The abuse experience can warp the lens through which victims see themselves and the world. It skews even their view of God, since He – perhaps more so than the predator – is blamed for the abuse. Abuse victims must be permitted to vent the full range of emotions elicited by the violation, if their faith in God and relationship with Him are to be restored.
God’s continuing love for abuse victims is more powerful than any symptoms or shame. This does not necessarily mean that the scars of abuse will be erased. Victims are likely to need frequent reminders, both of God’s love and His mercy.
“He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward them that fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103: 10-12).
” ‘Come now, let us reason together,’ says the Lord. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool’ “ (Isaiah 1: 18).
” ‘I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions, for My own sake, and remembers your sins no more’ ” (Isaiah 43: 25).
Victims might ask themselves whether they would judge another exploited child by the same harsh standards they have applied to themselves; whether the thoughts and behaviors they now characterize as defective on their part would have occurred at all, if they had not been abused.
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