134. THE MANIPULATIVE WOMAN
(The Single Woman Series – Batch 3)
A manipulative person deliberately uses people and whatever knowledge she has of them, to control them, their responses and outcomes, by deliberately employing tactics, without the persons realizing it, so as to get what she wants. The manipulative woman therefore takes control of a person, by getting him or her to behave how she wants him or her to behave or to do what she wants him or her to do, without that person even realizing it and for her own gain.
To be controlled by a person, without realizing that you are being controlled is dangerous and downright diabolical. The devil manipulated Eve in the garden of Eden without her even realizing it, so as to get the outcome he desired: Disobedience and the fall of mankind.
If you notice such a trait in yourself therefore, repent of it IMMEDIATELY and ask God to change your heart, as this is a wicked and evil trait to have.
In the Bible, there are instances recorded of women who were manipulative. Let us take a brief look at a few:
HERODIAS – THE WIFE OF PHILIP THE BROTHER OF KING HEROD, WHO HEROD WAS IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH
The Bible states in Matthew 14:3-4, that Herodias, the wife of Herod’s brother Phillip was having an adulterous relationship with king Herod, her brother-in-law, and that they had gotten married. However, John the Baptist, who Herod respected because he was a man of God, had told king Herod that it was not lawful for him to have his brother’s wife (v. 4). Herodias, who wanted to leave her husband and to be with king Herod was not at all pleased with what John had said, although it was the truth. She therefore motivated Herod to put John in prison, which he did, probably because one usually does not think straight, when one thinks he is in love (v. 3).
Yet, although Herodias got her way, as John was imprisoned, she was not content to leave it there. Filled with indignation and malice, she desired to see him dead. In fact, verse 19 of Mark 6 says, that she had a quarrel against John and would have killed him but she could not. For, verse 20 states that “…Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.”
So, wanting John dead and probably having placed the request to king Herod and him refusing to give in, what did she do? She waited patiently for an appropriate time to have him killed and when that time came, when she perceived that she finally had an opportunity, she used her own daughter to get her way. She instructed her to ask for the head of John the Baptist as a gift, when Herod, pleased with her dancing at his birthday party, asked her what reward she would like to have.
Herodias had carefully studied Herod and knew him well enough to know that he would commit himself to honouring whatever request the dancer made, no matter what the request was. Having studied him, she then used her knowledge of him, to get him to do exactly what she wanted, which was to have John the Baptist killed.
Her closeness to king Herod allowed her to study him, not for his good but as to how best to manipulate him, for HER benefit.
Manipulation is always self-serving.
Verse 21 of Mark 6 says “And when a convenient day was come…” which I take to mean that she saw this function which king Herod hosted and the promise he made to her daughter to grant whatever she requested even up to half of his Kingdom, as the ideal opportunity to fulfill her objective.
He thought he was simply having a birthday party but she had other plans. Because a manipulative woman very rarely ever gives up, she sought to achieve her deadly motives surreptitiously and unknown to Herod, so much so, that when she used her daughter to make her deadly request in circumstances where Herod was forced to say yes, he did not even know what hit him.
Matthew 14:7 and 8 state of Herodias’ daughter, that “…she, being BEFORE instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John Baptist’s head in a charger.”
The Bible states that king Herod (who did not even begin to understand the level of manipulation that he was under), was sorry at the request that was made and no doubt was sorry that he had promised to reward Herodias’ daughter with whatever she wanted. Yet because he had made an oath and in front of witnesses, he felt he had no choice but to command that John be beheaded.
This is what manipulation does. It traps you into doing what you did not want to do, by giving you bait, without you even knowing that you are being fed bait, until it is too late and it usually ends with somebody, something or some relationship being destroyed.
Notably, although the book of Mark records the story as if Herodias only gave the instruction to her daughter after the dance when the girl asked her what request she should make and therefore did not plan it before hand, it is clear that either way, Herodias used the situation to get what SHE wanted, which was John dead.
