Spiritual Guidelines to Stay Free

Table of contents for Freeing Yourself from Abusive Relationships

  1. Practical Steps to Free Yourself
  2. Spiritual Guidelines to Stay Free

Reading Level: Gratifying

Those in abusive relationships frequently live in a state of confusion and hopelessness or blaming God for not helping them because they are unable to identify why continual destruction takes place in their lives.

Unfortunately, one is usually unaware of how his daily choices, lack of boundaries, and violating of spiritual and natural laws open the doors for harm to repeatedly come to him. Today I want to help you identify areas of your life that may be “opening the door” to harm in your circumstances and relationships. If you can begin seeing where you are violating spiritual boundaries or guidelines that God set up for your own protection, you can avoid the pitfalls, protect your life, and fulfill your destiny.

A person who continually faces destruction in his life often feels that he is being loving “like God” by giving in to controlling people and not having boundaries to protect his life and destiny.

This person often becomes bitter and blames God for the hardships he or she is suffering, but it is not God that has caused these things. God is not just “loving,” He IS Iove itself. There is a difference. He is perfect love and His perfect love includes boundaries, natural and spiritual laws, correction, and justice for the sake of our protection and well-being. To have real love and beneficial results in one’s daily life and relationships, you must implement God’s type of love, a real love that has boundaries and protection built into it.

A person would not blame God for self-imposed harm that came to someone who chose to violate the laws of nature. Yet, whether or not you implement spiritual laws for daily relationships is also a decision to avoid or cause self-imposed harm.

Here is an illustration. If someone chooses to violate the natural law of gravity by jumping off a skyscraper and bringing destruction to his or her physical body, you would not blame God for the result of their choice. God did not do it to them. The person chose to violate a natural law and it resulted in personal harm. God lists in Scripture many practical, daily guidelines (I’m going to call them spiritual laws as compared to laws of nature), which are given to help us be wise in our relationships with people, particularly those who are controlling or potentially harmful to us. People often violate these laws for one of three reasons:

–A lack of knowledge. They have never received instruction on the subject.

–They know about them but mistakenly feel that compromise is a loving choice because it is what the controlling person wants them to do.

–The person is so worn out by surrounding themselves with “leech” type people instead of giving people that they do not have the strength to fight for their personal rights, well-being, and fulfillment of destiny.

By stating the following spiritual guidelines as what should be avoided, it will be easier for you to identify if you already have violations of these spiritual guidelines affecting your relationships with people, and make changes necessary to bring restoration to your life. My comments on the spiritual laws will be in brackets and italics.


Avoid Selfish People:
Jas. 3:16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. (NIV)

Avoid Strife-Causing People:
Jas. 3:16 For where envying and strife are, there is confusion, unrest, disharmony, and all sorts of evil and vile practices. (AMP) [Notice that self-seeking people and those who cause strife create an environment filled with evil and confusion. As a result, close associations with these type of people will bring destructive circumstances into your life and difficulty in making good decisions.]

Avoid Worrying and Those Who Create Worrisome Situations:
Mr. 4:18-20 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. [Those whose actions consistently cause you worry and create worrisome situations in your life will also drain you of energy and make your life “unfruitful” or unproductive.]

Avoid Associations or Situations Devoid of Integrity:
Prov. 10:2 Treasures of wickedness profit nothing, but righteousness, moral and spiritual rectitude [goodness and integrity] in every area and relation, delivers from death. [Just as this proverb states that a person whose character contains goodness and integrity in every aspect and relationship of his or her lifestyle delivers from “death,” so the opposite is also true. Close associations with those devoid of goodness and integrity in every aspect of their person and relationships will cause death {circumstances destructive to life} not only in their own lives, but in your life.]

Avoid Close Association with Foolish Speaking People:
Prov. 10:10 The lips of the foolish will lead to ruin but he who boldly reproves makes peace. [Speaking foolishly yourself or close association with someone who does results in unnecessary harm.]

Avoid Those who Refuse Correction:
Prov. 10:17 He who heeds instruction and correction is not only himself in the way of life but also is a way of life for others. And he who neglects or refuses reproof not only himself goes astray but also causes to err and is a path toward ruin for others. [Some people live a lifestyle of refusing to accept good instruction. Neither will they take responsibility for the fact that their poor choices are the source of their problems; someone else is always to blame. Notice that God instructs that such a person not only brings ruin on himself/herself, but also causes ruin to come to those around them.]

Avoid Speaking Death over Any Area of Life:
Prov. 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue. [Rather than speak about how bad a situation is, speak how it should be. Even with your physical health, the body responds to your words. When you say, “I am sick,” you are commanding your body to be, or stay, ill. Instead, if you say, “I am recovering,” you are telling your body to heal itself. Either way, your body responds to your words. According to this proverb, the positive or negative aspect of your words affect the entire outcome of your life, either positively or negatively. To read my post with the information on how your words affect the nerves in your brain, click here to read “Healing Words.”]

Avoid “Bad Boy Syndrome” in Relationships:
Jn. 3:16, “For God so loved that He gave…” [God loves, so He gives. Seek relationships of God-like givers, not user/abusers. I have seen friends who choose loving, giving people to be their life-long friends, but always pick controllers, users, or abusers to be romantically involved with as a husband, wife, boyfriend, or girlfriend. Realize that the good, giving-type people you know you need as friends must be the same type of people with whom you choose to have a life-long, intimate relationship.]

