Love shouldn’t hurt. If you’re in a relationship with someone who mentally and/or physically abuses you – get out. You are worth more than that. You are so valuable that Jesus died for you. He doesn’t expect you to suffer hurt and abuse at the hands of someone who has been entrusted with your love. There are shelters and kind people who will help you. If you have children, especially if they are involved in the abuse, get them out immediately. Prisons are overflowing with adults who began life as abused children. The streets are filled with teens who have run away from home to escape abuse. They often wind up as drug addicts prostituting themselves to survive. Then AIDS, then death. Stop it now before it begins. Get your children and get out.
But, if you’re a Christian, allow yourself to be abused for your faith. Non-Christians will often hate, despise and abuse you for your Christian beliefs. Don’t be surprised! Look at what religious leaders did to Jesus: they slapped Him around, spit on Him, mocked Him, hammered a crown of thorns into His head, beat His back until it looked like hamburger meat, then nailed Him to a cross and stuck a sword into His side to make sure He was dead. With the exception of John, Jesus’ disciples all faced horrible, painful deaths because they refused to deny Jesus as LORD, the Son of God. So if you get abused for your faith, take it as a compliment. You’re in good company!
I’ve discovered that sometimes when people mock Christian faith and target a Christian for abuse, they really want to hear more. Remember, if you get abused for your Christian faith, the abuser may be jealous. They may see something in you that they realize is lacking in themselves. They may actually want to hear more, know more. So keep witnessing Jesus to them. It doesn’t always have to be words. Just ask yourself in every situation, “What Would Jesus Do?” and do it. Continue your friendship with that person (if possible) and always remain calm and kind no matter how much abuse they throw at you. It’s impossible for you to suffer more than Jesus, our example, did. And remember, you don’t have to know all the answers. Don’t stop talking about your faith just because they ask you questions you can’t answer. No one can know or answer everything about God. Mysteries belong to Him. Just keep reading your Bible and walking through this life as the only Bible some folks will ever read.
Walk in love, joy, peace, kindness, patience, goodness, gentleness, self-control, faith and truth – the fruit of the Spirit. Take the abuse and share the fruit. It can change the world, one hurting person at a time.