Is the Church Perpetuating Toxic Relationships?
Are you going through a challenging, toxic, and no one gets it you’re blamed for overreacting or maybe being too sensitive. Maybe you’ve spent your days under the manipulation of a toxic mother or the oppression of an overbearing boss, or perhaps you’re being gaslit by a narcissistic husband, no matter who it is, the results are always toxic.
You see toxic people are life sucking. They deplete you of all of your joy and desire and leave you almost unable to give yourself fully to what God has for you. And I’m not talking about difficult people. I’m talking about toxic selfish, using, draining defensive, jealous, chaotic, controlling, demeaning, distracting, depleting, gas, lighting people. These are the people that reek havoc in your life and then blame you for it. And maybe you’ve sought counsel from church only to feel worse than when you’ve started. And while the church can provide much needed support.
In many areas, if these people don’t understand the devastating dynamic of a toxic relationship, you will likely get less than helpful and potentially harmful advice. And there is no other topic that I get more pushback on from the body of Christ than that of toxic relationships. But I feel that it is widely misunderstood and a much needed topic that we need to equip the body of Christ to deal with.
So let’s talk today about some commonly misunderstood scriptures that keep people trapped in destructive relationships.
#1 – Forgive. Ephesians 4:32 reminds us to be kind to one another tender hearted, forgiving one another at God in Christ, forgave you, this is a staple scripture when someone is being harmed in any way. And while this mandate is accurate and stands, you must forgive the church. Often doesn’t help people understand that forgiveness and reconciliation are not the same.
I can forgive you for having betrayed me, but there is no biblical mandate that says that I have to trust you. In fact, it says the opposite freely, giving your trust to someone makes you a fool. Matthew 7:16 reminds us that we will know them by their fruit. So if someone is truly changing, you’ll see it.
#2 – Your body is not your own. And this one is dangerous and often abused by toxic people. And even the church first Corinthians seven four says the wife gives authority over her body to her husband and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife. And while this is true in marriage, it can be devastating in a toxic marriage. And I remember years ago when I first became a Christian, a fellow Christian coworker came to me, distraught over her husband’s behavior towards her. And she had gone to the church advice and they told her that she wasn’t being a godly wife and that she should give herself more sexually to her husband to satisfy his needs.
So she did. And in a matter of months, she was diagnosed with two sexually transmitted diseases. One life threatening. No, the solution is not always to just give the toxic person what they want.
#3 – Turn the other cheek. This scripture is often misused to read that we should just allow others to continue to abuse us. And this is not in full context. The scripture does mean that we should seek reconciliation, not retaliation, but reconciliation takes two. If the other person does not desire to have a healthy relationship with you, you would be wise to seek a relationship elsewhere. And know my friend, this is not permission to betray your marital vows and the next one, obey your parents. This is the scripture that trips up. For most people with toxic parents, toxic parents next to toxic spouses are the most common and difficult to navigate.
As there has been so much toxic programming and there is often a strong belief in lies that came from the toxic parent. Well, because it suited their motive and their narrative. And in this case, even the church may say, but she’s your mother. You’re called to obey your parents. In which case that would be a slight twisting not of the scripture, but of what children means. You see as an adult child, your job is to honor your parents. That means you don’t speak ill of them. You provide for them if they’re in need, but obeying is for little children. Your job as an adult is to obey God. The next scripture love everyone in John 13:34. Jesus says “a new commandment I give to you that you love one another, just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another,” loving, however, and tolerating are very different.
You see, we view love in a, in a constant, no matter how much someone rejects us. Uh, the assumption is that if I don’t continue to pour myself out to you, then I am not acting as a loving Christian. And we believe whether we wanna admit it or not. That I can just love this person enough that I can them. That I all will be okay. If I can just love them, then everything’s gonna be okay. And they assume that love means being nice. Well, here’s the truth. Jesus never chased anyone down. He loves all of us, but he doesn’t force us. And he doesn’t chase anyone down. And the next script, God hates divorce. Yes, God says in Malachi 26, I hate divorce. This however is not a helpful response to someone suffering under a toxic spouse. But what do you do when you’re constantly being sinned against?
Do you stay? Do you go? Unfortunately, there is no hard and fast rule. Each case may be different. Yes. Continue to pray for the restoration and the change, but also pray for God to potentially release you. If this is not where he wants you.
So what do you think? Do you think that someone should stay in a toxic relationship? No matter what, let me know in the comments below and whether you are, have, an understanding of how to deal with toxic relationships biblically or not. God has a plan for your life. And it doesn’t include living under the selfish expectations of an emotionally and mentally destructive person. He died so that you could live free. And I’m not saying that everyone that you are having difficulty with right now needs to be cut out of your life. It is biblical to own your own part.
Let God use their toxicity to reveal what needs to be healed inside of you and honor them as fellow human beings and outside of that, it does not make you a better Christian to stay and lose your life to this toxic person. For those of you who are married to a toxic person, I say this, I get it. I’ve been there. It feels hopeless. Perhaps this person is toxic in every sense, except the way that would biblically release you from the marriage. Or perhaps you just feel trapped. You have kids, you’ve given up your entire life for this marriage and you feel you’ve got nowhere else to go. If this is a marriage that God wants you to stay in, then I wanna encourage you to pray that he does work in both of you to bring you together in unity, under Christ.
But if it’s not trusting that God will release you and provide for you, he did it for me. And if you’re struggling with the toxic person in your life, I wanna invite you to grab our toxic people. Survival guided as my free gift to you to help you learn how to identify and deal with those devil sent individuals. I’ll go ahead and include a link in the description section below, okay? My friend, that’s all the time that we have for today until next time. Remember all things are possible with God.
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