Shat terd


The hidden half of domestic violence

How to have eternal life


Last Oct I promised I would start a series on building stronger marriages. This is the start of that series. This section is from Love's Unseen Enemy by Dr. Les Parrott III

What is love's unseen enemy? It is GUILT. The next several post (over a course of several days) will explore how guilt interferes  with our relationships and even keeps us from meeting our obligations in our relationships...including our relationship with GOD. Once we see guilt in this light, to see how it has destructive effects on our life, we can take steps to reduce it's effects on us.

Guilt often goes unnoticed. Although it does not try to hide, it does divert attention from itself. We try so hard to find reasons for the problems in our relationships we overlook the real problem of guilt.

Guilt is often seen by the way we accept compliments. since often we do not feel we deserve them. It is often transferred into real illnesses, such as anxiety and depression since we do not feel we deserve to "feel" good. Since we do not feel we deserve to feel good.. we punish ourself by being ill. Oh these ARE real illness...but they are caused by GUILT.

GUILT affect EVERYONE. Some feel it is the number one killer...even over cancer and heart problems.

We feel guilty about work, family, sex, money, food and almost anything else you can imagine. Often we feel guilty about feeling good. Why we often even feel guilty about feeling guilty.

Guilt can stalk us for years. I have had patients for whom their whole life as been ruined because of guilt. The other party had long forgiven them but they could not forgive themselves.

The word guilt comes from the same word as does gold. "gylt" or "to pay" When we feel guilty, we feel we must pay for our misdeeds. However, must as we can never pay off our debt for SIN, we can never pay off our debt for guilt. In trying to pay it off, our actions often result in causing more pain in order to "pay" for our guilt. We open ourselves to psychological  blackmail. Every time we try to pay off our debt, it calls for more.

Guilt comes in many forms.

OBJECTIVE or LEGAL guilt comes from breaking society's laws. (like when we run a stop sign when no one is around. we look for flashing lights for a while after doing it)

SOCIAL guilt occurs when we break unwritten laws of social expectation. It is what causes blushing often.

PERSONAL guilt is compromising our own standards we have placed for ourselves

THEOLOGICAL guilt is the violation of GOD's  laws.

BEING guilty is not the same as FEELING guilty. This is the difference between REAL guilt and FALSE guilt.

REAL guilt comes from DOING wrong. FALSE guilt comes when we feel we have done something wrong when in fact we did not do anything wrong.

True guilt is an alarm that sounds to keep us in line...much as an alarm clock is used to wake us up. False guilt keeps the alarm sounding even after we have woken up and there is no further danger. We can not turn it off.

True guilt then is based on solid facts and signals an objective condition. It is heard when responsibility for wrongdoing is clear and sounds the alarm for violating a law, code or moral value.

False guilt is based on personal feelings and signals a subjective experience. It is heard when there is no clear  responsibility  for wrong doing.

Love's Unseen Enemy.... GUILT as we have seen, there are several types of Guilt. We will be focusing on false guilt or irrational guilt.

False guilt hits those who deserve it the least the hardest. False guilt does not let go often because we do not realize the difference between the two. FEELING guilty is different from BEING guilty. Oddly enough we can BE guilty and not feel guilty.

FALSE GUILT leads to self-destructive behavior. We often feel the need to punish ourselves for what we "think" we did wrong. Ministers and counselors have to fight this feeling too. Sometimes those in the helping professions feel "guilty" if they are not there whenever others need help.

False guilt can often be recognized by "I should haves" It happened to me many years ago when I got a phone call telling me my brother was killed in an auto accident. One of the first things I remember after getting the details is "IF I HAD ONLY..." I was starting to blame myself for not being at his house to have stopped him from leaving to go to his mother in laws when her house caught on fire. In reality, I may well have been with him.

Often those that survive disasters feel guilty about their very survival when others near them did not survive.

False Guilt is unhealthy, undeserved or irrational guilt and is guilt at its worst. This guilt cripples good relationships and it often prevents us from serving the Lord.

Unhealthy guilt is LOVE'S UNSEEN ENEMY.

False guilty….love’s unseen enemy! Again, most of this is from the book of the same name by Dr. Les Parrott III (from this point on, any part from the book will be in “---“)

Many of us have been brought up to think of “sex” as dirty. Many have even been told it is a necessary evil even in the context of marriage. As a result, many marriages are either having great difficulties or have even dissolved. These teaches bring on false guilt…loves unseen enemy. Sexual relations within a marriage is a wonderful and beautiful GOD given thing. Often in such relationships, the party that has a healthier attitude toward this becomes more resentful as his/her needs are not met within the bounds of God’s plan to meet these needs. Needless temptation to meet these needs in other ways results. The one party will be tempted to find another source to meet these needs to prove at least to themselves that they are still desirable. (PLEASE note that this does not mean that in every case that someone strays, we did not do our part…after all we do not want to set the stage for “FALSE GUILTY” here do we?) Often it is seen as rejection. We will be exploring four ways we cope with guilt in this session.

