Child Abuse and Spousal Abuse:
What does the Bible say about it?
There is no scripture in the Word of God that condones any form of abuse (physical, verbal, emotional, sexual or spiritual abuse) toward women or children. God opposes domestic violence.
Here are some scriptures that address how men are to treat their wives and their children:
- Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. Colossians 3:19
When I was teaching a class at a local women’s shelter, I will never forget what one of the women residents told me. She said, “my husband only beat me up because he thought I was having an affair on him. It was only because he was jealous because he loves me so much and doesn’t want to lose me.”
The bible tells us exactly what ‘love’ is. I Cor 13:4-7 says, Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
- Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. Colossians 3:21
Have you ever seen a discouraged, hopeless child? Parents are to be their children’s greatest supporters and encouragers, not their enemies.
FACT: Children who grow up in an abusive home are more likely to either become an abuser or become a victim, thus repeating the abusive cycle generation to generation.
A WARNING TO PARENTS: Numbers 14:18 says, “God, slow to get angry and huge in loyal love, forgiving iniquity and rebellion and sin; Still, never just whitewashing sin. But extending the fallout of the parents' sins to children into the third, even the fourth generation.”
If God, our heavenly father, is our model for parenting and the bible clearly says that God is SLOW to anger and HUGE in loyal love, forgiving iniquity and rebellion and sin, should we as parents of our precious children do the same?
- Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4
Discipline vs. Punishment? The purpose of discipline is to help a child learn to control their behavior and know the difference between right and wrong, not for them to have fear of punishment. For example, a child doesn’t steal because it is wrong, not because he is afraid of being caught. Painful, unpleasant punishment will prevent most children from doing what you don’t want them to do. Discipline is giving loving beneficial instruction rather than harsh unloving punishment. Love is always the motive of the parent. Character will be the outcome. Physical punishment (spanking, slapping, grabbing harshly, etc) and verbal punishment (mocking, shaming, name calling, or cruel words such as “I hate you”) are never productive, but will only destroy your child’s self esteem and crush their spirit.
- The Lord tests the righteous, but his (God’s) soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence. Psalm 11:5