When Verbal Abuse is Necessary


“The Spirit of the Lord spoke through me; his word was on my tongue (2 Samuel 23:2). 


When Leslie asked if I would meet her for coffee I could tell something wasn’t right. Sensing her desperation, I cleared my schedule.


“My mother is driving me crazy,” Leslie began. She took a cautious sip, testing the temperature of her cappuccino. Her manicured nails glistened against the ceramic mug. “She insists that we celebrate Father’s Day this year at my sister’s house, again.”


“What’s wrong with your sister’s house?” I inquired.


“I want to have it at my house. We had dinner at Debbie’s house last year for Father’s Day. Not to mention Thanksgiving and Easter. Mom claims it’s more convenient for everyone, but I know better. That’s just her way of getting even. But it’s my turn to host the next family gathering. Plus I’d really like everyone to see my kitchen renovation. I made sure the contractor would finish by June.”


Leslie paused to stir her coffee. “I’m getting sick of how perfect everyone thinks Debbie is. Perfect husband, perfect children, perfect careers. If Mom has Father’s Day there, I promise, I won’t go. My family and I will plan a little trip out of town.”


Praying for wisdom, the Lord prodded me with a scripture in Psalms 139:

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made, your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.


What does this verse have to do with Leslie’s situation? I protested in silence to the Lord.


You’ll see, the Lord whispered to my heart.


I squirmed in my chair for a moment while I gathered my nerves. Taking a deep breath, I shared the passage with Leslie.


At once, tears welled up in her eyes giving evidence that the Holy Spirit had hit the target. “It’s odd that you would mention that scripture.”


“Why’s that?” I inquired trying to hide my surprise.


“It’s Ashley.” Leslie paused to find a tissue in her purse. “I got pregnant with her when I was in high school. My parents were mortified and our relationship’s never been the same since. They were horrible to me. It was like I was the family reject. I know Debbie was sleeping with her boyfriend, too, but I was the one that shamed the family. They even tried to convince me to get an abortion. I don’t think I can ever forgive them for that.”


Leslie waited for the waitress to put our desserts on the table before she continued.


“It wasn’t so much about my pregnancy. It was the fact that my sin was so evident and caused their ‘perfect-family image’ to be shattered. If I had an abortion, everything would still be peachy keen as far as they were concerned.”


Leslie took her fork and pushed the scattered graham cracker crumbs to a neat pile on her plate and thought for a moment. “But if that scripture says that I am fearfully and wonderfully made, then that means so is Ashley…even though she was born out of wedlock.”


The rejection seemed to pour out of Leslie through her streaming tears. Still too concerned about being in public, she concealed as many as she could, saving the rest for when she could find privacy.


The next time I saw Leslie, she looked like a different person. “After we had coffee the other day, the Lord set me free from anger,” she said. “I don’t think I have ever cried so much in my entire life. The scripture you shared with me pierced me.”


“And to think I almost didn’t share it with you,” I mused. “The Bible talks about how our hearts are deceitful above all things. Often, we don’t even know the cause of our emotions, we just feel the surface pain. But God knew the root of your anger. That’s why he gave you those verses in Psalms. They’re your arrows.”


“Arrows? What do you mean?”


“They’re your weapons to use against the enemy when he tries to bring rejection to you again. Whenever he lies to you and tries to tell you that you’re not worthy, you need to remind him that you are fearfully and wonderfully made.”


Satan still tries to mess with Leslie, but his plan is no longer effective. When thoughts of rejection threaten to defeat her, she gets verbally abusive with the devil, shooting scriptures at him like arrows. She also implemented a few other effective strategies. She forgave her parents and reconciled with her family. Now she volunteers in a pregnancy crisis center to help other girls overcome the rejection they face. And guess what scriptures she shares with them?


Prayer:  Dear Lord, I pray I never forget the power of Your word and its ability to defeat the enemy. Thank you for the power it has to change my life. Please search my heart and reveal to me the truth about my issues. Give me your words of truth to speak life to bring healing and wholeness to my mind, will and emotions. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Scriptures to Ponder:

  • Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things (Philippians 4:8).
  • The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. John 6:63
  • The entrance and unfolding of Your words give light; their unfolding gives understanding (discernment and comprehension) to the simple  (Psalm 119:130).
  • For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12).
  • The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit (Proverbs 18:21).

