Reader Question: How Do I Deal With Toxic Family Members Biblically
My relationship with my family isnt a healthy one. Both my parents and my siblings clearly favor my sister and her kids over me and mine, and it hurts me and my kids the way this favoritism is displayed.
For example, they dont visit me unless they need favors and they brush my concerns aside when I try to share how their actions make me feel. My feelings are minimized, dismissed and discarded. Its hurtful.
Even my kids are aware of this blatant favoritism. They ask questions about why their cousins get more attention, etc, and it breaks my heart.
I want to remain respectful to my parents and siblings, yet this has been happening for over five years now with no signs of remorse, and I dont know how to make them understand how hurtful their actions are to me and my children.
How can I handle this without going against Gods words or teachings? What does the Bible say about cutting people out of your life?
First of all, Im sorry you are dealing with this.
BUT I do think its great that youre asking, What does the Bible say about toxic family members? rather than just lashing out in response to your hurt feelings.
In this post, Im going to share my best step-by-step advice for learning how to deal with toxic family members Biblically.
But before we get there, lets start by identifying the signs of a toxic relationship.
Do Not Let Their Words Define Who You Are
Many people allow their parents harmful behavior to define who they are. Adult children of toxic parents may identify themselves as ugly, stupid, naïve, lazy weak, and bad because those definitions are the negative messages they heard growing up. For a long time, my parents, in part, defined who I was. I was a lesser human being who was dumb and could not do anything right. I was bad, rude, and deserved constant physical punishment.
When I started studying the Bible and living a Christian life in my early teens, I learned that God has a different definition of who I was. God sees me as I truly aman intelligent, capable, and wise woman who deserves honor and respect. I rejected the negative childhood messages and stopped blaming myself for how my parents treated me. I no longer saw myself as a stupid, lower species of human who deserved constant punishment. I could deal with my parents as a mature Christian adult.
Are Christians Held To A Higher Standard Of Care
The short answer is yes. We as believers are called to be the light, to love Christ relentlessly, and to pursue His healing in every area of our hearts and lives. We are called not only to be holy and set apart, but to live in Christs healing and offer it to others, in whatever way we can.
If you have been the victim of abuse, I want you to know, God sees you, He sees your hurt, the pain of the past He sees. He has heard your cry. He will defend you, heal you, and protect you.
Psalm 10:17-18 tells us, You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, so that mere earthly mortals will never again strike terror.
Gods desire for each of us is that we dont stay trapped in the pain of our past. His commands are always to move us in His direction, the direction of our continued healing. As long as we are pursuing healing with God, God will guide our steps faithfully to determine how we can best honor our parents as they age and potentially need help.
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Signs Of A Toxic Relationship
You may be wondering,Am I in a toxic relationship with my family? Or, Is my sister a toxic person?
Lets turn to the Bible for an answer.
The Bible describes what love is supposed to look like in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. It says:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Now, if we take the opposite of 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, what do we see?
We see several signs of a toxic person or signs of a toxic relationship:
- Lacks patience
- Gives up easily
If your friends and family members are simply annoying, its probably best to give them grace and try to overlook their faults, if speaking with them doesnt help.
If you read these signs of a toxic relationships, however, and thought, Yep. I definitely have toxic family members, then this article on how to deal with toxic family members Biblically is definitely for you.
Accept Responsibility For Any Wrongdoing On Your Part
Next, lets take a minute to look at yourself and any part you may have played in the issue: Have you done anything to make the situation worse? Or failed to do something to make the situation better?
While the situation may not be ultimately your fault , once we reach adulthood, each of us is responsible for and accountable for our own actions.
And this is good news! Because it means that you have the power and ability to choose different actions, and to improve your situation.
Its time to get honest with yourself.
- Have you said or done anything hurtful to the other person?
- Have you ever failed to treat them as kindly or as respectfully as you should have?
- Have you ever been selfish, self-centered or mean-spirited?
Again, Im not saying the mistreatment is your fault. But if you have done things that hurt the other party, they may be acting out of that hurt. And a heartfelt apology for any wrongdoings on your part may be just what the other person needs to heal.
You arent responsible for them, but you are responsible and accountable for YOU no matter what theyve done to deserve it.
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Stick To Your Boundaries
Once youve set your boundaries and told your friends and family members where they are this is the hard part. You have to stick to the boundaries youve set!
I know, learning how to deal with toxic family members Biblically isnt easy It takes time and practice, and you wont get it all right the first time, but stick with it.
