Friday, April 4, 2008

Separating Wolves from Sheep (Part 1)

In the animal kingdom it is easy to spot a wolf moving in on the sheep. Shepherds are never confused identifying the predator even when his sharp carnivore teeth are covered.

If only it were so simple with people, how much safer we would be. But with humans appearance doesn't give away the wolves. Recently, I checked a law-enforcement website to view the addresses and pictures of all convicted sex offenders within a 10 mile radius of our home. Some of the mug-shot faces did look "creepy" or potentially dangerous. But just as many perpetrators looked like nice people, ordinary neighborly people.

How many times have you seen news coverage of neighbors declaring, "He seemed to be such a nice guy" when speaking of a neighbor who was a murderer or a rapist?

So how do we spot the pretenders? How do we identify men and women who steal another's sense of self-worth through imbalance of power, systematic belittling, and manipulation?

I don't believe there is any sure-fire way to avoid all abusers, but I have been learning some things are a help.

First, it makes a huge difference to ask God directly for wisdom and guidance. Ask God to lead you to healthy relationships. Ask him to help you to understand/discern another's character and intentions. We are so easily fooled by window dressing, but God sees hearts. He is never fooled.

In tomorrow's post, I will share another wolf-spotting tip.

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Recommended Books

  • 10 Lifesaving Principles for Women in Difficult Marriages by Karla Downing
  • A Way of Hope by Leslie J. Barner
  • Angry Men and the Women Who Love Them by Paul Hegstrom
  • Battered But Not Broken by Patricia Riddle Gaddis
  • Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
  • Bradshaw on the Family by John Bradshaw
  • Caring Enough to Forgive/Not Forgive by David Augsburger
  • Codependent No More by Melody Beattie
  • Healing the Wounded Heart by Dr. Dan B. Allendar
  • Keeping the Faith: Questions and Answers for the Abused Woman by Marie M. Fortune
  • Perfect Daughters by Robert J. Ackerman, Ph.D.
  • Recovery: A Guide for Adult Children of Alcoholics by Herbert L. Gravitz and Julie D. Bowden
  • Safe People by Dr Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
  • Slay Your Own Dragons by Nancy Good
  • The Cinderella Syndrome by Lee Ezell
  • The Dance of Anger by Harriet Goldhor Lerner, Ph.D.
  • The Search for Significance by Robert S. McGee
  • Turning Fear to Hope by Holly Wagner Green
  • When Violence Comes Home: Help for Victims of Spouse Abuse by Tim Jackson and Jeff Olson
  • Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft