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    Think Before You Speak

    Cheung was upset with his wife for failing to check the directions to the famous restaurant where they hoped to dine. The family had planned to round out their holiday in Japan with a scrumptious meal before catching the flight home. Now they were running late and would have to miss that meal. Frustrated, Cheung criticized his wife for her poor planning.

    Later Cheung regretted his words. He had been too harsh, plus he realized that he had failed to thank his wife for the other seven days of great planning.

    Many of us may identify with Cheung. We are tempted to…

    Stinging Words

    Many years ago, a relative repeatedly attacked my faith in Jesus. His words and criticism—bathed in cynicism—deeply hurt me. Although he passed away more than a decade ago, and I’ve forgiven him, there are still times I feel as if this relative is standing next to me—belittling me for following Jesus.

    Painful Words

    My daughter and I were savoring a school musical performance we’d just witnessed while walking to our car. Our happiness came to a screeching halt, however, as we watched a man approach a waiting vehicle and denigrate the driver for failing to pull forward far enough into the student loading zone. The diatribe was brief, but painful, particularly because it took place in the context of Christian community.

    Reckless Words

    I had been driving for almost half an hour when my daughter suddenly wailed from the backseat. When I asked, “What happened?” she said her brother had grabbed her arm. He claimed he had grabbed her arm because she had pinched him. She said she pinched him because he had said something mean.

    Unfortunately, this pattern, which is common between children, can show up in adult relationships too. One person offends another, and the hurt person shoots back a verbal blow. The original offender retaliates with another insult. Before long, anger and cruel words have damaged the relationship.

    The Bible says that…

    ignoring discouraging words

    Many people are familiar with the book Gone with the Wind, and even more have viewed the movie adaptation that was filmed in 1939 starring famous Hollywood actor Clark Gable. But what many people don’t realize is that the novel written by Margaret Mitchell was rejected 38 times by publishers before finally being accepted. It went on to sell 30 million copies. What if Margaret Mitchell had given up after her 38th rejection, as most of us probably would have done?

    Liberation from abuse by an all-powerful God–Marie’s Story

    If you, or a loved one, have suffered from an abusive relationship, you know the self-doubt it brings. Physical, verbal, and emotional abuse had affected Marie’s self-esteem so much, she actually believed she deserved it. Discover how God liberated Marie’s heart and gave her a new identity in Jesus Christ.

    A Deadly Weapon

    Boxing legend Muhammad Ali used several ring tactics to defeat his opponents; one tactic was taunting. In his fight with George Foreman in 1974, Ali taunted Foreman, “Hit harder! Show me something, George. That don’t hurt. I thought you were supposed to be bad.” Fuming, Foreman punched away furiously, wasting his energy and weakening his confidence.

    A War Of Words

    On July 28, 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia in response to the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie. Within 90 days, other European countries had taken sides to honor their military alliances and pursue their own ambitions. A single event escalated into World War I, one of the most destructive military conflicts of modern time.

    Lateral Violence

    An intriguing article in Michigan Nurse magazine called attention to “nursing’s dirty little secret”—the incivility and verbal abuse that occurs among some nurses. This peer-level bullying (also known as lateral violence) takes the form of back-stabbing, innuendo, infighting, sabotage, verbal affronts, failure to respect privacy, and others.

    When Love Hurts: Understanding and Healing Domestic Abuse, When Abuse is Worse than Divorce, Part I

    When a bride takes her vows, she doesn’t expect violence to mark her marriage. But sadly, for some that is the case. It’s probable that you know someone who is the victim of verbal or physical abuse: a neighbor, a daughter, a sister, or a friend. This powerful 4-part series pulls back the curtain on the dark secret of abuse and offers hope and help to those caught in its painful cycle.

    Runtime: 26 minutes

    When Words Hurt

    The destructive power of words can be a crushing force in a marriage—or in any relationship. In this booklet, counselor Jeff Olson helps you get a better understanding of the way words can be used as an instrument of building up or a weapon of tearing down. Find out how you can overcome the pain of verbal abuse and diffuse conflict in your relationship as you explore the power of words between husbands and wives.

    Mouth Guard

    I was walking in a subway in Minsk, Belarus, with my friend Yuliya and her daughter Anastasia when I suddenly fell face first onto the dirty concrete floor. I don’t remember the fall, but I do remember suddenly having a mouth filled with sand, gravel, and grit. Ugh! I couldn’t get that stuff out of my mouth quickly enough!

    Whispering Gallery

    London’s domed St. Paul’s Cathedral has an interesting architectural phenomenon called the “whispering gallery.” One Web site explains it this way: “The name comes from the fact that a person who whispers facing the wall on one side can be clearly heard on the other, since the sound is carried perfectly around the vast curve of the Dome.”