I know Jesus wants me to love everyone the way He does but I just can't do it. I was abused as a child, and I can't just wave a wand and have all those memories and emotional scars go away, can I? I guess God loves those who hurt me, but I can't go there.


Child abuse (whatever its nature) is wrong for many reasons, but one of the most important is the emotional scars it causes — scars that may be with someone the rest of their life. The Bible says, “Fathers, do not embitter your children” (Colossians 3:21).

No, you can’t just “wave a wand” and make all these memories vanish. But God doesn’t want you to be captive to them the rest of your life, and He wants to help you overcome them. It may not be easy, and you may even need the help of a skilled counselor — but that shouldn’t keep you from making the effort. The Bible says, “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised” (Hebrews 10:36).

What steps should you take? First, learn to forgive. Remember: We have hurt God far more than anyone has ever hurt us — but Christ willingly went to the cross so all our sins could be forgiven. We don’t deserve His forgiveness — nor do those who abused you deserve your forgiveness. But He forgave us anyway — and we should forgive others the same way.

Then ask God to fill you with His love — not just for those who hurt you, but for everyone. When someone irritates you or reminds you of something hurtful, immediately ask God to remind you of His love — both for you and for them.