What Do You Do When Verbally Assaulted?

There are many things you can do when you are verbally assaulted, and if you have an angry man you are married to, or you have regular disagreements with people, you are probably wanting to know how to disagree with them without feeling like a doormat.

Or maybe you are still wondering if you are “allowed” to disagree with your husband, according to the Bible.

If you don’t believe the Bible is the Word of God, none of this matters. If you don’t believe Jesus Christ was and is the Son of God, died, rose again, and would do all of it for just YOU, none of this matters, either.

But when you do believe, you aim to please God. You live your life out of a heart of gratitude.

And you still might struggle with submission – but it isn’t what you think it is.  Here’s some good stuff on how to NOT be a doormat.

And if you are wondering how to respectfully disagree, check the exchange between me and the guy named, “thehaproject” and then look at the exchange between “Jean” and a number of different women on this post.

And understand if your husband is verbally abusive or beating you, I am not talking to you.  You need to get yourself safe.  I am speaking to others who are dealing with this.

Here’s the bottom line, based on my observations. Might be Truth, might be worth what you paid for it, which is nothing:

ALL people are deserving of respect, including our husbands. Being disrespectful during conflict, or “standing up for your rights” aggressively, however, FAILS in building relationship and in being heard.

Defensiveness breeds more defensiveness and heightens argument and disagreement.

There is another way. And that’s what The Respect Dare is all about.

Proverbs 18:2 A fool finds no pleasure in understanding, but delights in airing his own opinions. (Are you listening and trying to understand before you disagree or “call him on it”?)

Proverbs 11:27 He who seeks good finds goodwill, but evil comes to him who searches for it. (Are you giving the benefit of the doubt and focusing on common ground, or are you looking to point out how the other person is WRONG?)

Proverbs 16:32 Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city. (Do you have to solve it NOW, or can you calm down, pray, and then walk through things in a winsome way? Can you wait until God’s timing is right to deal with an issue or must you force the issue in your timing?)

Galatians 6:1 Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. (Notice it doesn’t say to verbally assault him back – we are to treat others the way we want to be treated.)

Ephesians 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. (Sometimes we are “thin” in our ability to love well. Our “love muscle” that bears with another is weak.)

Ephesians 4:15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. (We need to mature in our faith, and we need to reflect Christ’s character when we deal with others, and it will help them mature – are we getting in the way of another’s growth because we fail to do this? Arguing and defensive behavior makes other people more defensive.)

Galatians 5:22-23a But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Do you have these fruit in your life? The presence or absence of the fruit of the Spirit is EVIDENCE of our relationship with God. Got fruit?)

And no, we don’t have to be perfect – there’s only ONE Jesus.  We will sin and sin and sin until we go Home. But will will also mature, and grow and grow and grow – if God wills it (Hebrews 6:3) and we do our part by studying the Bible daily, asking Him for help in knowing Him, praying, listening, and OBEYING what we are learning.

But here’s the thing – knowing that God wills whether people grow or not – can we recognize that the “immature person” we are dealing with is also there to deepen our faith and sharpen us?

We don’t learn patience, kindness, gentleness, etc., in the easy times, but in the hard moments when it is difficult to do so. 

As for me, I find the above verses both convicting and encouraging.  And the question I wrestle with sometimes too is this: Do I trust God with this relationship, knowing He means ALL things to work together to grow me up in the faith? In other words, this difficult person is in my life to help me grow in my relationship with the Lord…Do I believe what I say I believe? 🙂

And no, I’m not telling you to be a doormat. 🙂 Check the above links if you still think that.

I know, ouch. 🙂 For me, too, baby, for me too.

Several of you have asked me to write about how to deal with a “mocker” or “fool” or “scoffer” and I’ll be doing that soon. I’m glad you are here and would love to hear what you are thinking about all this today! Will blog on this week’s dare tomorrow. In the meantime, would love to have you subscribe or sign up for TIPS so you don’t miss a single thing! 🙂

Love to you,

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titus 2 women leadership

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

10 thoughts on “What Do You Do When Verbally Assaulted?

  1. Darla, Happy Anniversary!.
    I do believe that hurting people Hurt people. And i also believe God has the power to heal hurts. HIS Words has the instructions for us. And he always confirms.
    Matthew 7:7 Ask and it will be given to you. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened to you.

  2. Hi Nina

    My husband has in the past referred to me as ‘a piece of skin that he uses for sex’. I was so hurt about this but still chose to extend grace to him and continued the relationship with all it’s benefits. This only served to make him more comfortable with his viciousness towards me, he interpreted it as a sign of weakness. Just last week he told me several times that I was an ugly B – and that I didn’t know how ugly I was and that I needed to have plastic surgery. He told me he was too good for me and that he and his whole family spoke about he could end up with someone as ugly as me after all the beautiful women he had dated. His words have made it so difficult for me to feel safe enough to be intimate with him and because of that he is labelling me an unchristian wife for not meeting his needs. This is a man who has not apologised or retracted any of the disgusting things he has said about me for the 4 years we have been married.

