Love-Bombing Is Witchcraft. How to Discern and Resist this Diabolical Manipulation

Mar 13, 2024

Love-bombing.

“Love” …. “Bombing”….

Love-bombing is an intriguing word. It sounds like love because the word love is in it, but love-bombing is anything but love. It is manipulation.

Typically, love-bombing involves lavishing someone with gifts or attention to influence or manipulate them. Love-bombing is worse than run-of-the-mill manipulation. While love promotes unity and builds people and relationships, love-bombing promotes division and triangulation. It may look loving, but love-bombing is a form of witchcraft that is not motivated by love but by evil intentions. Unlike acts of love from a pure heart, love-bombing plants seeds for bad fruit. In particular, love-bombers dismantle close relationships by creating division and turning people against each other. In this blog, I will describe how a love-bomber does this and what you can do to protect yourself.

Love-bombing in Scripture: The Story of Absalom

Let’s start by looking at a biblical illustration of the evil effects of love-bombing. We can see this in the story of King David’s son, Absalom. The Bible describes Absalom as extremely good-looking: 2 Samuel 14:25 says: “In all Israel there was not a man so highly praised for his handsome appearance as Absalom. From the top of his head to the sole of his foot there was no blemish in him. Whenever he cut the hair of his head—he used to cut his hair once a year because it became too heavy for him—he would weigh it, and its weight was two hundred shekels by the royal standard.” Absalom grew up as the son of a dearly beloved King. As far as we know, when Absalom was a young man, David’s reign was unopposed, so Absalom did not have any natural enemies. In general, David was loved and praised by the people.

However, even though Absalom was handsome and charming, his personality had sinister aspects. After his half-brother Amnon raped his sister, Tamar, instead of confronting Amnon or seeking justice through the prescribed legal channels, Absalom cultivated hatred in his heart and murdered Amnon in front of all the other siblings. Then, three years later, Absalom began to undermine his father’s authority as king—a king who was not in decline, but one who was strong, loved, and well established in his reign. 2 Samuel 15:1-6 tells the story of Absalom’s schemes:

In the course of time, Absalom provided himself with a chariot and horses, and with fifty men to run ahead of him. He would get up early and stand by the side of the road leading to the city gate. Whenever anyone came with a complaint to be placed before the king for a decision, Absalom would call out to him, “What town are you from?” He would answer, “Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel.” Then Absalom would say to him, “Look, your claims are valid and proper, but there is no representative of the king to hear you.” And Absalom would add, “If only I were appointed judge in the land! Then everyone who has a complaint or case could come to me and I would see that they receive justice.”

Also, whenever anyone approached him to bow down before him, Absalom would reach out his hand, take hold of him and kiss him. Absalom behaved in this way toward all the Israelites who came to the king asking for justice, and so he stole the hearts of the people of Israel.

Remember that line, “He stole the hearts of the people of Israel.”

That line summarizes what love-bombing does. Love-bombing is not about giving. It is about stealing. Through manipulation, the love-bomber creates an illusion of giving in order to steal without you noticing. This is what Absalom was doing.

He was love-bombing the people of Israel with attention, affection, affirmation, care, and promises. However, his intention was not to cultivate an authentic relationship with them but to turn their hearts away from King David.

Absalom’s love-bombing was not about demonstrating genuine love in its own right, but a campaign to make himself look good in contrast and comparison to his father. In other words, in order to gain favor, Absalom provoked criticism and dissatisfaction in the people against King David. Can you see how stealthy and insidious this was? Absalom showed concern and care for people outwardly, but inwardly he couldn’t have cared less. He was trying to build his fame and popularity.

Love-bombing in Real Life

How might this kind of love-bombing play out in your real-life relationships?

