Luke 17:3 Ministries Inc
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For Adult Daughters of Controlling or Abusive Birth-Families
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AUGUST 2005 Newsletter

LUKE 17:3 Ministries

for adult daughters

of controlling or abusive birth-families

A sisterhood for those who seek support in developing self-esteem, setting boundaries and limits, forgiveness, Godly confrontation, recognizing and cutting ties with reprobates, healing, and rejoicing in the peace and love of

 the Lord, our Father

take heed to yourselves.  If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him……..Luke 17:3

 

VOLUME 3,  ISSUE 3                                                                                                                           AUGUST 2005

Luke 17: 3 is the scripture often misquoted, usually by an abuser or his enabler, when he tells you that the Bible says “Forgive and Forget”, or that you must forgive him because you  are a Christian.  However, Jesus is very specific when he tells us to rebuke the sinner, and if he repents, to forgive him.  Have you rebuked your abuser, and has he or she repented?

THE ONLY FORM OF ABUSE STILL CONDONED BY SOCIETY.  THE ONLY ABUSE IN WHICH THE VICTIM IS CRITICIZED OR ABANDONED FOR TRYING TO PROTECT HERSELF. CHILD ABUSE THAT DIDN’T END WHEN ADULTHOOD BEGAN…THE CONTINUING ABUSE OF GROWN CHILDREN BY THEIR PARENTS.

If you have ever experienced Adult Child Abuse by a parent, sibling, or other relative, We Welcome You!

Our newsletter is sent to you free-of-charge, as the Lord continually provides. Do you know someone who would like to be on our mailing list? 

If so, please contact:

Rev. Renee Pittelli

Luke 17:3 Ministries, Inc.

P.O. Box 684

Chestertown, NY  12817

or E-mail us at:

Luke 173@hotmail.com

VISIT OUR NEW WEBSITE AT:

www.luke173ministries.org

Please ask about our Luke 17:3 Ministry in Tennessee, founded by Rev. Denise Rossignol.

We exalt thee, Jesus!

 

FAMILY JEALOUSY-

THE SHAMEFUL SECRET BEHIND ABUSE AND BETRAYAL

Part 1

By Rev. Renee Pittelli

 

                Many, if not all, cases of Birth-family abuse can be traced back to jealousy or envy in the abuser’s heart toward the victim.  It is very painful to be the target of jealousy from someone we love.  We are often blindsided by it because it is the last thing we would expect from a family member, however it is much more common than you would think.  Often, the victim has done nothing to provoke an attack or a betrayal, and is shocked when it happens.  Many times, there will be no explanation, or the act of abuse or betrayal will be way out of proportion to whatever the victim might have done that the abuser claims angered him.  An offender may decide to judge her victim for something that has nothing to do with her.  Instead of minding her own business, she uses a decision the victim has made in her own life, perhaps to get married, or move away, as an excuse to become angry

at the victim and “punish” her. 

                It doesn’t make sense to anyone else except the offender.  It’s almost as if she was waiting all along for any excuse, no matter how lame, to hurt her unsuspecting relative.

(Continued on Page 2….)

GOD’S WORD

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal…1 Corinthians 13:1

“This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God:  Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God.  This is the spirit of the antichrist which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.  You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater that the one who is in the world.  They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them.  We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us.  This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood….1 John 4: 2-6

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously….2 Corinthians 9:6

 

 

As soon as the victim does anything she “disapproves” of, the abuser jumps on the opportunity to attack the victim and tell anyone who will listen how terrible the victim is.  She may start an unprovoked fight with the victim because of her resentments.  She may sabotage or undermine the victim.  Or she may go to the extreme of cutting the victim out of her life because her own feelings of inferiority have  made her uncomfortable around the victim all along, and now she finally has an excuse not to be in the victim’s presence any longer.

                People who care about and love each other make every effort to talk things out and hold their relationship together.   They may give each other advice out of concern for one another, but they do not force their opinions, wants, or needs on each other.  They do not judge, “punish”, or blackmail each other.  If one makes a decision in her own life that the other is not completely happy with, an unselfish, loving relative  puts her own feelings second, wants what’s best for her loved one, and shows support and encouragement. An extreme reaction that doesn’t make sense and is all out of proportion to whatever “offense” the victim supposedly committed is the clue that jealousy, envy, and resentment are at work behind the scenes.

