Depending on how you grew up, how your dad treated your mom, how your mom spoke to your dad, or how the adults in your life treated you, you might not know what abuse looks like.
Here are some glimpses of what abuse is: Do you have a pattern of getting angry when your partner or children don’t do what you want? Do you express anger by name-calling, threatening looks, physical threats, or physical acts like breaking things or hurting pets? Do you blame those outbursts on alcohol, drugs, or someone else? Do you ever use the Bible to get what you want, telling him he has to forgive you no matter how much you belittle him and she has to submit because you are the head of the household? If that happens often, that’s abuse. (And if you don’t want others to read these words, it’s likely you are abusive.)
I need you to know how much God hates abuse. “Those who love violence, [the Lord] hates with a passion” (Psalm 11:5). The biggest issue with your behavior isn’t that it might get you in legal trouble or cost you control at home. The biggest issue is that it makes God hate you. No one who continues living in this sin, hurting people God loves, will end up loved by God. So before you have to stand before our Father holding a history of hurting his children, look at yourself.
And before the guilt of your sin overwhelms you, please run to Jesus. There is hope in his name for every sinner, even for you.