Satan used spiritual abuse to tempt Jesus in the wilderness with the Bible.
Let me break that down for you.
So – Satan did it. (He is the bad guy, not the good guy.)
So – Bad Guy used the BIBLE. (Good Words. Not nasty, mean, obviously evil and vile words.)
So – Bad Guy used Good Words to TEMPT the Son of God. (Tempting is a bad thing.)
So – Bad Guy uses Good Words to do Bad Things in the WILDERNESS. (Not when things are going well, but when things pretty much suck, and you’re down.)
So – Bad Guy uses Good Words to do Bad Things when you are Down in the Pits.
Has this ever happened to you?
The Bible wasn’t written so religious people could use it to slam people’s heads against rocks. It wasn’t written so religious people could control other people and make them do what they want them to do. “I’m an ELDER (translated Fraudulent Authority)! I’m God’s appointed man! If you don’t obey this Bible verse I’m throwing at you out of context (and even mistranslated), then YOU AREN’T A CHRISTIAN AND YOU’RE GOING TO HELL!” Or “THEN I’LL TELL EVERYONE YOU ARE A JEZEBEL AND WE’LL EXCOMMUNICATE YOU!”
Sisters, there is a name for this. It’s Spiritual Abuse. If your husband or friend or sister or elder or anyone used the Words of God to control you, you experienced spiritual abuse. How is one to respond to someone who says, “Thus Saith the Lord!” I mean, if God said it, why, you better believe it, right? Right, except that God doesn’t say all the things these spiritually abusive individuals say He is saying.
One of the Flying Free members discovered another lie Bad Guy uses to shame women who attempt to escape their abusive relationships. Have you ever had this verse smashed into your face? Leslie explains what this verse really means with insight and joy.
I hope it sets you free from one more chain that keeps you in bondage. Here’s what Leslie Hatton writes:
“The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.”
~ Proverbs 14:1
I finally figured it out. My (almost ex-) husband has been beating me over the head with this verse ever since I drove him out of our house over two years ago. Aside from the fact that mentally abusing a person with God’s holy word is obviously wrong, I was at a loss regarding his application of this particular verse.
During these past two years, these mental beatings have made me feel angry and defensive. Eventually I began rolling my eyes when these texts came through. Ignoring his noise has become easier. I’ve even felt sorry for him…rarely.
But this week, I had my aha moment. My husband sees “her house” as synonymous with her marriage and family. But how does Jesus Christ define a person’s house? As in, “the wise man built his house upon the rock”?
Jesus says a person’s house is his–or her–life. (See Matthew 7 for His train of thought regarding life, beginning in verse 14.)
So, my house, metaphorically speaking, is my life. Your house is your life. A husband’s house is his life, and so on.
If we look at Proverbs 14:1 and Matthew 7:24 side by side, we will see how closely related they are.
“The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.” (Proverbs 14:1)
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” (Matthew 7:24)
Everyone includes men and women, husbands and wives. In fact, in Christ “there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28) God’s view of any person’s life is not based on his or her sex.
What is my point? My point is that the subtle distinction between a person’s life and a person’s marriage is pivotal. Whether or not we distinguish the two has an enormous impact on how we live our lives, how we build our house.
For decades I tried to build my house on the shifting sand of my marriage. I thought I was building my house on the rock, but in reality, I was tearing down my own life. With my own hands, I dismantled my self-esteem, my self-worth, even my own personality. I twisted myself into a submissive pretzel in a vain attempt to make my marriage ‘work.’ I became someone I did not recognize and someone I did not like.
Did this have a positive impact on my husband and children? On the contrary, the effect was devastating. I had set out in faith to follow my Savior, but 23 years in, I saw that our family resembled a pack of wolves rather than a flock of sheep. My reality did not line up with my identity in Christ, so I cried out to God, and we began again, apart from my husband.
God showed me how to view myself correctly, through his eyes. Fixing my eyes on Jesus, I saw that I could no longer allow myself to be disrespected and mistreated. I began caring for myself, and for the first time in my entire motherhood, I was finally free to care for my precious children properly, without begging for provision, in a peaceful home. I am sighing in grateful relief just thinking about it!
God will not work with a person who is busy beating his sheep, or tearing them to pieces. Why should we? (See Ezekiel chapter 34.) Until that person is blinded by the Light and repents, God cannot work through him. (See Acts chapter 9.) God “resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:5, James 4:6, Proverbs 3:34)
So what should we do? I think we should fix our eyes on Jesus and focus on building our own life on the Rock. After decades of futility, believe me when I say this focus shift results in a house you can honestly call home. Finally!
Written by Leslie Klipp Hatton