“Most people recognize the gnawing feeling of guilt, but few recognize guilt’s power to destroy relationships. The feeling of guilt silently undermine the human capacity for building healthy relationships. Guilt undercuts our ability to love and corrupts our capacity to be authentic”

“Unless we learn to deal with guilt effectively, we will never break free of its bondage. Typically we handle our feelings of guilt in one of four ways.”

1: We find someone to BLAME. We saw this in the Garden…Adam blamed Eve. Eve blamed the serpent. “Who ME?” “I didn’t do it” “Well she/he asked for it” How often have we heard these excuses? How often have WE used them?
Blamers are often very critical people. It is ALWAYS someone else’s fault. This is an attempt to take the blame off us and shed our feelings of guilt. It seldom works. Because of the inability to take responsibility for our own actions, blamers often do not succeed in relationships at home, work or even church. “Attempts to escape guilt by blaming others only exaggerate our own guilt”

2: CONFESS to everything. “We often love to wallow in our own feelings even if the wallowing is painful. Something about being found guilty brings relief” We often see these people confess to crimes they did not do…or to try to get arrested for crimes the feel they “got away” with. “People under the crushing weight of emotional guilt are looking for any possible way out, even false confessions.” Although confession is good for the soul, false confessions cause relational chaos. If it rains, it was their fault because they washed their car This is called “Unconditional guilt” It is actually a subtle way of denying guilt for anything. When we confess to our “wretchedness” we do not go through the hard work of changing our behavior.

False confessions prevent genuine, intimate relationships from developing. This may well be a subconscious goal as we are often very afraid of developing an intimate relationship since we have often been hurt in the past.

3: CONFESS TO MAKE YOURSELF FEEL BETTER: If the above two methods don’t work, there is another option. Confess your guilt and change your behavior. Although this option seems better then the first two, it still has pitfalls. It is often an attempt to get the guilt off their back to FEEL better about THEMSELVES. They care more about how “they” feel they what kind of person they are. We can even do this with God. We confess to get rid of pain but and even change our behavior to get rid of the results of guilt so we can “feel” better…not to BE better. Our MOTIVES do count my friend, especially with God. T.S. Eliot said in Murder in the Cathedral, “the greatest sin is to do all the right things for all the wrong reasons”

4: CONFESS and CHANGE YOUR BEHAVIOR BECAUSE YOU ARE GENUINELY SORRY. The methods above are ineffective ways of dealing with guilt. They often “seem” to work. They help you cope with the pain of guilt. However in reality they destroy relationships.

“The ONLY effective way to deal with guilt is to confess and change your behavior because you are genuinely sorry for the pain your wrongdoing has caused.” You focus will not be on you, but the other person and the pain you have caused them.

Often those that are suffering from long-standing depression may be suffering from “guilt” Guilt often masks itself as depression. At times we can even consciously fake symptoms of depression to get sympathy. It is a way of avoiding responsibility. AGAIN PLEASE remember…this has to be researched on a case by case basis…do not assume depression is from this without carefully examining each case. This is best left up to professional therapist. If you know of someone that you think this may be happening with…even yourself perhaps, seek out a CHRISTIAN counselor. If you can not find one in your area, please message me and we can see if we can help you find one.

Personally, I do not like the word, apologize. Whenever I hear “I apologize for…” I start to think it is shallow. I could well be wrong but I do not feel this reflects real sorrow for wrongdoing often. Lets look at one good example of confession.
Luke 15:

11 and he said, A certain man had two sons:
12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.
13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.
14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.
15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.
17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:
24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
25 Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing.
26 And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.
27 And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.
28 And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.
29 And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:
30 But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.
31 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.
32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

Our confession should hurt us as much as our wrongdoing hurt those we offended. Real confession should first be to GOD, then to the one we wronged. Our confession should not include anyone that was not part of the wrong. Remember that it is not our job to advertise for satan. We do not need to include all the horrid details.

One means of confession to God can be found in post 62 Effective Prayer for Hurting People on Shattterd Men
CONSCIENCE: Your Internal Thermostat

Our conscience is the inner signal that lets us know what we "ought" to have been and what we "ought" to have done.

