Often times perpetual choices go unnoticed until it becomes a cycle of overwhelming negativity. At that point, the attention of most will be stricken and then some will go into action to focus on a positive resolve and solution to stop the cycle. Others may justify engagements with questionable reasoning while being complacent.
Even if someone acknowledges the repetitive nature of relationship toxicity how does one truly break free from this stronghold and prevent a reoccurrence? How does one recognize toxic traits and harmful behavior before it manifests into physical, emotional, and/or mental attacks which are symptoms of spiritual oppression? Is it possible to stop the cycle and really have change?
Traits of toxic relationships include:
Lack of support, Toxic/Hostile communication, Envy or jealousy…
Patterns of disrespect.
Negative financial behaviors.
Lack of trust, Frequent lying, All take, no give, You feel drained, You’re making excuses for their behavior, You don’t feel safe, You have bad (or nonexistent) communication, You feel neglected and exploited, You feel like you’ve lost yourself, Judgment—not curiosity—is the norm, You feel belittled and ashamed, You don’t receive sympathy or empathy, Dysfunctional roles. You’re mistreated based on assumptions rather than the true you.
These are actions that can be unforeseen early on…often times ignored despite red flags. The honeymoon phase is notorious for overshadowing the truth of the likes/dislikes or wants & needs of what people are actually looking for. The honeymoon phase is just that – a phase of not just fairytale bliss – but a phase nonetheless that most people go through as some put their best foot forward and wear their “Sunday’s best” to present themselves in a way that is most desirable.
When we make up our minds to follow Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, He is not just our Example but also the Protector of our hearts and through The Holy Spirit we will be guided and taught the standard of God’s Holiness and with that direction, we will easily spot and sift through the false presentation that men & women use to subdue the truth in their hearts, which eventually reveals itself…no wolf can pretend to be a sheep forever.
They only consult to cast him down from his high position;
They delight in lies;
They bless with their mouth,
But they curse inwardly. Selah
There are many self-help “gurus” with books upon books, research, studies, talk shows, and anything else you can think of to help those in need in this very common area. However, Glory to God! Our God and King make the complexity of our troubles, cares & burdens, relationships, trials, and tribulations – simple & understood…even mysteries are revealed unto us through His Wisdom, Word, Will, Love, and Grace.
When we stop looking with the lust of our eyes and refocus…looking through the lens of holiness; all things become clear.
What is the lens of holiness?
God’s Word…the standard of God according to His Law (His Instruction) we are instructed to live by..biblical verses in context.
Let’s look at the following verses…let’s look through the lens of holiness…
Signs of Spiritual Toxicity in Relationships:
- The relationship is not according to God’s Word.
2 Corinthians 6:14 NKJV 14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?
1 John 3:18 Let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.
Ephesians 5:33 So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Proverbs 6:32 But the man who commits adultery is an utter fool, for he destroys himself.
Hebrews 13:4 Give honor to marriage and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery.
Exodus 20:14 You must not commit adultery.
- Your partner is not “parent or marriage material”.
Proverbs 31:10-31 NKJV – Virtuous Wife (key verses 10-12)
10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
John 15:12-15 NKJV (Passage entitled: Joy and Love Perfected) Honorable husband
12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.
Psalm 127:3-5 Building the Family Structure “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!”
2 Timothy 3:15-16 “You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.”
Deuteronomy 6:6-7 “These words I am commanding you today must be kept in mind, 7 and you must teach them to your children and speak of them as you sit in your house, as you walk along the road, as you lie down, and as you get up.”
- It draws you farther from the Lord.
James 4:8 NKJV Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
- You become distant from your loved ones/fellow believers.
Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
- We can also include other warning signs such as:
Distracted, no growth, warning from trusted loved ones/believers about your partner, no peace, and no joy.
So how do we break the cycle of toxic relationships?
Well, it’s simple.
We identify what is acceptable or unacceptable by knowing and living by The Holy Standard of God.
As the inheritance of our Messiah King Yeshua, it is natural for us to adhere to and demonstrate holy characteristics and behaviors because we are guided by His Holy Spirit. We are chastened yet supported by our Father. We demonstrate in humility the willingness and action to acknowledge our pitfalls, take responsibility for our transgressions, and ask forgiveness while laying down our troubles, cares & burdens at the Feet of the Throne. Accepting where we are and making the correction through repentance.
If your partner is not willing to do this according to scripture, that is an indication that their heart is in opposition to God. This is a problem as a divided house that is built upon sand will not stand.
If there is a pattern of perpetual dysfunction and sin then a choice will have to be made of whether to continue to follow Christ on His Narrow Path that will lead you to eternal life, as well as, find the right partner for you that will show you unwavering, true love that is unconditional and adheres to the biblical standard of God’s Holiness. Or you can choose the latter of following Satan down the dark rabbit hole of arguments, possible infidelity, verbal/physical/mental abuse, etc. that will surely carry over to your children and your children’s children…which will begin another cycle of patterns of sinful behaviors. You will surely become strange as bad company corrupts good character. Then you’ll be dealing with not only relationship woes but sanctification violations.
The domino effect is like a whirlpool…you won’t realize you’re in it until it’s pulling you down.
1 Corinthians 15:3-34 NKJV
33 Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” 34 Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.
Can the cycle of choosing toxic partners & relationship toxicity be stopped? Can there be real change?
If the heart of your partner is UNWILLING…remember this verse:
John 15:18 NKJV
18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you
If the heart of your partner is WILLING…remember these verses:
Ezekiel 36:26-27 NKJV
26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.
Every saint was ONCE a sinner. We’ve all had to be born again. We’ve all had to choose LIFE and reject the life of the world filled with selfish ambitions, pride, and many other facets of vanity.
As long as we have Christ we have The Way to Redemption…the question is…Is your partner ready and willing to come before The Throne of God just as they are right now? Sanctification is a process and that process is a journey… a journey called life and it’s a bumpy road but we are all striving to be survivors of this endurance. This journey will challenge you to be a pleasing ambassador of the Kingdom of God, a reputable witness of the Testimony of Jesus Christ. You will have to fight the good fight of faith, be strong and of very good courage, have compassion, patience, and not be a hypocrite.
May God determine your trajectory in life according to His Will. May you ponder in the secret place in the midst of God to be guided and directed in every matter through The Holy Spirit in Jesus’ name. Selah.
Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV
28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Be encouraged Messiah has said Do Not Worry…
(Matthew 6:25-34 NKJV Passage entitled: Do Not Worry, 25;33)
25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
God has given us a solution to this well-known problem.
God actually laid out the blueprint of what a holy relationship is and looks like. He has outlined those details throughout the Bible. After all, did you know the Bible is a Love Story? Yes, a Love Story about King Yeshua The Bridegroom and His Bride The Church. The children of God would do well to pattern His Example, not harmful worldly behaviors in relationships but have a holy decorum/holy character as His Will and Word is a gauge of how we are to be treated and how we are to treat others.
Hebrews 13:21 NKJV
21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
May you have Peace and Grace multiplied.
Be holy for He is Holy.
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