One thing it seems like all adult children of narcissists share is the large amount of people who think that we should continue to tolerate anything & everything our narcissistic parents dish out, because of such logic as, “That’s the only mother you’ll ever have!”, “She’s doing her best!” or, “She won’t be around forever yanno!” So many people think tolerating abuse is loving, Godly, martyr-like behavior. How people can think this is utterly beyond me.
Consider Mark 12:32-33, & notice the last part of verse 33…
Mark 12:32-33 “Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. 33 To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” (NIV)
What exactly does it mean to love? Here is how love is defined in the Bible..
1 Corinthians 13 “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (NIV)
I see nothing in there that states how tolerating abuse is a good thing for anyone. Basically, I see 1 Corinthians 13 this way- love wants what is best, & tolerating abuse is hardly best for anyone. The victim certainly doesn’t get what’s best- instead they end up hurt & angry at best, or possibly even doubting their sanity at worst. Depending on the type of abuse the narcissist dishes out, they may also end up in financial straights or with physical injuries. The abuser doesn’t end up with what’s best when abuse is tolerated either, because being allowed to get away with bad behavior certainly isn’t loving! Getting away with bad behavior only encourages that bad behavior to continue, & probably even to escalate. Narcissists in particular, when not confronted with boundaries or consequences for their behavior, will continue to push the limits to see just how far they can go.
People who try to tell you that you need to let your narcissistic parent abuse you truly have no inkling of God’s definition of love. Sadly, many of them are very convicted in their beliefs, so trying to explain this to many of them will be a waste of your time. However, if this is someone you know well, you will know if this person will be open or not to hearing you explain what God’s definition of love really is. If they are, then hopefully your relationship will survive this bump in the road unscathed.