Question: What Biblical verse tells us to "let our conscience be our guide"? We have heard this "Biblical sounding" idea for so long that most do not realize it is not in the Bible.. Jiminy Cricket said it.

Contrary to popular ideas, the conscience is not a reliable voice of God. Each person has a different level of "conscience. Some people do not even have a conscience. They can murder people and never feel one bit of remorse. In the context of Shatterd Men, some wives and husbands can be very abusive to their spouse and feel no remorse as they justify that they deserved to be battered.

I have talked to some here in this club that have a highly trained conscience. They have felt guilty for some very real statements they intended only to help for being taken the wrong way...perhaps by someone who does not have a good conscience.

The conscience is a gift from God however like any other gift, it needs to be trained. We need to learn how to use it wisely, just as we teach our children right from wrong.

As we teach our children right from wrong, their conscience develops slowly gains more "home rule" As a result a mature adult need not relay on outside input to know right from wrong. We then set our own standards and we reward or punish ourselves based on those standards. Often we are harder on ourselves then others would be. We often show no mercy on ourselves and without knowing it, we become legalist who are more concerned about keeping rules then having healthy, loving relationships. Let's explore three types of conscience.

The legalist, the amoralist and a healthy conscience.

The LEGALIST: Judaism emphasized keeping God's Law. The early Christians had to decide what place laws and rules would play in their new lives with Christ. Paul and of course more important, Christ explained that following the rules and keeping the law would not save anyone. ONLY a relationship with Christ brings redemption.

When our conscience is too strict law takes precedence over love. Relationships then suffer. Rules are important. They do give freedom. Often we hear people say "if only I had a list of what I can do and can not do, it would be easy to be a Christian" We did have that list. it was the law and there were a whole lot more then ten. Rules become spoiled when they become more important then relationships.

This is one reason why so many wives resent being submissive to their becomes more "rule" then a relationship, then love.

There is always emotional damage where legalism ruled. "legalism drains grace from homes, kills joy in a church, finds rules for every situation and breeds oppressiveness, judgment and unforgiveness.

(From Love's Unseen Enemy by Dr Les Parrott III
Zondervan Publishing House)


On one hand, we have the legalist. Here we have the other side. An amoralist has no sense of right and wrong. They can perform all sorts of antisocial acts and suffer no remorse or guilt. Amoralist are not limited to social paths.

Society is breeding a unhealthy respect for "getting away with it" People cheat because "everyone is doing it" We are desensitized by movies, soap operas and false research to thinking most people cheat on their spouse. Again, in the context of Shattterd Men, we realize that there is a problem with domestic violence in that we have battered women, but due to the lack of information about battered "men" most do not feel it is wrong for a wife to hit her husband. Often we see society justifying this by asking "what did he do to deserve it?" We hear the media reminding us often "there is no excuse to hit a woman" Why do they not tell us there is "NO EXCUSE TO HIT"? Even the law that is intended to end domestic violence by its very nature encourages it by half the population. The Violence Against Women Act should have been the Domestic Violence Act but instead it permits a wife to be an amoralist in regard to domestic violence to her husband. When will we learn that "verbal" conflicts should never be taken to the next level...physical conflict?

Next...the Healthy Conscience

(From Love's Unseen Enemy by Dr Les Parrott III
Zondervan Publishing House)


Most people do not like pain. Some, if given a choice would even elect to never have pain again, but it would be a very bad choice. Lepers lose the feeling of pain in their extremities and as a result often lose fingers and toes after injuring themselves over and over. PAIN is a warn sign, a sign something is wrong and it is a very important gift from God. Without pain we could very well keep doing something until it destroyed us. Ummm it is below 0 outside now. If I were to go outside without a coat, my body would soon tell me it was not a good idea. In turn, I would go back inside but what if my body did not tell me I was cold? I would more likely freeze to death.

The pain of GUILT is no less severe then actual physical pain. However it too is needed to survive. Without this pain, we would all become moral lepers. The pain of guilt in a healthy conscience keeps us from self-destructive acts. We feel emotional pain when we do wrong but the pain eases when we correct the wrong.

A healthy conscience is not bound by rigid rules. Have you noticed that during a very strong wind storm, some of the biggest trees are then ones on the ground after the storm passes by? They were not flexible. They could not bend without breaking. A person with a strong conscience lives by principle. He/she is discerning and carefully thinks through moral problems. In reaching a moral decision a balance is obtained in concern for rules and a deeper concern for relationships. It includes 4 aspects.

