These things constitute emotional abuse

Yesterday, we examined what constitutes physical abuse within a marriage.  Today, let’s explore something much more subtle and overlooked…verbal and emotional abuse.  Once again, I strongly urge women to take a stand against abuse of any kind.  Keep in mind, you are showing your children (especially your daughters) that either women are supposed to be weak, helpless, perpetual victims or that women can be confident and strong while still displaying love and kindness.

After doing much research, here’s a fairly comprehensive list of behavior that constitutes verbal or emotional abuse:  Frequently calling you obscene names, often yelling in rage, a pattern of constantly criticizing you and putting you down, prolonged periods of refusing to talk to you at all, pattern of ridiculing or making fun of you, pattern of mocking you or mean-spirited sarcasm,  verbal threats of violence, intimidation through displaying knives or guns, constantly accusing you of wrongdoing, forbidding you to talk to parents or siblings, preventing you from leaving the house, refusing to allow you to talk on the phone, forbidding you from speaking to friends or neighbors.

Again, I urge you to take a stand against this kind of abuse.  You are a valuable woman.  You are God’s daughter and precious in His sight.  Don’t allow yourself to be emotionally pummeled.  You will slowly be destroyed.  That is NOT God’s plan for you.  In fact, God instructs us to guard our hearts in Proverbs 4:23….”Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life“.  If you are suffering this kind of abuse, please talk to your pastor, pastor’s wife, or a certified counselor.  Your husband may be upset, but you must protect your heart.  By the way, if you fear for your physical safety as a result of revealing the emotional abuse, then take protective measures such as moving to a friend’s home or a domestic violence shelter while you work through the issues with your husband.

Are you too hard on yourself?

There have been so many times that I have lost my cool over a trivial mistake I’ve made!  I beat myself up and feel disgusted with myself. Perhaps you’ve done the same thing a time or two.  What makes the situation even worse is then I become a grump around my husband and children. Because I have worked myself into a foul mood, it infects them as well. Perhaps we need to remind ourselves that we need to be able to laugh at some of our mistakes.

Sometimes, we take ourselves too seriously!! Often, we feel we have to be “right” all the time.  Many times in the past, my pride has kept me from being able to laugh at myself when I made an error.  How about you?  Are you too serious?  Are you a perfectionist?

These days, I’m trying to let go of my pride and admit I’m a human being who isn’t perfect 100% of the time!  You know what I’ve found?  Everyone, including my husband, seems to like me better.   Humility is such an attractive quality.  Psalm 18:27 says “You save the humble but bring low those whose eyes are haughty.”  Let’s work on being humble this week.  When we mess up, and we will, let’s LOL.  For you who still don’t know how to text, that stands for “laugh out loud”.  *Hope you’re laughing at yourself right now 🙂  Get it?

Thrive by getting rid of this emotional weight!

It is so incredibly easy to get out of balance as a wife, a mother, an employee, a ministry leader, a homemaker, a boss, etc.  We can let our “roles” consume us.  We compare ourselves to other women in those roles and feel we’re somehow lacking.  Then we start picking up self-help books, we google “how to become a better __________”, we attend classes and workshops, we beat ourselves up for not being as “good” as other women, we relentlessly push ourselves to be better!  And the whole time, we push our relationship with God farther and farther away.  I mean, who even has time for God when we are completely focused on being the best ___________.

Sometimes we need to pull back and refocus our attention and adoration on God.  We need to readjust our heart posture.  We need to go back to square one and spend time worshiping the creator of the universe…the one who created you!  Colossians 3:1-2 says “Since then you have been raised with Christ, set your heart on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.”

I find when I spend time worshiping God and spending some quiet moments just sitting with Him, I gain a whole new perspective on what’s important.  I am better able to choose how to use my limited time and energy.  I don’t feel so driven to compete with the other wives and moms and ministry leaders.  Spend 10 minutes every day this week simply worshiping God.  Crank up the worship music if that helps.   As you focus on the majesty and love of Christ, you will develop a heart posture that brings balance….and peace.

How to trade anxiety and worry for deep peace

I don’t know about you, but I sometimes feel my shoulder and neck muscles getting really tight.  My head starts to throb.  I even sometimes feel a little short of breath…or like I can’t even draw a full breath.  These are all warning signs that I am filled with toxic anxiety and worry!