That this ghastly act was self-serving to Herodias is confirmed in verse 28 of Mark 6, where it says that the executioner brought John’s head to the daughter of Herodias who did not keep it, although it was a gift made to her but instead, “…gave it to her mother.” Everything that played out was about her mother all along.
THE PHILISTINE WOMAN FROM TIMNATH – WHO SAMSON MARRIED
In Judges 14:16-17, the Philistine woman from Timnath who Samson married against his parents wishes, used her knowledge of the fact that he would be affected by her tears, against him. She also deliberately used her words to affect him in such a manner, so that she could obtain the outcome she desired.
Samson had given a riddle to the young men in Timnath and a certain amount of days for them to answer it. He promised them that if they figured it out by the seven (7) day time period, that he would give them a reward and vice versa.
When the seventh day came and they still could not figure out the riddle, they approached Samson’s wife and instructed her to “…entice…” her husband so as to get the answer out of him or else they might burn her and her father’s house with fire.
The Bible says that Samson’s wife “…wept before him, and said, Thou dost but hate me and lovest me not: thou hast put forth a riddle unto the children of my people, and hast not told it me…”
Interestingly, it does not appear that she began her weeping tactics on that seventh and last day that she was approached by the men and threatened. She had been trying to get the information out of Samson through manipulative tactics, even before the men approached her and threatened her.
I take this view because although the men only approached her on the seventh and last day, the Bible states that “…she wept before him the seven days, while their feast lasted: and it came to pass on the seventh day, that he told her, because she lay sore upon him…”
From the day that Samson gave the riddle therefore, she was trying to manipulate him and break him down with tears, by appealing to his love for her and the fact that it would have hurt him to see her cry, to find out the answer. When she was eventually threatened on the very last day, this only intensified her efforts, causing her to lay sore upon him.
Seriously, who cries their eyes out for days, to a man, simply because that man has not given them the answer to a riddle he has posed to some men? And who goes so far, as to accuse him when he refuses to tell, of not loving them? Only a manipulative woman would do this because she has some ulterior motive.
Remember, she cried for six days before she had even been approached and threatened on the seventh day, so it cannot be said that she was operating under duress. The duress only came on the seventh day, when, now in fear of her life, the Bible states that she lay sore upon him.
Her motives for trying to guilt the information out of Samson for six days prior though are not known. However, given that selfishness is a hallmark of all manipulative women, it is not unreasonable, in my view, to conclude that the motive was self-serving.
The Bible states that when she got the answer to the riddle on the seventh day, she told it that same day, to the people of Timnath, thereby enabling the men to give the answer to the riddle to Samson, before the sun went down on the seventh day.
As a result, Samson had to pay the men what he had promised them and ended up killing or destroying thirty men and taking their garments, so as to pay what he had promised.
DELILAH FROM SOREK – WHO SAMSON LOVED
In Judges 16, Samson, who appeared to have a penchant for manipulative women, did not learn from his mistake but went and fell in love with another manipulative woman called Delilah, from Sorek (v.4).
Once again, she was instructed by the Philistines, who hated Samson, to find out where the source of his strength lay, as he was a very strong man, who had killed many of them before. They therefore wanted to destroy him and while they did not threaten Delilah, so that there was no duress on her part, they offered her money if she was able to find out.
This woman who Samson loved and who probably had manipulated him into thinking that she also loved him, clearly did not requite the love he had for her, as she accepted the offer for financial gain, although she knew that the goal was to have Samson killed.
Samson was therefore sleeping with the enemy, which would eventually cost him his life and he did not even realize it.
To get the information she wanted, Delilah tried to appeal to his emotions (because she knew he loved her), by tugging at his heart strings. The Bible states in verse 15, when Samson lied to her over and over again, about the source of his strength and she tried to remove his strength from him based on what he had told her and it did not work, that:
- “…she said unto him, How canst thou say, I love thee, when thine heart is not with me? thou hast mocked me these three times, and hast not told me wherein thy great strength lieth. And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, so that his soul was vexed unto death; That he told her all his heart…And when Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called for the lords of the Philistines, saying, Come up this once, for he hath shown me all his heart. Then the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and brought money in their hand. And she made him sleep upon her knees; and she called for a man, and she caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head; and she began to afflict him, and his strength went from him. And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself, And he wist not that the Lord was departed from him. But the Philistines took him and put out his eyes…”
The manipulative woman operates in secrecy, illegality and underhandedness and thrives on information, which she then uses for her own benefit and to achieve the outcome that she desires.
