A man came to my office and confessed to me that he had been abusive with his girlfriend. After expressing my grave concern for his behavior, I told the man what I would tell any seemingly repentant sinner—Jesus forgives you. Although there would be consequences for his actions, Jesus had taken away his eternal condemnation. I even texted him a Bible passage so the guilt wouldn’t overwhelm him. (FYI—I also consulted law enforcement to see what I could do to keep this woman safe from future abuse.)
A while later, however, his girlfriend stopped by my office and told me what had happened next. The man had taken my text, shoved it in her face, and boasted, “See! Even the pastor is on my side!” My heart slumped as she repeated his words, and I came to hate abuse more than I ever had in my life.
“Those who love violence, [the Lord] hates with a passion” (Psalm 11:5). That passage is a terrifying reminder that God hates not just abuse but abusers themselves. So if you’re using fear or force to maintain control in a relationship, repent! Before you stand before the God who “hates” you, change your heart and your life. You might fool the pastor or the judge, but you can’t fool God.
And if you’ve endured abuse, let these stark words remind you that God is on your side, close to the brokenhearted. As the psalm goes on to say, “[The Lord] loves justice; the upright will see his face” (verse 7).