What is the remedy for anxiety and worry.  Well, the solution is often really quite simple (although hard to remember to do!).  We must remind ourselves that Jesus loves us and that he is completely trustworthy!  We need to speak truth to our souls!

King David, who wrote many of the Psalms. often talked to his soul.  In tough situations or when he was consumed with fear, he would basically give a pep talk to his soul.  He would remind his soul of the truth about God. For instance, in Psalm 42:5, David writes “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”   Is it time to talk truth to your soul?

I regain peace when I remind my soul that God is loving, God is powerful, God is wise, and God is in control!

 

Something high-achiever women need to know!

Hello.  My name is Debbie Chavez, and I’m a list-aholic.  Yes, I admit it.  I love being super- organized, and I love “accomplishing” a lot every day.  It makes me feel good about myself.  In fact, my compulsion to accomplish tons of stuff everyday is so bad…..if I do something that was not on my list, I actually add it onto my list so that I can scratch it out!

There is nothing wrong with completing many tasks each day, and there is certainly nothing wrong with being organized, but when we become a slave to our lists, we have a problem.  How about you?  Are you a list-acholic?  Here’s what I’ve been noticing lately.  When I become a slave to my to-do list, I am not a very peaceful wife.  I become a driven person, and I’m not flexible enough to respond to new situations or needs in my family.  Perhaps we need to meditate on the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:40-42.  Martha was busy bustling about with tasks, while Mary sat peacefully at the feet of Jesus.  Jesus gently rebuked Martha in verse 42 saying, “Martha, Martha…you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed, or indeed only one.  Mary has chosen what is better…”

So, maybe you and I should stop being neurotic about our lists!  I am still making a list each day, but unless something on that list is absolutely critical, I’m allowing myself to skip some of the items in order to respond to my husband or children if I can see that they could use my help or encouragement.  I believe this adjustment makes me more like the 1 Peter 3 wife.  She is described as having a gentle, quiet spirit.  I don’t think she could be quiet and peaceful if she was running around like a chicken with her head cut off!  She obviously wasn’t a slave to a long to-do-list.   The question is:  Do you need to re-evaluate your lists?

Changing the thinking that’s holding you back!

You’ve heard the expression “You are what you think”.  Well it’s true, and unfortunately many women stay stuck in oppression, poverty, chaos, and loneliness because of the stinking thoughts the enemy has whispered to them repeatedly over the years.  Often these women truly did suffer a wounding event in the past, but the enemy piles on by getting them to believe lies about their identity, their abilities, God’s ability, and their future.

These lies, that then become our “stinking thinking”, may sound something like this:  “I’m unlovable”… “I can’t handle this”… “I’ll never get over this”… “I’m broken”… “I’m not able to”… “It’s hopeless”… “God doesn’t seem to care”… “I can never trust anyone”…

It’s time we start bossing around these thoughts!  The minute you hear one of those thoughts in your head, remind yourself that the enemy of your soul WANTS you to embrace that stinking thinking so that he can keep you oppressed!  Jesus WANTS you to have the opposite…a fulfilling life!   John 10:10  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Ladies, it’s time we take a stand and refuse to align our thoughts with the devil.  The moment those negative, hopeless thoughts enter your mind, immediately coach your soul with the truth.  Here are a couple of truths to get you started:  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”-Philippians 4:13…”He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.”-Psalm 40:2…..”If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”-Romans 8:31-32…”Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding: in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight”-Proverbs 3:5-6

— or view this topic as a 3 minute VIDEO HERE

3 questions to ask when you’re discouraged…

Sometimes, we feel like we’ve reached the end of our rope!  You may be discouraged because you’ve been praying for God to change your husband’s attitude or behavior, and it’s just not happening.  You may be discouraged because you hoped your children would turn out a certain way, and they seem to be making bad decisions.  You may be discouraged because you’ve been searching for a new job and you can’t find one that fits your abilities and availability.  Now what?

Well, first, don’t give up praying.  In Luke 18:1, the Bible says…”Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.”  So, keep asking God for a miracle.   However, maybe it’s time to put on a new set of glasses.  Maybe you’ve been insisting that God do what YOU think is best, instead of praying that God’s perfect will be done.  Now is the time to ask God to reveal his perspective on this issue.  Why don’t you ask him these 3 questions, and then spend some quiet time listening for his response:

1)  Lord, can you help me to see this situation through your eyes?

2)  How are you trying to change me or teach me through this situation?

3)  Is there a lie the enemy is trying to get me to believe about this situation?