking them to take a bath or clean their rooms or do their homework, there were those occasions when they would look at me with mischief in their eyes, and I knew in that moment that they were considering testing my patience. I would just gaze at them and wait for a moment. Then, before they could protest I would say, “I just need to hear two words.” Almost without fail, a few moments of tempered silence would pass, and then they would quietly say the words I wanted to hear.
There was something about just saying those two simple words that softened their will and almost miraculously set their feet in motion to accommodate my request.
Ah, the power of words.
Continue reading Say the Words
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.” Genesis 3:1a
The word “crafty” used in Genesis 3 describes the serpent that came to the garden. The word has also been interpreted to read “subtle,” “clever,” “cunning” or “shrewd.” The description clearly implies that this particular being’s intellect alone posed some kind of a threat. Continue reading The Power of Words
“He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous, both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord.” Proverbs 17:15
It happens all the time. A victim of abuse finds the courage to step out of the shadows of her shame and fear to reveal the truth about what has happened to her. The trauma she has endured may be a result of molestation or rape, physical abuse, and/or verbal or emotional abuse. She wants to believe that, once she shares her terrible secret, the people to whom she reaches out will hear her, validate her and comfort her. But as horrible and shocking as it may seem, she may not receive what she needs. For reasons that defy logic, many may rise to defend her perpetrator, and she may instead find herself shamed and shunned and even persecuted. Such is the absurdity of the See-No-Evil Disconnect. Continue reading The See-No-Evil Disconnect: Abandoning Victims to Protect the Status Quo
It is a strange thing to invest so much energy into convincing yourself that your relationship is normal only to one day be jolted by the reality that there is nothing normal about it, to be forced to admit that your relationship is patently unhealthy, destructive, and yes, abusive. Continue reading Three Words Every Abuse Victim Needs to Hear
If you put together a list of all the primary strategies that abusers use to keep their victims living a life of emotional paralysis, 99% of them would probably apply to the man to whom I was married for 20 years. But as I read and hear other women’s stories, other more subtle patterns emerge, and among them is a practice I have struggled to identify even in my own history, a bizarre combination of passive and controlling abuse. Continue reading Passive and Controlling Abuse: A Dictatorial Form of Emotional Violence