“Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”
Psalm 82.4

So why take on this topic of abuse? Isn’t it controversial? Hasn’t it divided churches? Don’t people use a word like “abuse” to mean lots of different things? For some it seems to be defined so broadly it can mean almost anything – so if something hurts my feelings, I can claim to be abused! Others define it so narrowly that, if it doesn’t break a leg or leave a scar, it doesn’t qualify as abuse. Still others dismiss the current concern about abuse as little more than so much cultural whining.

And yet, the headlines keep reminding us that it is a big deal. From the #MeToo movement, to the circus of attention surrounding the Johnny Depp vs Amber Heard trial, abuse remains in the news. And not just in the secular world, churches have been forced to face this difficult topic with far too many stories of abuse and coverup coming out, including from within the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention last year.

So it is because abuse is controversial and easy to misunderstand, that we need to do what we can to understand it biblically! What does the Bible say about how we must treat those God has entrusted to our care? As a husband, when does my exercise of the leadership God has given me to shepherd my family cross the line from the right use of authority for their good, to the abuse of that authority in a way that is sinful? And where there is abuse, what help can we find in the Lord? How can the church reach out to those who’ve been sinned against in this way, as well as offer hope to those who have sinned?
This morning, I want us to think biblically about this issue, especially as it impacts marriage. My goal is that by giving this topic our attention, we’ll be better equipped to recognize what the sin of abuse really is so that we are able to give care to those who’ve been abused and call abusers to repentance in Christ.

Seeking His glory in every life as we submit our all to Him!

Pastor Scott