Thursday, March 19, 2009

Forgiving Sexual Abuse

News articles that carry the stories of sexual abusers cause our blood to boil. Voices are harsh and judgments are severe. But grief blindsides many who suddenly find themselves married to a sexual abuser. They hear the pleading of the abuser to forgive them and the scriptural instructions to forgive continually reverberates like the sound of a gong in their heads.

How do I forgive? How can I allow him to touch me again? Am I betraying my children by allowing this person in my bed? Am I betraying God by not forgiving?

Please consider the words of Jesus on the cross. “Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.” Jesus was pleading for those who did not comprehend their actions. Those words do not apply to the sexual abuser of a child. Their actions are intentional. They are fully aware that what they are doing is wrong.

Sexual abuse is about dominance, manipulation and self-fulfillment. It has nothing to do with a mistake but has everything to do with violating the innocent.

If you want to help a violator, you must make him or her face the consequences of their decision to put their desires above the health of a child. Because taking the risk of a repeat offense is too high, the one who chooses to sexually violate a child has forever lost the privilege of being trusted with children.