Turn the Other Cheek
How would you counsel the woman whose husband keeps slapping her around? How do you counsel the teenage daughter whose dad is sexually abusing her? How would you counsel a man who is constantly treated with contempt on the job? How do you counsel a family in a local church where the leadership is controlling them and others with fear for his/her personal gain?
A husband or someone in the church may tell the wife of the abuser, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. Wives (be subject to your) own husbands in every thing” (Eph. 5:22, 24). So, the woman stays in the abuse until her husband eventually kills her. How about the husband that constantly verbally abuses his wife? A woman may not be able to show her broken nose or bruised face, but I can assure you that her heart is torn and bruised. Does that count? Did we bother to read the other verse that declares that the husband is to love his wife as “Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it?” (v.25).
We may tell the sexually abused teenager, “Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee” (Ex. 20:12). “Don’t be disobedient to your parents or you are worthy of death” (Rom 1:30, 32). So, the daughter allows her dad to continue to abuse her until she is destroyed emotionally. She ends up turning to drugs and alcohol, becomes sexually promiscuous, and may eventually take her own life. Should we minister counsel from the Word of God. … Absolutely, but we should view Truth from the whole Word of God.
We are taught Scriptures such as “He that loveth not knoweth not God, for God is love” (1 Jn. 4:8). “Love is patient and kind…does not insist on its own rights or its own way…takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]…Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, …” (1 Cor. 13, Amp.) So, all of us should just lie down and play dead. We become a doormat for the devil to work through others to destroy us. I certainly don’t think so!
The Jews picked up stones to stone Jesus. He kept right on preaching to them; but when they attempted to lay hands on Him again to destroy Him, He escaped out of their hand (Jn. 10:31-39). What about the religious folk that threw Jesus out of the city and led Him to a cliff in order to throw Him off to his death? The Bible says that “he passing through the midst of them went his way” (Lk. 4:28-30). …But Jesus said in Matthew 5:39, “…That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” We certainly see Jesus submitting to the events of His crucifixion. He was mocked and abused, and He did not open His mouth. Why? …Because this was the will of God, pertaining to His Son, Jesus. This was the Lamb of God being offered for you and me.
So, what do we say to the abused? Is this the will of God concerning you? How many times do you turn your cheek? I do see that we only have two cheeks, not three or more. Jesus said, “…Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” (Mt. 22:37-39). Do you see that our Lord commanded us to love our neighbor but as we love ourselves. It is okay for you to love you and to make safe boundaries. (To be continued.)