                Another tell-tale sign is a relative who hurts you and then “apologizes” by saying something along the lines of “we’ve BOTH hurt each other” or “we BOTH  need to forgive each other”, when YOU haven’t done anything  hurtful to her at all.  When you ask her to be specific about what you have done that requires her forgiveness, she will be unable to give you any examples.  She will try to change the subject, or the most you will get is some vague babbling.  She will have nothing to say because there IS nothing to say- you have done nothing wrong. 

                Although you have not hurt her, she has FELT HURT by you all along anyway, simply because she envies you for some reason you are not aware of. She is resentful of you for inadvertently making her feel bad, inferior, or upset, and uses her resentment to justify attacking you.  She is making you responsible for her feelings of jealousy.  In her mind, your “offense”  of just living your life is just as bad as her offense of betraying or abusing you outright, and she reveals this in a “Freudian slip” by telling you she has “things” she needs to forgive you for, too.  But when you ask for clarification, she will be unable to admit her jealousy, sometimes even to herself, and so will have nothing specific to accuse you of.

                Sibling rivalry is well-known, has been written about extensively, and is almost expected.  There is often an outright or unspoken competition between siblings, but many times this competition is very one-sided.  Sometimes the signs are outrageously blatant, such as an adult sibling copying everything you do.  Some women find their sister copying everything from a hairstyle or decorating color to planning a wedding within a few weeks of their own, or giving her baby the same name her sister chose for her baby.   I know of more than one case where, for years, one sister told everyone in the family that she loved a particular name and intended to give it to her baby, only to have her sister give birth FIRST and use the name she had chosen before she could.

                Many times one sibling isn’t even aware that there is a competition.  It often comes as a surprise to the sibling who is just going about her life that her sister or brother may be envious or jealous.  The signs may be hard to read because it is not expected, but a clue often comes in an off-hand remark.

                When, after seven years of planning, saving up, and making do with a stove that only had two working burners, I remodeled my kitchen in a “country kitchen” style, the only thing my birth-sister had to say, with a shrug,  when she saw it was, “ I like modern.” Not “Oh, how nice”, or “Congratulations”, or “I’m so happy for you- I know you waited so long.” Just a shrug and a comment on how it wasn’t her taste. Why should it be?- it wasn’t  her kitchen!  But just because something is not what you would have chosen for yourself doesn’t mean you can’t compliment it anyway.  This was just one clue I had to the fact that she was envious, but I didn’t fully realize that until I was able to put it together with a few other clues.

                A clue that should have been obvious to me, but wasn’t at the time, was our phone calls.  First off, every one of them was initiated by me.  She never called me for any reason.  Whenever she talked to my mother, she would just tell her to say hi to me.  That was her idea of carrying on a relationship with her sister.   And every conversation we did have was all about her.  She could talk nonstop for two hours about her dog or about her gym workouts and never once ask about my life.  She never asked how my children- her nephews- were, how my husband was, or how my job was going.  If I brought up anything going on in my life, she would immediately change the subject and go back to talking about herself.  She was not the least bit interested in anything I was doing- she just did not want to hear it- it was totally 100% all about her!  I now realize that hearing about anything in my life was probably just too much for her to take, and triggered envy and jealousy that she didn’t want to deal with. 

                When I gave birth to my first child, my birth-sister, who always made a big point to me of not wanting children to tie her down and infringe on her career, traveling, lifestyle, etc., did not visit me or the baby in the hospital.  She did not come and help out, like other aunts might have.  She finally met her new nephew for the first time when he was five months old and she happened to be in town for her job.  Her jealousy was even more obvious when I gave birth to my second son.  He was born on New Year’s Eve, and she did not come to see him until the following Christmas Eve, when she was in town for the holidays anyway, and he was almost a year old! She only worked a few days a month, lived a few hours away by car, and 45 minutes by plane- and because she was a flight attendant, she flew for free and had plenty of time off! But still no happy, excited Auntie showed up! 

