How to Treat Abusers With Love And Honor Even When They Don’t Change

Deep breath.

I see you. I see the hurt and the scars and the longing for wholeness. I see those tears and all those nights you spent with something cold and metal against your skin hoping that any sort of release would help the hurting pain escape.

God sees you. He sees you deep deep inside. The things you never speak about. The lies you let define you. He sees it all.

And still he asks us to love.

And still he reminds us that we are only ever here because of Grace in the first place.

Still he bends low and wrestles his way into our brokenness. He is kind but he is also relentless. He is also thought-filled with thoughts of love for you.

Guess what?

The Gospels give us wisdom for dealing with abusers…abusers who never change. You know, the hardest kind.

Jesus met abuse and injustice head on. He did not apologize for setting boundaries or for calling out sin or for reminding an abuser of the consequences of their sin.

He wept over injustice.

He pleaded with abusers to change, to repent.

You know ONE THING Jesus never did??

He didn’t name abusers.

He called them “vipers” and “religious leaders”. But he did not call them by name.

But he did call Matthew and Nicodemus and Mary Magdalene. He named the people who changed…

There is a beautiful and sobering message in this: is your name known?

Will we allow the God of Creation to cast himself on us so fully that he calls us by name? Will we one day stand before a Holy Throne with the ink of our names written boldly before us? Or will we chose to turn our backs and go our own way and miss the face of the Messsiah standing right in front of us?

We aren’t so different from those biblical characters after all. We have that choice too: surrender or succumb.

This is how you treat abusers: the same way Jesus did.

You tell your story and you speak out in love and truth and boldness and you do not make yourself small so that evil can make itself seen.

You speak the truth, even if your voice shakes.

And when you are met with cold stares and hard hearts you weep just like Jesus did and then you turn and shake the dust of their words off your feet and leave them to their sin: because they chose it.

But always you love. And always you bask in the wonder of the Blood that bought you.

And then you turn your face to the sun…because Jesus made you free…and the darkness of all the hate and abuse and neglect and lies and fear and control-tactics and manipulation are behind you where they belong…

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