AUGUST 2008 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 6, ISSUE 3                                                                                                                           AUGUST 2008


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?


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:



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

Thank you Jesus!


Part I
By Sister Renee Pittelli

REPROBATE: Condemned and foreordained to damnation; morally abandoned, depraved; condemned strongly as unworthy, unacceptable, or evil; rejected as worthless or not standing a test (Webster’s Ninth Collegiate Dictionary); an immoral or unprincipled person (Oxford American Dictionary); condemned; base; given over to sin; depraved; vile; an abandoned or profligate person; without virtue or decency (The American Dictionary of the English Language); Abandoned to wickedness or to eternal destruction; lost to virtue or grace; without hope or pardon, disapproved with abhorrence, in apostasy, rejected, disapproved with extreme dislike (Webster’s An American Dictionary of the English Language)


“It is used of persons and character, and so, reflexively, of life and conduct. It denotes a voluntary surrender of self to a life of self-indulgence; self-control and the estimation of others being disregarded and defied. ‘Reprobate’ expresses that character in which a course of self-abandonment to vice results; one cast away without hope of recovery; the very desire and recognition of good being lost. The profligate man is he who has thrown away, and becomes more and more ready to throw away, all that the good and wise desire to retain; as, principle, honor, virtue, possessions. 

Continued on page 2…..
god’s word

    Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal…..2 Corinthians 4: 16-18NIV

     For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs- heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory…..Romans 8: 13-17 NIV

     You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?” If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken….Deuteronomy 18: 21NIV

(Cont’d from page 1)…A profligate man, therefore, is one guilty of open and shameless irregularities and vices. Reprobation is the doctrine that a part of mankind has been condemned as reprobates from eternity.” (Webster’s and Worcester’s Unabridged Dictionaries-1901)  


For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities- his eternal power and divine nature- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles……Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed, and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them……Romans 1: 20-23, 28-32NIV


                Consider this scenario: There is a person whom you know, from personal experience, to be cold, calculating, conniving, vicious, ruthless, destructive and treacherous. And then there is another person- the one who tells you that nobody is all bad, there is some good in everyone, you need to “see the good” in the first person, you will find the good in him if you just look hard enough, and if you can’t see the good, then you just haven’t tried.

                Sister, trust me on this- if you have to look that hard to “find the good” in someone, IT ISN’T THERE! Anyone who would tell you that is very naïve, in deep denial, or has some personal interest in not rocking the boat and is vested in allowing the evil person to continue his destruction unchallenged.

                Even if there was some tiny good point you could come up with, IT ISN’T RELEVANT. Someone who is malicious, heartless and abusive most of the time doesn’t deserve Brownie Points for occasionally doing something not horrible. Doing harm to others is not made any better by letting someone go ahead of you in line at the market. So what if we do find a “good” characteristic in an abuser?-maybe he likes animals or has a great sense of humor- does that mean we should now be more tolerant of his malevolence? So what if he gives money to charity?- does that mean we should “give him a break” and let his cruelty toward his family slide? No- a “good side” that you have to dig around , wrack your brain for, or stretch reality to find does not excuse or justify the obvious and blatant- that 99 % of the time, this person is cruel, vicious, destructive, wicked, and dangerous. Just because the dog sometimes eats out of the cat’s bowl doesn’t make him a cat.

                Often, whenever an abuser behaves in a manner that is considered NORMAL for anyone else, others consider it NICE for him, when it is really the way he should be behaving all the time. They’re relieved and grateful that he’s being nice so they can relax and lower their guard a little. They consider this to be the abuser’s “good side”, when actually it is behavior that would be EXPECTED of anyone else.

                Most evil people are clever and conniving enough to behave nicely or do something good once in a while-especially in front of others-precisely to throw you off and cause you to doubt your perception of them- and to cause OTHERS to doubt your perception. They purposely try to APPEAR nice to cover up their true nature. In fact, they will often go to great lengths to disguise what they really are – many of them are well-liked in their communities, regularly do volunteer work or are well-respected church members. You can see how well this works by how many misguided people will tell you that you haven’t tried hard enough to “find the good” in someone you know to be evil. Keep in mind that, even when the wicked do something that outwardly appears good, they are only doing it because it is somehow advantageous to them. Their motive is not to help others, but to benefit themselves- but even that is only worth inconveniencing themselves for only so much.