1: A Healthy Conscience does not look for an easy way out. They know when they have stepped out of line and they do not try to deny or excuse it. The healthy conscious is not afraid of responsibilities

2: A Healthy Conscience accepts human weakness. It will not ignore limits and relentlessly increase demands. It allows us to make mistakes, to control the damage and to move on. I have recently talked to a few people who very innocently created a problem in another club when one person posted something there. Their full intention was to help. On one hand, one person knew of things the other did not know but due to an issue of confidentiality was not able to say anything about it. As a result, almost all involved either had or could have had "love's unseen enemy...false guilt. We have or will learn from this that satan does try to divide the body of Christ in things like this.
 3: A Healthy Conscience is concerned with "morality" and not "moralism" People with unhealthy conscience are more concerned with looking good then being good. They are quick to tell everyone what is right and wrong that they do not pay attention to the reason behind the rules, nor do they extend love and understanding to others. People with a healthy conscience know why something is right or wrong. They are easy to live with, affirming in their relationships and always ready to show loving kindness.

4: A Healthy Conscience knows how to receive forgiveness. William Cowper who after writing one of the best know invitational hymns of the Church...

"There is a fountain filled with blood
drawn from Emmanuel's veins
And sinners plunged beneath that flood
Lose all their guilty stains

E'er since by faith I say the steam
Thy flowing wounds supply
Redeeming Love has been my theme
And shall be till I die.

became convinced he was beyond forgiveness after a life riddled with loss, bouts of depression and a suicide attempt. Even John Newton, author of Amazing Grace, could not convince Cowper of his forgiveness.

A tyrannical conscience has great difficulty accepting forgiveness. It demands additional punishment and tries to "earn" God's love.

My friend...God does NOT require us to pay our own way. JESUS paid it ALL... ALL to HIM I owe... Sin has left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.

Isaiah 1:18

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

My friend, If you have never found the forgiveness this tells about, PLEASE read post 22 in Shattterd Men

(From Love's Unseen Enemy by Dr Les Parrott III
Zondervan Publishing House

SHAME. In the 1960's many of our teenage boys received a letter from their friends and neighbors telling them that "Uncle Sam" wanted them. Many were then taken away from their families for the first time and given several weeks of training and within a short time they found themselves wading through rice patties half way around the world. Often their time consisted of two extremes, extreme boredom, or extreme terror. Those who chose not to go were instant felons. Something half their class never had to face.

Those who did go, and did get through the "tour of duty" physically intact, were often emotionally crippled. This was greatly intensified as these men were often in a firefight one day and only a day or two later debarking a plane as a civilian. Their reward for serving their country? They were spat upon and called "baby killers"

The lack of appreciation coupled with their own self-imposed guilt over Vietnam (remember it is the only war we actually lost) led these men to carry the dead weight of SHAME. The emotional pain of guilt can turn toxic. When guilt moves from a gut feeling to a feeling of failure, the seeds of shame are sown.

When it affects our feeling of self-WORTH, guilt becomes SHAME!

We may feel guilty for WHAT we did but we feel Shame for WHO we ARE. It contaminates the soul. It is not a feeling that we did wrong but that we our very selves are wrong...even if the BLOOD of the LAMB has redeemed us.

People who are especially prone to shame live with a deep sense of unworthiness and with the constant fear of rejection.

Those who have been abused fit this very well.

(from LOVE'S UNSEEN ENEMY by Dr Les Parrott III)
 Guilt is the fear of punishment. Shame is the fear of abandonment. Guilt is from crossing a line and being on the wrong side. Shame is feeling we were born there. We feel guilty about things we do, cheating on a diet, telling a lie, but when we start to define ourselves by what we did, it turns to shame. Shame strikes at our very identity causing us to hate ourselves and to believe we are worthless.

For most shame has roots buried deep in our childhood. We learn our self worth from only four or five people, parents, siblings, neighbor or teacher. Too often we have been told we are worthless and will never amount to anything. Thus the seeds of Shame and feeling worthless were sown. This picture stays with us people. It will affect us all our life unless we weed it out by exposing it to the light of our ONLY source of truth...God's Word.

The Side Effects of SHAME

Feeling of Inadequacy: Our feelings of inadequacy expand to feeling of inferiority and worthlessness. Shame prone people discount their own value.

Feelings of Rejection: Ah how well do many of us know about this. The net can sometimes compound this. I have been in chats when one has told me that if I knew what he/she was doing I would not want to talk to them, only to be told and then to lose the connection. People PLEASE remember that computers do lose connection at the worst of times... It does not mean you are being rejected...but also remember, there is ONE who NEVER loses a connection and He is ALWAYS there.