                Several years later, after she had a miscarriage, I called to express my sympathies.  Her reaction was to make light of it and repeat that she did not want children and she was perfectly okay with what had happened.  It seemed a little strange, but I felt that further expressions of sympathy would not be appreciated- and I didn’t want to make her feel bad if she really was okay.  After her second miscarriage, even my mother told me that it was just as well because my birth-sister did not want children.  I didn’t realize then how odd it was that a woman in her mid-30s who didn’t want children would have a second “accidental” pregnancy.  I just trusted my mother and sister to tell me the truth because it never occurred to me that this was something you would need to lie about. 

                It was only many years later that I learned from a neighbor that my mother had told her my birth-sister was devastated by losing her pregnancies.  I was shocked and hurt.  My sister and my mother had conspired to prevent me from  offering  any comfort.  I was lied to by both of them. 

                I could not ask my mother about this because she had already died.  To this day I do not know why my birth-sister would not want me to know she was upset by her miscarriages.  She did not want me to comfort her.  She did not want to appear vulnerable to me.  She did not even want me to know her true feelings.

                Unfortunately this lack of emotional connection on her part was the hallmark of our relationship for all of our lives and is the reason that I do not consider her a real “sister”.  It’s no big deal that we are no longer in each other’s lives, because we never really were anyway.  I can’t miss what I never had, and God has blessed me with a “real” sister who has more than filled the void.  I now understand that my birth-sister never revealed herself to me, or showed any interest in my life because of her overwhelming feelings of jealousy.  It was as if she didn’t want to “give me the satisfaction” of knowing she cared.

                But hiding her reaction to her lost pregnancies from me, and asking my mother to lie as well, when put together with her complete lack of interest in her little nephews, points to an envious heart.    In her resentment, she could not be happy for me, because I had been blessed with children.  Her reaction was to point out all the negatives to having children and emphasize how great her life was without all that responsibility.  It was a textbook case of “sour grapes”.

                And even more incredibly, for years, several of my friends, who really didn’t even know my birth-sister, had been telling me that she was jealous because I had children and she didn’t- and I had been insisting there was no way she was jealous because of her lifelong emphasis on not wanting kids.  Remember the old Shakespearean saying- “Methinks the lady doth protest too much”?  Well, even though it was right in front of me, I believed her denial and never saw it as a sign that she really DID want children. It’s really weird how the signs can be so obvious to others, but you miss them because you are too close to the situation, or you just take the person you love at face value and don’t question the truth of what they are telling you even though everyone else can see that they are lying.

                Another time, my b.s. (birth-sister)  and her husband, who was from England and had never been to New York City, came to town Christmas week, and my husband and I took them to see the sights.  The city was beautiful with all its holiday decorations and hustle-and-bustle.  We saw the tree at Rockefeller Center, the Empire State Building, the Plaza Hotel, Central Park, Trump Tower, and the store window displays at Macy’s, Lord  & Taylor’s, etc.  My brother-in-law loved it, and always had something nice to say.  But my birth-sister did not compliment anything.  In fact, she didn’t even look like she was enjoying herself.  She never smiled and wore a pinched, strained frown the whole time. 

                No matter what display we looked at, she remarked that she had seen better somewhere in Europe. As a flight attendant, she traveled quite a bit, and I usually didn’t, so this apparently became an area in which she could feel superior.  When I commented that I had just seen an article about real estate values in Manhattan, she insisted the real estate in her smaller and less well-known city was more valuable than Central Park South- even this had become some kind of a contest.  No matter what comment she had, it was made through clenched teeth and with a dead-serious, angry expression.  It was downright scary, but somehow this little jaunt had turned into a life-or-death competition. 

                Finally, even my brother-in-law had had enough.  We were in the lobby of the Plaza Hotel, admiring their gorgeous life-sized nativity when my b.s. commented that there was a much nicer one in Paris.  Her husband lost his patience and told her to knock it off, that the one we were looking at was beautiful and much nicer.  From that point on she grudgingly kept her negative remarks to herself.

