As Christians, we search The Scriptures to find answers about how to deal with abuse. But, many times we fail to understand what God's Word has to say, or is saying to us. This is often because we are looking for the chapter and verse that has the answers we need when what we must learn is how to understand and apply God's Principles to our lives.
The definition of abuse in the dictionary is to; treat badly by mistreatment, violence, neglect, exploitation, molestation, battering, hurting, and injury. Abuse is harsh and insulting language, name-calling, and the use of foul language, insults, invective, blame, criticism, and verbal attacks, as well as physical mistreatment.
A large number of Christians live with emotional and/or physical abuse. But, before God can help, we must admit our problem and face the reality of the situation. We must also understand what abuse is NOT. It is NOT a failure to get your own way.
A principle is a truth that is a foundation for other truths, a rule of conduct. We are going to find many of our Father’s Principles in the following Scriptures, and we are going to learn how to apply them to our lives.
In Ephesians 5:22 - 6:7 (NKJV) Paul wrote,
"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23) For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24) Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. 25) Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26) that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27) that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28) So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29) For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30) For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31) "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." 32) This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33) Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
6:1) Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2) "Honor your father and mother," which is the first commandment with promise: 3) "that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth." 4) And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord. 5) Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; 6) not with eye service, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, 7) with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men"
In 1 Corinthians 7:10-11 (NKJV) Paul wrote,
“Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. 11) But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife.” The wife should not leave her husband and that the husband should not send his wife away.
Jesus taught the same thing in Matthew 19:6 (NKJV)
“So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”
1 Corinthians 7:15 (NKJV)
“But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace.” The word leave means to depart or let go. The concept of letting go embodies more than mere physical absence.
Scripture does not deal specifically with the problem of abuse. Yet, The Gospel’s are full of examples of Jesus' compassion for those who were being abused.
Psalms 103:13-14 (NAS)
“Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him. 14) For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust.” Since thought always precedes action, we are safe in assuming that abuse or cruelties are outward manifestations reflecting a mental state of abandonment. Paul was dealing with a physical separation. However, there can also be a psychological severing, an emotional letting go. That can be just as devastating and real as a mate's actual physical departure.
You will never hear of anyone who verbally abuses or batters another person claim they do it because they love that person or persons, or because it is how they desire to be treated themselves.
Any person who mistreats and maligns anyone, who wounds someone psychologically and/or physically, has let go. You may be living under the same roof, but if they neglect your needs and destroy you as a person by attacking your body, soul, and/or spirit, mentally, they have left.
The Lord does not expect or desire anyone to suffer mental or bodily harm at the hands of one who is supposed to sacrificially love you. God does not desire you to be oppressed or incapacitated by fear. If someone controls, or tries to control your mind and/or activities with threats or brutality, they are enslaving you.
1 Corinthians 7:23 (NKJV)
“You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.” I need to say it once more; abuse is NOT a failure to get your own way.
Removing yourself and/or your children, or someone you love, from danger is not selfish, is not sinful, it is not unsubmissive. It is smart. If you are reading this and you are a young person or teenager experiencing abuse, you are probably too young to leave and be on your own. I encourage you to seek out the wisdom of your pastor or an adult friend you can trust. God does not desire you living in a dangerous situation. There is a way out. Jesus Cares and He will help you.
2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” God is a Loving Father. He does NOT desire for you to live in confusion and fear, not knowing what to do or say next.
1 Corinthians 14:33 (KJV)
“For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace…”
1 Corinthians 7:15 (KJV)
“But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace.”
You must forgive those who have abused you. I know that is hard and sometimes feels like an impossible thing to do, but Jesus will help you. However, before He can help you, you must make a conscious decision to forgive the one who has hurt and abused you.
Be aware that all attributes of The Most High God are capitalized out of love, respect, and reverence for The Trinity. Also, be aware that the name satan, related names, and attributes are not capitalized. I choose not to acknowledge or exemplify him even to the point of going against grammatical rules.