Avoid All Decisions Based on Fear and/or Withdrawal of Love:
[If you missed my post on how various fears in your personal relationships can cause poor decisions, click here to read “Motivation Check.” ]

Avoid a Poverty Mindset:
Ps. 35:27 Shout for joy and be glad and say continually, “Let the Lord be magnified, who takes pleasure in the prosperity of me, His servant.” [Just as your words produce death or life, so do negative or positive thoughts. What you believe determines your frame of mind and whether you are able to receive good from people, as well as whether you are able to notice beneficial opportunities. God instructs us to continually speak out loud with a mindset of joy that God takes pleasure or delight in our lives prospering in all its facets.]

Avoid Leeches Financially, Spiritually , Emotionally, Time-wise, Sleep-wise, and Energy-wise:
Prov. 30:15 “The leech has two daughters. ‘Give! Give!’ they cry. “There are three things that are never satisfied, four that never say, ‘Enough!'” [This is an unusual proverb, but it means, if you allow it, there will be people in your life who are like “leeches;” no matter how much you give, they expect more of you and are never satisfied with the amount of your giving. Like a blood-sucking leech, such people will drain all of the life out of you-physically, financially, spiritually, etc.]

Avoid Condoning Violations of Spiritual Laws in Your Household:
2 Thes. 3:10 For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.”

Prov. 18:9 He who is loose and slack in his work is brother to him who is a destroyer and he who does not use his endeavors to heal himself is brother to him who commits suicide. [These 2 verses show that it is morally wrong, a violation of God’s standards, for you to support someone who refuses to work even though they are able. This concept is further explained in the next quote.]

Gal. 6:2-5 Bear one another’s burdens… But let each man test his own work, and then he will take pride in himself. For each man will carry his own load. [The word, “burdens,” refers to a boulder-type obstacle, something impossible for an individual to handle. It is a situation that needs outside assistance; still, realize that you as an individual cannot handle the other person’s overwhelming problem on your own instead of them either. This shows it is not morally acceptable before God for the other person to expect you to solve his problems-or make a living for him. In the same context, verse 5 says, “for each one should carry his own load.” “Load” in the original Greek means a difficulty which is comparable to a backpack. In other words, in God’s view, every person is responsible for the problems he or she can “carry” or take care of himself or herself.]

Gal. 6:7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. [Do not violate the spiritual law of sowing and reaping in a person’s life. It will actually harm both you and the other person. If a person takes responsibility to plant corn, and fertilize, and water, he should “reap” or eat of the harvest–the results of his responsibility. If he was too lazy to plant the corn, or planted it and then gave up on his responsibilities to nurture it, he should “reap” what he did–nothing. When you take over and keep the irresponsible person from “reaping” the discomfort or financial lack from his actions, you cause him to stay irresponsible. God established both natural and spiritual laws of sowing and reaping to protect you from abuse, as well as to protect the irresponsible person from his own harmful tendencies. If he or she “reaps” continual discomfort or financial lack from their behavior, it becomes motivational for him or her to change.]

Avoid Self-Condemnation:
Rom. 8:1 There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus, who live not after the desires of the flesh but the desires of the Spirit. [Due to the weariness that comes from extended trying circumstances, everyone has an occasional day when, emotionally, they feel discouraged, hopeless, unable to be strong for other people, etc. You make a difficult situation even harder if you listen to the negatives voices in your mind which bring self­-condemnation for not staying perfectly hopeful and strong. I heard a great word of encouragement the other day from Joel Osteen. He said, “Even Jesus fell down under the weight of His cross. He fell on the way to His victory.” In the Romans 8 quote, God says that He does not condemn the person who has received forgiveness and reconciliation to Him through Jesus; this means the voices of condemnation are never from God and need to be cast out of your thought-life.

Also, just as in any healthy relationship, if the other person realizes an offense and sincerely apologizes, you forgive and go on without harboring bitterness or repeatedly bringing up the offense. Since God desires to exist in a healthy relationship with each of us, when you ask forgiveness, He truly does forgive and forget. Realizing this fact, you must not allow your imagination to think that God is continuing to punish you through your circumstances; neither should you continue to beat yourself down with guilt.]

Avoid Leaving the Sheep Gate Open:
John 10:1-5 [In this passage, Jesus clearly says that there is to be a fence of protection with a protective gate and a watchman that opens it for “good pasture” but closes it to keep out the thief, lions, bears, all that harm His sheep. It is your responsibility to “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” (Pr 4:23) Most everything harmful to your body, spirit, mind, emotions, destiny, finances, etc. starts with words and actions from other people that come into your mind and begin harming your thoughts and resulting choices. Not guarding yourself from such people’s influence will result in harm to all the various aspects of your life, just as if a shepherd left the sheep gate open or without a watchman to guard it. You must be an efficient watchman over the gate to your life! You must keep the fence intact. God expects you to protect your life from harmful, controlling, abusive people. When you allow harm in and keep the beneficial out, you violate the spiritual law of the sheep gate. Harm will come in all areas of your life if you live a fenceless, gateless life toward people that harm you.]

Avoid Compromise of Righteousness:
Prov. 10:11 The mouth of the [uncompromisingly] righteous man is a well of life. [Not compromising what you know is good and right for you and your God-given destiny brings a fulfilling life. The opposite is also true and must be avoided. Compromising what you know to be wisdom or what you know are healthy spiritual laws will cut off the open doors and paths that lead to your destiny– the fulfillment of your life purpose.]

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