THIS: It hurts to have feelings about our parents behavior that we know we can’t ever be heard on. That we know deep down, this person, our parent, doesn’t care enough about us to really hear us is so isolating and disconnecting. We start to realize on a deep level that, we will ONLY have the narcissists full attention or care when it is convenient for them.
Hindsight is an amazing tool for survivors.
When you grow up with a narcissistic parent, there are realities about our environment that don’t exist in a non-narcissistic household. These realities are our healing points, our own issues, that as an adult we realize require healing for us to go on to have healthy adult relationships.
The narcissistic parent, incapable of meeting a childs needs because they conflict with their own, becomes the recipient of the child’s care and affection. The npd parent flips the roles and demands that the child be the sacrificial, giving caretaker. Of course in hindsight, its easy to see the error in this behavior, but as a young, impressionable child the modeled behavior has an impact on the things we’ll need to unwind and reparent later in life.
What this does is set us up to be the caretakers, the responsible ones, the fixers…
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[Please note: Abusers can be male or female. Abusers can be your father/mother, husband/wife, boyfriend/girlfriend, brother/sister, son/daughter, friend/lover, boss/coworker, etc. You may replace the word “relative” with “abuser” for the purposes of this article. See Part 2 – CUTTING TIES- KNOWING WHEN IT’S TIME TO WALK AWAY ~ NB]
Original article: http://www.luke173ministries.org/466825
SATAN’S EVIL MINION- THE UNREDEEMABLE REPROBATE
By Reverend Renee Pittelli
REPROBATE: Condemned and foreordained to damnation; morally abandoned, depraved; condemned strongly as unworthy, unacceptable, or evil; rejected as worthless or not standing a test (Webster’s Ninth Collegiate Dictionary); an immoral or unprincipled person (Oxford American Dictionary); condemned; base; given over to sin; depraved; vile; an abandoned or profligate person; without virtue or decency (The American Dictionary of the English Language); Abandoned to wickedness or to eternal destruction; lost to virtue or grace; without hope or pardon, disapproved with abhorrence, in apostasy, rejected, disapproved with extreme dislike. (Webster’s An American Dictionary of the English Language) “It is used of persons and character, and so, reflexively, of life and conduct. It denotes a voluntary surrender of self to a life of self-indulgence; self-control and the estimation of others being disregarded and defied. ‘Reprobate’ expresses that character in which a course of self-abandonment to vice results; one cast away without hope of recovery; the very desire and recognition of good being lost. The profligate man is he who has thrown away, and becomes more and more ready to throw away, all that the good and wise desire to retain; as, principle, honor, virtue, possessions. A profligate man, therefore, is one guilty of open and shameless irregularities and vices. Reprobation is the doctrine that a part of mankind has been condemned as reprobates from eternity.” (Webster’s and Worcester’s Unabridged Dictionaries-1901) For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities- his eternal power and divine nature- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles……Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed, and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them……Romans 1: 20-23, 28-32NIV Consider this scenario: There is a person whom you know, from personal experience, to be cold, calculating, conniving, vicious, ruthless, destructive and treacherous. And then there is another person- the one who tells you that nobody is all bad, there is some good in everyone, you need to “see the good” in the first person, you will find the good in him if you just look hard enough, and if you can’t see the good, then you just haven’t tried. Sister, trust me on this- if you have to look that hard to “find the good” in someone, IT ISN’T THERE! Anyone who would tell you that is very naïve, in deep denial, or has some personal interest in not rocking the boat and is vested in allowing the evil person to continue his destruction unchallenged. Even if there was some tiny good point you could come up with, IT ISN’T RELEVANT. Someone who is malicious, heartless and abusive most of the time doesn’t deserve Brownie Points for occasionally doing something not horrible. Doing harm to others is not made any better by letting someone go ahead of you in line at the market. So what if we do find a “good” characteristic in an abuser?-maybe he likes animals or has a great sense of humor- does that mean we should now be more tolerant of his malevolence? So what if he gives money to charity?- does that mean we should “give him a break” and let his cruelty toward his family slide? No- a “good side” that you have to dig around , wrack your brain for, or stretch reality to find does not excuse or justify the obvious and blatant- that 99 % of the time, this person is cruel, vicious, destructive, wicked, and dangerous. Just because the dog sometimes eats out of the cat’s bowl doesn’t make him a cat. Often, whenever an abuser behaves in a manner that is consideredNORMAL for anyone else, others consider it NICE for him, when it is really the way he should be behaving all the time. They’re relieved and grateful that he’s being nice so they can relax and lower their guard a little. They consider this to be the abuser’s “good side”, when actually it is behavior that would be EXPECTED of anyone else. Most evil people are clever and conniving enough to behave nicely or do something good once in a while-especially in front of others-precisely to throw you off and cause you to doubt your perception of them- and to cause OTHERS to doubt your perception. They purposely try to APPEAR nice to cover up their true nature. In fact, they will often go to great lengths to disguise what they really are – many of them are well-liked in their communities, regularly do volunteer work or are well-respected church members. You can see how well this works by how many misguided people will tell you that you haven’t tried hard enough to “find the good” in someone you know to be evil. Keep in mind that, even when the wicked do something that outwardly appears good, they are only doing it because it is somehow advantageous to them. Their motive is not to help others, but to benefit themselves- but even that is only worth inconveniencing themselves for only so much. Jesus teaches us that not everyone who gives the false appearance of goodness or of being religious is truly righteous, and on Judgment Day he will weed out those who aren’t: Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophecy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?” Then I will tell them plainly,” I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!”….Matthew 7: 21-23. BAD TO THE BONE: SOME PEOPLE ARE JUST EVIL! The Bible does not support the theory that there is some good in everyone, and in our hearts, we know this theory is full of holes, although we may hate to admit it. Although the “liberal tolerationists” choose not to see it, the truth is that there ARE people who truly have NO good in them! They are BAD people, through and through. People exist who serve Satan and are children of the devil. They are bad to the bone, and anyone who says otherwise is delusional. Unfortunately, these wicked people hold down jobs, buy houses, marry and have children, just like normal people. Some of us have had the misfortune to be born one of these children. Many Scriptures make clear distinctions between good people and bad people, children of God and children of the devil. In the Bible, it is black and white- there is no middle ground. Scriptures teach us to discern the spirit of a person by his fruits, as well as his deeds. A person, and his deeds, are either righteous or wicked – you can’t be a little bit of both: Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning…This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother….1 John 3: 7-8,10 . The Bible teaches us to recognize the acts of a sinful nature and tells us very clearly that those who live by their sinful nature are doomed to damnation. When I first read this list of condemned behaviors, I was struck by how much some of them sounded like relatives of mine!: The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God….Galatians 5:19. Jesus teaches us to discern the spirit of a person by his fruits-his works and the results he produces with what he does in his life. Depending upon the righteousness or wickedness of his nature, everything he does, touches or influences will either be blessed or cursed. Jesus also warns us that an evil person can NEVER do good. He also illustrates what will eventually happen to evil people: By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them….Matthew 7: 16-20NIV. There are people prowling the world, preying on others, who are reprobates, having what is known as a “Reprobate Mind”. There is absolutely nothing good about them. They are evil incarnate, wicked through and through. By definition, they are unsalvageable and doomed to damnation. How does one become a reprobate? By rejecting God so many times that God finally gives up on her and turns her over to the control of her own evil desires. (see Romans 1:28) I will destine you for the sword, and you will all bend down for the slaughter; for I called you but you did not answer, I spoke but you did not listen. You did evil in my sight and chose what displeases me….Isaiah 65:12NIV. HOW DOES SOMEONE BECOME A REPROBATE? The simple answer is that they DEVOLVE into one. God is ever gracious and forgiving, and gives us many, many chances to repent and turn from our sinful ways. Reprobates have rejected the message of the Holy Spirit. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin….Mark 3:29NIV. Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme…1 Timothy 1: 20NIV. Even God has a limit to his patience, and the reprobate has stepped beyond the pale. The Lord knows when someone is indeed a hopeless case and will never repent and turn to him no matter what. He turns her over to her reprobate mind, and allows her to suffer the Natural Consequences of her wickedness in her worldly life, relationships, etc., before she dies and goes on to suffer for all eternity: On that day I will become angry with them and forsake them; I will hide my face from them, and they will be destroyed. Many disasters and difficulties will come upon them, and on that day, they will ask, “Have not these disasters come upon us because our God is not with us?” And I will certainly hide my face on that day because of all their wickedness in turning to other gods….Deuteronomy 31:17-18NIV. If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sin is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God….Hebrews 10:26-27 NIV. Becoming a reprobate is a long process, in many cases a lifelong process. It is not the type of sin, or even the magnitude of the sin, it is the CONSISTENCY of sin that makes one a reprobate. Reprobates usually start out with small sins, and progress to bigger and bigger ones. In the process, they lose their consciences and well as all perspective. They allow selfishness to rule them and take over their minds, at first hurting others or trampling on their feelings, and eventually ceasing to care at all whom or how many lives they completely destroy. By lacking discipline and more importantly, love for others, and allowing themselves to sin on even a small scale, they give Satan a greater and greater hold over them. With each successive sin, the state of the person’s soul deteriorates more and more. With each sin, Satan wins a victory and his power over the sinner increases. Soon he is able to tempt the sinner to go on to more outrageous and harmful sins, while numbing any feelings of remorse. He will fill the sinner with feelings of pride and power, cause him to lose all desire to be righteous, and to view kindness or goodness with contempt and disdain. As his conscience and his soul decay more and more, the reprobate progresses, or more accurately, regresses, from sinning once in a while or here and there to no longer being capable of NOT sinning. He becomes more primitive, uncivilized and unprincipled in his thinking. Sin becomes a way of life for him. All along, during this long process, God is making himself known to the sinner. He is giving the sinner many chances to reject Satan and to turn to the Lord. But the reprobate will make a conscious choice, every time, to reject God’s way and follow the devil instead. He will give in to his base needs and lower impulses time and again. Why? Because the devil’s way means instant gratification and the satisfaction of selfish impulses, which are much more attractive to a wicked person than the love, kindness, selflessness, and patience needed to be a child of God. Remember that the Lord has made man in his own image, and in so doing, has given us free will. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you…James 4:7KJV. A reprobate refuses to submit to God. All he has to do to be saved is resist the devil and submit his will to God’s, but he will not. Some of us choose to follow Jesus and worship God, some choose the other path. Eventually, because of the reprobate’s choices in life, Satan will have complete control over him. It will be too late to ever go back, and the reprobate wouldn’t even if he could. He belongs to the devil now. DISCERNING THE SPIRIT OF A REPROBATE Reprobates may seem almost normal to the undiscerning eye, until you examine the big picture of their lives and relationships. Get beyond outward appearances and try to look into the heart of the reprobate, as well as those around him. Does he get along well at work? Do all his neighbors like him? Does he constantly seem to be going from one job to another and from one friend to another? Is he really part of one big happy family, or are they all just putting up a good front? Does the person in question, as well as his family, seem truly happy, deep in their hearts? Do they seem content, at peace, joyful, and relaxed around each other? Are they really giving and loving, and are their relationships all they may initially seem to be? Do they have loving and caring relationships? Do they have any long-term relationships, and, if so, what is the state of these relationships? Unto the pure, all things are pure; but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate….Titus 1: 15-16KJV. “Reprobate” is the Biblical equivalent of “sociopath”. A reprobate is marked by a number of characteristics which are ingrained in his nature and may or may not be obvious at first, but they bear being aware of and looking out for. Not all reprobates will have every trait, but they will manifest enough to send up a red flag. Reprobates are usually: Conniving, Selfish, Disdainful, Impatient, Angry, Underhanded, Sly, Shrewd, Deceitful, Cruel, Untrustworthy, Spiteful, Disloyal, Treacherous, Confrontational, Greedy, Willful, Self-Indulgent, Prideful, Arrogant, Unremorseful, Scornful, Sneaky, Manipulative, Belligerent, Calculating, Scheming, Devious, Cunning, Callous, Brutal, Cold-blooded, Sadistic and Vicious. The Scriptures warn us to have nothing to do with such people. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God- having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them….2 Timothy 3: 2-5NIV. The reprobate will twist your words, play mind games, revel in confusion, and cause chaos, dissension, and disharmony. “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord?”…Acts 13:10NIV. He is supremely selfish, self-centered and greedy in nature- greedy not just for money or material goods, but for power, position, control, prestige, or attention. It is not “me first” so much as it is “me only.” He has an utter lack of remorse or repentance. He denies any responsibility for the havoc he creates or the results of his actions. He will scapegoat, blame, frame, set-up, and sacrifice others to preserve his image and get what he wants. Neither shalt thou bear false witness against thy neighbour….Deuteronomy 5:20KJV. He lies continually. Self-preservation is the most important, no matter who else has to go down. The easiest way to remember these reprobate characteristics is to think of everything you know Satan himself to be- the reprobate will be most of these things because he is Satan’s child. Of these, perhaps the most pervasive traits are ruthlessness, treachery, deviousness, cunning, and an utter lack of remorse.It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebub, how much more the members of his household!…Matthew 10:25NIV. The Lord Jesus himself was scapegoated by the lying reprobate children of Satan, who were greedy for control and power and twisted his words, caused chaos and dissension, framed him, lied about him, and sacrificed him. All the while they were falsely accusing and setting Jesus up, they claimed to be children of God, but Jesus refuted them and proved them to be children of Satan: Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”….John 8:42-47NIV. Reprobate characteristics will not necessarily be obvious. Sometimes the reprobate can be quite subtle and this is designed to disguise his true nature. Many of his sins are not actual crimes, such as theft or assault, although they might be, but rather sins against the SPIRIT of another person or persons. A big clue is that everywhere the reprobate goes, and in all his relationships, he leaves a behind path a destruction, heartache, betrayal, vengefulness, and cruelty. He contaminates everything he touches and the atmosphere around him is poisoned. Being in his presence for any length of time is draining and exhausting, and you instinctively know that nothing is as it seems and you always need to watch your back. You will feel anxious, restless, irritable, nervous, and often have a headache when you are with him; if you are especially sensitive to his evil, you may feel nauseated in his presence. It is impossible for anyone to experience any peace or joy around such a wicked person; if he senses those feelings anywhere near him, he will be sure to immediately squash them flat. He’s like a one-man train wreck. The one shred of justice in his earthly life, before he leaves this world and goes straight to hell, is that, most of the time, even though he’ll never admit it, his own life is just as miserable as those of the people he hurts, if not more so. That is the result of the demonic forces which he has allowed to take over his life and which now control it. In order to teach about the reprobate mind, I have written in the past about my birth-father (see the article “A Portrait of Evil” on our website). In the future, I will write more about him, as well as tell the story of another truly reprobate relative in our family, my husband’s birth-sister. It is my prayer that these testimonies will help you to recognize and protect yourself from an evil family member. I DON’T EVEN KNOW THIS PERSON!- THE SHOCKING REPROBATE REVELATION Although in most families there are one or two, or even several, “problem” relatives, not everyone can be considered reprobate. In my own family, on both mine and my husband’s side, there are a number of “difficult” people, dishonest people, hurtful people, even people who have stabbed us or others in the back. Yet, in my entire life, although I have heard numerous heartbreaking stories about damage done by reprobate family-members, I have only met in person four people who have a true reprobate mind- my birth-father, my husband’s birth-sister and her husband, and one ex-friend. From my own personal experience, I have observed the disintegration of the souls of the reprobates I personally knew over the course of decades. When you have been around a nasty, manipulative, or selfish relative all your life, you almost get used to the way they are. You, unconsciously or deliberately, develop strategies to cope with their hurtfulness and overlook a lot of bad behavior in the interest of “getting along”. You learn to put up with a lot. For years, the reprobate will either maintain a stable level of hurtfulness, or will slowly get more and more selfish, uncaring, and destructive to others. He will become more critical, resentful, and bitter toward others and life in general. This resentment and bitterness is what he will use to justify hurting others. He will block any feelings of guilt for what he does by telling himself, and everyone else, that his victim “deserved it”. He will start doing things like rationalizing stealing money from someone because, in his mind, he feels that he has always “gotten the short end of the stick” and he deserves to make up for it. The fact that this will be at