                Jesus teaches us that not everyone who gives the false appearance of goodness or of being religious is truly righteous, and on Judgment Day he will weed out those who aren’t:

                 Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophecy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?” Then I will tell them plainly,” I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!”….Matthew 7: 21-23.  

                The Bible does not support the theory that there is some good in everyone, and in our hearts, we know this theory is full of holes, although we may hate to admit it. Although the “liberal tolerationists” choose not to see it, the truth is that there ARE people who truly have NO good in them! They are BAD people, through and through. People exist who serve Satan and are children of the devil. They are bad to the bone, and anyone who says otherwise is delusional. 

                Unfortunately, these wicked people hold down jobs, buy houses, marry and have children, just like normal people. Some of us have had the misfortune to be born one of these children.

                Many Scriptures make clear distinctions between good people and bad people, children of God and children of the devil. In the Bible, it is black and white- there is no middle ground. Scriptures teach us to discern the spirit of a person by his fruits, as well as his deeds. A person, and his deeds, are either righteous or wicked – you can’t be a little bit of both:

                 Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning…This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother….1 John 3: 7-8,10 .

                The Bible teaches us to recognize the acts of a sinful nature and tells us very clearly that those who live by their sinful nature are doomed to damnation. When I first read this list of condemned behaviors, I was struck by how much some of them sounded like relatives of mine!:              The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God….Galatians 5:19.

                Jesus teaches us to discern the spirit of a person by his fruits-his works and the results he produces with what he does in his life. Depending upon the righteousness or wickedness of his nature, everything he does, touches or influences will either be blessed or cursed. Jesus also warns us that an evil person can NEVER do good. He also illustrates what will eventually happen to evil people:

                 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 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: 16-20NIV.

                There are people prowling the world, preying on others, who are reprobates, having what is known as a “Reprobate Mind”. There is absolutely nothing good about them. They are evil incarnate, wicked through and through. By definition, they are unsalvageable and doomed to damnation. How does one become a reprobate? By rejecting God so many times that God finally gives up on her and turns her over to the control of her own evil desires. (see Romans 1:28) I will destine you for the sword, and you will all bend down for the slaughter; for I called you but you did not answer, I spoke but you did not listen. You did evil in my sight and chose what displeases me….Isaiah 65:12NIV.

                God is ever gracious and forgiving, and gives us many, many chances to repent and turn from our sinful ways. Reprobates have rejected the message of the Holy Spirit. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin….Mark 3:29NIV. Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme…1 Timothy 1: 20NIV.

                Even God has a limit to his patience, and the reprobate has stepped beyond the pale. The Lord knows when someone is indeed a hopeless case and will never repent and turn to him no matter what. He turns her over to her reprobate mind, and allows her to suffer the Natural Consequences of her wickedness in her worldly life, relationships, etc., before she dies and goes on to suffer for all eternity:

                 On that day I will become angry with them and forsake them; I will hide my face from them, and they will be destroyed. Many disasters and difficulties will come upon them, and on that day, they will ask, “Have not these disasters come upon us because our God is not with us?” And I will certainly hide my face on that day because of all their wickedness in turning to other gods….Deuteronomy 31:17-18NIV.   If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sin is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God….Hebrews 10:26-27 NIV.

                Becoming a reprobate is a long process, in many cases a lifelong process. It is not the type of sin, or even the magnitude of the sin, it is the CONSISTENCY of sin that makes one a reprobate. Reprobates usually start out with small sins, and progress to bigger and bigger ones. In the process, they lose their consciences and well as all perspective. They allow selfishness to rule them and take over their minds, at first hurting others or trampling on their feelings, and eventually ceasing to care at all whom or how many lives they completely destroy. 

                By lacking discipline and more importantly, love for others, and allowing themselves to sin on even a small scale, they give Satan a greater and greater hold over them. With each successive sin, the state of the person’s soul deteriorates more and more. With each sin, Satan wins a victory and his power over the sinner increases. Soon he is able to tempt the sinner to go on to more outrageous and harmful sins, while numbing any feelings of remorse. He will fill the sinner with feelings of pride and power, cause him to lose all desire to be righteous, and to view kindness or goodness with contempt and disdain.

                As his conscience and his soul decay more and more, the reprobate progresses, or more accurately, regresses, from sinning once in a while or here and there to no longer being capable of NOT sinning. He becomes more primitive, uncivilized and unprincipled in his thinking. Sin becomes a way of life for him.

