October 6, 2014
Power and Control
As I write this blog post well-known sports stars are in the news over charges of violence against a spouse, fiancé, or child. Newspapers, magazines, television and radio shows are abuzz with opinions about the problem of domestic violence in our world. Social Media is going crazy with the stories, but unfortunately much of what is written there is of poor quality, or worse yet, simply nonsense. However, amidst all the inevitable sensationalism, more light is being focused on this horrific problem, and at least for that we can all be thankful.
Through the years as a counselor and a pastor I’ve worked with a lot of people over the issue of domestic violence. I’ve counseled with the victims of abuse, most often children and women, and the perpetrators of the violence, most often men. All are people for whom Jesus died, and all are broken by the results of sin on our planet. And all are people who will carry the scars of the abuse for the rest of their lives.
But something is missing from much of the discussion. The focus appears to be on physical violence. While this is a real problem, it is not the main form of abuse that occurs in relationships. Abuse is primarily about power and control. Whether the abuse is physical, emotional, spiritual, or verbal in nature, it is always about an attempt to gain power and control over another human being.
How refreshingly different is God’s dealings with His children! While Satan, the ultimate abuser, attempts to enslave and control, Jesus offers the ultimate freedom to those who choose relationship with Him. Genuine love never forces, never coerces, never dominates, and never controls. Genuine love invites, entreats, beckons, and then waits patiently for a response. Once we respond we always have the freedom to leave.
Look at Jesus’ words on this subject.
Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Every one that committeth sin is the bondservant of sin. And the bondservant abideth not in the house for ever: the son abideth for ever. If therefore the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. John 8:34-36
“Free indeed.” While domestic violence and abuse are fostered by power and control, Jesus offers love, partnership, and freedom.
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