The Power of Abuse and the Necessity of True Hope

By Elizabeth Prata

When you’re a kid in an abusive home, the number one feeling is uncertainty. The abused child is uncertain that this is the way things are supposed to be. One is unsure. Is this love, when daddy hits me? Is this what love is when mommy neglects me? They tell you they love you, but then act in ways that don’t seem loving. How do other families do it? The child doesn’t know, the other family is behind closed doors. When the child visits the other families, they seem nice. But then again, so does the kid’s family when other people visit the abusive home.

When you’re a kid in an abusive home, the number one feeling is uncertainty. The abused child is uncertain that this is the way things are supposed to be. One is unsure. Is this love, when daddy hits me? Is this what love is when mommy neglects me? They tell you they love you, but then act in ways that don’t seem loving. How do other families do it? The child doesn’t know, the other family is behind closed doors. When the child visits the other families, they seem nice. But then again, so does the kid’s family when other people visit the abusive home.

As the child grows, he or she becomes a little more sure that this dynamic isn’t the way that it’s supposed to be. Therefore what grows alongside the uncertainty is hope. As maturity forms, hope forms. The tween/teen/young adult thinks, I’m not sure this is the way things are supposed to be, but I hope tomorrow will be better. One hopes that tomorrow they’ll love me. They’ll stop hitting me. They’ll quit neglecting me. They won’t molest me anymore. Mommy won’t bully or belittle me. When they promise something, like a trip to the park or an ice cream, they really mean it this time; it will happen. The child hopes against hope that it will happen.

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The hope becomes a lifesaving ring but also an albatross. Each time the hope is dashed, one clings to it but it becomes more drenched with tears. And again, and again. The hope is battered and then one sad day, inevitably dashed. No trip to the park after all. Dad got mad and threw the ice cream cones to the ground. Mom wasn’t home to greet the kids after school again. The belt comes out, again. Tears drench the life ring, which becomes soggy and begins to sink.

The child cries, ‘Why are things like this?’ Why don’t parent have natural affection for their children? One thing the abused child knows is that parents are supposed to love their kids. This can’t be love. Is it? The abused wants to know what love IS…

The Bible says that in the end time, parents won’t have natural affection for their children.

Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, (2 Timothy 3:3 KJV).

The end time is the time between Jesus’ first coming and second coming. The end time is happening now. We’re in it.

This phrase “without natural affection” is the translation of one Greek word, astergeo. … The word stergeo (“natural affection”) is one of four Greek words for “love,” but it is never used at all in the New Testament. It refers to the natural love that members of the same family have for each other. It is such a common characteristic of all peoples that there was apparently no occasion to refer to it at all — except when it is not present, when people lose their instinctive love for their own parents and children, and thus are “without natural affection.” One thinks of the widespread abortionism of these last days, as well as the modern breakdown of the family in general. (Source: Institute for Creation Research)

The Christian mind does not want to, or can’t comprehend, the absence of natural affection from a parent to a child. It seems impossible that a parent does not love their child, batters them physically or emotionally, sometimes, just for fun. But it exists. The Bible says it does, our experience as social workers, police, teachers, shows that it does, the news reports illustrate that it does. But to the child, they simply don’t know why people who are supposed to love them actually do not.

John MacArthur has said that God uses three mechanisms to restrain sin in the unsaved: the individual conscience, the government’s laws, and the family. The family is basic to nurturing the God-instilled sense of right and wrong. Without that natural affection, there’s an absence of nurturing and cultivation of the conscience within the family. Society suffers a dreadful result.

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I think we are seeing that result in these days. The days and years ahead will be worse, I’m afraid. Any cycle, once reaching its tipping point, proceeds at an increased pace.The child with no footing will search for the love that is lacking in their nuclear home, making it easier for satan to lure the child/youth/adult into schemes and situations that are detrimental to him or her. He will try to find a substitute family that operates on a twisted cycle of love. Gangs become more attractive. Polyamorous relationships or even a cult will seem normal. The perversity of a kinky bondage Master/slave pairing will seem OK. Homosexual partners raising children. And so on.The horror of the end of the end times is pretty horrible. We see in movies and books, not to mention Revelation, the natural disasters and such that will go on, relentlessly. But the worse horror is a world full of twisted, perverse, emotionally stunted people with no conscience or sense of right and wrong.That’s the real horror.The beauty, the grace, the relief, is that God’s grace doesn’t stop. His Gospel in Jesus Christ’s life, death and resurrection now still has and always will have power to save the soul, revive the conscience, and enlarge the heart. Keep sharing. We know the times will get worse and worse. (2 Timothy 3:13). Fewer people will respond, but many will. God has ordained the times, and though we mourn the tragic life of those child en raised in homes without natural affection, the love of Jesus will pierce some of them and allow love to flow back in.Then they will eternally know the natural affection of the family of God, never to be offered conditionally, abused, or withdrawn ever again What a day that will be.

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