someone else’s expense is of no importance to him. See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears…Hebrews 12:15-17 NASB You don’t realize that he is getting worse and worse, so you keep adapting. His evil sort of creeps up on you without you noticing. And then one day, out of the blue, he does something so outrageous, so incredible, so hugely destructive, that it takes your breath away. Suddenly, the veil drops and your eyes are opened. At this point, his pride is telling him that he is invincible, and that he can literally get away with murder. He believes that he has the right to do anything he wants, and no one has the right to say anything or to stop him. The betrayal, the cunning, the treachery, the denials, the hatefulness and complete lack of love or caring about anyone else is staggering. You feel as though you are looking at a complete stranger- seeing him for the first time. Whether this eye-opening incident was directed at you or at some other innocent victim, you are devastated to realize that someone you love can be so evil. You wonder how you could even be related to him. You are shocked into seeing him as he really is- having a wicked, reprobate mind. He may not have always been this way, but he is now. And he probably has been for a very long time, but you just didn’t see how bad he really was. That is how the revelation usually hits you. Although he may have been reprobate for years but you just didn’t get it, there is usually one last-straw event that opens your eyes. Before this, you really didn’t have an understanding of the evil you were dealing with. After this, you will look back on so many other incidents and see what you weren’t able to see in the past. Taken all together, these incidents show the pattern that you will now be able to absorb and see in a new light. It has been there all along, but your hopes and wishes for a loving relationship blocked your discernment of the truth. From my own experience, as well as the testimonies of others, I have seen that this is usually the way the realization hits you that you are not dealing with a human spirit anymore, but with a demon-controlled, purely evil, lost soul. Here are truths concerning those of a reprobate mind: What can I do to help my reprobate relative? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. How can I save my reprobate relative? YOU CAN’T. HE IS UNSALVAGEABLE. How do I deal with my reprobate relative? YOU DON’T. EVEN GOD WILL NOT DEAL WITH A REPROBATE. ARE WE BETTER THAN GOD? What do I do? RUN. FOR THE HILLS. FAST. GET AWAY AND PROTECT YOUR CHILDREN AND LOVED ONES. ACCEPT THAT THERE IS NOTHING ELSE IN YOUR POWER THAT YOU CAN DO. WHY DOES GOD ALLOW REPROBATES TO EXIST? Having turned the reprobate over to his own sinfulness, the Lord does use him to teach us and to refine our faith. It is the only constructive, useful thing a reprobate is any good for: I have set thee for a tower and a fortress among my people, that thou mayest know and try their way. They are all grievous revolters, walking with slanders: they are brass and iron; they are all corrupters. The bellows are burnt, the lead is consumed of the fire; the founder melteth in vain: for the wicked are not plucked away. Reprobate silver shall men call them, because the Lord hath rejected them….Jeremiah 6:27-30 KJV. What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath- prepared for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory- even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?…Romans 9: 22-24NIV To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong….2 Corinthians 12: 7-10NIV. SO, WHAT SHOULD WE DO? These truths are painful, but they are reality nonetheless. Having any dealings with a reprobate is extremely dangerous. We often delude ourselves into thinking that if we treat all people with kindness and love, they will respond in kind. In most cases this is true, but not when dealing with a reprobate. Reprobates do not respond to love and kindness, except to interpret it as vulnerability or weakness on your part and use it against you to dominate you. In our pride, we must not think ourselves able to control or deal with that which the Lord himself will not. If the perfect love of our Father cannot soften the reprobate’s heart, wasting our love on him is meaningless. If the Holy Spirit cannot turn the reprobate’s heart to God, nothing we are capable of doing will have any effect. If the Blood of Jesus cannot save a reprobate, we surely cannot. This is because we are not dealing with a human spirit anymore, but with demons. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places….Ephesians 6:12KJV. A reprobate is a demonic person, who has given Satan complete control over his will. His mind, his heart, and his soul belong to the devil, and the devil is not going to let him go. A discussion of the reprobate mind would not be complete without a few words about Spiritual Warfare and deliverance. There is much written about Spiritual Warfare and deliverance by experienced deliverance ministers. I have not been called to teach about deliverance, and I would never recommend a lay person becoming involved with it as that would truly be playing with fire. Only if you have studied this subject intensely, know your Scriptures inside out, have a deliverance team to help you, and have participated in deliverances in the past, and if the demonic person wants a deliverance and will acknowledge Jesus and accept the Holy Spirit afterwards- then maybe, you might attempt to cast out the demons. This is not an undertaking for amateurs, and it is out of the question for most of us. We must leave the reprobate to wallow in his own evil, just as God has done. The only thing left for us to do is go into “damage control” mode. We now have an understanding of the reprobate’s true nature, and knowledge is power. We know that saving her soul is hopeless. The only thing left to do is save ourselves, and save our children. This means cutting off all contact with the reprobate and never allowing her to contaminate your life again (2 Timothy 3:5). You can control whom your children see, so now is the time to do it. Do not allow her to taint your children, your family, and your life with her evil. Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you…..Matthew 7: 6KJV. Even if she comes to you, claiming to have changed and repented, do not believe her and do not trust her. This is the devil speaking. If you have ever seen “The Exorcist”, think of all the tricks and wiles Satan used to make the priest feel guilty and to deceive him, including taking on the persona of the priest’s own sweet, pitiful, innocent mother. A true reprobate will never change, and wishing will not make it so. Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil…Jeremiah 13: 23NIV . If you have any doubts, insist on the test of time- observe her at arm’s length, without allowing her to insinuate her way back into your family or your life, for a very long period of time- at least a year or two, and see for yourself if she has truly had a change of heart- but don’t count on it. Regarding other adult family members, you can try to protect them and enlighten them with your knowledge of the reprobate mind, but you cannot control them- if they want to continue having a relationship with a demonic person, ultimately, that is their choice. There’s really not much you can do about it, except pray for them. The one positive action which certainly can’t hurt is prayer. This does not require exposing yourself directly to the reprobate’s evil. Since someone with a reprobate mind is FOREORDAINED to damnation, it is not likely that the Lord is going to take away the reprobate’s free will to choose sin because of our prayers. If, in our hearts, we hold out hope that our wicked relative will turn from his sinful ways, how much greater is our loving Father’s desire for such a turn of events? Unfortunately, the reprobate is not merely a “prodigal son” who can easily return to God, but a full-fledged, demon-controlled, servant of Satan. As we are God’s children, he is Satan’s child. It is not in our power to choose righteousness for a demonic person, and the Lord will not take away his free will. More importantly, pray for yourself and others who will be affected by the reprobate’s wickedness. Pray for courage, strength, and wisdom. Pray for discernment and knowledge and the counsel and comfort of the Holy Ghost. Cover those who will come into contact with the evil one with the Blood of Jesus and pray for them to be protected. WHAT WILL BECOME OF MY REPROBATE RELATIVE? The destruction and calamities that are going to befall the reprobate as a result of her choices, both in this life and the next, will be disastrous, overwhelming, and sudden. This is one reason why we need to get out of the way fast- to protect ourselves and our children before the consequences of her evil overtake our reprobate relative. My feeling is that I really don’t want to be caught in whatever disaster is about to happen and it’s much better for me to be out of the picture at that point: But since you rejected me when I called and no one gave heed when I stretched out my hand, since you ignored all my advice and would not accept my rebuke, I in turn will laugh at your disaster; I will mock when calamity overtakes you- when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you. Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me. Since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the Lord, since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke, they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes….Proverbs 1:24-31NIV You cannot save a reprobate. The only thing you can do is save yourself. And Jesus answered and said unto him, “Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve”…Luke 4:8KJV. We need to literally put the demonic behind us and move on. If you have such a person in your family, our prayers are with you as you come to terms with your sorrow at losing a relative to Satan. May you rebuild your life with God’s loving grace, forever leaving behind the evil one, and find love, peace and acceptance with your sisters and brothers in Christ. In Ephesians 6, we are taught to put on the full armor of God when battling demonic forces. We must stand up for the truth. We must be strong in our faith, spirit-filled, and devoted to God’s word. We must lead righteous lives and pray about everything. This Scripture is an important basis for Spiritual Warfare and is how we will ultimately win the battle against Satan’s schemes: Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything , to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints….Ephesians 6: 10-18NIV. ***For some examples of the devious and deviant way in which the reprobate mind operates, read about some of my own birth-father’s antics in our articles “A Portrait Of Evil” and “Some Things Never Change- How My Birth-Father Called Me After Ten Years Of No Contact And Then Took Less Than Five Minutes To Have His Usual Meltdown, And The Story Of The Christmas Presents From The Devil.” Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further, for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was….2 Timothy 3: 8-9KJV. He replied, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. This is why I speak to them in parables: ‘Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.’ In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: ‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn, and I would heal them’ But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.” …..Matthew 13: 11-16NIV He said, “Go and tell this people: ‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’ Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed”…Isaiah 6: 9-10NIV What then? What Israel sought so earnestly it did not obtain, but the elect did. The others were hardened, as it is written: “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes so that they could not see and ears so that they could not hear, to this very day.” And David says: “ May their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a retribution for them. May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see, and their backs be bent forever”…Romans 11: 7-10NIV And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient….Romans 1:28KJV They are a nation without sense, there is no discernment in them. If only they were wise and would understand this and discern what their end will be! How could one man chase a thousand or two put ten thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, unless the Lord had given them up? For their rock is not like our Rock, as even our enemies concede. Their vine comes from the vine of Sodom and from the fields of Gomorrah. Their grapes are filled with poison, and their clusters with bitterness. Their wine is the venom of serpents, the deadly poison of cobras. Have I not kept this in reserve and sealed it in my vaults? It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them….Deuteronomy 32: 28-35NIV Reprobate silver shall men call them, because the Lord hath rejected them…Jeremiah 6: 30KJV Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get thee behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men”…Matthew 16: 23NIV. Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates….2 Corinthians 13: 5-6KJV. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves…..Colossians 1:13NIV. ***For more on understanding when it’s time to leave a relationship with a destructive or evil relative, see Cutting Ties: Knowing When It’s Time To Walk Away. Copyright 2002-2014.-All articles on this site are copyrighted. Permission to copy is granted for non-profit use only.Please help yourself to anything we write if you can use it to help others. A link back to this site is our only requirement. Please contact us for any commercial or other use. All e-mails, letters, and other correspondence become the property of Luke 17:3 Ministries, Inc. Due to the large volume of e-mails, we’re sorry that we are unable to personally answer every one, but we do lift everyone who writes to us in prayer to the Lord. The Lord specifically called Sister Renee to minister to Adult Children, not their parents, estranged siblings or friends, abusive or abused spouses, or victims of other types of abuse, although what we write here can often be meaningful for those folks as well. Because of this, our ministry and website have a narrow focus which we will not be changing. We simply can’t cover everything. In addition, it is not our purpose to help you re-establish contact with someone who felt it was necessary to cut you off for the sake of their own well-being. We do not keep a list of resources for estranged parents or any other type of abuse and suggest if you are sincerely interested in making amends with an estranged relative, you do an internet search for a website or group that will be more relevant to you. If you cannot find a group or site that you can relate to, we suggest you start your own, and bless other people in your position as well as find support for your personal issues. For Adult Children and others as well, please understand that we cannot give you personal advice concerning your particular family relationships. We are not therapists or lawyers, we usually do not have enough information to form an opinion, and time does not permit us to give enough thought to each person’s individual situation to do it justice. If you need personal advice, we urge you to contact the appropriate professional, depending on the problem you have- your minister, therapist, attorney, police department, local domestic violence hotline, etc. In reading this site, you acknowledge that nothing you might read here qualifies as or substitutes for professional advice. Please note we cannot recommend or refer you to a counselor and we do not have a list of therapists or recovery groups in your area. The only Counselor we recommend is the Holy Ghost, and we encourage you to read the Bible and learn for yourself what the Lord says about the issues we write about. Our articles are strictly our personal opinions and testimonies and are not intended to give or offer any advice. All who access this site do so with the understanding that we are NOT professional counselors and we strongly recommend that you discuss your individual situation with your pastor or therapist and pray for the Lord’s guidance before acting on anything we write on this site. Unfortunately, the abuse we discuss is all too common, inflicted on countless victims by countless perpetrators. All names and identifying details in our articles have been changed to protect the innocent as well as the guilty. Any resemblance to a real person or persons whom you might know is strictly coincidental.
[Please note: Abusers can be male or female. Abusers can be your father/mother, husband/wife, boyfriend/girlfriend, brother/sister, son/daughter, friend/lover, boss/coworker, etc. You may replace the word “relative” with “abuser” for the purposes of this article. See also: PART 1 – SATAN’S EVIL MINION- THE UNREDEEMABLE REPROBATE ~ NB]
Cutting Ties- Knowing When It’s Time To Walk Away
CUTTING TIES- KNOWING WHEN IT’S TIME TO WALK AWAY
By Reverend Renee Pittelli
Jerry: “Marriage is a big step, Elaine. Your life’ll totally change.”
Elaine: “Jerry, it’s three-thirty in the morning. I’m at a cockfight. What am I clinging to?”
….Seinfeld, The Little Jerry, Jan. 9, 1997
As Christians, some of us feel hopelessly trapped in abusive relationships. We think the Lord wants us to be endlessly patient and tolerant of the sins of others against us. We believe that it is sinful to protect ourselves, and we believe that it is sinful to leave a family relationship. We think that once we are born into a family, through no fault of our own, we are stuck with them, no matter what they do to us. Some of us feel that once we start ANY relationship, family or otherwise, with someone who then turns out to be not the person we thought they were, it would be “un-Christian” for us to leave. For some reason, we are under the misconception that we would not be good Christians if we did not stick it out and continue tolerating just about anything the other person says or does.
Non-Christians, and some fellow Christians as well, fuel this belief, telling us we must always be forgiving even though the Bible never tells us to forgive unrepentant people. Abusers and their enablers pull out all the stops in trying to make us feel guilty for removing ourselves from their destructive sphere of influence. People who have never experienced abuse just don’t understand how a family relationship could be so toxic that we might have no choice but to leave. Even those who have been abused themselves may criticize us for saying, “Enough!”. But that is their problem, usually driven by feeling threatened or envious of our growth and increasing strength and independence. Sometimes the old saying “misery loves company” is true.
Even if we have forgiven our abuser, the Bible does not instruct us to continue on in an abusive relationship. We may want to give it a try if our abuser has truly repented and changed his ways, but many will be surprised to learn that even the most Godly and righteous Christians don’t have to keep going back for more. Apparently this rocks some people’s worlds to the point where they resist accepting it. But no one has the right to expect us to live our lives with abuse, or to judge us for leaving.
BUT CHRISTIANS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE ENDLESSLY PATIENT WITH EVERYONE!
My birth-father’s enabler (my mother) loved repeating the old saying “Patience is a virtue” as if it was an exact Biblical quote, the implication being that we should all be endlessly patient while her husband got away with saying and doing anything he wanted to. While patience is listed as a “gift of the Holy Spirit” in the Bible, and considered a trait of a righteous person, when taken out of context as my mother used to do, it has a completely different meaning from the way it is presented in Scripture.
When “patience” is spoken of in the Bible, it most often refers to not losing our faith in God when we are going through hard times, being patient in waiting for the Lord to rescue us from our trials, and persevering in our faith until we reach our reward in heaven. It does NOT refer to being patient in waiting for evil people to change their ways. This is a total misrepresentation of the Word of God. Biblical “patience” NEVER refers to being patient with wickedness, hurtfulness, abuse, or offensive behavior. The Bible does not tell us to continue in relationships with people who have damaged us, or are still damaging us. In fact, the Scriptures are full of teachings instructing us to leave relationships with wicked or evil people, to be separate from them, to shun, outcast, and purge them from our midst.