                My husband and I, who could have gone to the city anytime we wanted to, went during the most crowded, stressful time of the year, just to treat her and her husband.  We paid for their lunch and train fare and took a day out of our busy holidays.  It is interesting to note that although my brother-in-law expressed his appreciation, not one word of thanks was ever spoken by my birth-sister, not even for treating them to lunch.  She did not even make an effort to be pleasant company.

                I was disgusted and aggravated by the whole episode, and pretty much promised myself never to bother going out of my way for her again.  I couldn’t understand why she had behaved so poorly, till my husband gave me his old stand-by word of wisdom- Jealousy!  And then it did kind of make sense.  Jealous that I lived so near the greatest city in the world?  That I knew it so well?  That with all the traveling she had done all over the world, people from everywhere else always dream about coming to New York?  Who knows?  But her all-consuming need to prove that whatever we saw wasn’t so hot after all, with that scary, intense, clenched-teeth expression, was something right out of “Psycho.”  I am not a competitive person, and I hadn’t even known that we were in a competition, but apparently we were.

                Although sibling rivalry is well-known, jealousy of a parent toward their child is rarely acknowledged.  This is one thing that people are very uncomfortable talking about and few will even admit  it exists. Yet many parents are competitive with their children, or outright jealous of them.  Mothers are jealous of the freedom and independence their daughters have that they didn’t.  Fathers are jealous of their children making the kinds of salaries they never dreamt possible or having the kind of power on the job that they never did.  Believing their child is “getting too big for her britches”, some criticize relentlessly, undermine their child’s self-confidence, humiliate her at every opportunity,  or try and sabotage her success.

                Parents can be envious of everything from the talents, skills, or taste their children have to their families, careers, friends or social lives.  My father was jealous of my volunteer work with Vietnam veterans, which included starting a national program,  and never missed an opportunity to hint about his short-lived membership in the American Legion and claim he had always “done right” by his country, etc.  But when you asked him for specifics, there were none, because he was totally selfish and never did anything for anyone without expecting a payback.  Yet he was compelled to “compete” with me in a field in which I had become fairly well-known as a person of some accomplishment.

                An interesting envy I have seen, and which I suspect played a role in my birth-father’s antagonism toward me, is that of a parent who had children of one sex being jealous of a child who had children of the opposite sex, or both sexes.  Having a child of your own gender is especially important to some people. My birth-father had two daughters, but never had a son.  I am the one who was blessed with two sons, although I was never blessed with a daughter, and I have reason to believe my birth-father resented me for that.

                Here is something I did not realize until I was in my 50s.  When I was a young child, I was “daddy’s girl”, tagging along after my birth-father, helping him with chores, etc.  When did that all change?  When did the abuse, the criticisms, the put-downs, the humiliation, start?  In the third grade, my class was given IQ tests.  When I was 8 years old, my parents were informed that I had superior intelligence.  I was enrolled by my school in a special class for gifted children.  And that is when everything changed with my birth-father.

                 Intimidated by my intelligence and threatened by the fact that I was smarter than he was- coupled with his paranoid thinking that everyone was out to pull something over on him- he became obsessed with “keeping me in my place”.  He systematically destroyed my self-esteem and did everything possible to undermine my self-confidence.  I was called “stupid” and told “don’t be ridiculous” or “you don’t know what you’re talking about” on a daily basis.  If I woke up in the morning with a pimple on my face, he would be sure to point it out at the breakfast table- just what an adolescent girl needed before going off to high school that day.  Attention was brought to even the smallest physical flaw- God help me if I made a normal youthful mistake or got a bad grade on a test.  Anything he could say or do to make me feel bad and keep me down, he made sure to do- all day long, every day.

                This abuse continued for the rest of our relationship, far into my adulthood.  When, as an adult, I successfully sold real estate in a highly competitive, upscale market for ten years, he would still argue the market with me and tell me I didn’t know what I was talking about- because he, too, had been a real estate agent for six months or so forty years earlier- so he knew better!  It didn’t matter what I said about any topic- he always knew better.  There were no conversations, only “debates”.  The stress of being in his earshot was overwhelming, and I learned it was best to basically not say anything about any subject if he could hear me. The competition which I had never volunteered for was life-long and only by the grace of God did I ever escape it.

