Child abuse, domestic abuse, spousal abuse, verbal abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, rape, molestation, neglect....
For most of this post, when I say "abuse", I mean any and all of the above. While different in nature, they're all the same thing (Spoiler alert: this "same thing" is NOT love).
Tonight, I knew I wanted to write about this topic again. So, I jumped online and started searching for a Bible verse I know exists - one about how we shouldn't cause harm to others; and another on how husbands should not be harsh with their wives. But instead, I found this verse, being used to support the abuse of wives...
Blows that wound cleanse away evil; beatings make clean the innermost parts. (Proverbs 20:30)Upon reading how this verse was being abused to give husbands permission to beat their wives; parents the right to beat their children; people in general the right to harm others - I closed my Bible software, closed my Bible Gateway website, and removed my Bible from my room. And then cried.
I don't have the Bible memorized. I don't know specific verses (other than the rare few I recall from my required memorization in Confirmation classes). But I do know that the Bible is not about causing harm to others. It is not about proving you're better/stronger than someone else. It is not about bruising someone you consider yourself lord over.
The Bible is about God's love for us. And abuse is NOT love. I don't care how you slice it. I don't care what twisted wordplay you try - it is not love. Love doesn't hurt. Or, perhaps it would be more accurate to say, hurt is never caused out of love.
And this doesn't just go for physical abuse. Time and again I see people posting things about how the truth hurts... and that we do this because we love others. We're obligated to judge others and tell them they are going to hell.... because we love them. We're allowed to turn people away from the church, and our arms, because they are sinners or non-believers or whatever the case may be.... but, these people claim they are acting this way out of love.
Come on people. Do you even know what love means? Have you been so abused your whole life that you don't recognize the truth in love? Hell, I HAVE been abused and at least I can recognize what is love and what isn't... and abuse NEVER is!!!
Love is NOT hurt. It is not pain. Not intentional anyway. Any hurt intentionally done to someone else... regardless of the reason... is NOT love!