The number one mission of our ministry is to lead God’s children to Him. We want to teach you about your Father’s unfailing love for you and encourage you to lean on him for all your needs: FOR YOUR FATHER KNOWS WHAT YOU NEED BEFORE YOU ASK HIM….Matthew 6:8. Even if the unthinkable happened, and your entire birth-family abandoned or betrayed you, you must know that you are never alone: THOUGH MY FATHER AND MOTHER FORSAKE ME, THE LORD WILL RECEIVE ME…Psalm 27:10. Our Abba Father will never leave nor forsake you (Joshua 1:5, Psalm 37:25, Hebrews 13:5). The Lord sets the lonely in families (Psalm 68:6) and his grace is always sufficient for us (2 Corinthians 12:9). God closes one door and opens another: NAKED CAME I OUT OF MY MOTHER’S WOMB, AND NAKED SHALL I RETURN THITHER. THE LORD GAVE, AND THE LORD HATH TAKEN AWAY; BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD….Job 1: 21. He will replace every relationship that has caused you sorrow and pain with a healthy, loving relationship- often in the most unexpected ways and from the most unexpected places:
AT MY FIRST DEFENSE, NO ONE CAME TO MY SUPPORT, BUT EVERYONE DESERTED ME. MAY IT NOT BE HELD AGAINST THEM. BUT THE LORD STOOD AT MY SIDE AND GAVE ME STRENGTH, SO THAT THROUGH ME THE MESSAGE MIGHT BE FULLY PROCLAIMED AND ALL THE GENTILES MIGHT HEAR IT. AND I WAS DELIVERED FROM THE LION”S MOUTH. THE LORD WILL RESCUE ME FROM EVERY EVIL ATTACK AND WILL BRING ME SAFELY TO HIS HEAVENLY KINGDOM. TO HIM BE GLORY FOREVER AND EVER. AMEN….2 Timothy 3: 16-18NIV. Glory to God! Thank you, Father!
DOES THE BIBLE REALLY TELL US TO LEAVE EVIL PEOPLE?
The next most important purpose of our ministry is to give victims of abuse permission to protect themselves. The Lord does not want us to remain in bondage to evil people, he wants us to be free of them. And he will free us if we let him: THEY HAVE GREATLY OPPRESSED ME FROM MY YOUTH, BUT THEY HAVE NOT GAINED THE VICTORY OVER ME. PLOWMEN HAVE PLOWED MY BACK AND MADE THEIR FURROWS LONG, BUT THE LORD IS RIGHTEOUS; HE HAS CUT ME FREE FROM THE CORDS OF THE WICKED….Psalm 129:2-4. Because of the wrongful teachings of men and indoctrination since childhood, many may find it hard to believe, but we can protect ourselves while still adhering to Biblical teachings. Sometimes the only way to do that is to walk away. The Bible is full of Scriptures instructing us, and in some cases, ORDERING us, to do just that, but they don’t seem to be very well known. So before we continue our discussion on knowing when it’s time to get out, I will give you just some of these Scriptures for your prayerful consideration:
MEN OF PERVERSE HEART SHALL BE FAR FROM ME; I WILL HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH EVIL. WHOEVER SLANDERS HIS NEIGHBOR IN SECRET, HIM WILL I PUT TO SILENCE; WHOEVER HAS HAUGHTY EYES AND A PROUD HEART, HIM WILL I NOT ENDURE…..NO ONE WHO PRACTICES DECEIT WILL DWELL IN MY HOUSE; NO ONE WHO SPEAKS FALSELY WILL STAND IN MY PRESENCE. EVERY MORNING I WILL PUT TO SILENCE ALL THE WICKED IN THE LAND; I WILL CUT OFF EVERY EVILDOER FROM THE CITY OF THE LORD….Psalms 101:4-5,7-8
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?….”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 6:14-15, 17-18
PEOPLE WILL BE LOVERS OF THEMSELVES, LOVERS OF MONEY, BOASTFUL, PROUD, ABUSIVE, DISOBEDIENT TO THEIR PARENTS, UNGRATEFUL, UNHOLY, WITHOUT LOVE, UNFORGIVING, SLANDEROUS, WITHOUT SELF-CONTROL, BRUTAL, NOT LOVERS OF THE GOOD, TREACHEROUS, RASH, CONCEITED, LOVERS OF PLEASURE RATHER THAN LOVERS OF GOD- HAVING A FORM OF GODLINESS BUT DENYING ITS POWER. HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THEM…..2 Timothy 3:2-5
WARN A DIVISIVE PERSON ONCE, AND THEN WARN HIM A SECOND TIME. AFTER THAT, HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH HIM. YOU MAY BE SURE THAT SUCH A MAN IS WARPED AND SINFUL; HE IS SELF-CONDEMNED…Titus 3:10-11
DO NOT BE MISLED: “BAD COMPANY CORRUPTS GOOD CHARACTER.”…1 Corinthians 15:33
HE WHO WALKS WITH THE WISE GROWS WISE, BUT A COMPANION OF FOOLS SUFFERS HARM…Proverbs 13:20
DRIVE OUT THE MOCKER, AND OUT GOES STRIFE; QUARRELS AND INSULTS ARE ENDED…Proverbs 22:10
DO NOT MAKE FRIENDS WITH A HOT-TEMPERED MAN, DO NOT ASSOCIATE WITH ONE EASILY ANGERED, OR YOU MAY LEARN HIS WAYS AND GET YOURSELF ENSNARED….Proverbs 22:24-25
DO NOT SPEAK TO A FOOL, FOR HE WILL SCORN THE WISDOM OF YOUR WORDS…Proverbs 23:9
BETTER A DRY CRUST WITH PEACE AND QUIET THAN A HOUSE FULL OF FEASTING, WITH STRIFE….Proverbs 17:1
HE WHO BRINGS TROUBLE ON HIS FAMILY WILL INHERIT ONLY WIND…Proverbs 11:29
THE MEMORY OF THE RIGHTEOUS WILL BE A BLESSING, BUT THE NAME OF THE WICKED WILL ROT…Proverbs 10:7
A HOT-TEMPERED MAN MUST PAY THE PENALTY; IF YOU RESCUE HIM, YOU WILL HAVE TO DO IT AGAIN….Proverbs 19:19
ACQUITTING THE GUILTY AND CONDEMNING THE INNOCENT- THE LORD DETESTS THEM BOTH…..Proverbs 17:15
GOD WILL JUDGE THOSE OUTSIDE. “EXPEL THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOU”…1 Corinthians 5:13
THE HANDS OF THE WITNESSES MUST BE FIRST IN PUTTING HIM TO DEATH, AND THEN THE HANDS OF ALL THE PEOPLE. YOU MUST PURGE THE EVIL FROM AMONG YOU…Deuteronomy 17:7
AND YOU ARE PROUD! SHOULDN’T YOU RATHER HAVE BEEN FILLED WITH GRIEF AND HAVE PUT OUT OF YOUR FELLOWSHIP THE MAN WHO DID THIS?….WHEN YOU ARE ASSEMBLED IN THE NAME OF OUR LORD JESUS AND I AM WITH YOU IN SPIRIT, AND THE POWER OF OUR LORD JESUS IS PRESENT, HAND THIS MAN OVER TO SATAN, SO THAT THE SINFUL NATURE MAY BE DESTROYED AND HIS SPIRIT SAVED ON THE DAY OF THE LORD….1 Corinthians 5: 2, 4-5
BUT I AM NOW WRITING YOU THAT YOU MUST NOT ASSOCIATE WITH ANYONE WHO CALLS HIMSELF A BROTHER BUT IS SEXUALLY IMMORAL OR GREEDY, AN IDOLATER OR A SLANNDERER, A DRUNKARD OR A SWINDLER. WITH SUCH A MAN DO NOT EVEN EAT….1 Corinthians 5: 11
Again, these are just some of the many Scriptures instructing us to stay away from evildoers, to shun them, and to purge them from our midst. I pray that you will find others as you read the Word of God.
Walking away from a relationship is never easy. It will probably be the most difficult decision any of us will ever have to make. It is a tremendous heartache and extremely painful. Often, we still love our abuser even after many years of mistreatment. We know that we will miss them and that it will hurt to let them go (see the article Getting Over A Lost Relationship in theClaiming the Victory section on our website). It is so difficult to admit that we can love someone but not be able to have them in our lives. Many of us struggle and suffer for years, or even for our entire lives, desperately trying every possible alternative to make leaving unnecessary. Some of us wait until our mental and physical health is failing from the stress, or our own children are being adversely affected by our wicked relative, and it literally becomes a matter of survival. Eventually we will have no choice, it will be either them or us.
