Monday, November 05, 2007

"A Wicked Man"

I was re-reading the description in Proverbs of God's view of the wicked man. Check this out:

A worthless person, a wicked man,
Walks with a perverse mouth;
He winks with his eyes,
He shuffles his feet,
He points with his fingers;
Perversity is in his heart,
He devises evil continually,
He sows discord.
Proverbs 6:12-14 NKJV

Look at how much of this description includes physical movement. This kinda jumps out at me considering what I recently covered in the post, "Good Liars? Or Just Practiced Diversion Artists?" The first action described in this passage is the "perverse mouth"...i.e...lying. Then the winks (facial expressions), the distracting footwork and hand movements. The narcissist/psychopath has been fully exposed by the Bible. Most of us have missed that fact.

Perhaps because good people are often loathe to assume the worst of someone, the motivations for these behaviors is exposed for us: the wicked man is continually devising evil, he is perverse in the seat of his emotions (the heart, the seat of desire), and his intention is to sow discord. God, who alone claims the ability to read the hearts and minds of men, is taking all the mystery out of the motivations of the evil person. We are being told just how much we should trust the evil man. The answer: not at all. Any person who is continually devising evil plots is never to be trusted.

So whom does God consider wicked? He doesn't leave any doubt on this point.

These six things the LORD hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
A proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren.
Prov. 6:16-19

First, you have to take in just how great the hatred God holds for these things is. The first sentence above uses the word "hates" and then, in the next sentence, uses a similar word which hones in more tightly on the level of emotion that "hates" is intended to portray. The word abomination according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary means, "extreme disgust and hatred: loathing". But, considering this is the Bible, we need to look at a Bible dictionary to get the full flavor. The noun form of the word in the original Hebrew "defines something or someone as essentially unique in the sense of being 'dangerous', 'sinister,' and 'repulsive' to another individual." Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary pg. 1

So we need to look at the descriptors which follow the statement about God's hatred in light of someone God Himself considers to be "dangerous", "sinister", and "repulsive".

  • A proud look.
  • A lying tongue.
  • Hands that shed innocent blood.
  • A heart that devises wicked plans.
  • Feet that are swift in running to evil.
  • A false witness who speaks lies.
  • One who sows discord among brethren.

If God considers these things to be repulsive, sinister and dangerous, shouldn't you? How can we invoke God's name to people who are caught in a relationship with a "wicked man" and tell them that God expects them to remain married to, or in some other relationship with, such a person? That is blasphemous. God is not divided against Himself. He doesn't describe the wicked man, and then elsewhere demand that people stay locked in a relationship with such a person.

When you study the word "wrath" in the Bible as it pertains to God's wrath you see that His wrath is most often demonstrated by withdrawing His presence and protection. Did you catch that? God withdraws His presence from wicked people...so should you if you are going to wear His name. How can we possibly pretend that God is impressed with us when we choose to stay in close association with evil people? How can we convince ourselves that God, in whom resides all virtue, would call us righteous for condoning, coddling, making excuses for, and staying in close relation to evil when He won't do those things Himself? We really need to think instead of offering platitudes or condemnations to people suffering in abusive relationships. We need to think before accepting such proffered nonsense. To use the name of God to enforce relationships with evil people is nothing short of blasphemy...i.e. using the name of the Lord in vain. Anything that trashes God's reputation falls under the purview of the third commandment (Exodus 20:7). People who have the good sense God gave them will see those Christians who enforce relationships with evil people as being cruel and heartless. They naturally assume that must mean God is cruel and heartless. God's reputation gets a bad rap because you took His name to support your screwy opinions.

If you've been treated to lectures by other Christians because they don't approve of you leaving a wicked man (or woman) please disregard them as the ignoramus they are. They don't speak for God. God speaks for Himself in Proverbs six.

11 comments:

hf said...

BRAVO!!!

love it anna!!

hf

Greendaze44 said...

Wow, Anna you are awesome! My mother just sent me the link to your page 2 days ago. You have put into words what I have felt for so long and didn't know what was happening. I realize now how many relationships I've been in with men that are narcissist. And of course I realize now that my father started it all.

I recently left my husband of 11 years and it took me years to decide to do that b\c of my church\religious convictions. I finally realize now what a manipulator he is and how he has drove me to the ground. I knew I couldn't stay there any longer.

I am reading your blogs and just amazed at your insights. Thank you for reminding me of my part in it too. I now know I've got to work on me and get my self in a better position in life, so i don't continue to attract those kind of men.