                All along, during this long process, God is making himself known to the sinner. He is giving the sinner many chances to reject Satan and to turn to the Lord. But the reprobate will make a conscious choice, every time, to reject God’s way and follow the devil instead. He will give in to his base needs and lower impulses time and again. Why? Because the devil’s way means instant gratification and the satisfaction of selfish impulses, which are much more attractive to a wicked person than the love, kindness, selflessness, and patience needed to be a child of God.

                Remember that the Lord has made man in his own image, and in so doing, has given us free will. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you…James 4:7KJV.   A reprobate refuses to submit to God. All he has to do to be saved is resist the devil and submit his will to God’s, but he will not. Some of us choose to follow Jesus and worship God, some choose the other path. Eventually, because of the reprobate’s choices in life, Satan will have complete control over him. It will be too late to ever go back, and the reprobate wouldn’t even if he could. He belongs to the devil now.

                Reprobates may seem almost normal to the undiscerning eye, until you examine the big picture of their lives and relationships. Get beyond outward appearances and try to look into the heart of the reprobate, as well as those around him. Does he get along well at work? Do all his neighbors like him? Does he constantly seem to be going from one job to another and from one friend to another? Is he really part of one big happy family, or are they all just putting up a good front? Does the person in question, as well as his family, seem truly happy, deep in their hearts? Do they seem content, at peace, joyful, and relaxed around each other? Are they really giving and loving, and are their relationships all they may initially seem to be? Do they have loving and caring relationships? Do they have any long-term relationships, and, if so, what is the state of these relationships? Unto the pure, all things are pure; but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate….Titus 1: 15-16KJV.

                 A reprobate is marked by a number of characteristics which are ingrained in his nature and may or may not be obvious at first, but they bear being aware of and looking out for. Not all reprobates will have every trait, but they will manifest enough to send up a red flag. Reprobates are usually: 

                 Conniving, Selfish, Disdainful, Impatient, Angry, Underhanded, Sly, Shrewd, Deceitful, Cruel, Untrustworthy, Spiteful, Disloyal, Treacherous, Confrontational, Greedy, Willful, Self-Indulgent, Prideful, Arrogant, Unremorseful, Scornful, Sneaky, Manipulative, Belligerent, Calculating, Scheming, Devious, Cunning, Callous, Brutal, Cold-blooded, Sadistic and Vicious.

                The Scriptures warn us to have nothing to do with such people. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God- having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them….2 Timothy 3: 2-5NIV.

                The reprobate will twist your words, play mind games, revel in confusion, and cause chaos, dissension, and disharmony. “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord?”…Acts 13:10NIV. He is supremely selfish, self-centered and greedy in nature- greedy not just for money or material goods, but for power, position, control, prestige, or attention. It is not “me first” so much as it is “me only.” He has an utter lack of remorse or repentance. He denies any responsibility for the havoc he creates or the results of his actions. He will scapegoat, blame, frame, set-up, and sacrifice others to preserve his image and get what he wants. Neither shalt thou bear false witness against thy neighbour….Deuteronomy 5:20KJV. He lies continually. Self-preservation is the most important, no matter who else has to go down.

                The easiest way to remember these reprobate characteristics is to think of everything you know Satan himself to be- the reprobate will be most of these things because he is Satan’s child. Of these, perhaps the most pervasive traits are ruthlessness, treachery, deviousness, cunning, and an utter lack of remorse. It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebub, how much more the members of his household!…Matthew 10:25NIV.

                The Lord Jesus himself was scapegoated by the lying reprobate children of Satan, who were greedy for control and power and twisted his words, caused chaos and dissension, framed him, lied about him, and sacrificed him. All the while they were falsely accusing and setting Jesus up, they claimed to be children of God, but Jesus refuted them and proved them to be children of Satan: 

                Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”….John 8:42-47NIV.

                Reprobate characteristics will not necessarily be obvious. Sometimes the reprobate can be quite subtle and this is designed to disguise his true nature. Many of his sins are not actual crimes, such as theft or assault, although they might be, but rather sins against the SPIRIT of another person or persons. 

                A big clue is that everywhere the reprobate goes, and in all his relationships, he leaves a behind path a destruction, heartache, betrayal, vengefulness, and cruelty. He contaminates everything he touches and the atmosphere around him is poisoned. Being in his presence for any length of time is draining and exhausting, and you instinctively know that nothing is as it seems and you always need to watch your back. You will feel anxious, restless, irritable, nervous, and often have a headache when you are with him; if you are especially sensitive to his evil, you may feel nauseated in his presence. 