Some of us get to the point where we finally find ourselves running screaming for the hills instead of closing the door calmly and moving on with dignity. And then we find ourselves facing disapproval from assorted other relatives and acquaintances who never said a word in our defense all the years we were being abused, but come out of the woodwork when we finally take a stand to protect ourselves- just to criticize us for not continuing to tolerate even more abuse! In my own case, I had been driven to the point with my birth-father that it didn’t matter who else judged me, or who else I lost, as a result of ending my relationship with him. As long as he was finally out of my life, the other “casualties of war” were more than worth it. After 47 years of bondage, freedom never tasted so sweet!
Deciding when a relationship is never going to be healthy for you and understanding when you are never going to be treated with love or respect is the key to getting out before things become so extreme. Counseling is very helpful, and so is the support of good friends and loved ones. We need others to bounce our feelings and thoughts off of. We need people who truly care about us and want what’s best for us to give us their feedback and advice. We need objective third parties to point out to us that which is so often obvious to outsiders, but which we ourselves cannot see because we are too close to the situation, or because we still have feelings for our abuser. We need to have a loving support system in place so we know we will not be alone when we end our destructive relationship .
BUT I WAS ALWAYS TAUGHT THAT YOU CAN CATCH MORE FLIES WITH HONEY….
To which I would have to say, think back and remember who taught you that. Was it one of your abuser’s Silent Partners? Or your abuser himself? Many of us suffer under the completely erroneous idea that if we just treat our abuser with love and keep being nice to him, someday he will start loving us and being nice to us in return. But the truth is that abusers and bullies do not respond to love and kindness like normal people do. Many Scriptures address this fact, especially in Proverbs. Just one of these, Proverbs 17:13, says, “IF A MAN PAYS BACK EVIL FOR GOOD, EVIL WILL NEVER LEAVE HIS HOUSE.” Even an animal will eventually show love for you if you treat it with love, but not an abuser. Abusers use our feelings for them against us, take advantage of our kindness, and see our patience with their offensiveness as a weakness to be exploited. Our love for them makes us vulnerable in their eyes. They are like predators, looking for the weak spot. They know just how to manipulate our love to feed their own hunger for power and control. No matter how much love we are willing to give to an abuser, he will never feel love for us in return. Abusers don’t love anyone but themselves.
It hurts to accept the fact that someone we love does not love us, and will never love us, but only wants to use, exploit, dominate, or control us. Coming to that understanding and grieving the loss of the relationship we always wanted and tried so hard to have, but could never have, because the other person did not want what we wanted and made it impossible, is essential for our mental health and emotional growth. Sometimes, we need to accept reality- that no matter what we are willing to do, it just isn’t going to work out- because the other person isn’t willing. This is the most difficult part of deciding to leave a toxic relationship, but it is also the first step to living a healthy life. If we trust in Our Father, he will heal our hearts (Psalm 34:18, 147:3), and replace our sorrow with his peace and joy (Galatians 5:22), just as he did for Joseph, who was betrayed, abandoned and sold into slavery by his jealous brothers: JOSEPH NAMED HIS FIRSTBORN MANASSEH AND SAID, “IT IS BECAUSE GOD HAS MADE ME FORGET ALL MY TROUBLE AND ALL MY FATHER’S HOUSEHOLD…Genesis 41:51.
How do we know when a relationship is hopeless? How do we know when things will never change? How can we tell when the time has come to Get Out of Dodge? In deciding if it’s time to give up and move on, each of us needs to prayerfully ask ourselves some difficult questions, be brutally honest with ourselves, and think carefully about the truth, which will be revealed in the answers. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of all Truth (John 16:13) . He will reveal the truth to us and give us the gifts of knowledge, discernment, understanding and wisdom (1 Corinthians 12: 8-10), if we ask him. He will comfort us as we come to terms with the truth, and counsel us about what to do next, because he is our Comforter and Counselor (John 14:26, 16:7-8) .
ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS TO FIND THE ANSWERS WE SEEK
In order to decide whether to stay or walk away, it is important to analyze exactly what the chances are that our relationship will ever be the loving relationship we deserve. To help us find a clue to our future with our abusive or controlling relative, we need to objectively analyze the past and the present with this person. Experience is a great teacher. If we refuse to learn from past experience, then we need to seek counseling and find out why we are so resistant to the truth. Here are some questions we need to consider when analyzing our relationship:
Concerning the relationship itself:
Am I benefiting from this relationship, or is it a one-way street? It is mutually beneficial, or am I doing all the giving? What exactly is the other person bringing to the party?
Am I enjoying this relationship?
Is it mutually respectful?
Do I look forward to being with this person, or do I dread it?
How does this relationship impact my quality-of-life? Is it enhancing my life or detracting from it? What am I getting out of this?
Is this relationship good for me? Do I feel good about it? Do I receive love, care and nurturing when I need it?
Does it make me feel good about myself, or does it make me feel as if I have no self-respect because I put up with such poor treatment?
Is this relationship affecting my health?
Is it affecting my ability to concentrate, or my job?
Is it affecting my relationship with the Lord? Is it causing me to sin in reaction to the other person?
Have I ever lost sleep over this relationship?
Is it affecting my enjoyment of my own life, my children or my time with them?
Are holidays, birthdays, and other family events often ruined for me?
Is having this person in my life causing problems in my marriage?
Is having this person in my life causing my children to be upset, confused or affected in any way?
Am I setting a good or bad example for my children by having contact with this person? Is having this person in my life sending a message to my children that we accept and tolerate offensive behavior, betrayal, abuse, disloyalty, dishonesty, etc? Is this person a good influence on my children, or a bad influence?
Is this a generally positive or mostly negative relationship?
Am I the only one interested in working on and improving our relationship?
Is my relative just as interested in keeping our relationship together as I am? Is she willing to do whatever it takes to have a positive relationship with me? Is she just not interested in putting anything into our relationship? Or does she go to the opposite extreme, becoming angry, or threatening to disown me or stop speaking to me if I complain?
If I were to be totally honest with myself, do I really believe that this person is ever going to change? Do I really feel that this relationship will ever be any different, or is that just wishful thinking on my part?
Assuming nothing ever changes, do I see myself going on like this for the rest of my life?
Concerning your relative:
Do I feel happy in this person’s presence?
Can I relax, enjoy myself, and be myself around this person, or do I always have to be on guard?
Is she critical, belligerent, manipulative, or malicious, or is she pleasant to be around?
Do I trust this person?
Is this person honorable?
Is this person Godly and righteous?
Is this person kind or cruel?
Is this person an addict? Does she have an alcohol, drug, or gambling problem? Is she willing to get help, or not?
Is this person a control-freak or power-crazy? Does she play well with others? Does she have problems in her other relationships?
Am I afraid of this person? Am I afraid to anger this person? Am I afraid to speak my mind or share my thoughts around this person?
Do I find myself clamming up around this person because it seems that no matter what I say, it starts an argument?
Does this person try to degrade, humiliate, or sabotage me?
Does she undermine my self-esteem or self-confidence?
Does this person ever criticize my weight, appearance, personality, or intelligence? Does she ever call me names?
Does this person expect me to obey her even though I am an adult?
Does she raise her voice to me, or does she address me respectfully?
Does this person demand time or attention on a regular basis, or does she understand that I have another life?
Does this person show any gratitude or appreciation for what I do, or does she believe I owe it to her?
Does this person disrespect me, degrade me, pick fights with me, or criticize me in public or in front of my children or other relatives?
If this person has a problem with me, does she bring it up with respect and goodwill, and in private, or does she bring it up in front of an audience so she can embarrass me?
Do I feel that this person truly loves me, or is only using me? Is this person willing to do for me everything that I am willing to do for her?
Does this person think she is entitled to special treatment? Does she think that her needs, wants, thoughts, or feelings are more important than anyone else’s?
Does she always manage to be the center of attention? Is she a drama-queen? Is every conversation about her? Does she LISTEN as much as she talks?
When I am in this person’s presence, when I am anticipating being with this person, or after I have been with this person, do I feel joyful, relaxed, and at peace, or do I feel upset, anxious, nervous, stressed, irritable, depressed, aggravated, or confused?
Do I avoid or dread answering the phone when I think it might be this person calling?
Does this person cause me to be angry or to lose my temper?
Do I have to watch everything I say around this person?
Before, after, or during the time I spend with this person, do I have any physical symptoms, such as headaches, back or neck pain, upset stomach, trouble sleeping? Do I feel my blood pressure going up and my stomach in a knot every time I have to be in her presence?
