The Gospels record very few words from our Blessed Mother -- yet those she spoke embrace some of the deepest spiritual truths and lessons of our Catholic faith. Think of Mary's fiat (Luke 1:34,38), the inspired and gorgeously-poetic Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55), and ...
“Do whatever He tells you.”
Doing whatever Jesus tells us is to surrender—in complete trust—to God’s will. This entails several things, each progressively layering upon the other.
In this article, I'm presenting a different approach. I'm going to imaginatively take you back in time in order to help you realize your present situation -- and how to release the trauma bonds that may be tying to you to your abuser.
If you don't know what a trauma bond is, read on. If you do know about trauma bonds, but need more information or support, read on. Either way, please join me on this journey back to the year 1912. We're on board the glorious and gleaming new ship, the Titanic ...
Spiritual Abuse: Ephesians 5, Coercive Control, and the Domineering Personality
It's about time I covered a difficult topic: spiritual abuse.
Spiritual abuse can come in many forms, but in this article I want to discuss the abuse of Sacred Scripture and how this is a violation not only against the target, but against God Himself.
One of the most popular verses an abusive personality uses to "prove" his superiority over his mate is Ephesians 5:22: "Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord."
Does this verse really mean that woman should just "shut up and put up," and do whatever her husband says? He's the king of the household, and what he says goes? Uh, hardly. If any man quotes this verse to justify his controlling behavior, consider that a gigantic red flag. The Catholic Church teaches that a true marriage is one of mutual self-giving, not power-over and abrasive authority.
Ephesians 5:22 is an abused and misinterpreted verse.
How to tell if his change is real, or if it's another manipulation.
How can you tell if your relationship might possibly, by some sort of miracle, be on the mend? If your manipulative and abusive partner has suddenly turned a new corner and is claiming that he'll change his ways, how can you trust what he's saying to you?
Well ... You can’t.
Until you can.
I understand that’s not at all helpful—but at the same time, it’s the truth.
I could end this article right here—after all, what more is there to say? I can’t provide you with a definite, concrete answer to this dilemma, especially since everyone’s situation is different—and everyone’s partner is different. However, I can at least provide solid guidelines that will help you discern true change from more manipulation.
I'm Jenny duBay, a domestic abuse survivor and now advocate. My degree is in Christian theology with a concentration on spiritual direction, and my vocational emphasis is on helping those who have suffered from domestic abuse to heal and reclaim their true selves.