She does this, irrespective of how it affects the person or how destructive it is to him or to others. She tries to get a person to reveal his or her secrets, so that she can then use them as she pleases. Although she is not to be trusted because her path always leads to destruction, she gets such a person to trust her entirely (Samson was asleep on her knees), by mastering the art of deception, appearing to be what she is not. She also usually tries to appeal to a person’s sense of guilt.
POINTS TO NOTE
Based on the foregoing accounts of manipulative women in the Bible, certain key points can be extracted for our edification, as follows:-
POINT 1: ALL OF THE THREE RELATIONSHIPS DISCUSSED ABOVE WERE OUTSIDE OF THE WILL OF GOD
The first, which involved king Herod was adultery, which God hates and the other two which involved Samson were with women that he, as an Israelite, was not supposed to be unequally yoked with. The Israelites back then, as God’s chosen people, had been commanded by God not to align themselves in marriage or relationships with non-Israelites, yet, this is what Samson did.
A man of God, who is submitted to God and pursuing him, wishes to avoid a manipulative woman and once he seeks God as to the choice of a wife, God will give him wisdom and guide him far away from such a person, despite how beautiful she may be.
If you see any manipulative trait in yourself as a woman therefore and you are desirous of attracting a good, God-sent man, you need to renounce that wicked way or get used to being single. For, God loves his sons too much, to give those that are submitted to his will, to an unrepentantly manipulative woman.
For a good, single, Christian man looking earnestly for a wife, he has the Bible to guide him and the Bible is full of scriptures telling him to allow God to advise him and to run from a woman that has manipulative tendencies.
Proverbs 3:6 and 7 state “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
Proverbs 27:12 states “A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished.”
Proverbs 5:1-13 states and it accurately describes Samson’s sad story:
- “My Son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding: That thou mayest regard discretion and that thy lips may keep knowledge. For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil; But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a twoedged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell…Hear me now therefore, O ye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth. Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house: Lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel: Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labours be in the house of a stranger; And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed, And say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof; And have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me!”
Proverbs 7:1-27, also describes the tragic Samson story. It states:
- “My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee. Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye. Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart. Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman: That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words. For at the window of my house I looked through my casement, And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding, Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house, In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night: And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart. (She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house: Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.)
- So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him, I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows. Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee. I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves. For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey: He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed. With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him. He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks; Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life. Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth. Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths. For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her. Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.”
In Proverbs 31:1-3, 10-12 and 26 and 30, king Lemuel’s mother outlined the difference between a manipulative woman and a woman that is God-sent, a virtuous woman and not manipulative. It was her desire that her son would choose the God-sent woman who is wife material and not be deceived by the beauty, flattering words and tactics of a manipulative woman. The scripture reads:
- “The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him. What, my son? and what, the son of my womb? and what, the son of my vows? Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings…Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life…She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness…Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.”
In Ecclesiastes 7:26, king Solomon, who the Bible records as having been the wisest man on earth, said: “And I find more bitter than death the woman, whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands: whoso pleaseth God shall escape from her; but the sinner shall be taken by her.”
Sadly though, he himself was eventually ensnared by manipulative women, who caused him to turn away from his God in his old age. The Bible states that Solomon married many strange wives and because they were not God-fearing women, although he probably thought that he could handle them and still serve God, they waited until he was in his old age and more pliable, to get him (because he loved them), to erect idols unto false gods, which destroyed his relationship with God (1 Kings 11:4).
Manipulation can be patient and wherever it is, no matter how long it takes, destruction of someone, something or somebody’s relationship is always inevitable.
