I once knew a woman who had been badly abused by her significant other and yet, despite calling the cops, went back to him. In that moment, I realized how complicated abuse is. There are factors—childhood wounds, generational sins, and decades-long habits—that keep us caught up in toxic and oppressive relationships.
The prophet Isaiah once wrote, “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed” (Isaiah 1:17). How do we do that? Not simply with truth but also with God’s grace.
As your friend fights to believe the abuse really isn’t his fault, grace waits. As your daughter goes back to the guy you want to run over with your truck, grace stands by. Grace is being ready whenever they’re ready, like the father of the prodigal son who waited until his boy came home.
Grace gives the gospel. If the victim is a Christian, you can say, “You are a child of God. You are precious to our Father. He doesn’t think you’re worthless or stupid or useless. He smiles when he thinks of you.” If the abused isn’t a Christian, you can say, “God wants something better for you. Jesus understands what you’re going through. He wants you to have the hope of a place where there is no more crying or tears or abuse.” Grace defends the abused from an eternity of pain by promising them eternal life through Jesus.
Defend the oppressed with the gospel, giving them Jesus, the best grace of all.