Sharon said...

Thank you, Anna!

AnEcho2 said...

Anna,

Again, you are right on. Thanks so much for your wisdom and the courage to share it.

I stumbled on your site during my recover from a N-Wife.

Divorce still not final, you wouldn't believe the grandious accusations. N's experience on internet Forums and BB's would be worthy of documenting for your readers.

Keep up the good work and Thanks

Anonymous said...

God expects a lot from us, but he makes it abundantly clear that we cannot and should not try to do everything He does.

God forgives and forgets when someone repents, we are only asked to forgive.

As Anna wrote "God withdraws His presence from wicked people...so should you if you are going to wear His name." God will return to a wicked person, if (and every time) that person asks God to come back into his life. But we don't have to do that. People are not God, and we should be humble enough not to try to be Him. If a wicked person asks us to 'come back', we don't have to play God and say "yes".

Greendaze44 said...

So, so true Anonymous. Thanks for that reminder. My N-husband is begging me to come back and people even have the audacity to ask me if I'm considering it. I'm 45 years old. My father was a N, my first husband was an N, my second husband was an N. I refuse to live the rest of my life with this abuse anymore. I'm not blaming them for anything. I am identifying the situation, learning what I have done to be in those relationships and working on me so I don't attract those kind of relationships ANY MORE!
I went to the bookstore today and got some of the books you recomment Anna. I am ready to recover and learn and be a better person. You are just what I needed, just when I needed it. Thanks again for putting into words what I have felt,but didn't know how to recognize. You are awesome!

jordie said...

You know I never considered before that these six (eight)things could all be about the same person. A wicked man is proud, perverse, deceptive, arbitrary, lies, gossips, slanders etc. Isn't that interesting. All of these things are evil separately, but together they make for a wicked man. Obviously the root of narcissism has been in the gene pool for an extremely long time.

eastcoast said...

This touches on a very sensitive subject for me that is front and center in my life now. I’ve noticed that you and many of your posters are not men, so let me begin.

My wife was certainly the daughter of an Nmom. This became very clear after reading your Chief Slave and Bottle Washer. She left home at 17 and never looked back. Her brother- the perfect son- was finally convicted of rape at knifepoint and spent 10 years in jail (naturally my NMIL never did believe that he was guilty even after he confessed to her- it had to be the fault of the girl). I have done everything that I can possibly do to give my wife a good marriage for the last 24 years.

What disturbs me the most and has started to become clear is how these descriptions outline my mother. Tolerate me for a minute here.

My mother has been self-indulgent for as long as I can remember. She polarized my brother and I against each other- I was “like her” and he was like “your father”. She never met a dollar that she didn’t like spending on herself, which created many issues in my house growing up. Finally after 26 years, my Dad left (and should have received a medal) when I was 20. During the following 3 years I received frequent-flyer miles for all of the guilt trips I was put on. It took a number of years before I could get my self esteem back- but I am whole now.

Fast forward to last year. She was working (has been fired or laid off from most all of her jobs- low activity / unable to resolve conflicts) until the end of 2005 and is currently 73 years old. She works because she has to, and all of her bills were being paid in minimums and her power company has been sending turn off notices for years. She pays people just enough to shut them up until the next billing cycle. Naturally none of this has anything to do with her reckless spending habits.

She gets Social Security now but it is not enough to get her by. My older brother and I have been working through some of her bills and paying them off, etc. (he lives in California and I live in Maryland- where she lives). In addition, she has had two auto accidents from poor driving judgment and naturally my brother and I have paid the deductible just for her to get her car back. We are going to pay her taxes on the house because neither of us could dream of Nmom living with us- that would end my nice marriage and happy home.

I have been very honest and direct with her over the last number of years- she blames me for being insensitive. If we have a 20 minute phone conversation, the first 30 seconds she asks how I and the family are doing, then she gets right to business- talking about herself and all of her problems. As for myself I am a stroke survivor from 2002 and my wife has had multiple (3) operations for joint replacement in the last two years… we have plenty going on here of our own without being mentally drained by her.

As she has gotten older, her sense of entitlement has seemed to grow, as has her attitude that she can be as financially reckless as she pleases because her “sons are supposed to take care of her”, and her overall ingratitude toward my brother and I. She makes nice when we are stroking a check (never directly to her but to pay the bill), but within days she is back to her old nasty self. Her neighbors have nothing to do with her and she has no other friends. Go figure.

