What is abuse? How does abuse affect marriage? How does abuse affect your relationship with God? What does the Bible have to say about abuse? In this post, I want to speak specifically to people who are going through abuse or have gone through abuse. My hope is that you would know what Christ thinks of abuse, and with that knowledge you can find healing from the effects of abuse through Him.
God created humans in His image. He created man to know Him and to serve Him. Sodom and Gomorrah were judged not only because of their sexual sin, but also because they allowed social injustice to pervade their streets. Throughout the Bible we see people being abused. The Israelites were oppressed by the Egyptians. Daniel was persecuted by the Babylonians throughout much of his life. The story of the Bible is that God will vindicate the righteous and judge the wicked. The Lord does not approve of sin because He is holy. The Lord does not approve of abuse because He created man in His image and likeness. Abuse is a byproduct of man’s sinful nature.
Abuse is defined as verbal, physical, sexual, or mental assault. This definition of abuse fails at a fundamental level because it merely serves as a blanket for the actions of abuse, but do not get down into the core of what abuse is. Abuse is anything that violates a person. This can include verbal, mental, physical, or sexual abuse, but the problem of abuse itself still runs deeper than the actions of abuse. If I were to use graphic language with a friend this would be verbal abuse. If I were to punch him/her in the nose, then I would be physically abusing them. Abuse is any action or word that violates a person’s space or causes him/her to be or feel violated. Abuse is hurtful and leaves scars not only on the outside but on the inside.
The lie that pervades the mind of the abuser is that the victim doesn’t really care about what they say, do, or think. This leaves him/her thinking that he/she can get away with whatever he/she likes. This lie violates the fact that every human being is created in the image of God (Genesis Ch.1-3). Abuse of any form is not okay and we cannot categorize or classify abuse to suggest that any form of abuse is all right. Abuse happens all around us every day.
The problem with abuse is how we view it through the lens of major incidents instead of as a whole sequence of events. I have learned through experience that if you can identify the root problem you can then help the person by God’s grace to get deliverance from the issue. By applying this general principle to the problem of abuse we can get to the root cause of abuse.
Guys, it’s not okay to use graphic language with your wife or girlfriend whenever you feel like it. It’s not okay to neglect your wife because you want to spend time playing your video game, go fishing, golfing, camping, hunting, or any other hobby you like. It takes a man to truly love his wife as Christ loves the Church. The fact is, your wife will truly appreciate the time you take to value her. Men, you can value your wife by doing the little things such as listening to her when she talks, helping out around the house, and finding out what her emotional, mental, and spiritual needs are. As a married man, I know how a little communication can go a long way in making your wife feel special and significant.
Men we must abandon our pride and learn humility. Women know when men are playing games with them. Our spouses (if you’re married) or girlfriends (if you’re not married) know if we are playing games because if they knew us well enough to be with us, they also know how to see right through our facades. Treat your wife or girlfriend like a princess and they will rock your world. Men, treat your ladies like princesses because they need it and deserve to be treated this way.
The root cause of abuse is sin. Our natural default is to turn away from God, His Word, and His Son. Left to our own devices we will abuse our significant other, family, and friends. We may not intend to be so inclined towards abuse; in fact most people tend to view themselves as good people. The problem is that we are not good and are motivated by our self-interest, self-ambition, and self-righteousness. Our sin nature holds us in a tentacle-like grip and distorts not only our perception of reality, but also our ability to know Truth. The cancer of sin can only cease by giving ourselves over to Jesus Christ for healing and deliverance. Jesus Christ can heal the abuser from abusing others. Only Jesus Christ can help rebuild the marriage that has been torn apart by abuse.
Abuse hurts every relationship you care about. Abuse hurts you and your relationship with God. Abuse affects the victim’s perception of the abuser. Experiencing abuse can be harmful to any relationship, and depending on the severity of the abuse, it can also require a lot of counseling as a result. The only way for both parties to experience healing is through Jesus Christ. Christ can heal the brokenness that comes from abuse, and only He can forgive you of sin. Will you come to Him for healing, for deliverance, and forgiveness? Only Christ can take a person enslaved to sin and set them free. His offer is freedom, forgiveness, and healing from abuse so that you can know and serve Him.