                It is impossible for anyone to experience any peace or joy around such a wicked person; if he senses those feelings anywhere near him, he will be sure to immediately squash them flat. He’s like a one-man train wreck. The one shred of justice in his earthly life, before he leaves this world and goes straight to hell, is that, most of the time, even though he’ll never admit it, his own life is just as miserable as those of the people he hurts, if not more so. That is the result of the demonic forces which he has allowed to take over his life and which now control it.

                 In order to teach about the reprobate mind, I have written in the past about my birth-father (see the article “A Portrait of Evil” on our website). In the future, I will write more about him, as well as tell the story of another truly reprobate relative in our family, my husband’s birth-sister. It is my prayer that these testimonies will help you to recognize and protect yourself from an evil family member.


(to be continued in Part II…….)


An angry man stirs up dissension, and a hot-tempered one commits many sins….Proverbs 29:22NIV




By Rev. Renee



                One of our sisters was kind enough to remind me of the “Old Age Excuse” for abuse, so popular with abusers and their Silent Partners. Our sister mentioned the excuses “She’s old, they get that way” and “She’s old, so she’s entitled. You’d be that way too, if you were her age.”

                The Lord has led me to write about these Old Age Excuses and I glorify him for his wisdom and guidance. Thank you also to our sister and God bless you for caring enough to contact me with the idea for this article.




                Entitlement is a concept unique to narcissistic abusers and their Silent Partners. There is no such thing as being “entitled” to mistreat another person.   NOTHING “entitles” you to walk all over a family member, or to cause pain for someone else. Nobody, by virtue of their age, or anything else, “deserves” to be allowed to hurt others. 

                I have a silly picture in my mind of me, surrounded by my loving family, blowing out the candles on my 60th birthday cake, and then turning around with a wicked grin on my face and saying, “Oh, goody, goody, now I can FINALLY start abusing you all, and there’s nothing you can do about it! You have to let me get away with it from now on, because I’m officially OLD!”. Seriously, what are the chances of our relatives accepting OUR advancing age as a valid excuse for US to abuse THEM? How come age doesn’t mean anything when it’s the VICTIM who’s getting older?

                A narcissist’s typical mindset consists of “Me, me, me”, “Me first”, “Only Me”, “Pay attention to Me”, “It’s all about Me”, “My wishes are the only ones that count”, “You don’t matter unless you are giving Me what I want, or I can use you in some way”, “I have the right to do anything I like and behave however I want to”, and “I’m entitled to whatever I want.”   And the answer the rest of us need to have to this outrageous arrogance is, “You wish!”

                There is no difference between a young narcissist and an old one. They’re all the same, and they all think they’re “special”. But that doesn’t mean they really ARE special. Wishing doesn’t make it so! Their concept of being a “special person” is not in the least bit rooted in reality. Being old doesn’t make you special. We all get old. Being loving, caring and kind, being honorable and truthful, having integrity and righteousness- these are the things that make you special. Your CHARACTER is what makes you a special person, not your age, your looks, or any other physical trait.

                Entitlement is a weird thing in some people’s minds. Recently I was involved in a conversation concerning a perfectly healthy, manipulative and abusive mother in her late 60s. I found it incredible, and more than a little creepy, when her “well-meaning” Silent Partner gave me a meaningful look and said, “She doesn’t have much time left, you know. You need to think about that”, as if we should all let her do anything she wants because she’s got one foot in the grave- which she most certainly does not! 

                My response to this was, “No, SHE needs to think about that.” If her time is really so limited, is she going to choose to waste it by continuing to hurt her children and causing them to avoid her? Or is she going to change her ways and make the most of the time she has left? The choice to improve her relationships is the abuser’s, and the best response to such a nonsensical statement is to throw it right back in her lap.

                Nowhere in the Bible are we taught to make allowances for wickedness and evil behavior- and certainly not just because the abuser is old. In fact, FATHERS ( the “older” generation) are the ones who are admonished not to exasperate or provoke their children. “FATHERS, DO NOT EXASPERATE YOUR CHILDREN; INSTEAD, BRING THEM UP IN THE TRAINING AND INSTRUCTION OF THE LORD”…..Ephesians 6:4NIV, “FATHERSPROVOKE NOT YOUR CHILDREN TO ANGER, LEST THEY BECOME DISCOURAGED”……Colossians 3:21KJV.  

