Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Freedom from abuse ............................. Parables 153

A young, very pregnant girl sits sobbing in a chilly courtroom. Her boyfriend is charged with assault. She is afraid she will lose him to a prison cell. His only possible defense is that the judge will have mercy. She fears for her future. What will happen to her? What will happen to her baby, and to their other small child? How will she ever manage alone?
A tragedy? Yes, but the worst is yet to come. The boyfriend’s victim was this very girl.

Not an uncommon situation. Two lonely, perhaps downtrodden, people are attracted to one another. They meet one another’s needs for a time, but somehow the relationship becomes lop-sided.

One has a more dominant personality or it stronger in some way. The other, afraid of not being needed or wanted, chooses to remain under that dominance rather than face life without someone, anyone. Sadly, she became the giver, he only takes.

For such victims, the fear of rejection and being alone is greater than the fear of abuse, ridicule and repeated injury. Some will endure whatever they are dealt just to belong to someone, to have some sense of security. This girl, and countless like her, is held in emotional bondage.

The situation can be reversed too. Men hold no monopoly on dominance and abuse; women are not always the weaker ones. Whatever the case, God never intended human relationships to be lop-sided. It seems breaking free and becoming independent would be the only way out, but such a yoke is difficult to break. Rarely can the insecure person stand alone. Without help, they don’t have the resources.

There are no pat answers — but there is an answer. It does not lie in seeking independence but in finding a new and gentle master, one who gives instead of takes, one who frees instead of binds.

The only Master I know of that gives freedom is the One who said, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free... I am the truth!”

Yes, Jesus Christ was speaking of freedom from the bondage of unbelief and sin, but in that freedom, there is also a transfer of dependency — from whatever bondage that holds us to the One who promises genuine freedom.

When a weak and insecure person attaches themselves to someone stronger, the strong one may take exploit their weakness, but Jesus never’ does that. He not only takes care of all our needs, He loves us unconditionally, accepts us fully and protects us with His strength. He promises abundant, fruitful lives and even makes us partners with Him in His work. We are needed but not exploited.

He graciously supplies all — so we can do whatever He asks us to do! (See Corinthians 9:8) With Christ as the supply, we can even give. Takers can take all they want and we never run out — His supply is inexhaustible.

Sounds too good to be true? If I didn’t know that it was true in my own life, I would think so, but Jesus has never failed me. There are times when pressures are more than I can bear, when people make demands that are beyond my patience and my capacity. But He gives strength and renewed strength. His patience is available that I might choose it rather than cave in.

Jesus invites those who struggle, “Come to me, all you who are weary and heavily burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you (instead of the one you are carrying) and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden it light.”

The Bible encourages any who suffer to “Ask for wisdom” — God gives it to all who ask in faith. Surely, we need His wisdom to find our way through any difficulty, including that of a lop-sides relationship.

Life may not hold extreme trials or crippling bondage right now, but God is available in good times. Anyone who desires His freedom and peace can find it through a personal relationship with the Prince of Peace. “If the Son shall set you free, you shall be free indeed.”

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