Matthew 10:16 "Behold I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves."
The Greeks used the word 'wolf' to describe men who are cruel, greedy, rapacious and destructive. Paul warned us several times in the New Testament to be wary and watchful of the wolves that attempt to destroy the church.
He knew there would be evil men who would infiltrate fledging congregations of new believers and try, for whatever reason, to refute the teachings of the disciples or spread heretical views that would cause confusion and division. He referred to new Christians as innocent little lambs who needed protection and proper direction.
This was a real danger because these new converts didn't have the New Testament to confirm the truth of what they were being told. All they had to rely on were the teachings of the disciples and the protégés who had studied under them. It was perfectly logical to listen to what different men had to say, and therein lay the danger.
However, because of the culture of the day, women were expected to be silent during the teaching and to ask their husbands any questions they may have about what was said when they returned home. That sure isn't what happens today!
These days, women are featured as prominently as men are on the stages of modern day churches. Their roles can range from piano player or choir director all the way to evangelists who travel the world and have millions of devoted followers. Whatever their role, I want to point out that the wolves we still have among us in our churches are not always male. There are plenty of she wolves and they can be just as destructive.
What causes an otherwise normal looking individual to join a harmonious group of people, only to begin to sow strife, gossip and division? What's the point of doing that? It's the same reason there's usually at least one bully in every crowd. They want attention, even if it's negative attention. This bizarre breed sometimes has a destructive personality disorder called narcissism.
Now, everyone has a touch of being self absorbed that usually manifests itself in healthy self esteem. The average adult has been knocked around by life enough to have learned that to get along with others, they must be humble but there are times when it is absolutely appropriate to stand up for themselves so as to not be taken advantage of. This is not what I'm talking about.
There have always been women, she wolves, who live for the excitement of causing strife. The most famous was Jezebel. In these last days as evil increases at an exponential rate, Christian men need to be on guard against such 'ladies.'
Narcissistic people literally have little to no conscience. They are, quite frankly, sociopathic, not necessarily in a serial killer way, but they devastate with their words and actions. Some of the most dangerous she wolves masquerade as devout Christians, going from church to church causing mayhem and destruction.
They've engineered the downfall of countless pastors who fall under their spell and are led to the slaughter of sexual sins. Marriages are broken, children's lives are torn apart and the congregations these men served are decimated. Many whose faith was weak to begin with, turn against the Lord because of the 'hypocrisy' they've witnessed.
So how do these women do it? How are they able to wrap a man, even a dedicated man of God, around their little fingers? This is where the personality disorder comes into play.
People who are narcissistic are always on the prowl for what is called "narcissistic supply." This is the attention and adoration from others they need to survive. They are so empty inside that they are almost like the living dead.
Because they really have no personality that is uniquely their own, they are consummate actors, imitating the words and emotions gleaned from a lifetime spent observing others. Once they set their sights on you, there is little you can do to resist the incredible charm and underlying sexuality they ooze. No one is immune, not even professionals in the mental health field, which is why most will not agree to engage them in therapy.
They initially hypnotize you by focusing their laser like attention exclusively on you. They are experts at reading people and are able to quickly decipher their victim's needs, desires and weak spots. Once they have you figured out, they begin to subtly woo you by telling you exactly what you deep down want to hear. They'll hold up an emotional mirror and reflect back to you the wonderful person you are.
For instance, a male narcissist will make a woman feel like she is the most beautiful, intelligent, charming, alluring female they've ever met. No one has ever made them feel that fantastic and desired before! It's like instantly connecting with your soul mate, even though you've only just met the person. It is a dreamlike fantasy because that is exactly what it is. An illusion that is incredibly beautiful but not real. And you are hooked!
A female narcissist will appeal to a man's ego by making him feel admired, important, intelligent, needed and attractive. She will oh-so-gently ingratiate herself to him by asking his advice on some issue or by asking him to take her under his wing to teach her more about something he is knowledgeable about. Before long, she will subtly turn on the sexual charm and that's pretty much the death knell for her victim. He's toast.
Unless you've had a firsthand encounter and 'relationship' with a narcissist, it is very hard to comprehend the incredible hold and power they have over their victim. Once that person is hooked, they are as helpless as a fly in a spider web. Then the games begin.
She will soak up the man's time, attention, affection and money. She will expect him to acquiesce to her every whim and desire and they will be madly 'in love' for a few months at most. Then, as the relationship ages and her narcissistic spell begins to wear off, the fog he's been living in clears and he starts to see the normal human faults she has.
The problem comes when he suggests she is wrong about something or disagrees with something she says. Because her control is slipping, she pulls a trick all abusers use; she explodes in a rage that is completely out of proportion to his supposed transgression. She'll attack him emotionally, leaving him reeling with shock. This is called devaluation and is devastating because the ferocity of the rage and hatred is completely unexpected.
She will then punish him with silence and no amount of apologies will cause her to bend. There is no compromise. Once she feels satisfied he has suffered enough, she'll grudgingly allow him back into her glorious presence. She'll turn the charm and attention back on, but just barely enough to keep him hooked.
Because of her expert manipulation, he is thankful and ecstatic that the relationship is restored and starts walking on eggshells to keep her from exploding and to keep the peace.
After many, many cycles of this sick dance he will be so emotionally depleted, he'll be unable to worship her to her satisfaction, so she will abruptly and without warning completely cut him out of her life. She'll happily go on to immediately find a new source of narcissistic supply while he is left empty and destroyed.
As the female narcissist begins to age and she is no longer able to use her physical beauty to attract victims, a common ploy is to portray herself as a super spiritual Christian. This gives her access to pretty much any man in the church she sets her sights on, which is usually a man who is highly respected and admired.
She won't hesitate to rip a marriage apart or sow incredible, backstabbing discord in the women's fellowship just for the fun of it. She will use you as a stepping stone to gain attention from a larger audience. She is evil and you men must be on guard. Again, the evil around us is getting stronger and bolder by the day. I leave you with this caution
If you meet a new woman and you get a wonderful feeling of instant rapport, like you immediately 'click' with her, beware! It's likely you've stumbled upon someone who has done some research on you before "accidentally" meeting you, or one who is very quick in assessing what you desire to hear about yourself and is careful to reflect that back to you.
If you find yourself thinking of her in superlatives such as, 'she's the most wonderful, most charming, and most intelligent person ever,' you can bet she's messing with your head. Or if you find yourself suddenly making exceptions, offering her some privilege or doing things differently for her that you normally wouldn't do for a stranger, beware.
Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and be on guard against she wolves. They will eat you alive!
Donna Wasson is all of the following: Married. Mom. Hospice RN. Avid reader. Animal lover. Needing to spread the Gospel while there is still time.