Thursday Thought — Divide and Conquer is his Method.
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealously, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5: 19-21 ESV
Strife, Dissensions, Divisions. Why would a person want to produce strife? Why would someone crave to turn the people, for example, in his family against one another? And how does he go about doing it?
Remember, for the abusive person, it is all about power and control. A family that is divided, a church that is divided into factions — is much easier to control. Unity is the abuser’s enemy. Therefore, he will do things like —
a. Undermining his wife’s authority. When children know that mom’s authority is usually overruled by Dad’s power, they know that they can play one parent against the other. They vie for the favor of the parent with the final say.
b. Abusive behavior is divisive by its very nature. When the abuser unleashes one of his weapons, family members start to blame one another for the incident. “It’s your fault! You set him off!”
c. By showing favoritism. The abuser may treat one child as his buddy and ignore the others. The children who choose to distance themselves from their mother and draw closer to the abuser receive very, very powerful emotional rewards from him for doing so.
d. Openly shaming children. Boys are ridiculed for being “mommy’s boy.”
e. Telling family members lies about one another.
f. Using collective punishment. One child’s supposed misbehavior results in consequences for everyone.
The abuser utilizes all of these tactics (and more) to sow division so that his power and control are increased. Divide and conquer is his method. People who are fighting with one another forget who the real enemy is.
[Excerpt from Ps Crippen’s sermon, “The Deeds of the Flesh ‘Fleshed Out'”. (Sermon eight of Ps Crippen’s sermon series on Domestic Violence and Abuse) Audio and PDF of entire sermon can be found at this link.]