Feelings of LONELINESS: There are times we need to be alone...this is solitude. However Shame robs people of solitude and fills people with the painful feelings of desperate aloneness. This can also happen with people all around us. Loneliness is a serious personal problem but because of Shame they do not have the strength they need to reach risk reaching out to people. They do not want to risk rejection so they withdraw. Others may seek out those who only intend on "using or even abusing" them. It would seem any attention is better then none at all.

Feeling of Dependency: The person who fear to be alone will never be anything but lonely...Thomas Merton. The Loneliness of shame fosters unhealthy dependency. This is called co-dependency. Instead of loving and being loved, co-dependent people need others to avoid being lonely. Shame based people will often feel inadequate, rejected, empty, lonely and dependent. They often pity themselves are passive, withdraw and lose their creativity. They often sit in silence and wonder why no one seeks them out...and often if one does, they push that person away and reject them...before they feel they would be rejected themselves.

All of these side effects are cause for concern, but shames greatest damage comes as a result of a single LIE.

The greatest LIE is "I can not change" "I am what I am and I can not do anything about it” Much like the caged bird will stay in the cage even after the door is removed, the shame prone person stays in this imagined cage.

No one needs to live under the awful burden of Shame. We can "chose" to change the way we think. Especially the way we think about ourselves. You can start with this before the next segment of this, which will start dealing with the remedies for healing by going to Romans 12: 1,2 and mediating on HIS Word.

(from LOVE'S UNSEEN ENEMY by Dr Les Parrott III)

If any of you reading this do not have a personal relationship with the one that that can make us WORTHY...PLEASE read over posts 22 and 2214.
To those who do and are having problems, read post 62, 2290, and 2304 in

You need not join to do are our guest. We are not trying to build a club. But we are building the body of Christ.
For the LAMB
 There are some that are so guilt ridden, they will confess to anything. That is one reason police keep most details secret for major crimes. There are some that will confess to them but the police know it is a false confession since they do not have the right details. Some hold on to their guilt like a security blanket. But there is a better way. Not only can we know God's grace, but we can experience  it. We do this by Godly sorrow.

Paul chastened the Corinthians for their sin. When they repented and changed their ways he wrote:

2 Corinthians 7
8 For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season.
9 Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.
10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

Guilt and sorrow are not the same emotion. Guilt wallows in self punishment but sorrow is grounded in a deep concern for relationships and constructive change.

Guilt results in the destruction of self and relationships while sorrow results in positive life affirming changes.

We will be looking at eight distinctions between Godly sorrow and guilt.

(this is from Love's Unseen Enemy By Dr Les Parrott III published by Zondervan Publishing.)
 Godly sorrow focus on the other person:

Guilt is selfish. When a person feels guilty they are often in so much pain themselves they can not begin to acknowledge the pain of the people they have hurt Godly sorrow allows people to look beyond their own pain and see the world of the person they have offended. At times we need help in doing this. David had the help of Nathan when Nathan pointed out his sin by using an "unknown" person to talk about and then when David asked who it was, he was told it was him.
(2 Sam 12:1-24)

Godly Sorrow recognizes pain as a part of healing:

Sorrow looks beyond the pain of the moment to th greater goal of healing a broken relationship. it cares about making a wrong right. Self absorbed guilt refuses to go through the pain required to heal a relationship.

(this is from Love's Unseen Enemy By Dr Les Parrott III published by Zondervan Publishing.)

Godly Sorrow looks forward to the future:

When there is no faith in the future, there is no power in the present. People troubled with feelings of guilt do not care or plan for the future. They are often obsessed with the failures of the past on which they focus so they can not plan for the future.
Constructive sorrow looks to the future. It does glance back to avoid the same mistakes. It does not obsess over what might have been or revel in regrets. it does envision what life can become and believes it will be better then the past.

Godly Sorrow is motivated by our desire to change and grow

People plagued by guilt will do anything to feel better but their attempts often do not last long. They may feel the burden of guilt lift for a few moments but they are right on the old destructive paths Constructive sorrow is motivated by our desire to make the needed changes in our behavior and attitude.
Often during revivals we see the same people going to the altar time after time again. They leave their guilt and then go back to the same behavior that caused it. Repentance takes away the pain of guilt but it does not cure the problem.

Guilt brings us back to and endless cycle of bad behavior and shallow repentance. Godly sorrow motivates us to make long lasting changes that although painful can break the cycle of guilt adn sinful behavior

(this is from Love's Unseen Enemy By Dr Les Parrott III published by Zondervan Publishing.)

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