                It doesn’t say that it’s okay for a father (or a mother) to start provoking his children after he reaches a certain age. It just says “DON’T DO IT.” Period. God makes no distinction based on age. Whether the parent is 30 or 80 doesn’t make any difference. The Bible does not teach us that age “entitles” a parent to abuse her children. The Bible does not teach us that ANYONE is “entitled” to mistreat ANYONE ELSE for ANY reason! Entitlement is another preposterous excuse that exists only in the minds of the abuser and his Silent Partners. There is no such thing as being “entitled” to hurt other people.




                Age is often trotted out as an excuse for abuse by abusers and especially their Silent Partners. When I was a child, and because of my role models, I thought that it was a given that you would get mean as you got old. But later on in life, I learned that this was simply not true. In fact, what is true is that if you have always been a nice, kind, loving person, you will still be that way in your old age. And if you have always been nasty, intimidating, manipulative, rude, sneaky, hateful, abusive, obnoxious, or a user, you always will be. You might get a little worse as you age, becoming bitter and lonely as you realize that nobody is willing to put up with you anymore. But you’re not going to do a 180 and take on a whole new personality that you never had before, just because you are now a senior citizen.

                In my late 40s, I worked as a church secretary, and learned the truth about “nasty” old people. The congregation had a great many senior citizens, and working with them was my first real eye-opener. The cheerfulness, kindness, and love in their hearts was an inspiration. I knew people in their 80s who were visiting and helping shut-ins in their 60s. They were always ready to help someone else less fortunate, and treated other people with care, consideration, thoughtfulness, and concern. They had aged with grace, and taught me that I, too, could choose to age well. They were a joy to be around and I looked forward to my time with them every day. I did not meet one nasty old grouch the whole time I worked there. If getting old turns you into an abuser, then how do you explain all of them?

                My two American Bulldogs are therapy dogs, and my husband and I have taken them to nursing homes for many years. We have logged over 150 visits to various facilities. Although there are a few cranky, irritable seniors in these places, which is understandable due to their health conditions, the vast majority are as sweet as sugar. They are welcoming and appreciative that we are visiting them, instead of ungrateful and belligerent like our relatives. They are polite and nice, never rude. They are adorable with the dogs. Even though they are living in a nursing home and dealing with a variety of illnesses and aches and pains, they are still pleasant and considerate of others. If getting old is a valid excuse for mistreating others, then how do you explain all of them?

                On the other hand, my birth-father, for example, has been rude, belligerent, manipulative, insulting, belittling, treacherous, underhanded, and bullying for as long as I can remember. He was just as malicious, offensive, conniving, and hostile in his 40s and 50s as he is in his 80s. He has been hateful his whole life. He always has been, and always will be, an ugly, toxic, low-life. In fact, almost every abuser I know has always been an abuser. They didn’t magically turn into abusers just because they grew older. It doesn’t have to be that way. Abuse is still a choice, whether you’re 30 or 90.

                Of course, if your relative has a specific medical condition such as dementia or Alzheimer’s, it can cause them to be rude or irritable. We need to ask ourselves if this is out of character for her, which would indicate the onset of some illness. We also need to make a distinction between occasional inappropriateness or grouchiness, and abuse. Abuse is ongoing and greater in scope than a rare show of bad temper. Yes, we should be patient with her behavior if it results from an ACTUAL illness (not some “personality disorder” that we could all claim to have), and the best way to tell this is to compare her current behavior with her past behavior. If she has never acted this way before, then it would be reasonable to blame a medical condition. Not just “old age” in general, but a specific illness. However, if she has ALWAYS been abusive and caused pain for others, then we can’t blame it on old age and its infirmities. 

                I have heard Dr. Phil say that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. It is true that abusers do not mellow with age, and might get worse as they get older. But they were still abusers when they were younger.   They were always abusers. And if they didn’t want to be alone in their old age, then they should have thought of that before they spent their lives alienating their families and driving everyone away. For an abuser, it is a Natural Consequence of his own decisions and behavior that he should spend his old age alone. If the fact that he will age alone because of the way he treats people is not of any concern to him while he’s busy having a field day tormenting his victims, then there is no reason for it to be of any concern to us, either. 

                After all, many of us qualify as senior citizens, too- and yet, instead of getting away with abusing others, we are still the ones being abused. WE can’t use OUR advancing age as an excuse to get away with murder, so to speak, or even to just be left in peace. How come nobody thinks WE should finally be treated well, with kindness, tolerance, and respect, no matter how old WE get? When is it our turn to have a loving family take care of us? Who makes allowances for us being “set in our ways”, or tolerates our increasing inability to take on all the family holidays with no help? 