Because if youre continually bending the rules, your family will just learn that your rules arent really rules at all.
Seek Godly counsel, determine where your boundaries should be, and then stick to them!
What Does The Bible Say About Rebellious Children
Deuteronomy 21: 18-21 says: If anyone has a hijo stubborn and rebel, that I will not obey the voice de neither his father nor his voice de his mother, and having punished him, will not obey them then his father and mother will take him and bring him out to the elders de your city, and at the door of the place where you live and they will say to the …
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What Does The Bible Say About Toxic Relationships
God doesnt want you to be surrounded by people that tear you down.
In the ideal world, we would never come across people who intend to hurt us. Unfortunately we live in a fallen world that is full of broken people, and pain and hurt are destined to come to each of us. Sin is abundant, and thus, toxic and abusive relationships are formed. Christians are not immune to finding themselves trapped in these situations. Occasionally, we get wound up in these unhealthy relationships and cycles of behavior.
A healthy relationship is one in which there is oneness of goals, purpose, values, and beliefs. Toxic relationships, however, are often one-sided and sometimes abusive. Toxic relationships can happen between friends, family members, co-workers and romantic relationships. Gods Word tells us where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there . These types of relationships are not sent by God, because they bring negativity and pain to those in it.
When Others Are Toxic
God does not want us to stay when we are in a toxic relationship. Why spend your time, effort, and resources seeking acceptance from people who are so wrapped up in themselves that they cant accommodate anybody else in their lives? Why spend your spiritual gifts on people who arent appreciating the One who lives inside you?
If a person in your life is toxic to your mental, spiritual, or physical health, often the wisest decision is to put some distance between you and them. Gods greatest desire is to set us free, and sometimes that means facing the person and saying stop, no more and walking away.
In Galatians 4:7-10, the Apostle Paul admonishes the church for listening to someone who was spreading lies and shaking people’s faith in God. He spoke pretty harshly upon the troublesome person too . Paul goes on to say that love is the better option, but that distance may be necessary for “if you bite and devour one another,” you may end up hurting each other a lot worse .
Being angry and frustrated by a toxic situation, relationship is perfectly normal. Typically, that’s our mind’s way of alerting us to the fact that something is very wrong. If you’re in a toxic environment, you do not need to “get used to it” or “just get over it.” God wants you to remove yourself from these situations.
God actually warns us of the many different types of toxic people we might encounter in our daily lives.
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How To Deal With Toxic Parents
This post will talk about how to deal with a toxic mother. The mother-child relationship can be complicated, but what do you do when the woman who should nurture and support you is the source of your pain.
First let me be clear all mothers make mistakes, god knows Ive made my fair share, but mistakes and character flaws are two very different things. A mother can be toxic to her child when her troublesome behavior becomes so deeply ingrained that she doesnt even realize the harm that shes causing. Toxic mothers have a way of never assuming responsibility, always putting all the blame on others and manipulating. They disguise it by saying Im just trying to be a good mother and when this happens, even adult children are left terribly confused. They want so much to believe that their mothers are loving and nurturing but what they get instead is an onslaught of accusations that leave them feeling devastated without being able to truly pinpoint.
Why? lets look briefly about what does and doesnt constitute toxic behavior. Your mother is not toxic simply because she disciplines you doesnt give you what you want. Disagrees with you hasnt put into your life and has rules. She expects to be followed in her house. However, if she does any of the following five things regularly, it suggests her behavior is toxic.
#1, shes dismissive and disregarding of your feelings and needs.
#2, Shes emotionally unavailable.
#3, she is emotionally blackmailing
Gaslighting And The Bible: How To Respond When Someone Is Manipulating You
July 22, 2021 by Alison Cook
Have you ever felt trapped in the web of somebodys words? No matter what you say, this person takes your words, spins them into something else, and uses them to get you to doubt yourself or do things you do not want to do. For example, a conversation might go something like this:
You:Im sorry, I cant make it tonight.
Them:You told me you could.
You:I dont think I said that I could make it.
Them:Yes, you did. You promised you would be there. Now, youre backing out.
The truth is that you did not say you would make the event. But, this person is masterful at spinning a lie to trap you and make you feel like you are the one who has done something wrong. This tactic is a form of manipulation called gaslighting.
Gaslighting is a form of manipulation in which your reality or experience is systematically and intentionally invalidated. Its when someone uses lies and deception in order to manipulate you. Someone who gaslights constantly questions your word or your perception of reality.
