Have you experienced an unhealthy dynamic between you and someone close to you? Many people fail to recognise that they are in an abusive relationship because abuse has been “their normal” for so long. If you look closely, you can evaluate the “health” of any relationship by seeing the type of fruit it produces – whether the fruit is good or bad. Jesus said, “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them” (Matthew 7:18–20).
It might help you to realistically evaluate a relationship close to you. The results or fruit of a relationship can tell what kind of relation it is – “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance” (Luke 3:8).
Look at the Results of a Verbal and Emotionally Abusive Relationship and evaluate if either you or the other person(s) in your relationship has these characteristics:
- Having a sharp, biting tongue that often hurts the heart.
- Being so overly-controlling that the identity of another seems to be destroyed.
- Displaying disdain or animosity toward another person.
- Starting arguments that result in tension and strife.
- Viewing others as rivals, while possessively wanting to exclude them.
- Displaying out-of-control anger.
- Seeking to satisfy personal desires with little or no regard for the desires of another.
- Frequently voicing disagreements and disapproval.
- Causing splits between others instead of seeking unit
“If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other … The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions.” (Galatians 5:15, 19–20)