Questions to Ponder:

  1. According to these scriptures, how powerful is the word of God?
  2. How do the words that we speak and the thoughts that we think affect our life?
  3. A quiver is a receptacle for holding arrows. The arrows in an archer’s quiver need to be accessible so that the archer shooting a bow can quickly extract an arrow. What are some of your ‘scripture arrows’ in your quiver?
  4. How can we use scriptures as weapons like arrows?
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14 Responses to When Verbal Abuse is Necessary

  1. Debbie Myers at #

    Wow! I can’t begin to describe how that ministered to me. God’s word is powerful and true. That Psalm reminded me that I am a child of God….wonderful made. The enemy has bombarded me with negative thoughts about myself lately, and I will use the word of God to combat the enemy, as I am above and not beneath, I am blessed going in and coming out……….Great message!

  2. Carol Wright at #

    Roots of rejection are difficult to overcome on our own. But when the Holy Spirit brings light and truth to those roots of rejection and bitterness….then healing comes. Your story was a great example of how the Holy Spirit works (gently prompting you to repeat a specific scripture…gently taking that powerful truth and convicting your friend that there needed to be forgiveness… gently yet miraculously renewing minds… and turning the selfish “victim’s attitude” into an attitude of service and love. God is good…. all the time. Thanks for the reminder that we need to bravely speak what the Holy Spirit is whispering to us…. Carol

  3. Julia at #

    Ah, Christy, that was beautiful! I have some girlfriends who are in the process of building a beautiful Pregnancy center, and I can just see that verse on their wall. I am forwarding you on to them. I know they will love this story! I am so thankful for you and your many beautiful thoughts and stories. SMOOCHES for your face! XOXO

  4. Barbara Spillman at #

    beautiful story Christy. I also love the other scriptures to ponder in John 6, His Words are spirit and life, and in Ps.119,
    His Words give light. God’s spoken words to us make all the difference. The enemy is constantly warring with my spirit attacking me with thoughts of inadequacy, inferiority, doubt and fear. But when I meditate on God’s Word to me, He brings me to a higher level, where I feel good about who He made me, a unique creation of His with special talents and abilities, and I see myself in a totally different light. I appreciate this story today because I have been experiencing some ongoing rejection in my husband’s family that has had a negative effect on my self image. thanks for the reminder that in God’s eyes I am “fearfully and wonderfully made”, and that I don’t have anything to feel bad about or be ashamed of.
    God did direct you to write this story. thanks for listening to His voice in your writing. You are precious!

  5. Marta Ruffin at #

    I am learning in my senior years just how important the words that come out of my mouth are. Prov 18:21 lets us know that the tongue has the power of life and death, We can either speak life & blessings into our situations, are we can curse & make it worse. Eccl 3:7 lets us know that there is a time to keep silent & a time to speak. My prayer now is that if I can’t say the right thing, that I say nothing. James 3:5 -6 Lets us know that the tongue is a small part of the body. even though, small, likens it to a spark that can burn up a whole forest. Our very own savior, Jesus, used the words “it is written”(the bible), which, is our shield, protection & truth, to defeat the devil in the wilderness. Now, when I mess up, my husband, my children or grand babies, I know that it’s not the end. I use my tongue to speak love, joy, peace & forgiveness over & into the situation & press forward.

    Love yah Girl!!!!!!!

  6. Katie at #

    Love the thought of arrows as verbal abuse towards Satan! Thanks for the insightful word!

  7. Christy thank you for sharing The Truth that speaks to our souls. May God also continue to bless you His BELOVED daughter.

    • Elizabeth Munoz at #

      Wow !! That really impacted me. My marriage is like a roller coaster right now and I needed some positivity. I am in doubt and in spiritual battle deciding whether to leave my hubby due to his addiction or to stay and endure praying for the Lord to help him get sober. Thank u so much for this. Definitely bookmarking these scriptures.

  8. Cher at #

    I read your post, but it was Philippians 4:8 that brought the tears. My thoughts drag me down, looking back like Lot’s wife. I am so blessed—yet guilt attacks when I consider past failures., lifetime of regrets.

    • Christy Johnson at #

      Cher, I’m so glad I put the extra scriptures in. I used to do that for all of my posts and I really like that format. I’m so glad it ministered to you!

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