In the case with Herodias, John the Baptist was destroyed. In the case of the woman from Timnath, Samson destroyed the lives of thirty men so as to get their garments to give to the men who answered the riddle. In the case of Delilah, Samson himself was destroyed in the process. He lost his life. Finally, in the case of the strange wives of Solomon, Solomon’s valuable relationship with the Lord was destroyed.
Manipulation always destroys.
Samson was forever sleeping with the enemy and had become so distant from God and his will for his life, that he did not even realize it until it was too late. He aligned himself with a woman from Timnath who he later married, although his parents advised him not to. He slept with a prostitute (Judges 16:1) although he had a holy call on his life from birth (Judges 13: 3-5) and then aligned himself with a Philistine woman from Gaza, although he knew that the Philistines were his enemies, that she and the previous women he had affiliated himself with were not Israelites and that God had clearly commanded the Israelites not to marry persons outside of their people. It is clear therefore, that he did not consult God on these unions, which, while benefiting him physically in the flesh, undermined his spiritual walk with God and cost him a great deal, even his life.
The same is true of Solomon, who married many strange wives who were not Israelites and eventually, these women caused his heart to turn away from the true and living God.
POINT 2: THE REASON WHY MANIPULATION IS SUCH A WICKED TRAIT TO HAVE IS BECAUSE IT IS SELF-SERVING
Like Herodias who manipulated to get her way, Delilah was also self-motivated, as she was promised money by the Philistines to obtain the information from Samson. Although she knew that this would be detrimental to Samson’s own well-being and cost him even his life, she still engaged in the manipulation, solely to enrich herself.
The Philistine woman from Timnath who Samson made the mistake to marry, was motivated by self (although a bit understandable in this case), as she sought to avoid she and her father’s house being burned with fire (vs. 15). Her motive though for wanting to know the answer to the riddle for six days before she was threatened is not known but it will not be far-fetched to take the view that it was a self-centred motive and not for Samson’s welfare.
The motive of manipulation is usually, if not always, self. A manipulative person thinks to herself, what I want, justifies my controlling you, even if I withhold from you the fact that you are being controlled. She operates in a surreptitious and underhanded manner with the thinking: I need to deceive you or keep this from you, in order for this to work. I can’t afford for you to figure out what I am doing or what I am really after, so I refuse to be honest with you and sincerely hope that you never realize what I am doing, as this may foil my plans.
This is how a manipulative woman differs from a virtuous woman. A manipulative woman does all that she does, in her own self-interest and not those that she claims to love. She may do kind things and say kind, flattering words but at the end of the day, it is all calculated to achieve an outcome where SHE gets to benefit.
By contrast, in Proverbs 31, it is clear that the virtuous woman is not preoccupied with her own self interest but that of her family, so much so that she girdeth her loins with strength and strengtheneth her arms for the work she has to do (Proverbs 31:17), sacrifices her own time for sleep by rising up during the night, to ensure that a meal will be ready for her family and her maids (Proverbs 31:15) and she considers the needs of her household, over and above her own (Proverbs 31:27). She is so selfless, that “The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her…” and although she does not look for reward, her children and her husband praise her (Proverbs 31:11, 28).
(Written on 13th October, 2017)
Dear Reader, if you found the above Article to be interesting, informative, edifying or beneficial, you may also be interested in reading the following:
- Note 138 – ‘Signs That That Work Colleague, Relative Or Church Member May Be Toxic’
- Note 148 – ‘What Does The Bible Say About Being Unequally Yoked With An Unbeliever?’
- Note 155 – ‘Thyatira – My Humble View Of The Letters Of The Glorified Jesus To The Seven Churches’
- Note 291 – ‘Can A Narcissist Be A Christian?’
Additionally, under the ‘VIRTUOUS Daughters of God’ Page:
- Note 3 – ‘The Virtuous Woman vs The Odious Woman’
- Note 6 – ‘Seven (7) Key Traits Of A Virtuous Woman’