Have you ever mused over an insect caught in a spider’s web? Even the slightest of movement by the insect in attempt to escape from its prey would actually alert the spider by the vibrations of the threads. The web is well knitted… and once caught, the insect is well caught!
Well, I just went and read up on spider webs (where-else but on Wikipedia)… and was rather fascinated by it. Apparently the spider produces silk threads (imagine the ‘luxury’ of being trapped on a ‘silk’ web!! hehehe… pardon my dry humour here!) and different types at that. One type of the thread it produces and uses for the web, is sticky silk so that it traps the insect. “After a time the silk will lose its stickiness and thus become inefficient at capturing prey”. Hmmmm… interesting!
I really can’t help use this scenario as an analogy to abusive relationships. How often have you known of, or personally experienced “charming” guys only to find out later that the “silk” that they offer is actually a trap to control?
(Ok guys, as usual I’m referring to guys from a female perspective – and I do admit and agree, it happens the other way around too… So no hard feelings – it’s a matter of making the writing easier!!! And girls, please remember that it could very well be you doing this, handing out silk to trap the prey and not the other way around… so let’s have an open mind and be realistic!!).
The power & control mechanism is a rather significant one. Often people would assume that someone who is abusive is under the influence of alcohol. However, in reality that is not necessarily the case. A potential abuser is one who finds his self worth by keeping another under his control, via dominating. He first begins to tell his girlfriend what to wear and what not to wear. Once she starts pleasing him by conforming to his ‘wishes’ (after all, a woman has to please her man, right?!!!!), he takes it to the next step… it would be about her friends…. One by one he will find so much of fault with all her friends and she is convinced that he cares about her and is protecting her. In fact she wonders why didn’t realise how ‘bad’ her friends were. Once she begins to cut them off, he widens his web of control by going onto her family. Her career, her studies, where she can go, who she can talk to … ultimately her whole life is controlled by him and now he is happy as there will be no one to influence her out of his web. She is caught with the luring silk threads… shiny and attractive and expensive. And she stays put.
The control sooner than later becomes verbal abuse (calling of names or discouraging or belittling), economic abuse (holding back on finances or even good things) and progresses onto violence. The cycle of power and control kicks in. After a period of control, the abuser begins to sweet talk her, buy her flowers, tell her how much he loves her and can’t be without her… he does everything that she likes… This is typically called the honeymoon stage. He knows that the pain he has caused her would have caused her to be determined to walk away. However when the woman sees his honeymoon approach, she convinces her self that he has now changed, for the better. He also reassures her that he will not repeat his behaviour. As the honeymoon stage begins to wear off, the tension stage kicks in. It’s not honeymoon anymore nor is it violence… but it’s understood that the latter would be around the corner… And sure does it make its grand arrival!
For a person caught up in power and control, his worth is based on keeping someone under his rule and reign. He gets his self esteem that way… and thus will do everything to keep the victim in his power. The spider weaves his web skilfully and every attempt of hers to escape will only alert him through the vibrations of the silky threads.
No matter what the fault or wrongdoings of a partner, no one deserves violence. God told Noah He was going to put an end to the people as they (along with marrying daughters of men) were filled with violence.
“The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates” – Psalm 11:5
God also makes it clear that he hates a man covering himself with violence (Malachi 2:16). A godly man, a man after God’s own heart will realise that the woman is a comparable helper, not lower, not above… and that his love towards his partner should mirror the love that Christ has for His Body (Ephesians 5:28). In fact Paul elaborates clearly how a husband should be towards his wife. Love doesn’t control, it isn’t self seeking. Sincere love accepts the other person the way he or she is. In fact, a man who loves God will celebrate his partner the way she is, knowing that God has wired her uniquely… He will not try to quench her personality but rather encourage her to grow in the Lord. Humility is not being walked over or conforming to another. Quite the reverse, humility is recognising one’s ability but honouring the fact that what we know is nothing compared to God’s wisdom… it is accepting that God’s wisdom is way better than ours and thus being led by the Spirit is way more rewarding that being led by the flesh.
Does your partner demonstrate potential to be the biblical husband? Is he dominating or is he loving?
For those of you in abusive relationships, do you deem yourselves so worthless to be the punching bag? Do you not realise how precious you are? Do you not know that you are created in the image of God? Is that to be taken lightly? Do you not know that those of you who believe are royal priesthood? Do you not love your partners that you want them set free from their behavioural issues? Staying with them is like being a bottle of alcohol to an alcoholic. Stepping away is the best thing that you can do. Violence is against the law… and God does ask of us to stand up for righteousness and to stand against oppression. The abusive behaviour always gets worse unless you love the person enough to step away and report to authorities in the case of violence. Both the abuser and the victim need counselling as being in these positions could indicate a traumatic childhood experienced – by both!! Spiritual healing and deliverance also goes a long way.
God will protect!
Rescue me, O LORD, from evil men; protect me from men of violence – Psalm 140:1
And as for those who are violent (and trust me, sooner than later the controller becomes violent), the Bible refers to them as ‘wicked’. The consequences….
The trouble he causes recoils on himself; his violence comes down on his own head – Psalm 7:16
If you are in an abusive relationship – whichever stage it may be at… get help and turn to God! Ensure there are a few people who can hold you accountable in love to be able to end it…
On the other hand, if you are the abuser, yes you are hurting too and you haven’t dealt with a number of your hurts. Yet that doesn’t give you the chance to take it out on others. As an adult you are responsible for your actions as God is there with His arms open for you and violence is a sign of wickedness. Take the right course of action, repent and do whatever it takes to make a U-turn.
God is looking for contrite hearts and humble hearts… and He will never let anyone down who are truly seeking Him with all their heart, soul, mind and strength! No silky sticky web is a match for our Almighty God…. the Supreme Authority!!