What does the Bible
say about CHILD ABUSE?
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Question: What does the Bible say about child abuse?
Answer: The New Testament Bible verse regarding child abuse that quickly comes to mind is in Colossians 2. The same admonition is repeated in Paul's book of Ephesians, chapter 6 and verse four.
Parents, do not irritate (the NKJV and other translations have "provoke") your children, or they will become discouraged. (Colossians 3:21)
Both of these are addressed to the fathers in the household and, by extension, to anyone in authority over that child. Those in authority are commanded, not suggested, to not provoke (abuse) them until he or she becomes violently angry or in a rage of frustration.
If a child is provoked, even for his own good (as some would argue), this is permitted but that is not what God demands. So I would have to say from these two scriptures that people in authority should not abuse these blessings from God for any reason.
Another place that might be of help to understand our Father's loving mind toward children and how to treat them is the admonition to not even put barriers before "little ones" (see Matthew 18:1 - 6 and Mark 9). Clearly, Jesus takes the abuse or hindering, etc. of children, especially those who are spiritually quite young, VERY seriously! As parents we must always teach in love and discipline with justice - and not abuse. This does not mean an adult should be passive and not correct a child for bad and unacceptable behavior because that too is a sign of being unloving and abusive. Even God, because of his perfect love, chastens or corrects those he has received as children (Hebrews 12:7, Revelation 3:19).
One of the primary problems for each generation is to figure out what IS abuse. In the modern English dictionaries the definition is to attack verbally, to misuse or mistreat someone. This can be manifested in verbal insults, physical battery (although spanking done in love and for the good of the child is permitted), emotional and psychological mistreatment because of lies and hypocrisy, and spiritual deception.