Over these past few weeks I have seen several Christian women sharing their stories of domestic violence at the hands of their “Christian” husbands. Unfortunately, I also know numerous women (and men) who shared similar experiences while being married to their former “Christian” spouses.
Narcissists thrive in a church environment because, unfortunately, they know that it is one of the best places to find targets. Christians generally assume that everyone has pure intensions. We are unfortunately easily manipulated by religious speech and acts, especially if someone has a platform at church or is in some kind of position where they are recognised by the congregation. Narcissists adopt any personality they believe will lure in prey the easiest.
One woman’s mother shared a heartbreaking message with photos on Facebook of her daughter and former son-in-law on their wedding day. They looked so very happy and in love; her daughter smiling from ear-to-ear as she poses next to her new hubby. The mother writes:
“She had met him at work and had everyone who knew him and worked with him vouch for the fact that he was a good man. When she met him he told her that he had prayed first about meeting her. He went to church every Sunday morning and evening and Wednesday night. They dated for a year and she thought that her dream had come true to be loved by and married to a hard-working Godly man.”
The fairy tale quickly turned nightmarish when the mother made a horrifying discovery –
“…to my horror on a Thursday evening 5 weeks later I received a call, actually several missed calls asking had I heard from Jodi. That night was the culmination of every mother’s worst nightmare. The person that we all thought was this wonderful man turned out to be the most narcissistic, lying, violent, monster we’ve ever known. He had hit her on the honeymoon, started drinking immediately after the marriage and then came the drugs.”
This is one of many sad stories that should serve as an eye opener to the daughters of God.
Narcissists are very good at playing the part of the character they think will be the easiest to lure you in and they easily adapt to fit into any crowd. They will go out of their way to convince you and those around you that they are “legit” and are patient in doing so for however long it takes to fully trap you. Once they believe they have you where they want you, they will start breaking you down from the inside out. Narcissists display traits over time that we in the Christian world would describe as Jezebelic. They hide it pretty well, however, there are always red flags to be on the lookout for:
- He will know and quote scripture well but does not live it out. He is good at committing acts that make him appear as if he is truly following Christ (serving in church/community, being friendly/compassionate/regularly attends church/Bible study), but easily compromises when it comes to his own sin. He will also minimise the seriousness of sin and will convince you that it is not such a “big deal”. This is why most people who know them are convinced that they are good guys – they tick all the “nice Christian guy” boxes.
- Every now and again his true character shows, if you stay alert. A devilish look in the eye, a “small” violent act against you or someone they know, a fit of rage here and there. A “white lie” every now and then. Being even slightly possessive.
- Little to no accountability/responsibility. He does not handle Biblical council well, nor does he like being addressed about his sin. He is quick to resent and blame those who God has placed in authority over his life.
- He gets defensive when you bring up his past or ask about people from his past/relatives.
- When in his presence your sense of peace is either non-existent or waivers. You want to feel comfortable but deep down, something prevents you from doing so.
- Of course, he will be on his best behaviour while still dating you and will probably be very convincing through his actions that he truly is following Jesus – however; there will always be something that feels “off”. Something that does not seem quite as authentic as it should.
- His “compliments” feel “off” and sooner or later, you find yourself being insecure about things you were never insecure about before.
- He will have issues with you being around other people, especially males. Sure, it will not be obvious at first, but overtime, he will express his disapproval more and more. Or, he says he is okay with you being friends or spending time with other people but he will constantly “check on you” while you are with them.
- Over-emotional responses to the “Holy Spirit” during prayer or worship. Some church women are on the lookout for someone to marry, but sometimes it is only someone to “fix”. Using tears is a good strategy to lure this good woman.
- Plenty of apologies but no genuine repentance. They make “mistakes” that cause you pain, they apologise but keep doing it.
“They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!”
– 2 Timothy 3 v 5