Against that backdrop let me get to the point… my brother and I are both Christians and have been for some time. She confesses to be a Christian too, but I have never really been convinced of her situation (being an nperson and a Christian have to be mutually exclusive conditions). There are plenty of verses that run through my mind about the poor, etc., but I’m finding it very difficult when and where to say “enough”, and sometimes it is hard to distinguish between what the Spirit may be saying- as compared to all of the old “records” that play in my mind from the last 47 years, and now she is beginning to affect my own home finances.

Can you or any of your other readers give me insight into similar situations? Just in the last several days I have located your site along with others that you reference… she qualifies as an emotional manipulator and touches almost all of the bases. Reading info on NPD tells me that she probably qualifies- yet I am a Christian and feel the burden that goes with it.

Ideas?

Anna Valerious said...

Eastcoast,

I'm relieved that you don't consider it an option to let you mother live with you. She would destroy your happy home, of that there is no doubt.

You've indicated that your mother's spending behaviors are starting to negatively impact your family finances. This is unacceptable. You are not, even as a Christian, obliged to hurt your own family in order to continue rescuing a parent who refuses to take responsibility for her own spending habits (See Gen. 2:24).

I do have a suggestion. It is the approach I would take if I was in your position. You can do with it what you will.

I would go to my mother and tell her that I am done with rescuing her financially. If she wants me to help then the help will look like this: she must hand over power of attorney to me to make all her financial expenditures and decisions. I will decide what kind of place she can afford to live in. I will have the ability to pay her bills and make the decision as to how much she can spend each month on discretionary purchases. She will not have access to her checking account. She will be on a budget. She will maintain a job as long as her health allows it.

You are in a position now where you have NO power to control her spending...yet you are ending up with the responsibility for cleaning up her messes. This is not your duty. Your Christianity doesn't dictate that you be put in this untenable position. If she wants your help in the future...that help should only come in the form of you being given the power to make responsible decisions for her. In other words, if you lack the power...you also lack the responsibility to bail her out. If she gives you complete power over her finances, then you'd be in a position to make responsible decisions on her behalf.

I imagine she will not agree to letting you have the power. Therefore, I suggest that you respond with, "Okay, Mom, I accept your decision to maintain control of your purse strings. But that also means you've seen the last of me bailing your financial butt out of the fire. You leave me with no choice but to accept your bad decisions and let you live with the consequences of those decisions."

She is not entitled to take away from your family finances. When she decides to live above her means, she is making the decision to spend your money. There is no commandment or injunction for you as a Christian to allow someone, even your mother, to do that. It is calling stealing. It is irresponsible to your own family obligations to let your mother steal from your family finances. You swore an oath when you married to become one with your wife. That includes finances. You never swore an oath or made a covenant to your mother. The Bible doesn't require such a thing, either. The Bible does require that you fulfill your oath to your wife first. Your mother is not your primary family any more.

So, either your mother allows you the power to control her spending...or she is on her own. It is a decision she gets to make. You will honor her by honoring whatever decision she comes to. If her decision is that her spending is none of your business, then you honor that decision by making sure that the consequences of her spending remain hers. Not yours. Remember, it is none of your business if she tells you to bug off. Which means you don't come to her rescue when her predicament is the result of her irresponsible and selfish spending habits. If a hurricane sweeps her home away, that is a different matter. But if her situation is brought on by her irresponsible and selfish ways then the consequences are hers to deal with.

Please read my posts on the fifth commandment. Perhaps it will help you focus on what your duty toward your mother is...and isn't.

Debbie said...

Anna...what an amazing blog...boy do I relate. My narc mother is a really insidious cocktail of Scarlett O'Hara charm for the men (which she craves and throughout my life, co-opted both my older brothers teen and college aged guy friends as her flirtation target as well as attempts with my bfs--she esentially competed with me, which caused me ALWAYS to cede the floor to her).

So Scarlett O'Hara to harvest her desirability attention/addiction from the guys--and absolute Cruella Deville to me my entire life.

I was criticized for every single machination of my persona....how I walked, how my hair looked, how I spoke...I was humiliated (her choice control device) in front of boyfriends in the most excruciatingly personal ways ( ie, meeting a 16 yr old date at the door ..."Just WHAT do you THINK of a girl that didn't change her sheets on Saturday???!!)....