Make no mistake: a gaslighter is not doing this in order to help you or as a collaborative effort to arrive at shared truth. Instead, they are questioning you in order to gain power over you. Their goal is not to help its to make you feel crazy, weak, or dependent. A gaslighter wants something from you, and they use deceptive tactics to get it.
And, while the term is new, the behavior is as old as the sun.
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The Bible Says Honor Your Parents But How Do You Honor A Toxic Parent
It’s giving bitter sweaty< 3
So keeping your distance is the answer then?What if you live with the toxic parent and can’t move right now?
So keeping your distance is the answer then?What if you live with the toxic parent and can’t move right now?
be sober mindedThose who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.themThe prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty
How To Deal With Toxic Family Members Biblically
Written by Brittany Ann
Not sure how to deal with toxic family members Biblically? Dont let them slowly drive you insane. Heres what the Bible says about cutting people out of your life.
Are you struggling to figure out how to deal with toxic family members Biblically?
Maybe youve been wondering, What does the Bible say about cutting people out of your life? and now youre looking up Bible verses about toxic family or Bible verses about toxic relationships in general.
Maybe you arent even sure if you are dealing with toxic family members or if your family is simply annoying.
You know you want to be a good Christian and do the right thing, but it seems like no matter how much you love, forgive and turn the other cheek, the mistreatment never stops only gets worse.
The situation is completely unhealthy, everyone involved is miserable, and nothing is working, no matter how much you try.
You want to be kind, but theyre driving you crazy, and youre not sure what to do.
So now youre wondering, What does the Bible say about dealing with toxic relationships?
The good news is, if you have toxic people in your life or you are in a toxic relationship, you are not alone!
In fact, I had a sweet reader ask me how to deal with toxic family members Biblically not that long ago, and I thought you might benefit from hearing my answer to her as well.
We want to know how to deal with toxic family members Biblically so we can use these Bibles wisdom to guide our actions.
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How Do You Honor Father And Mother In A Toxic And Abusive Family
Q. How does one honor their father and mother in a toxic and abusive family? Ive been abused and suffered much damage from my parents. I feel so unsafe around them that Ive had to put up boundaries such as never being alone with them. Neither of my parents are repentant or acknowledge that they have done anything wrong. Instead, my mother uses Jesus as a means to manipulate others and shame them for being bad Christians if they dont do what she wants them to. How do I honor father and mother in this situation? It doesnt matter to me any more that my parents wont acknowledge their wrongdoings. I just want to love Jesus and love others. But Im not sure what that looks like in this context.
Thank you very much for your question. During my years a pastor, I unfortunately encountered similar situations. However, out of those situations, I can offer you great encouragement. I have seen Christian women and men escape from the cycle of abuse, heal from the damage they suffered, become free from bitterness, and ultimately exhibit a gracious and loving spirit, honoring their parents from a safe distance in appropriate and healthy ways as a way of honoring God. I already hear something of that gracious spirit in your question, so I think you are on your way there yourself. Let me offer some further thoughts to help you along your way.
What Does The Bible Say About Ungrateful Children
Aquel which return evil for good, evil will never depart from your home. If you’ve been raising ungrateful children and wicked, it is time to straighten your path, and lead your offspring to a discipline according to the word of God. “Exodus 20:12,”ChildrenObey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
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Healing From Abuse Or Toxic Relationships
Psalm 147:3 tells us that God “heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Only God’s healing power can truly restore peace to a broken or traumatized heart. Unfortunately, many victims of abuse spend a lot of time waiting and hoping for the abuser to come and make amends to repair the damage they caused. Yes, it’s important for the abuser to take responsibility for seeking reconciliation and forgiveness, but there is no guarantee that they ever will. They may not be aware of the damage they’ve done, or they may not care. But Jesus cares and promises to care for those in pain, especially kids .
Rest assured that the Lord Jesus cares for His brothers and sisters. He gave His life for you to show you how much He loves you . There is no way He will leave you without comfort, peace, healingand vindication .
If a friend in your life is tearing you down, it’s time to distance yourself. Friends are supposed to help and support each other . Pray for friends who will lift you up. If a family member is abusing you, seek help immediately, especially if you live with them. Give yourself the grace of time to healphysically, emotionally, spiritually. Seek counseling if you need to it’s OK. Jesus loves you dearly , and He will not leave you without comfort, peace, healingand vindication . Ask God to help you see your abuser through His eyes so your future responses will be out of godly love rather than hate, bitterness, or fear.
Writer/Editor: Catiana N.K.