Has this person ever admitted she was wrong?
Is this a reasonable or unreasonable person?
Is this a rational person who can have a normal discussion, or are her responses nonsensical and irrational?
Does this person take responsibility for her behavior, or does she deny, lie, cover-up, or blame other people?
Has this person ever apologized for anything? Was the apology sincere or meaningless? (see our article on Meaningful Vs. Meaningless Apologies)
Is this person a troublemaker? Does she cause problems and instigate fights between other people?
Is this person a bully? Is she hostile, belligerent, nasty, and always looking for a fight?
Does this person normally show any concern for the feelings of others, or is she often rude, insulting, offensive, and obnoxious?
Is this person selfish and self-centered? Is it always all about her? Or is she usually generous and concerned about others? Does she have empathy for other people?
Is she a giver or a taker? Does she use or exploit others? Does she serve others? If she serves, does she serve joyfully or grudgingly?
Is this person humble, or is she prideful, arrogant, or boastful?
Is this person jealous or envious?
Does this person put on a phony front? Is she insincere? Does she worry about what outsiders will think while not caring what her family thinks?
Is she a gossip? Did she ever badmouth me or lie about me?
Has she ever tried to turn other people against me?
Has she ever betrayed me?
Has she ever stolen from me?
Can I believe this person, or is she a pathological liar?
Is this person rigid and inflexible, or is she open to change and new ideas?
Is this person’s unacceptable behavior just an occasional fluke, or a firmly entrenched pattern?
Looking back, has this person ever acted in my best interests? Or does she only act in her own best interests, with no regard for what is best for me?
Does this person have a truly loving heart, or is she really unloving? Do I realize that while she may SAY she loves me, she doesn’t ACT like she loves me?
Concerning my efforts to resolve our differences:
Have I rebuked this person, and what was her reaction?
Did she take responsibility? Was she genuinely accountable?
Did she apologize and make an effort to change her ways, or did she become defensive, deny, lie, cover-up, or blame me or someone else for her behavior?
If I have not rebuked her, why not? Am I too afraid of her reaction to speak my mind?
Have I set any limits with this person yet? Again, if I haven’t, why not?
Do I avoid confronting this person and speaking the truth in love because deep down I don’t really believe anything will change, she will only become angry and insulted, and I will be involved in a big argument for nothing? If so, am I willing to spend the rest of my life silently enduring this person’s abuse?
Is this person willing to hear me out and listen to what I have to say?
Is this person willing to admit her part in our problems, or is she stubborn as a mule?
Is she willing to acknowledge that at least half of our difficulties are her fault, or does she refuse to accept any responsibility at all and just blame me for everything?
When I try to discuss our problems, does she change the subject, overreact, confuse the issue, pout, cry, pretend that I offended her, or do anything else to get me off the track or to force me to give up without actually resolving anything?
Has she respected my limits or completely ignored them?
Does she refuse to take me seriously? Does she tell me I’m too sensitive or I take everything the wrong way? Does she disregard my feelings or anything I say?
Is this person willing to make any changes in her behavior? Has she actually done so, or is she just stringing me along and telling me what she thinks I want to hear?
Has she reacted with anger to having limits set on her behavior?
Has she stopped, continued, or even escalated her unacceptable behavior after being rebuked? Is she doing it more than ever?
If I try to pull back a bit and limit my time with this person rather than just ending the entire relationship, does this person respect my limits and try to modify her hurtful behavior, or does she escalate and become more demanding than ever- as if she was purposefully trying to drive me away?
Have I found that trying to enforce boundaries with this person, no matter how respectful and calm I try to be, only results in her behavior becoming more outrageous than ever?
Rather than try and cooperate to resolve our problems, does this person make a mountain out of a molehill, turning a polite request for a change in behavior into a huge argument, threatening to disown me, etc.?
Does this person operate under the idea that the best defense is a good offense?
Does this person take offense at my efforts to limit her hurtful behavior? Does she become insulted, angry, or try and turn it around and make me feel guilty for even trying to talk it over with her?
Does this person seem remorseful and interested in making amends? (see ‘The 3Rs Of Accountability: Repentance, Restitution, & Personal Responsibility‘) Has she at least made a sincere effort to change her offensive behavior? Or is her attitude more like “ Hey, this is how I am- take it or leave it”? (In which case you may have to leave it)
Has this person made any attempts to undo the damage she might have done to me? Has she tried to make it right?
Am I willing to accept that if I stay in this relationship, I will never be treated with dignity and respect and nothing will ever change?
Is there anything else I can do, or that I am willing to do, to have a relationship with this person (one that includes treating me with dignity and respect), or have I pretty much run out of ideas?
Now that I have confronted this person and heard her reaction, do I still feel it is possible to salvage this relationship, or am I just wasting my time? (DO NOT SPEAK TO A FOOL, FOR HE WILL SCORN THE WISDOM OF YOUR WORDS…Proverbs 23:9)
The answers to these questions will point out patterns of behavior and allow us to see just how firmly entrenched, and therefore unlikely to change, they may be. Some of these questions concern the magnitude and seriousness of the abusive behavior. Others indicate a total disregard for you or for trying to have a loving and peaceful relationship. Still others allow us to assess the person’s maturity and willingness to be accountable for their actions, accept responsibility and make some changes.
Sometimes we stay because we think there is a chance things will change. We need to ask ourselves what exactly are the chances this person will change? It may be possible, but is it likely? It might happen, and it might not. For that matter, our relative may come to her senses AFTER we’ve left and change her ways- nothing is stopping her from doing that, either.
Probably the only way of judging whether there actually is a realistic possibility of our relative changing her ways is to think back on our past experience with this person. We need to ask ourselves four important basic questions:
Does this person EVER admit it when she is wrong?
Does this person EVER apologize (SINCERELY apologize)?
Have I EVER seen this person change her behavior after being told it was hurtful or upsetting to others?
Has this person EVER showed true remorse or tried to make amends for anything she’s done?
If our relative has never done any of these things, she is not likely to start now. And if she very rarely or grudgingly does one of these things, she is also unlikely to make a sincere effort to modify her behavior.
IF YOU WANT TO LIVE IN PEACE, YOU WILL HAVE TO BE THE ONE TO MAKE THE CHANGES
Although hope springs eternal, experience tells us that certain people are not going to change-not ever! That is reality, and we need to deal with it. The Bible very clearly tells us that evil people do not change: CAN THE ETHIOPIAN CHANGE HIS SKIN OR THE LEOPARD ITS SPOTS? NEITHER CAN YOU DO GOOD WHO ARE ACCUSTOMED TO DOING EVIL….Jeremiah 13:23.
These are Jesus’ instructions to us for rebuking a brother: IF YOUR BROTHER SINS AGAINST YOU, GO AND SHOW HIM HIS FAULT, JUST BETWEEN THE TWO OF YOU. IF HE LISTENS TO YOU, YOU HAVE WON YOUR BROTHER OVER. BUT IF HE WILL NOT LISTEN, TAKE ONE OR TWO OTHERS ALONG, SO THAT EVERY MATTER MAY BE ESTABLISHED BY THE TESTIMONY OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES. IF HE REFUSES TO LISTEN TO THEM, TELL IT TO THE CHURCH; AND IF HE REFUSES TO LISTEN EVEN TO THE CHURCH, TREAT HIM AS YOU WOULD A PAGAN OR A TAX COLLECTOR…Matthew 18:15-17. In other words, shun him and have nothing to do with him.
Jesus also tells us: AND IF ANY PLACE WILL NOT WELCOME YOU OR LISTEN TO YOU, SHAKE THE DUST OFF YOUR FEET WHEN YOU LEAVE, AS A TESTIMONY AGAINST THEM…Mark 6:11
One of my favorite Scriptures is Matthew 7:6, which is also Jesus himself speaking to us:
GIVE NOT THAT WHICH IS HOLY UNTO THE DOGS. NEITHER CAST YE YOUR PEARLS BEFORE SWINE, LEST THEY TRAMPLE THEM UNDER THEIR FEET, AND TURN AGAIN AND REND YOU….Matthew 7:6KJV. Abusers take our love for them and use it against us. The Lord instructs us not to give our best to those who don’t appreciate it and will only turn on us instead of loving us in return.