They Coax You into Isolation

A love-bomber may try to win your heart and affection to such a degree by showering you with gifts, attention, affirmation, praise, and time that you feel none of your friends and your family can compare. So you start dropping those relationships because those people do not succeed in making you feel the same way that the love-bomber does. It plants the seeds of division and betrayal. You start to compare the love-bomber to other people in your life. This can easily lead you to get dissatisfied and disgruntled with other people who are not having that same effect as the love-bomber on you. It can cause you to become critical. If that happens, the love-bomber has successfully used their illusion of love to isolate you and cut you off from other relationships. Love-bombing brings you into a fantasy world of love that is far from reality and far from being sustainable. There is no human being that could sustain that level of loving output over the long haul. Not even a love-bomber can sustain it, which is why their mask eventually falls off. When that mask does fall off, they have already turned you away from your other relationships, and they begin to devalue you.

They Steal Your Relationships

Narcissists can sometimes be highly competitive for your attention and envious of others with whom you have relationships. These kinds of people cannot stand you having close relationships with other people. They want to be at the center of your world and feel insecure that someone else might be closer to you or have more favor with you than they do.

When narcissists experience these emotions, they may endeavor to befriend or captivate the affections of the people you hold in high regard through love-bombing. The narcissist's acts of generosity and attention towards your close connections serve as a strategy to distinguish themselves while subtly undermining your credibility.  If this tactic works, the narcissist has successfully reclaimed their position at the center of all your relationships. If you have a love-bomber in your life, you are better off not disclosing to them who you are close to, lest they try to befriend them and turn their hearts away from you.

Love-bombers Exploit Your Vulnerability

Love-bombing creates an illusion of intimacy. This false intimacy encourages you to put down your guard and leaves you in a vulnerable state. In this environment, you are more likely to share things that could be used against you later. There is an example in the Bible of a woman called Delilah who was masterful at this (see Judges 16). Delilah had an evil heart, and she could not care less about her husband, Samson. She stroked his hair, lulled him to sleep, and love-bombed him with her nurture and affection to get him to divulge all his secrets to her. Delilah succeeded at doing this to Samson three times until he lost all his strength, God’s anointing left him, and he ended up dying a tragic death. How could Samson fall for the same trap three times? Was he an idiot? You would think he would have learned after Delilah betrayed him the first or second time. However, love-bombing is a form of witchcraft, and the spiritual dynamics can seem to put you under the love-bombers spell. It is like being in a spiritual slumber.

The Spiritual Dynamics of Love-bombing

When this dynamic happens, you are not dealing with a person but a spirit. It is the spirit of the Antichrist that seeks to kills, steal and destroy the God-orchestrated relationships in your life. The Bible says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12). This spiritual dynamic makes it difficult to overcome the efforts of someone to sabotage your relationships. It is so important to be spiritually vigilant so that we do not allow our insecurities to be a foothold for this spirit or to fall prey to its attempts to lure us in with illusions of love.

This dynamic affected Absalom, motivating him to turn the hearts of the people away from a dearly beloved King, who was faithful, who feared God, who was generous and giving. Absalom, and people like him, are attuned to what people want and are able to leverage that for their own interests. When you are dealing with a love-bomber, you are dealing with someone who has mastered the art of people pleasing and manipulation, and this is a form of witchcraft.

How to Protect Yourself

The Bible speaks into how love-bombing works and how we can protect ourselves from it. In Proverbs 23:1, it says, “When you sit to dine with a ruler, note well what is before you, and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony. Do not crave his delicacies, for that food is deceptive.”

The Bible warns about being on your guard with powerful, influential people. When you are invited to eat, don’t go with an empty stomach. Why? If you show up ravenous, it leaves you vulnerable to people’s impure generosity. If you are in a position of receiving that generosity, it could be exploited as leverage against you.

The Bible doesn’t warn about these things so that we go about life being suspicious or cynical of people, but to remind us to be alert and not naive. It is essential to understand the fallen nature of man. Jesus did not entrust himself to people because the Bible says for he knew all people. “He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person” (John 2:25).

Keeping these things in mind, here are 5 things to practice that can protect you from love-bombing.

1. Be on your spiritual guard. Be spiritually awake. You must have a posture of alertness and spiritual wakefulness. The Bible says, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). And again, in 1 Thessalonians 5:6, “…let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober.”

