Seems so simple to define a "verbal bully" someone that speaks words against you that hurt and leave a lasting impression of shame, sadness, and can lead down a dangerous path.
I am not a parent but I am an Auntie and known for my great love of children and their futures. I am sure, as most of us, that growing up before the Internet, Facebook, and Texting that there was a lot less of this and it was easier to know who was saying things about someone behind their back, and it usually could be tracked back to the bully. I don't think anyone makes it through youth without some kind of verbal abuse, some worse than others. The difference now is that parents are not as aware of what their kids are up to online, or who or what is attacking their minds and hearts. Lies travel quickly and leave a lasting mark on the bullied individual. In this time of instant notices, and access to negative views of what makes you fit in young minds are in a constant battle with lies.
Here are a few things that I consider verbal abuse;
You are too Fat, don't eat that!
You are too Skinny, eat something!
You are to tall or too short
You are ugly and not worthy of friends
You don't belong with this or that group
You are too shy or talk too much
You are too smart or not smart enough
You are too developed or not developed at all
You are not good enough to be on the team, you are not cool like the jocks
Your hairs too curly, too straight, too short, too long
You are not worthy of love
You are unwanted
You will never belong
This list is such a small part of the things that others can say that will hurt. If I were to hear a child saying this to another child or worse and adult saying this to a Child, I hope in my heart I would step in and say something. I hope that with all of my heart that I will be given the words to say to the young children in my Church and in the places I serve to help them see that these are lies.
I am not a parent, but I know that my friends would be crushed to hear this said to their child in front of them, and pray that their child is not being the victim of a bully or the bully.
Here is the Big question that came to mind in a Spiritual Battle I have been in the midst of....
What Does MY Father think when He hears me say this to myself?
His heart must break. I know with all of my heart that He does not think any of these things about me. He loves me and I am created by Him. Why would I disrespect my creator in this way? Why would I speak about His child like this?
I never really knew where this verbal abuse was coming from, but what I have been learning lately is that the closer I get to my God and the more I study His word the more I am bombarded with lies. I can be reading my Bible and BAM "you are not a good enough Christian, you have too many questions!" flies through my head. I can be leading a group of young children in Sunday school and as soon as I let my shield down (usually when I am tired) BAM "You are NOT good enough too teach the Children, you were not even good enough to be a parent, You will NEVER fit in with the parents!" And the hardest to admit is the negative thoughts that fly through my head, out of no where BAM Self-Hate. This is painful to write but Self-Hate is really easy for me and no amount of truth spoken by friends or family has ever felt like truth to me.
"You are dumb, You are Fat (don't eat that), You don't fit in (push people away), nobody will pick you for their team...You do not deserve to be loved" Yes these are all things that have gone through my head. I wish I could say I grew out of this kind of talk but that would not be true, these are all recent conversations.
I have been at war with Satan as of late, it is Spiritual Warfare, and until recently I had no idea what that meant. I would have called someone CraZy if they had even talked like this. He had me believing all of these things for so long that I didn't even believe God wanted me or loved me. Satan believed he didn't need to fight for me (he had me)...GUESS what?! SATAN WAS WRONG!
God picked me up in a very dark place as soon as I cried out in the name of Jesus he was there. I know that anytime these lies start flying through my head it is not truth it is warfare...beyond what I will ever understand. I know I am a target and to be honest it stinks, it is daily, and I know that my God is on my side. I have been under attack. This attack is not just when I am awake but there have been dreams that I find myself waking up from crying out "Jesus" and instantly praying before I am even completely awake.
I need to always be prepared to cry out in the name of Jesus.
1 John 4:4 "Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world"
Psalm 145:18 "The Lord is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him in truth"
Deuteronomy 31:6 "So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you"
He knows I am under attack but he also knows I am human and have free will to choose my path. I must remember he is one word away, JESUS!
I need to know that my Father hears me say these things to myself and like any parent I bet it hurts. He knows it is not truth and that he loves me, made me, and wants me to believe in his truth.
What I didn't understand about Spiritual Warfare was making me an easy target. I thought that kind of talk was normal. I honestly have been my biggest Bully. I have made my Father watch me attack his Child.
Thankfully I have found a Family in Christ that I cry out to for prayer when I am under attack. I know in prayer I AM strong but I know also that when I am at war I need an Army to help me. Right now I am young in my faith and as a new soldier I need to lean on my soldiers that have more experience and knowledge of our enemy.
Spiritual Warfare is real and nothing new~
1 Peter 5:8-9 "Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are."
Satan may want me but all I can tell him is "BACK OFF!"
I have an ARMY OF BELIEVERS on my side!
Cry out to Jesus and never be afraid to ask for help!