    At what point does the grace you are trying to extend to your husband just amount to enabling him to abuse you further? If a husband has by his words or actions caused division in the marriage, should this be overlooked and should the wife still cater to his every need while he goes on behaving badly? While love is unconditional, are we honestly expected to allow our husband to treat us in as degrading a manner as they feel like and then continue to extend the benefits of marriage to them while they completely ignore their responsibilities to the marriage? Is that really being the helper God intended for him….because as much as you say it’s not….it still sounds like you’re asking us to be doormats….

  3. Nina, It is SOOO hard to be respectful to a person who is NOT showing you respect or love. I am still struggling with this. I am sure I always will! BUT through the lessons in the Respect Dare and the follow up here I am getting better.
    How though can I respect my husband’s privacy when he abused it before and was cheating on me? I try to stop myself from looking at his stuff, but I keep going back, and then I see something that I find upsetting and a form of betrayal.. not what I was promised would be going on.. and I call him out on it, then he is upset again for my not respecting his privacy and claims he is doing it on purpose to “teach me a lesson” about snooping… I’m not buying the excuse! He lost my trust, so he knows I am looking.. So why are you keeping it up? I just don’t get it…

    • Oh girl. So sorry you are dealing with this.

      It is super-hard. And it is the same thing over and over and over again.

      For us all.

      Each struggle pushes us closer to finding our identity in Jesus Christ ALONE. It always comes down to do we really believe what we say we believe? I don’t pretend to know if you should overlook this insult, or if you should confront him Matthew 18 style. But this is also an opportunity for you to not wrap your identity up in his behavior, but rather your relationship with God.

      This might help a little: http://ninaroesner.com/2013/01/07/when-he-sins-against-you/

      And this: http://ninaroesner.com/2014/08/01/feel-invisible-dare-28/

      The problem with the current state of Christianity in the US and the West (and maybe other places) is that there are still conflicting messages. “Stand up for your rights” and demands for better behavior from others to get our own needs met are prolific. There’s a difference between having a helpful heart and a selfish heart. God’s goal is to have our whole devotion. If I were in your shoes, the prayer I would be, “God, show me my own sin, show me how to deal with this pain, how to deal with him and his sin against me.”

      The world will try to confuse you with women’s rights issues, sexual issues, etc., but the truth is that women have been women for centuries, as men have been men. We will always have maturity and immaturity in both.

      Praying for you, beloved. It’s about what it has always been about – our relationship with Jesus Christ. Will we grow in that? Will we ask Him for help in doing so? Will we obey…

      Tough things, but relationship with the Father takes effort for us.

      Love to you, hang in there beautiful!!
      Nina

    • Tiffanie – That sounds like a really tough place to be in marriage. 🙁 I have a friend who has been in a similar situation in the past few years and I have spent a lot of time in prayer on how to help her. Continuously God has led me to verses about love. Quite honestly, I got so frustrated because I wanted to be able to say some really harsh things (he’s such a jerk, he’s not worthy of you, just leave) but Holy Spirit would lead me to 1 Corinthians 13, Galatians 5. So I would call my friend, and I would love her as Christ has loved me and I would encourage her to only seek to please God. About 5 months ago, after a VERY difficult situation, my friend’s husband went through a dramatic change. He is seeking Christ and more than that he is loving his wife and family. She’s still skeptical (me too!) but she has learned to live for the love of Christ – what she gets from her husband is a generous bonus. I’m not saying that this happens for everyone, or that your husband will change but I tell you her story because it CAN happen, and I’m witnessing the miracle. My friend “heard” the advice here and she tried the “respect thing” and she tried confronting her husband and she beat herself up a lot and blamed herself for living with it for so long – but somewhere in the last couple of years she surrendered her will to Christ. She accepted His plan for her life, she was living at peace long before her husband changed and I love that about her!! It sounds like you are on a similar path – good for you. 🙂

      I did a quick search and I believe this link will take you to the first part of a 2 part blog that Nina referred to above….. http://ninaroesner.com/2013/01/07/when-he-sins-against-you/

      • Thank you Katy for sharing about your friend who came back to Christ. I needed to hear that. It has been so long for me that I really do fel that I have given up hope at times. I do long for the day that my husband will regain his Faith in God and start loving me again. I was having my yearly pity party yesterday because it was our 19th wedding anniversary. He doesn’t acknowledge them anymore because he says it is nothing to celebrate. I was crying to God when I realized I am not the only one my husband is hurting. He is hurting God too because he has abandoned his relationship with Him too. So God and I are in this together, so I am not alone. Needless to say I am over the dreaded hump day for another year. I will give all that I have to take my focus off of how my husband is treating me and more on how I am treating him and God.

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