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To ensure the child is a willing participant within abuse, many who abuse their children use

Exodus 20:12

Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. (NIV)

Deuteronomy 5:16

Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the Lord your God is giving you. (NIV)

and Ephesians 6:2-3

2 “Honor your father and mother” — which is the first commandment with a promise —
3 “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” (NIV)

How can a teenage child or adult survivor of abuse reconcile these passages with the need for future self-preservation with regard to Luke 6:31

Do to others as you would have them do to you. (NIV)

and Matthew 7:12

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

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    I agree, Nigel, that victims of any kind need professional help. However, there are extremely important theological component to this question that must be answered.
    – user25930
    Oct 7 '18 at 20:48
  • As a qualified therapist who has worked with the abused, I agree with @DrPeterMcGowan. I would like some scriptural basis of counteracting this problem Oct 7 '18 at 21:03
  • @DrPeterMcGowan Point taken and agreed.
    – Nigel J
    Oct 8 '18 at 7:38
  • many who abuse their children use - Since when have abusers become trustworthy exegetes of Holy Scripture ? At any rate, secondary or delegated authorities (parents, rulers, lawmakers, etc.) cannot override the primary or primordial authority, from which they derive their power in the first place.
    – Lucian
    Oct 8 '18 at 13:20
  • 1
    This is, unfortunately, the sad reality that child abuse is more common among elders, pastors and priests than the population generally. @Chris Rogers is correct that such people make frequent use of religious guilt to conceal their hideous sins.
    – user25930
    Oct 10 '18 at 8:15
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The genesis of all abuse in any relationship is abuse of that relationship by the stronger side and the responsibilities it entails. This can be seen in numerous cases.

Marriage: Wives should be subject to their husbands as in the Lord (Eph 5:22) but this must be balanced by the instruction that all Christians should be subject to one another (Eph 5:21), AND, that husbands should love their wives as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for her (Eph 5:25)!!! Therefore, this does not give licence to men to abuse their wives, quite the contrary; it increases men's responsibility to be kind and supportive.

Slaves "Slaves, be obedient to your masters" (Eph 6:5), but this must be balanced by Paul's instruction to masters to stop threatening (read abusing) slaves because in heaven we will all be equal and there is no partiality (Eph 6:9). Therefore, this does not give licence to masters or work bosses to abuse employees but increases their responsibility to be kind and supportive.

Governors Christians are instructed to be subject to every governing authority (Rom 13:1-7), but this must be balanced by God's instructions to rulers and judges (eg 2 Chron 19:5-11) to exercise their authority on God's behalf without partiality or bribes. Therefore, this does not give licence to rulers to abuse their subjects but increases their responsibility to be kind, just and fair.

Parents Children are instructed to obey and honour parents (Ex 20:12, Deut 6:15, Eph 6:1-3, etc, etc) but this must be balanced by the instruction that fathers should not exasperate (read abuse) children (Eph 6:4, Col 3:21) but must take their parental responsibility very seriously (Ps 127:3-5, Deut 6:6, 7, Titus 2:7, See also 1 Peter 5:2, 3). Therefore, this does not give licence to parents (most often fathers) to abuse their children but increases their responsibility to be examples of the good, kind and just.

God and Us The most extreme example of this is our relationship with God. God is in a much more powerful situation that we are and so takes correspondingly greater responsibility in our relationships. In fact, God even takes responsibility for our sin and has implemented a plan to solve our sin problem (Rom 5:8, Gal 3:13, 2 Cor 5:21) In imitating God (John 13:34, 35, 15:12, 1 John 4:8, 11, 19, Eph 5:1, 2, Phil 2:5, 1 Cor 2:16, Luke 6:34, 35) we must do the same.

All these are examples of the principle that Jesus offered in Luke 12:48 - "to whom much is given, much is required"- a sobering idea for those in responsibility.

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  • I love your answer and your first paragraph sums it all up in a nutshell. Abuse is all about power (or perceived power), and with that power whether man, woman, boy or girl, comes a position of trust. Oct 7 '18 at 22:41

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