Summary: Abuse is rampant in all parts of the world. May the Lord give the church wisdom on how to deal with this vital issue.

By: Donna J. Kazenske

What is abuse and who does it affect?

Abuse comes in many different forms: emotional, physical, sexual, verbal, etc. Regardless of the form, the victim suffers greatly.

Family violence affects people from both poor and wealthy families. Parents sometimes abuse one another, which causes a lot of unnecessary pain for the children. Parents sometimes abuse their children by using physical or verbal cruelty as a way of discipline. Both boys and girls can experience physical abuse from a parent. This type of abuse has caused many children to run away from home, seeking asylum on the streets. Most of these homeless children become alcoholics, drug users, prostitutes and thieves.

Emotional abuse is probably one of the most difficult forms of abuse to expose because there are no physical signs to look for. Emotional abuse often occurs when anger or unnecessary yelling goes way too far. Parents who constantly belittle or threaten their children often times do not fully realize the impact their words are having on these precious little lives. Constant belittling and threatening can damage the child’s self-esteem and cause them to feel ashamed and worthless. Emotional abuse has the capability to leave emotional scars in the heart of the victim which could take years to heal.

Physical abuse is often the most visible form of abuse. This kind of abuse involves beating, hitting, shaking, burning, choking, cutting, throwing, whipping, and other actions that cause physical pain to the victim. Physical abuse will often leave scars or bruises on the body which can be very embarrassing for the victim.

Sexual abuse is any type of abuse that usually takes place between an adult and a child or between an older child and a younger child. Incest is a form of sexual abuse that the Bible clearly condemns. Incest happens when a person is abused by a member of his own immediate family.

Neglect is another form of abuse that takes place when a child’s basic needs are not being met by the child’s parents or care-givers. Children need adequate amounts of food, clothing, medical care, shelter and supervision. When parents do not provide their children with the proper amount of emotional support, the children could very possibly look to others to fill the gap. This could result in unhealthy relationships.

Hate crimes are another type of abuse that takes place when individuals hate other people because of their race, gender, or religion. Some heterosexuals hate homosexuals, which strictly goes against what the Scriptures teach regarding the command to love one another. Jesus loves the homosexual, but hates their sin.

Abuse not only affects those who are lost (unsaved), but it also affects the lives of millions of Christians. Many who profess to be born again are not really born again. Others who are truly born again desperately need deliverance from demonic spirits and strongholds in their lives. Many need emotional healing from past hurts and wounds.

If we don’t allow the Lord to heal and deliver us completely, we will fall prey to the wiles of the enemy and our families could suffer greatly as a result of our spiritual neglect.

If you are an abusive parent, please seek help now. Don’t wait until you’ve made a terrible mistake that you will never be able to correct. I advise you first of all to give your life to Jesus Christ and seek healing and deliverance directly from Him. He has the power to set you completely free from every addiction, bondage and struggle.

There are also Christian counselors and various Christian organizations that have programs to help those in need of spiritual healing.

If you are being abused, please talk to someone you can trust, whether it be a family member, a counselor, a friend, a pastor, a teacher or a doctor. Many of these people are trained to know what to do when abuse is reported.

Telephone directories usually list local child abuse and family violence hotline numbers that you can call for help.

You can also call the National Sexual Abuse Hotline if you or someone you know is being abused: 1-800-656-HOPE.

Please don’t wait until it’s too late to get help.

List of helpful websites:

Isaiah 55:6 - Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near.

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