                An ironic twist which I have found in my own life, especially with my birth-mother, is envy over the relationship I have with my children.  But I raised my children in a way that would foster such a close relationship, while she did not.  That was her choice, not mine.  For instance, I made sure my children could always trust me- to take care of them, to protect them, to be honest and truthful with them, etc. - but I could never trust her.  I was also taught to make decisions and live my life based on what others would think- not on what was right- but I taught my kids to do what is right regardless of what others think- that they only need to worry about what God thinks! 

                I have often said that I have my parents to thank for teaching me how to raise children- everything they did, I did exactly the opposite!  So because they set an example for me of how NOT to raise children, and by the grace of God, I now have a loving relationship with my own children that both my parents  envied.   Several times my birth-father has tried to make my now-adult sons choose him over me, and has failed every time.   I have always refused to put my children in a position of having to choose and have never allowed them to be dragged into disagreements between the older generations.  My first priority was not to make them choose sides, but to protect them, and, although I never demanded it, or perhaps BECAUSE I never demanded it, they have rewarded me with unswerving loyalty.  But why would it be important to him to turn my sons against me, or “win” them away from me?  Is it, as I’ve mentioned before, jealousy that I had sons and he didn’t?

                My own parents chose to raise their daughters in a way which resulted in a wary,  arm’s-length relationship at best- and then continued this behavior with their grandchildren.  Now they are not happy with the results, but that is a *Natural Consequence of the way they treated their family.  They were also clearly not happy that I have a better relationship with my kids than they had with theirs. 

                And  even more strangely, they were also not happy that I had a better relationship with my kids than THEY had with MY kids!  Who wouldn’t expect the parent to be closer to her own offspring than the grandparent?  But one trait of a Narcissistic abuser is the  refusal to understand where they end and others begin- the boundary of their daughter as a separate person from them just isn’t in their heads. In the narcissist’s mind, if MY children love ME, they have to love HER just as much- or more!

                 Whenever it became obvious that I was going to protect my children from abusive situations the way my own mother never did, she would make  a point of bringing up my upbringing and saying  that she “did the best she could”.  Without me making any comparisons between us as mothers, SHE was the one making comparisons.  It was obvious that she was very defensive about it, and envious of my strength and resolve to protect my own offspring.

                Normal parents are proud of their child’s accomplishments.  They are thrilled with their children’s successes. They are joyful when their children are happy.  They want their children to have everything they never had, instead of resenting it if their child has something they didn’t.  Because this is what a normal parent does, it is what society expects of parents.  It goes against every acceptable notion of parenthood when a parent is jealous of their own child and begrudges their child happiness or success.  So it comes as a shock to learn that your parents are jealous of you, and this is also why others find it so hard to believe it when you talk about it.

 

*For more about Natural Consequences, see the article “Reaping What They Sow- The Natural Consequences Of Bad Behavior” in the section entitled “Rebuking”  on our website.

 

….Family Jealousy will be Continued in Part 2

 

The Wisdom of Proverbs

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight……

Proverbs 3:5-6

Claiming the victory

“YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO JUDGE ME”- THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN JUDGING AND REBUKING

By Rev. Renee

 

JUDGE: To form an opinion about through careful weighing of evidence and testing of premises; to hold an opinion; to form an estimate or evaluation of

REBUKE:           v. to criticize sharply, reprimand; to turn back or keep down, check.  n. an expression of strong disapproval

Source:  Webster’s Ninth Collegiate Dictionary

            Have you ever told someone they’ve hurt you, and instead of apologizing, they tell you you’re not supposed to be judging them?  It seems to be a popular defense for an offender to try and use a Christian’s faith against her.  Besides being under the misconception that you must forgive them, even if they are unrepentant and unremorseful, many abusers will tell you that you can’t “judge” them when they have behaved offensively or wickedly.  They will answer your rebuke by telling you that “the Bible tells us we are not to judge others”.  Or they will tell you “only God” can judge them.  They seem to think that this gives them free rein to carry on their unacceptable behavior just as before, without ever having to answer for it, or stop it either, for that matter, until God himself judges them and sends them to hell!

