Your words contain power. According to the Bible the words you speak can produce life or bring death. Our words can create and they can destroy. What we say is vitally important.
Unfortunately, during times of disagreement words are used as the weapon to cut the opponent's heart. Psalm 64:3 talks about those who sharpen their tongues like a sword. It goes on to say that they shoot their words like arrows and their arrows are bitter words. They shoot in secret at the blameless without any fear.
Once I counseled someone who had been verbally abused by their spouse for years. With every disagreement in the home, she used her tongue to cut, pierce, and stab his heart. After a period of years of receiving this verbal abuse, he had withdrawn from their relationship and would rarely have intimate conversation. Why? He knew that with any disagreement of any kind, his spouse would draw her sword and begin to cut. And with her cutting he would withdraw into his shell of protection. He said that each time the abuse began, he would feel paralyzed and unable to respond verbally knowing that however he responded, it would be wrong.
No one should have to live with verbal abuse. Throughout the years I have spoken to the abuser through my books and articles and I have told them to stop. But what about the one who is the abused and living with someone who will not stop. What is the answer? How do you deal with a verbally abusing person living in your house?
Verbally abusive people will have no understanding of what I am talking about, but those who are being abused will understand very clearly.
There are spouses who do not hit, beat, push or physically abuse and can be very nice people. But under certain circumstances something seems to snap inside of them and they become hurtful, mean, selfish, angry, and destructive with their mouths. The abuser needs help and must repent, but what about the one being abused? How can they shield their heart from the arrows coming from within their own household?
The Bible gives us the plan for victory and regardless of what is going on in somebody else, you have authority over your own soul. Here are some Bible based steps to take.
1. Base your identity in Christ and not someone else.
Know who you are in Christ. As a Christian, you are the blessed, the redeemed, loved, complete, restored, and joint heir with Christ.
2. Speak out loud the words that God says about you.
Words of cursing must be replaced with words of blessing, even if you have to do it yourself. The words you speak over yourself are more powerful than the words someone else speaks over you. Do not receive the abusive words as truth. Remember anything spoken against you that opposes what God says about you is not true. Every word you hear creates an image in your thought realm. The Bible says to cast down any imagination that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. (2 Corinthians 10:5)
3. Do not hate the abuser.
The person speaking the evil words against you is only the conduit that the enemy is using to get to you. Once when Peter spoke to Jesus, Jesus did not rebuke Peter, He rebuked the source, Satan. "But He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men." (Matthew 16:23) Jesus saw the value in Peter and gave him opportunity to repent.
4. Don't carry the lying words with you and meditate on them.
If you do, your heart will never heal and you will continually be opening a wound and playing into the enemy's hands. Medicate the wound with the oil of forgiveness, bandage (cover) it with the Word, and quit scratching it. Don't remove the bandage to examine the wound. Let it heal.
You shall be hidden from the scourge of the tongue, And you shall not be afraid of destruction when it comes. (Job 5:21)
5. Do not return abuse for abuse.
It's easy to become defensive and throw stones at the one throwing stones at you. This only escalates the problem and is never a solution. "Repay no one evil for evil . . ." (Romans 12:17) Understand this. Verbally abusive people are usually people who have been verbally abused themselves. Hurting people hurt people and they usually hurt the ones closest to them. Sometimes it's because they know you love them so much that you will take the abuse and never leave. You become their release valve. That may be a reason for the abuse, but it's no excuse for abuse.
If the abuse doesn't stop, you must not allow the lying words of the enemy to destroy you. Grace is God's willingness and His ability to empower you to overcome anything that comes against you. And God's grace is available for every Christian. If abuse comes at you as a Category 5 storm, God will empower you with Category 6 grace. Because the truth is under all circumstances, greater is He that is in you than the attack that comes from the world, or from the mouth of a friend.
So what I am saying is this. You may not be able to get away from the abusive person, but through love, forgiveness, and grace you can keep the abuse from getting inside of you and you can walk tall with joy in your heart, living your life in peace and victory in spite of the storm that may be going on around you.
God has a plan for your life and His plan does not include abuse or defeat. His plan is victory and peace. God does not want you to simply survive verbal abuse, but to have victory over it. Don't allow the words of someone else to dictate the joy and happiness within your own heart.
Don't allow the words of someone else to take you to a place of withdrawal or depression. Stand firm, stand up, and hold your shield of faith. It will quench all the fiery darts from the enemy. Your belief in what God says will override what anyone else says. And the strength of God's words will add strength to you.