“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35, NIV
Not just domestic abuse and violence, but all forms of abuse in non-romantic or romantic relationships are NOT the will of God or the definition of Christ’s love.
Origin of Abuse
Satan was in the garden of Eden, and he baited Eve with the thoughts that she could be like God. This is the first record of manipulation and control. The devil’s focus is to “steal and kill and destroy.” (John 10:10, NIV) Because Satan was cast out of heaven for the same sin of pride, to believe he could be God, now he is determined that all should perish like him.
Anyone who has lived for very long on this broken earth with other imperfect people has experienced abuse. Whether you were in a romantic or non-romantic relationship, you have experienced abuse, or you have been the abuser, according to these traits: disrespect, dishonor or degrading, bullying, coercion, manipulation, or control. Abuse is all about control.
The closest topic the world has embraced about abuse concerns bullying. However, the world still encourages us to do or say whatever we want or feel like to get ahead or achieve our goal. Being mean is glamorized by famous people. If anyone objects, the victims are deemed too touchy, or they can’t take a joke. Whenever you continue to harm the victim, you are an abuser.
Abuse is a learned behavior. Abuse is not a condition or an illness. Abuse is a choice. There is nothing good or no excuse for abuse.
Confusion of Abuse for Christians
We all grow up believing in our own definition and understanding of love. However, all our influences have been from experiences, role models, and the beliefs we have adopted about ourselves, others, God, and Jesus. Faith may have influenced us, but so has the world’s portrayal of a disrespecting and dishonoring love.
So how come Christians struggle to love and live like Jesus? The answer is we all start with our broken definition and design of love. Until we learn and implement Christ’s love design, we will continue to do what we know. It’s not that there is something wrong with us as believers. We are just missing God’s truth and a clear path to learn about Christ’s love design.
Jesus told us. “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.” (Matt. 22:29, NIV) The Bible gives us the commands and guidelines to live in Christ’s love in healthy, thriving relationships.
It’s vital for us to know the true meaning of forgiveness, trust, reconciliation, boundaries, marriage, sacrifice, suffering, persecution, and submission. Without following God’s word and Christ’s life, it’s easy to be deceived by misquoted or twisted scripture by other imperfect people. If we are caught unaware, the devil is just waiting with deception. God’s word tells us. “Be careful—watch out for attacks from Satan, your great enemy. He prowls around like a hungry, roaring lion, looking for some victim to tear apart.” (1 Peter 5:8, TLB)
God and Jesus knew we needed instruction and a path to follow. God gave us His word, and Jesus showed us that we could live in healthy relationships as we serve God. To love and live like Jesus, we must follow his ways.
Disciples of Christ must Show His Love
When you choose to follow Jesus, you choose to let him be the Lord or blueprint for your life. You may not have understood that when you received his salvation, but following Jesus is being his disciple. To learn the heart, character, words, attitudes, and behaviors of Christ, you have to study his life in God’s word. You must focus on growing in a personal relationship with Jesus every day to walk hand in hand with him.
As you walk with Jesus and work with him, he will transform your mind, heart, words, attitudes, and actions to mirror his. Walking in complete surrender to Christ opens the door for his healing, wisdom, and love to flow through you. You understand that any good and pure love in you can only come from Christ living in you.
Loving like Jesus will eliminate your old unhealthy, toxic, and abusive behaviors. You realize that every person bears the fingerprint of our Father, God, who created us. You learn to establish healthy, loving boundaries to protect your heart, spirit, and life in Christ’s love. As you grow, you will recognize the healthy relationships you can keep and how to let go of the abusive ones that could destroy your heart.
Only you can choose to love and live like Jesus. Follow his ways and grow your relationship with him every day, and he will teach you his ways. To help you walk down a clear path with Jesus to learn about his love design, click this link now! Quest for Exceptional Love Book and Workbook on Amazon.