            What they are choosing to misunderstand is the difference between judging and rebuking. The distinction is that rebuking seeks to CORRECT the offender rather than CONDEMN her.  Unfortunately, many offenders take issue at being corrected and prefer to turn it around and accuse the rebuker (or victim) of wrongdoing rather than admit they were wrong and change their own behavior.  Although the Bible does tell us not to judge one another, it also instructs us very clearly to rebuke those who do evil, as well as those who hurt us.

            The best known scripture concerning not judging others is Matthew 7:1-5, in which Jesus tells us, “Judge not, that ye be not judged.  For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.  And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?  Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and behold, a beam is in thine own eye?  Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” (KJV)

            Perhaps you have judged someone by the way they look, their job, the clothes they wear, or the car they drive.  Maybe you have gossiped about a woman who had a child out of wedlock, or parents who don’t discipline their children.  Maybe you have formed an opinion about (judged) a gay neighbor, a couple who got divorced, or a husband who had a new girlfriend before his divorce was final.  These are examples of what this scripture refers to- forming an opinion about someone who, whether they are right or wrong, has nothing to do with you or your loved ones.  Barring dangerous or criminal actions, if their looks, behavior, etc., doesn’t affect you personally, Jesus is basically telling you to mind your own business, because you’re not perfect either!

            On the other hand, in Luke 17:3, Jesus instructs us “If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.”(KJV)  Jesus does not tell us to keep silent about being offended, hurt, or abused. He tells us to reprimand and express strong disapproval to (rebuke) those who do something hurtful or offensive to us.

            In Matthew 18: 15-17, Jesus gives us a Biblical model for rebuking: “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone.  If he hears you, you have gained your brother.  But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses, every word may be established.’  And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church.  But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.” (NKJV)  Heathens (KJV) and tax collectors were considered serious sinners and were to be shunned (Luke 18:11-13, Luke 5:30, Luke 7:34, Luke 15:1, Matthew 9:11, Matthew 11:19, Mark 2:16, Ps 9:5, 15, Ps 78:55, Ps 80:8, Ezekiel 9: 22).  In Titus 3:10, we are told, “Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time.  After that, have nothing to do with him.”

            In Leviticus 19:17, we are told to confront one who sins against us directly rather than holding resentment in our heart: “Do not hate your brother in your heart.  Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in his guilt.” (NIV) In Proverbs 28:23, we are told “He who rebukes a man will in the end gain more favor than he who has a flattering tongue.” (NIV).

            Fools, mockers, and the wicked do not listen to rebuke, but the wise and the righteous will learn from rebuke and love you for it (Proverbs 9:7-9, Proverbs 1:7, Proverbs 18:2).  We may not know if someone is wise or a fool until we have rebuked him and his behavior gives him away. “Fools mock at making amends for sin, but goodwill is found among the upright”… Proverbs 14:9 (NIV).  Fools just never learn- “As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly”…Proverbs 26:11.  That is why we are instructed to rebuke a wrongdoer only two or three times, and then have nothing to do with him.

            So there is a very big difference between judging others, which we are admonished not to do, and rebuking wrongdoers, which we are Biblically ordained and instructed very clearly to do.  Sister, don’t allow one who has sinned against you to confuse the issue.  When the Lord has taught you what to do and how to handle a hurtful situation, do not get sidetracked by a foolish sinner.  Telling you that you’re not supposed to judge is not an acceptable defense when an apology and repentance is what is called for.

           

Reading Spotlight

THE CONTROL FREAK

Coping With Those Around You.

Taming The One Within.

By Les Parrott III, Ph.D.

Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

 

            Les Parrott  is a Christian  psychology professor and author of several best sellers.  He is well-known in the Christian community and is the founder and co-director of the Center for Relationship Development at Seattle Pacific University.

            In this book, Dr. Parrott teaches us how to recognize a control freak and discusses their top ten characteristics- obnoxious, tenacious, invasive, obsessive, perfectionist, critical, irritable, demanding, rigid, and closeminded.  A Control Freak has little respect for privacy and snoops in areas that aren’t her business.  It doesn’t matter how illogical his argument or how insignificant his point, he won’t let go. He often zeroes in on some minor detail and doesn’t care about the big picture.  Compromise is unspeakable- she is right and everybody else is wrong.  She sets standards you never agreed to live by.  Anything and everything is cause for a tantrum.  He will make ridiculous demands and insist or coerce you into doing things his way.  He uses criticism as a terrific tool to get people to do what he wants them to.

