October 18, 2015

The Kindness of our Words

Today I reflect on the many observances we have throughout the year, and especially the month of October.  This month strives to bring about awareness surrounding domestic violence.  This issue is one I have spoken about, written about, educated on and for many years advocated on behalf of those affected by this type of violence. 

So many times I have witnessed the destruction of domestic violence upon victims, survivors, family and friends.  Every day I see a report about physical, verbal, emotional and financial abuse; someone exuding power over another for some gain.  Domestic violence is about power and control and even though it’s all over the news and on social media on a regular basis, some still are not aware of its impact.

A lot of times, domestic violence comes to everyone’s attention when there is physical abuse; obvious scratches and bruises, but I want to shed a little light on a part of domestic violence that sometimes gets overlooked.  I want to talk about verbal abuse.

In my book, I talk about how words can hurt and cause emotional damage not seen by the naked eye.  Verbal abuse is when someone uses their words to hurt and many times comes just before the physical abuse in a relationship.  Verbal abuse is harassing, accusing, blaming, put downs, using foul language, yelling, screaming, threats, and trying to demean the other person. 

Words do hurt.  It’s like someone is using their words as daggers to penetrate your mind and soul, chipping away at your very being, trying to bring you down.  This person is a bully and a coward.  One thing we know for sure is this person is not more sophisticated than you are or more intelligent than you are or more savvy than you are; they are just broken…trying to break you. 

Just like the physical aspect of domestic violence, the verbal abuse is not limited to a certain race, gender, or age and certainly doesn’t discriminate in that the victim or perpetrator can be a teacher, housekeeper, lawyer or PhD.  It’s all about power and control and once the power is taken from the abuser, or so they feel, they will do whatever is necessary to keep you under their demand, by whatever means they feel will do the job.

My encouragement for today is for us all to embrace that we as women are fearfully and wonderfully made in the eyes of God and no one has the right to demean or degrade us.  We are His workmanship, His precious children, and He said back when we were created, that “it is good”.  Sometimes it may be difficult to feel that love and encouragement and empowerment in the midst of the struggle, but know that you are dearly loved. 

The kindness and gentleness of our words is something that is so important and speaks to our character.  We all know someone who acts one way in public and another behind closed doors, but God sees and hears all.  We must embrace love and concern for those walking this long and sometimes lonely road; we must show the love of Christ. 

My prayer is that I can help just one woman reading this today realize that “you are wonderful and amazing”.

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