(Photo by Selma Komisky)
WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS CONTENT FOR MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY
How to Comfort Someone Who Has Been Abused When You Have Not
By Michelle Ochen
Abuse is a experience you cannot pretend to understand if you have not experienced it’s pains yourself. God’s Word calls us to bear one another’s burdens and to comfort one another with the comfort we have received in Christ (Galatians 6:2; 2 Corinthians 1:4). So how does one comfort the abused if they themselves have never been abused?
Have you ever heard the saying, “God gave you two ears and one month, so listen more than you talk.” I think such a concept is the perfect solution to encounters we have with the abused. Often times, people just need a listening ear, a hug, a shoulder to lean on. Words spoken without experience have very little worth. Being a good listener can be of more value than any words. Give to one hurting an open ear and a prayerful heart; bring their hurt before a great King who understands and can heal.
Jesus is the greatest focus you can help the abused turn their eyes upon. Isaiah tells us that He is described as the man of sorrows, He certainly understands the pains of this life and experienced the abuse of both physical torture and emotional abandonment by those He loved. He is not just an idea, but a living God who sympathized with us intimately because He bore the sins of this world upon His shoulders. The effects of abuse in a individuals life are the effects of sin, and He bore it all. He can comfort a heart unlike any other human. He must be where we turn our eyes.
Lastly, in bearing another’s burden, you may not be able to change it or take away the pain, or even understand it, but you can bear with them in support and love face to face and in prayer continually. Prayer is a powerful weapon for breaking down strongholds of abuse (2 Cor 10:3-5) and although you may not be able to fix or change the situation, you can bring it before the Lord and fight for your loved one through prayer. Sadly we can forget the great power of prayer and it’s ability to utterly collapse the strength of abuse and every other evil. Prayer is light in the darkness and you can bring light on an area of abuse that may be in darkness to the majority of on-looking eyes.
We do not have to have all the answers when someone comes to us in the casualty of abuses’ pains. We simply need to be a hand to guide them to the One who does have all the answers and be a tangible support to them as they walk through the pains of abuse and pray for their healing to the great Healer Himself. Our God relates to and has overcome every sin and pain this world can bring, He cares and chooses to use you and I as vessels to tell those in need that simply powerful truth.