Thursday, September 9, 2010

Abusive Relationships

“A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” John 10: 10

We’ve all seen it on TV: Dads who curse at and belittle their sons. Mothers who beat their daughters. Parents paralyzed with fear, controlled by their own children. Boys so riddled with jealousy that they treat their girlfriends worse than their dogs. Girls so obsessed with having what they want that they manipulate their boyfriends into nothing more than an accessory to their wardrobe. Or maybe we see it everyday in our own lives?

Take stock of your own relationships. Do the people you spend your time with love you, or use you? Or worse—abuse you? Do you have to change who you are to meet their expectations? Do you have to pretend to be something you aren’t in order to gain their love and acceptance? Do they instill joy or fear into your heart and mind?

Jesus came to bring us freedom. Freedom is found in love. Not lust, or manipulation. Not in belittling or disrespecting. Not in jealousy or envy. Not in anger or violence. Freedom to love and to be loved in return—this is what Jesus wants for you and me. And it isn’t a dream or the musical notes of a Pied Piper. It is Truth.

Dear Jesus, help me to recognize the signs of unhealthy relationships. Give me the grace to get help if I am in a hurtful or abusive relationship of any kind. Allow me to love myself as You love me so that I can live life abundantly as You intended. Amen.

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