What is love? Is it sappy movies like PS I love you? Is it a picnic at the park? Or is it walking down a beautiful beach and watching the sunset as you fall into your spouse’s arms?
While all that is cool, is it love?
When I was growing up I had a distorted view of what love was. My dad didn’t really show us love because he didn’t seem to know how. He was an alcoholic and would come home and abuse my mom, usually for no reason at all. After he’d beat her, he would stay outside drinking till all hours of the night. My mom would lay in bed crying and I remember hearing her whimpers. I was so scared. I wanted to check on her, but I was afraid of what my dad would do to me. I didn’t know God then, but as a little girl, I would pray that God would please help my mom and if he could please send her a nice man to treat her right.
I don’t remember seeing much love between them. It was mostly toxic and violence. I grew thinking that love meant to get hurt. She stayed with him, so that made me think I guess she loves him because he beats her almost every night, and she still hasn’t left.
When I became a teenager (and thought I knew everything) I went out looking for this love that I had seen in movies. The girl sleeps with the guy, the guy marries her, and they live happily ever after, right?
Love without balance is control.
When I found my husband and got married, I thought I had beat the odds. I found my soul mate at a young age. I would be married forever, and I finally knew what love was. I was sadly mistaken. Because I could never distinguish love, I fell into the most dangerous trap ever. Control.
Control is subtle. It usually doesn’t come and jump in your face and say "Hey I’m control and I’m here to make your life miserable". Nope, it just slithers in when you’re at your most venerable place. It comes in when you don’t know your self-worth.
For years I lived with a person who from the outside was charming, funny, kind and charismatic. But on the inside, he was heavily addicted to pornography. This caused many issues not only in him, but in me. I was made to believe that because we were married, I was supposed to do everything he was watching on these sites. He would tell me that in the name of God, I was to do it and be happy about it or he could find it somewhere else. In fear I’d give in, yet every time, I found myself whimpering, just like my mom.
My abuse left no bruises on my body, but they left scars on my heart.
I’m sharing this transparency today because there are many out there that are like me. They were in a marriage or relationship that they were made to do many dirty things and feel damaged and broken. You have cried yourself to sleep every night asking God, why is this happening to you.
Then there are those out there who were the ones that made other people do things that they didn’t want to do. You feel ashamed, guilty and you feel there is no hope for you.
Whichever you are, let me tell you. There is hope. The only thing that can free you from the distorted views of what you think LOVE is-
Jesus came to save the victim and the abuser free.
I was the victim. But by the Grace of God, I am no longer living the life of “why me”? I am walking out the life of “Its because of HIM”.
There is no substitute for Love. Its not sex. It’s not money, it’s not alcohol and its definitely not multiple sex partners. None of that will be able to fill you like the LOVE of Jesus.
To the victim, you desperately need healing from the abuse you suffered, the countless nights of silent screams, and crying till there were no tears left; Jesus can and will heal you-like he did me. He will show you what love really is, and he will walk alongside you to prove it.
To the abuser, maybe you need freedom from the damage you put on someone else, there is hope for you too. You had a distorted view of love as well. Jesus can heal you from the deep-rooted issue of control and help you be free. You see, when you feel the need to be in complete control, its because you’re actually out of control. When you truly surrender that to the Lord, then and only then can He deliver you.
Trust me, Jesus also paid the price for your freedom as well.
Finally, to the ones who witnessed the abuse but lived in fear that if you ever said anything, you would be in trouble; you can also find freedom from what you saw. It wasn’t your fault. You couldn’t stop what happened. You don’t have to carry around the guilt anymore. Jesus came to lift the burden off and replace it with his LOVE.
The only way to heal is to look with the eyes of love. The only love that is real, is the LOVE that died on the cross to set you free.
~Broken Beautiful Ministries
Chrissie Moore is a mother and grandmother from Keller Texas. She is a survivor of mental, emotional, verbal and sexual abuse. She has a passion to help other women who are seeking freedom.