Understanding deflection-Knowing is half the battle!


Deflection is used as a shield to prevent the truth and weight (consequences) of a person’s sin from reaching the place that it needs to reach. It prevents one from coming face to face with themselves and accepting responsibility. Think of it as a shield, visor or a pair of sunglasses to block out the light and truth of God. It’s a closed road, detour that stops you from going down that road they don’t want you on and turning you towards a new direction, one that might make you get lost in lies.

  It’s what the lost spouse does when they don’t want to change but remain in stubborn rebellion and selfishness, they will deflect you away from the truth.

Deflection is when a person can’t or won’t accept full or partial responsibility for their actions and they will place blame on someone else. This is usually done with hostility, self-pity, OR total avoidance. It is a defense mechanism to self protect. Most defense mechanisms are done through denial and unconscious actions-not even aware that they are doing it. 

Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. John 3:20

The enemy loves to come in through pride to set up a stronghold in this area. As long as he can keep a person deflecting, he keeps them bound in sin. This prevents them from humbling themselves and in turn, allows the enemy permission to torment them and through their stubbornness to forgive.

Everyone wants to deflect when they are faced with their shortcomings. Especially when it overwhelms them and they want someone else to share and carry that burden. Often times it’s not all our fault, and others do play some part in it, but when they refuse to even look at their part in it, it means their heart has gone hard.


Deflection goes deep. It touches upon places that we have tried to fix and failed. Or places that we needed help from our spouse, but didn’t get any….so bitterness or resentments settled in our hearts and we gave up.

Deflection is an escape from the pain of low self-esteem, unworthiness, shame, and guilt. These are the times when a person just can’t reflect on their shortcomings because the condemnation is too great and the pain too much to bear.

Deflection is a weapon and license to sin. This is the one that we see often when a spouse has decided they want out of the marriage. In all good conscience, they can’t just get up and leave unless they have darn good reasons to. And if they look at themselves and the part they played in the demise of their marriage, they will kill most of their chances of getting out. Deflecting blame and turning a blind eye to their shortcomings is the only way to enter sin without guilt. As long as they can vilify someone else, make them a scapegoat, they are FREE to do what they want.


Hostility —We see deflection from our spouses aimed at us filled with anger and hostility. They tried to take control. They tried to fix things. They tried to lead or tried to submit and help. But it failed and they have given up, maybe even walked away ……..and now all the blame is on you. You will hear “You never listen to me.” Or “I have told you over and over.”

Silence because of avoidance can be a sign of deflection. Avoiding the mountain because it was just way too big, and without God’s help, there was no way to overcome the impossible.

The most common deflection will blame the spouse and project hostility and resentments.

But there is another that is not common but happens.


Being too nice, too generous, too loving and kind to let themselves off the hook.

For example, a person bound in alcohol, who believes and hides behind the lie they are a “functioning” alcoholic, may be harder to convince to let go of their sin because they cover up their consequences.

They will make sure they cover all their responsibilities and go above and beyond, not letting anything lack so nothing can be blamed on the alcohol. They leave no room for guilt.

Some spouses feel they are a “functioning” adulterer. They make sure they have not neglected any responsibility and destroyed any relationship. If anything brings guilt they are quick to make it right and stop the guilt. They may continue intimacy with the spouse. They will make sure the bills are paid, you’re taken care of. You and the kids still love them. That no one is suffering for their choices. They speak kind and do things out of guilt.

They “effectively” seem to make a mess, and go around and clean up after themselves. And once they have, they can relax and go back to their sin. Feeling confident they have not hurt anyone.

God has a plan to deal with this kind of deflection without US manipulating the situation.

We naturally feel we must put on more guilt, or give them more consequences. But God has something better.

A godly conviction that comes from the inside and works behind the scenes where we can’t see. Not much we do can get past the shields of deflection, which is why God has devised an inside job to be done from an INSIDE “Man”….the Holy Spirit.

This makes so much sense but is still extremely hard to let go and trust God when you are weary and want changes so desperately. When you no longer want to see them clean up their mess and feel they are free to sin. When you are tired of loving them and keeping your lips zipped. When you fear your love is taken as condoning what they are doing. God does have a way of exposing the fantasyland and waking them up.



Deflection is dangerous! As long deflection is operating in a person’s life, they will be in a state of ongoing unforgiveness which leads to bitterness and resentment. They remain blind to any wrongdoing on their part. And they give themselves the much-needed excuse to sin. As long as deflection is their choice for handling their shortcomings, change won’t happen.

Causes the need to escape and avoid. When a person is forced to face things, and chose deflection instead of accepting responsibility, they will get tired of the anger or the guilt within. Since they are choosing to not deal with it, they want to run from it.

This is why deflection must be understood because it is a very powerful tool of the enemy that creates a stronghold over the mind. It’s why a mother can up and leave her children. Why a father can stop supporting their children and not care if his family loses their home. It’s why a couple who are having an affair can sit in church together. Deflection tells them they are validated, justified, and entitled!

It’s a huge web of deception and deceit and pride is behind it all.


Humility! Without the willingness to be humble, teachable, and open to self-examination, pride will keep a person bound in deflection.

 A person MUST be willing to look at themselves and accept responsibility and come to true repentance.

This comes by the hand of God in His time, His doing, and His careful strategic ways. God needs to expose the lies and soften the heart so it’s prepared to take a look at itself and accept responsibility for what it failed at doing. This is the GOODNESS of God’s love that LEADS A heart to repentance and overcoming deflection.

He has consequences set in place that eats away a  person when they deflect. As much as it’s wanted, avoidance and escape don’t work to stop the conviction from the Holy Spirit. And we must always trust that God is speaking! God is convicting! God is there, always speaking and preparing the heart to hear for when it’s time to come to repentance is accepted and welcomed.

For the Stander, walk in love and kindness. In peace. work on zipped lips and not giving into the temptations to debate, argue, fight. By keeping yourself in peace, you will reap coals on their heads because they are trying to draw you into offense, so they can then keep the excuse alive as to why you are so awful and they are allowed to keep sinning. As long as you take away their reasons for sinning, they are forced to look at themselves. 

NOTE: This is NOT a direction for anyone in any type of abuse. If you suspect abuse, which would have been present prior to the marriage crisis, then please seek professional help for your situation.

 “Create in me a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within me, Lord.”  Psalm 51:10

PRAYER DIRECTION: Pray against pride, rebellion, and stubbornness. Pray for the strength and courage to boldly face and own their wrongdoings and the desire to come to change. Pray for their hearts to yield to the power of forgiveness and be willing to let go of all offenses. Pray for humility. And for them to love what God loves, and hate what He hates.

Standing with you,
Sheila Hollinger