My only sibling--a middle aged brother-- has been thoroughly emasculated, a ruined career..lives at HOME WITH MY PARENTs..he is truly trapped in the deluded bowels of hell...no wife of course, I think he always got the unconscious message there would be one queen is this orbit. Never brought his GFs home--Now he lives in total defeat and he suckles her while hating himself..he is her ongoing NP..narcissicistic supply..although too common of food for her since he is so "there" and neutered--she alternately obsesses over his health...( he recently had heart attack (surprise..not!) and castigates every thing about him with thinly veiled revulsion.

Growing up, my father was and still is an enabler of the dance --she harangued him constantlty..criticzed him in very personal ways to my brother and I--he fought back--they had a horrendously explosive thing but he was flattered that she was so attractive to other men--until he found out about her affairs. My parents drug me out of bedroom one night to confront ME with the sordid details ..he to punish her..no concern for me...never was any concern for my forming sensibilities. I sat there mute.

He was just stubborn enough to not leave her..again his male ego loved that she was seen as a desireable quantity.

When not in the midst of high fireworks, my dad's MO was peace at any price (she was relentless in her criticism, he automatcally sought to deflect it, even if it meant throwing me, or my brother under the bus)---and although I love him, he played role of appointed 'belter' per her request when she decided I needed it ( usually once a day in summers)..even though she would have already dispensed her viciousness by yanking me around by my hair, slapping. pushing..telling me she "hated my guts..hated my insides"...told me at about 7 that i was pure EVIL...that if she and my father ever divorced it was MY fault ( my infractions being examples like-- I didn't practice my piano lessons properly...my room was messy...I stomped up the stairs or worst offense of all, I MADE her scream at me just as someone was ringing the doorbell and they HEARD the lovely and poised K shrieking like an obscene banshee--what I heard on a daily basis) .

I was the dog she kicked---i was honestly a kind kid, quiet, artistic, a bit of a loner, loved the outdoors, a bit tomboyish, animal lover (she never let us have animals until she decided my father should give HER a toy poodle as ornamental accessory when i was a teen).. People used to tell my parents "D is such a serious little girl" I took up guitar..loved it--played the 16 dollar guitar which destroyed my fingers constantly--she did not find this suitable however, for her vision of her extended 'self' (me)--too hippie like--...People would say..."Oh..D plays the guitar?"
She'd smirk and say, even after i became quite accomplished after many years with my own investment in a decent instrument., "Well, she plays WITH it"...I played professionally and still do to this day and have 4 fine guitars.

I spent hours and hours on my own drawing..fantasies of worlds traveling far away..i also used to dream i could fly...the delight of that ethereal escape.

I learned to fight back...which caused the expected confrontations---it was life or death to me..it was fight to survive for some bastion of who I was or become a non-entity absorbed by the BORG--my brother played it differently, did not face the medicine of confronting her--and lost his soul.

Recently--all these years later, here in my middle age--- Mother had the characteristic audacity to come to MY home while my BF visiting..i had been at work...I came into my house via my garage door, and overheard this unadulterated meddling gossip telling him ( she had only met him once before) that I was very "volatile" etc..and just how OLD did I tell him I was??...I confronted her with him standing there--asking WHY she had said these things to him...truthfully to salvage my credibility ....since I could not imagine what he might be thinking--with my own mother implying i was a 'liar' and 'unstable' with absoluetly NO reason or provocation.

Her only response, before she huffed away---was to aggressively snap: "EAVESDROPPING ISN"T NICE, D!" (..uh...yeah right....my house, my life, my BF, my spontaneously walking in from the office....yeah ok..)

She is a sick woman ..and as her feminine powers of attraction have dimmed, she is desparate to wield some kind of power still.

She invalidated my parenting, with my father as syncophant to appease her--but my sons are good boys--she invalidates what does not suit her "tastes"..my quirky individual "self".

The irony is I have a stellar career...have been very successful---but I am a causualty of realtionship failure--I have alot to learn..obviously I'm full of flaws too--but i haven't given up. Trouble is I have noticed I am a magnet for NPs....I must emit a signal that I am "broken in"!

So God knows I --as you--and all us types--struggle onward.

But it is like an elixir to see this blog.

Keep up your wonderful work and gems of insight, Anna!

Annette said...

Anna, I love your blog. Please do keep up the good work! Your "wicked man" blog is awesome...it gives people the support they need to leave. We have to do the right thing, and the right thing really is to walk away from evil.