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If you realize that you have been guilty of abuse in any form—physical abuse, verbal abuse, manipulation, control, neglect, or other forms—you can tap into God's restorative power.

You can break the chains the abuse has had on your family, and you can do it right now.

Talk to your family and ask them to let you know their feelings about your behavior. It's important that they are allowed to say how they feel without any fear of repercussions.

These "talks" may be eye opening and difficult at first. They will, however, open the door to God's healing power to restore wounded and broken relationships.

First John 4:19-21 clearly identifies how God wants you treat others. It says:
We love him, because he first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God loves his brother also.
Walking in love is not an option; it is a command from heaven. Therefore, to abuse your wife and children in any way breaks God's commandment to love. It's time to honestly look at yourself and get real with God.

Walking in love is not easy, but God expects us to perfect our love. First Corinthians 13 lists some of the qualities that love encompasses. It is patient, kind, never envious or jealous, never boastful or haughty, and it is not conceited or prideful.

Neither does it insist on having its own way, nor is it rude to others.

Many other characteristics of love are mentioned in this chapter, but the point is that love never works ill toward anyone. Your family relationships are precious, and you can't afford to treat your loved ones in a way that demeans them or causes them pain.

Most men who are emotionally inaccessible or abusive to their families are this way because they did not receive love during their childhoods; as a result, they are filled with an emotional void. If this is true for you and you're struggling with unresolved issues, ask God to bring you to a place of restoration.

Repent of the way you've treated your family and ask God for forgiveness, knowing that He is faithful and just to cleanse you of all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Then repent to your loved ones and ask for their forgiveness.

Remember that the problem of abuse—regardless of the form it takes—is a result of selfishness. The only way to defeat selfishness and the fear that comes with it is to begin cultivating and perfecting the love of God in your life.

You do this by filling yourself with the Word; in other words, by renewing your mind.

It will take a conscious effort on your part to defeat your flesh and change your way of thinking. As you begin to develop in the qualities of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23), instead of acting out on the different forms of abuse, you will begin to receive the love and respect that you crave from your family.

Although the process may take time, expect God to heal past hurts as you conform to the image and character of Jesus. Love never fails!

Creflo Dollar Ministries
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Author Biography

Creflo A. Dollar
Web site: World Changers Ministries
 
Creflo Dollar is the founder and senior pastor of World Changers Church International (WCCI) in College Park, Georgia; World Changers Church-New York; and a host of fellowship churches throughout the United States and internationally. WCCI also has offices in Australia (serving the Asia-Pacific region), South Africa, Canada, the United Kingdom, India, and the Ukraine.
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