2. Do not overly share with someone you suspect is a love-bomber or who demonstrates narcissism, particularly be careful not to divulge information about who is near, dear, important, or helpful in your life. The same advice goes for sheltering information about influential connections in your life. Otherwise, you run the risk of triggering the narcissist’s envy, and they may find ways to disrupt those relationships. This takes some forethought and caution. Like it says in Matthew 10:16, “Therefore be shrewd as the snakes, and innocent as the doves.”

3. If a love-bomber has succeeded in stealing the heart of someone close to you, and you are feeling hurt and betrayed, turn to God. Open your heart to healing, release the people who betrayed you, and open yourself to healthy life-giving relationships. Trust that God makes all things beautiful in His time. He may bring reconciliation and restoration later on if that relationship you lost is worthy of you, or God may bring better quality relationships into your life. If you are a follower of Jesus and you love Him, trust that God is always looking out for your best interests (Romans 8:28). His plans are not to harm you or destroy you but to prosper you, to give you a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).

4. As a practice in life, when you are impressed, swept off your feet, or overwhelmed by someone’s love, attention, or accomplishments, resist the temptation to drop your other friendships and relationships. Never put all your eggs in one basket: Do not look to one person to meet all your emotional or relational needs. A love-bomber may try to get you to rely on them for all those needs by presenting themselves as the most perfect person, creating an impression that the only person who could truly make you happy or fulfill a deep need in your life. But that is a lie. There is no such thing as a perfect person or perfect relationship. No one person will ever meet all of your needs or even the majority of your needs. That is a role in your life that God covets, and He will never let any person or thing take that place.

5. If you notice that the person who is sweeping you off your feet or showering you with gifts, attention, and love is not crazy about the people in your life (the non-toxic people in your life), or resents them, that is a big red flag. If you are in this situation, continue nurturing your other relationships at all costs and resist the temptation to be isolated with just the love-bomber. If push comes to shove, at least you will have the support of those other relationships to help you break free from the love-bomber if, or when, their mask falls off and the relationship turns toxic or unsafe.

Conclusion

In conclusion, love-bombing is a form of manipulation that people use to usurp a central role in your relationships. They may do this by creating an illusion of perfect love or good intent. They may try to buy off your friends with their displays, or they may create a false sense of intimacy to use your vulnerability against you. Because this kind of manipulation is deeply spiritual, you need to fight it spiritually. Stay alert and fight to keep God as the center of your relationships.

Be encouraged that we do have a perfect love in Christ Jesus and that our Heavenly Father has ordained beautiful, pure, and loving relationships for us. He puts those relationships in our lives to build us up and to place us in the community of His family. If you are struggling to find this community or have been hurt by the effects of a love-bomber in your life, press into your relationship with God, and meditate on these promises:

For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. (Romans 12:4-5)

When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take care of me. (Psalm 27:10)

God places the lonely in families… Psalm 68:6a

I hope this blog was helpful to you. In case we haven’t met before, welcome to my blog! I’m Shaneen Megji and my passion is to help people heal and recover from toxic relationships with the wisdom from the Bible. I firmly believe that toxicity is not your destiny. If you are in a toxic relationship or situation, you have come to the right place. You can leave your email below to get weekly Biblical, practical and encouraging insights like this blog delivered right to your inbox.

See you in the next blog!

Related Resources

Watch the video version of this blog here.

  • How to Stay Your Course in the Face of Manipulation [Watch]
  • Top 10 Mind Games that Narcissists Play to Throw You Off Balance and Control You [Watch] [Read]
  • Scapegoat Supply: Why Narcissists Obsessively Depend on Scapegoats to Maintain Their Image [Watch] [Read]
  • Hoovering or Genuine Change? 7 Ways to Test it Out After an Abusive Relationship with a Narcissist [Read] [Watch]
  • The Psychological Warfare of Narcissists; How They Praise You in Public and Abuse You in Private [Watch]
  • 10 Hidden ways Narcissists Express Their Envy [Watch]
  • The Demonic Spirits Behind Narcissism [Read] [Watch]

Find more resources in our topic-based catalog

Downloadable Resources 

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