Abuse in any form is deplorable and terrible. We need advocates who will stand up for the abused. However, in some cases, we seem to have lost touch with what abuse really is.
Recently, in Italy, a 40-year-old woman was brought up on charges and sent to trial after her husband claimed she neglected him and abused him. What was her crime? How did she abuse him? By not cooking and cleaning enough!
Then there are the evangelists for atheism like Richard Dawkins. They claim that teaching your children about religion and creation is a form of child abuse that is “more devastatingly and permanently harmful than sexual abuse.”
While these two examples are extreme and ridiculous, it is good to be reminded that abuse does occur outside of the ways we normally think about it.
We abuse our spouse when we do not love them and cherish them as God intended (Eph. 5:22-33).
We abuse our children when we do not seek to instill knowledge of God in their hearts (Deut. 6:4-9).
We abuse our friendships when we are not kind and forgiving (Eph. 4:32)