            There is a Control-Freak Self-Test which will tell you if you know a control-freak.  Yes or No questions include:  If something isn’t exactly to this person’s liking, he or she reflexively points it out- even at the risk of embarrassing others; It seems that winning an argument is more important to this person than finding the best solution; and If this person doesn’t get what he or she wants, you can count on a good display of anger, pouting, or the silent treatment.

            The WADIT Principle is explained in a grimly humorous way.   We continue forever to do something silly that doesn’t make sense because of the WADIT Principle- because that is the way We Always Did It.

            Various types of Control-Freaks are discussed, as well as how to cope with them, including chapters on The Pushy Parent and The Invasive In-Law.  Each chapter includes a self-test so you can see if you have  a Pushy Parent or Invasive In-Law.  Setting boundaries, saying “No”, forgiveness, identifying your own reactive style, and making decisions are all discussed.  We are also taught how to tame our own controlling tendencies.  This is a very interesting and informative book for those with controlling family members, or other controlling people in their lives.

Give all glory, honor and praise to the Lord, for he alone is worthy!

HALLELUJAH!

            PSALM 101

 

I will sing of your love and justice; to you, O Lord, I will sing praise.  I will be careful to lead a blameless life- when will you come to me?

I will walk in my house with blameless heart.  I will set before my eyes no vile thing.

The deeds of faithless men I hate; they will not cling to me.  Men of perverse heart shall be far from me;

I will have nothing to do with evil.

Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret, him will I put to silence;

Whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, him will I not endure.

My eyes will be on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; he whose walk is blameless will minister to me.

No one who practices deceit will dwell in my house; no one who speaks falsely will stand in my presence. 

Every morning I will put to silence all the wicked in the land;  I will cut off every evildoer from the city of the Lord.

 

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.  “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher that your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts”…Isaiah 55:8-9

 

 

 

 

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The Lord specifically called Sister Renee to minister to Adult Children, not their parents, estranged siblings or friends, abusive or abused spouses, or victims of other types of abuse, although what we write here can often be meaningful for those folks as well. Because of this, our ministry and website have a narrow focus which we will not be changing. We simply can't cover everything. In addition, it is not our purpose to help you re-establish contact with someone who felt it was necessary to cut you off for the sake of their own well-being. We do not keep a list of resources for estranged parents or any other type of abuse and suggest if you are sincerely interested in making amends with an estranged relative, you do an internet search for a website or group that will be more relevant to you. If you cannot find a group or site that you can relate to, we suggest you start your own, and bless other people in your position as well as find support for your personal issues. 
For Adult Children and others as well, please understand that we cannot give you personal advice concerning your particular family relationships.  We are not therapists or lawyers, we usually do not have enough information to form an opinion, and time does not permit us to give enough thought to each person's individual situation to do it justice. If you need personal advice, we urge you to contact the appropriate professional, depending on the problem you have- your minister, therapist, attorney, police department, local domestic violence hotline, etc. In reading this site, you acknowledge that nothing you might read here qualifies as or substitutes for professional advice. Please note we cannot recommend or refer you to a counselor and we do not have a list of therapists or recovery groups in your area. The only Counselor we recommend is the Holy Ghost, and we encourage you to read the Bible and learn for yourself what the Lord says about the issues we write about.
Our articles are strictly our personal opinions and testimonies and are not intended to give or offer any advice. All who access this site do so with the understanding that we are NOT professional counselors and we strongly recommend that you discuss your individual situation with your pastor or therapist and pray for the Lord's guidance before acting on anything we write on this site. Unfortunately, the abuse we discuss is all too common, inflicted on countless victims by countless perpetrators. All names and identifying details in our articles have been changed to protect the innocent as well as the guilty. Any resemblance to a real person or persons whom you might know is strictly coincidental.