Sometimes when a victim leaves a relationship, it serves as a wake-up call for the abuser, who might then sincerely apologize and change her behavior, enabling the relationship to be restored. One such story is told in the two books by Beverly Engel, “Divorcing A Parent” and “The Power Of Apology” . The author wrote these books about her relationship with her own mother. She writes about her own decision to divorce her mother, her mother’s genuine remorse, their successful reconciliation and progression into a new relationship of mutual respect. So sometimes the painful decision to get out leads to a positive conclusion in which everybody can be happy.
Unfortunately this is not always the case. Many people, myself included, choose to limit their time with their abusive relative rather than cut off all contact. Some people decide to take a “vacation” of several months from their relatives to see if they can reconcile the relationship down the road from a fresh perspective. This also helps the victim to wean herself away from the abuser gradually, and to learn that she can indeed, live just fine without him. It can increase her self-esteem, independence, and growth. But abusers do not usually go silently off into the night. Most abusers, when they realize that their victim is pulling away to protect herself, become even more demanding and outrageous in their behavior. They will escalate the disagreement into a full-blown battle, and their abusive behavior will continue and get worse. It is almost as if they are challenging or daring you to get out. This is what my parents did with me.
Because I still loved my parents when this happened, I still did not break off all contact with them, but I did curtail my time with them even further, because they made it necessary. At that point, my mother saved me the trouble of breaking off our relationship and stopped speaking to me instead. This is often a control-freak’s last ditch attempt to stay in control of the relationship- they want to be the one to end the relationship just to prove that they are still calling the shots. They would rather dump you than have you dump them- it’s a matter of pride! As they see it, this is the only choice, because actually changing their behavior in order to keep you in their life is never an option in their minds.
One word of warning- don’t be surprised if your relative then lies to others about what happened and tells the rest of the family that you stopped speaking to her! This is also what my mother did. You will need to be prepared for the disapproval others think they have the right to show you. For articles on this, please see our website section The Silent Partner & The Silent Majority.
In my case, when my mother disowned me, I made the decision to leave well enough alone and simply do nothing further. BUT IF THE UNBELIEVER LEAVES, LET HIM DO SO. A BELIEVING MAN OR WOMAN IS NOT BOUND IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES; GOD HAS CALLED US TO LIVE IN PEACE….1 Corinthians 7:15. I felt very strongly that the Lord had removed me from a very toxic situation that he no longer wanted me to be a part of. So I did not call her or make any attempts to get back together. I figured that she had been the one to end our relationship- if she had a change of heart, then she needed to be the one to restore it. I was heartbroken at first, but eventually I became at peace with it. And after a while, I felt relief, joy, and profound gratitude. I understood that my Father was protecting me, and that he loved me so much that he had taken this burden from me. This testimony helped me write the three-part article “Who’s Your Daddy?” in the Our Real Father section on our site.
In Romans 12:18, we are told, “IF IT IS POSSIBLE, AS FAR AS IT DEPENDS ON YOU, LIVE AT PEACE WITH EVERYONE.” Unfortunately, there are some people with whom it is NOT POSSIBLE to live in peace. God recognizes that there are times when it is NOT possible, and Romans 12:18 is his teaching to us when we find ourselves in that situation. There are some cases in which we do everything that is in our control to live in peace, but it DOES NOT DEPEND SOLELY ON US. It takes two to tango. A peaceful, loving, healthy relationship is NOT POSSIBLE if only ONE person is interested in making it happen and willing to do what it takes. Romans 12:18 frees us from the bondage of thinking that we must stay in a relationship, no matter what the other person does to us. Once we have done what we could to live in peace, we are free to walk away. We are only responsible for doing our part, but if the other person is not doing their part, it is time for us to move on and live the life of peace, joy, and freedom in Christ that God intended for us as his children.
SEE TO IT THAT NO ONE TAKES YOU CAPTIVE THROUGH HOLLOW AND DECEPTIVE PHILOSOPHY, WHICH DEPENDS ON HUMAN TRADITION AND THE BASIC PRINCIPLES OF THIS WORLD RATHER THAN ON CHRIST. FOR IN CHRIST ALL THE FULLNESS OF THE DEITY LIVES IN BODILY FORM, AND YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN FULLNESS IN CHRIST, WHO IS THE HEAD OVER EVERY POWER AND AUTHORITY….Colossians 2:8-10NIV
THE SPIRIT OF THE SOVEREIGN LORD IS ON ME, BECAUSE THE LORD HAS ANOINTED ME TO PREACH GOOD NEWS TO THE POOR. HE HAS SENT ME TO BIND UP THE BROKENHEARTED, TO PROCLAIM FREEDOM FOR THE CAPTIVES AND RELEASE FROM DARKNESS FOR THE PRISONERS….Isaiah 61: 1
****For a discussion on a topic that touches many of us, don’t miss our related article Should I Let My Estranged Relatives Have Contact With My Children?
****Need a brush-up on limit setting? Check out the articles in the section Setting & Enforcing Limits & Boundaries.
***Be prepared for the abuser’s reaction when you start distancing yourself- Read Desperate Measures- When They Sense They’re Losing Their Grip On You- 5 Surprise Ways Of Keeping You Attached.
****Still feeling guilty about claiming your freedom? See Reaping What They Sow- The Natural Consequences Of Bad Behavior , My Holiday Deliverance, Getting Over A Lost Relationship, andMy Name Is Renee…But It Used To Be Linda!
****Now that you have walked away, do you think it’s really over? Be warned, it might not be over just yet. See Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Put Up The Christmas Tree- The Strange Phenomena Of The Surprise Pre-Holiday Contact, Selective Amnesia- I Have No Idea What I Did Wrong!, and Some Things Never Change- How My Birth Father Called Me After 10 Years Of No Contact And Then Took Less Than 5 Minutes To Have His Usual Meltdown And The Story Of The Christmas Presents From The Devil.
Copyright 2002-2014.-All articles on this site are copyrighted. Permission to copy is granted for non-profit use only.Please help yourself to anything we write if you can use it to help others. A link back to this site is our only requirement. Please contact us for any commercial or other use. All e-mails, letters, and other correspondence become the property of Luke 17:3 Ministries, Inc. Due to the large volume of e-mails, we’re sorry that we are unable to personally answer every one, but we do lift everyone who writes to us in prayer to the Lord.
The Lord specifically called Sister Renee to minister to Adult Children, not their parents, estranged siblings or friends, abusive or abused spouses, or victims of other types of abuse, although what we write here can often be meaningful for those folks as well. Because of this, our ministry and website have a narrow focus which we will not be changing. We simply can’t cover everything. In addition, it is not our purpose to help you re-establish contact with someone who felt it was necessary to cut you off for the sake of their own well-being. We do not keep a list of resources for estranged parents or any other type of abuse and suggest if you are sincerely interested in making amends with an estranged relative, you do an internet search for a website or group that will be more relevant to you. If you cannot find a group or site that you can relate to, we suggest you start your own, and bless other people in your position as well as find support for your personal issues.
For Adult Children and others as well, please understand that we cannot give you personal advice concerning your particular family relationships. We are not therapists or lawyers, we usually do not have enough information to form an opinion, and time does not permit us to give enough thought to each person’s individual situation to do it justice. If you need personal advice, we urge you to contact the appropriate professional, depending on the problem you have- your minister, therapist, attorney, police department, local domestic violence hotline, etc. In reading this site, you acknowledge that nothing you might read here qualifies as or substitutes for professional advice. Please note we cannot recommend or refer you to a counselor and we do not have a list of therapists or recovery groups in your area. The only Counselor we recommend is the Holy Ghost, and we encourage you to read the Bible and learn for yourself what the Lord says about the issues we write about.
Our articles are strictly our personal opinions and testimonies and are not intended to give or offer any advice. All who access this site do so with the understanding that we are NOT professional counselors and we strongly recommend that you discuss your individual situation with your pastor or therapist and pray for the Lord’s guidance before acting on anything we write on this site. Unfortunately, the abuse we discuss is all too common, inflicted on countless victims by countless perpetrators. All names and identifying details in our articles have been changed to protect the innocent as well as the guilty. Any resemblance to a real person or persons whom you might know is strictly coincidental.