Psychologists, psychiatrists, law officials, welfare department officials, and the courts are working on the problem of child abuse daily. They examine child abuse from a social perspective while ignoring the spiritual perspective. I believe child abuse stems from spiritual problems that mankind overlooks.
The Breakdown of the Family
Much of the child abuse is from step-fathers and live-in lovers. Child abuse is a consequence of the deterioration of the family in American society. A society cannot ignore the divine commandments regarding the marriage relationship without paying the price for breaking it. God ordained that marriage be a lifetime commitment (Gen 2:24 f; Matt 19:4-8). Marriage is only terminated by fornication and death itself (Matt 19:9 f; 1 Cor 7:39). The stable family relationship is the God-appointed environment for rearing children.
Parents who change mates like they change clothes, bringing in a mate who has never bonded with the children, create the situation in which child abuse is likely to occur. The “natural affection” which should exist between parent and child is not there (Rom. 1:31).
We can greatly reduce child abuse in our nation by mothers and fathers keeping their marital vows to one another, keeping the home intact. As parents who love one another, we can rear our children in an atmosphere of love, not in an environment of child abuse.
Victims Become Abusers
Child abuse is learned behavior. Children mimic their parents. A child who has been a victim of child abuse in his youth is a potential child abuser. The Scriptures state that the learned habit of sin is passed down from one generation to another (“visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me” – Ex. 20:4). There are second and third generation child abusers prevalent among us. The patterns of conduct learned from the parent are followed by the children and passed down to their children.We can prevent child abuse by being good parents. Let our children see in us a good example of parental conduct and child abuse will decrease.
The Scriptures prescribe the conduct of parents toward children: “And, you fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). “Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged” (Col. 3:20). Verbal abuse would end when parents put away from their lives “bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking” (Eph. 4:31).
Homosexual and Lesbian Parents
It is difficult to miss that child abuse has increased among heterosexual parents but nearly nonexistent among gay and lesbian parents. This is because such parents do not correct their children in the biblical way that society defines as abuse. “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him” (Prov 22:15). “Do not withhold correction from a child, for if you beat him with a rod, he will not die. You shall beat him with a rod, and deliver his soul from hell” (Prov 23:13-14). Whenever we fail to correct our children we are in effect abusing them.
According to the scriptures, when we train up a child the way he should go, when he is old he shall not depart from it (Prov 22:6). Is not society allowing children to be trained to be LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual or transsexual), or tolerant of such, by the examples set before them? This is spiritual child abuse!
It is also noteworthy that ungodly parents are training up their children to deny God’s existence and to be a heartless generation. This too is child abuse in the spiritual realm.
A Spiritual Problem
Child abuse occurs because of distinctly spiritual problems which cannot be cured by government programs and organizations. Being a spiritual problem, a spiritual cure is necessary to change the hearts of men and women.
The influence of the gospel on society has always been wholesome. The gospel, even when it does not convert the world, leavens the society in which it is prevalent. As America becomes more secular, removing God from its classroom and other public forums, the leavening influence of the gospel is methodically eradicated. We can expect more and more social problems to occur, stemming from people who have little or no commitment to live by the ethical standards revealed by God. What a price we pay for leaving God out of our lives!
Conclusion: Yes, I am aware of child abuse by biological parents. More often than not, these are non Christian families who live riotous lives. However, a Christian family has been proven to be the best place to rear children throughout the ages. They correct their children appropriately when they do wrong. They teach them the ways of God, morally and spiritually, according to the scriptures. They show them by examples how to be future parents by their good deeds. Adulterous marriages, gay and lesbian marriages, and fornicators are havens for child abuse.