How to Deal with Verbally Abusive Parents: EP 25

Are You Trapped in a Cycle of Emotional Abuse from Parents?

Overwhelmed by the Verbal Abuse

The words of an abuser can cause all kinds of agony and can set one on a lifelong destructive course. In this episode, I speak with Lance, who’s verbally attacked by his parents. I also talk with Sarah who endures verbal abuse at least twice a day trapped in the car with her dad. And the most difficult conversation I had is with Tameka, whose father emotionally and verbally abuses her. He calls her names and puts her down every day. If you need help dealing with verbal abuse in your family, then this one is for you!

Trying to Avoid the Conflict with Parents

Lance’s parents get angry at him for stupid reasons. They call him names and he says, “It’s getting stupid.” Lance gets so stressed by his parent’s abuse, he forgets his responsibilities and messes up even more.

Like Lance, most victims of verbal abuse feel put down, afraid, hurt, angry, confused, and helpless to do anything about the situation. In this case, Lance tried to get away from the abuse by hiding in his room, trying to avoid the conflict.

The words of an abuser cause all kinds of agony. It can set one on a lifelong destructive course. The Bible does not mince words when talking about a destructive tongue. It says, “The tongue is a fire. It is full of wrong. It poisons the whole body. The tongue sets our whole lives on fire with a fire that comes from hell.” James 3:6 In spite of this graphic description, the verbal abuser seldom understands or cares about the havoc he or she is causing. Most are full of rage and have no idea the damage being done.

Lance is afraid of his parents. They use vicious words to control and hurt him. Lance is stressed at what his parents are doing which causes him to forget what they are trying to say. It’s a vicious cycle. They verbally abuse him, he stresses out and forgets what they require of him, so they abuse him more. Then he forgets again, they get angrier and lash out.

Minimizing the Emotional Abuse

On one hand, Lance understands they hurt him, on the other hand he minimizes what they are doing to him. I challenged him to get out of the house and he responded by saying, “Their good parents besides that.” Just because they are good parents the rest of the time, doesn’t change the fact that their verbal abuse is horrific and causing incredible damage. It’s like someone who has been beaten within an inch of death to say of his attacker, “It’s okay that he almost killed me because most of the time he’s really nice.”

Lance doesn’t have an advocate or someone to help him with his problems. His abusive parents have beaten him down and he doesn’t know what to do but just knowing someone cares will help him tremendously with his tragic situation.

A Father Full of Rage and Verbal Abuse

Sarah is in a very difficult situation. She and her sister are in the car, with their father for 10 minutes, twice a day, to and from school. Their father is extremely angry. He’s full of rage because of the divorce and who knows what else. Attacking the girls verbally is irrational but in some ways it must make him feel better, even though he’s doing great harm to his victims.

The wise King Solomon has given incredible advice to someone who is forced to be around another one full of rage. Solomon’s advice is to go soft and quiet when an angry person acts out. He said in Proverbs 15:1, “A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.”

When Sarah becomes gentle and humble with her words, she can help soften her father’s harsh and angry words by not letting him get her upset. After a while, the father will run out of things to say. He will see love and wisdom demonstrated during their drives to and from school. God’s love is powerful. It can do some amazing things, even turn Sarah’s father into a changed man.

We all ought to pray for Sarah because she needs tremendous patience. With it her soft approach will help change her father’s attitude. Solomon wrote, “Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone.” Proverbs 25:15

Stuck in an Awful Predicament of Abuse

Tameka’s father has been emotionally and verbally abusing her for 6 years. He calls her names and puts her down every day. Tameka feels she can’t take it anymore and is starting to break down.

Tameka is stuck and needs help to find a much better situation. She needs to get away from her abusive father. The Bible tells us about King Saul, who was David’s mentor but also his authority figure. Saul had the right to put David to death and anyone else under his dominion. Saul fell away from God and was determined to kill David because he was jealous and hateful towards him.

David had to go to someone who could protect him and that someone was a man called Samuel. Samuel was a powerful man. He was both a prophet and judge over all of Israel. The Bible goes onto to say, “When David had fled and made his escape, he went to Samuel at Ramah and told him all that Saul had done to him. Then he and Samuel went to Naioth and stayed there.” 1 Samuel 19:18

Tameka, like David, is under the authority of her father. Before attempting to leave her horribly abusive situation, she needs to hook up with safe people who will protect her. She definitely needs our prayers for strength and courage as she reaches out to others.

Let us all pray, God will change Tameka’s father, so he will turn from his vicious ways. The Bible says, “A worthless man digs up evil, and his speech is like a scorching fire.” Proverbs 16:27 May God stop him in his tracks, may he turn to Christ to forgive him and find a whole new life of love and support.

Did Today’s Episode on Abuse Get You Thinking?

Verbally abused people are all around us. May God help us identify them and offer support that will help them heal. If you have been verbally abused, I want to encourage you to go to a place called TheHopeLine Prayer page. There you will find encouragement and prayer that will start you down the road of healing. Our hearts are with you. God says, He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; he will not despise their plea.” Psalm 102:17

Resources for help with EMOTIONAL and VERBAL Abuse:

One last thing,

My podcast, our website, everything we do is entirely listener supported. If you’d like to help us to continue our work, please make a gift right now at our Give Now page.

Join me for my next episode on depression. In this episode, I speak with Samantha who finds herself emotionally exhausted. I also get a chance to talk with Melissa, facing a serious setback after her counselor is murdered. Then, I realize that Cody has a core belief, he’s worthless. Lastly, Dustin shares how even though he’s got some debilitating health issues, he’s reaching out to people who are depressed and encouraging them. From this episode, I hope you gain encouragement and are able to get help by learning from other’s experiences.

Remember, whatever you do, Never Lose Hope!
- Dawson

Dawson McAllister
Dawson McAllister, also known as America's youth pastor, was an author, radio host, speaker, and founder of TheHopeLine. McAllister attended Bethel College in Minnesota for undergraduate work where he graduated in 1968, began graduate studies at Talbot School of Theology in California, and received an honorary doctorate from Biola University.
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One comment on “How to Deal with Verbally Abusive Parents: EP 25”

  1. This doesn't apply to someone who lives with their parents with no money at age 33. Neither does it apply to someone like me who is at the mercy of said verbal abuser that pays for the house, cars, food, & bills. Got an advice for that situation? I'd love to hear it >.>

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