                I know women in their 70s who are still being abused by their 90-year old mothers. I got my first AARP invitation 7 years ago, but my birth-father still thinks he can bully and threaten me- which is why I continue to refuse contact with him. We could be 100, and our families would still be abusing and exploiting us. Advancing age, aches and pains, moodiness, even serious illnesses don’t cut any ice when it comes to giving the victim a break. As usual, our problems don’t earn us any understanding, consideration, or thoughtfulness at all. Our problems are completely ignored, while more abuse is heaped on, and the Silent Partners keep on defending the abuser instead of standing up for her victims. If getting older entitles one to special treatment, then why doesn’t it apply to us? Where is OUR special treatment?

                I believe that if WE can’t use “getting older” as an excuse, then neither can anybody else. There are just too many nice, kindly older people around for age to be a valid excuse. In reality, it is offensive and insulting to senior citizens everywhere to assume that they’re going to be abusive and hard to get along with just because of their age. No other demographic group would appreciate us painting them all with the same brush. It’s obnoxious to lump a whole group of people together based on a physical trait, and demeaning not to view them as individuals capable of being rational and controlling their own behavior. That is an unfair prejudice and a form of age discrimination.

                Abusers do not mellow with age, and advancing age does not necessarily make an abuser any less treacherous or dangerous to be exposed to. Someday, I will tell more of the never-ending story of my 89-year old birth-father, who managed to get my unlisted phone number after 10 years of no contact, and then took less than 5 minutes to resume the threats, blackmail, name-calling, bullying, and conniving he always used. Malicious, cunning, abusive old people were always malicious, cunning, and abusive. They didn’t suddenly turn into monsters when they got their first Social Security check.

                So, before you accept another lame excuse for abuse, think back and ask yourself if your relative’s behavior has only recently changed and become a problem, or if in reality, he’s been that way pretty much as long as you can remember. If your abuser is a sibling, then you’ve known her all her life. Was she always a sweetie in the past, or was she always a problem? If your abuser is a parent, and you have reached your mid-30s, chances are you’ll have accurate and detailed memories of him when he was your age. What was he like back then? Do YOU now act the way he did at your age? How well did he treat you, and other people, 10 years ago, 20 years ago, 30 years ago? What are his other long-term relationships and friendships like now- or doesn’t he have any? In the past, was he well-loved and a joy to be around, or is the truth that nobody could ever stand him, even when he was much younger and “in his prime”?

                There is no obligation or need for us to sacrifice our own happiness and expose ourselves and our families to more of our abuser’s mistreatment just because he burned all his bridges, is now elderly, and didn’t plan ahead for the time when he would be. I’ve always said that you tell the kind of life a person has led by the crowd, or lack of same, at the funeral parlor when he dies. Sometimes the only tiny shred of justice a victim is going to see in her own lifetime is the chickens coming home to roost in her abuser’s life. 

                God does not tell us to tolerate abuse under any circumstances. There is no Biblical precedent for allowing anyone to abuse another person, there is no Scriptural teaching to overlook abuse because the abuser is elderly, and there is no justification for rewarding abuse. There is no reason to reward a lifetime of causing pain for others by being “family” for abusers in their old age. That would be interfering with God’s Law of Sowing and Reaping (Galatians 6: 7-8). Having family and friends in your old age would be the reward of a life well-lived, but abusers choose not to live their lives well. A loving family and friends to care for them is what seniors like the nice old church folks and nursing home residents deserve. Abusers are not “entitled” to that privilege. 


***For more on this subject, see the articles on our website, “She Can’t Help The Way She Acts, So You’ll Just Have To Accept It, Forgive Her Anyway, And Not Expect Her To Change” and “Reaping What They Sow- The Natural Consequences of Bad Behavior.”






Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice, they sang: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!”…Revelation 5: 11-12 NIV

For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A psalm of David.

Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer. How long, O men, will you turn my glory into shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods? Selah. 

Know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself; the Lord will hear when I call to him. In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. Selah.

Offer right sacrifices and trust in the Lord. Many are asking, “Who can show us any good?” Let the light of your face shine upon us, O Lord.   You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound. I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.


Heavenly Father, we give you praise and thanks!

Holy Spirit, let us hear your voice!

We bless that Wonderful Name of Jesus!

Glory to God!