At the center of abusive relationships are POWER and CONTROL. Abusive people, especially abusive men, have a need, often without their conscious awareness, to be in control. When men try to control women, they resort to using power. They use power in these eight categories:
1. Intimidation - making your wife afraid of you
2. Emotional abuse - making your wife feel bad about herself
3. Isolation - limiting your wife's involvement with others
4. Minimizing, denying, blaming - not taking your wife's concerns seriously
5. Children - using your children to relay messages
6. Male privilege - acting like "master of the castle"
7. Economic abuse - making all the financial decisions
8. Coercion and threats - making threats
You may not be physically violent to your wife, but I invite you to consider the subtle ways in which you use power to control her. If you ask, God's Holy Spirit will reveal to you where your are doing so. Remember God doesn't use force.
What does the Bible say about power and control?
- God has always had power & authority
- All power and authority is given to Jesus
- God's power is best displayed when we are weak
- As Christians, we have authority to overcome all the power of the enemy
- God's divine power has given us everything we need for holiness
- Salvation, glory and power belong to God
- Self-control, not the control of others, is a sign of a fruitful Christian
How do you compare to what the Bible says about power and control?
Do you have a marriage that displays God's power or your own power?
Do you try to control others or do you exhibit self-control?