My dear friend, I’m not aware that “child abuse” is directly addressed in the Scriptures per se. However, I can tell you that the Bible does not condone the abuse of anyone in any form. God loves children, and Scripture warns in Matthew 18:10, “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of My Father which is in heaven”.

Now, the term “child abuse” can mean many things…physical harm or neglect, verbal or sexual assault, torture, and the like. In modern American society, these things are outlawed, and they are likewise never condoned in the Scriptures. Corporal discipline, however, has been labeled as “abuse” in many sectors of our society, generally due to human sin and failures of conduct. But the definition of this type of discipline varies given the culture. The intention of biblical discipline is never to harm, but rather to correct or instruct a child to keep them from the harmful effects of sin. We read in Proverbs 13:24, “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.” Again, we read in Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” These verses may sound harsh by today’s American standards, but just consider the purpose of discipline, and the fact that discipline can be administered in many forms: “Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell,” (Proverbs 23:13-14).

But remember, God is love. The Bible is the Word of God, and God loves all people, so much so that He gave His only begotten Son to die on a cross that all may have life through Him. Additionally, God desires the very best for His children. We read in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life”. We read also, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end,” (Jeremiah 29:11). God’s purposes and intentions towards any of His children are only ever good.

Now, God loves children. In Scripture, children are very highly regarded as we read in Psalms 127:3-5: “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate”. And God has given His own people, believers, a very special place as children, whereby we see His example of love that is likened to that of human fathers, though far greater. We read in 1 John 3:1, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God:  therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is”.

In the Bible, God’s love for His children is likened to that of the best human fathers as we read in Psalms 103:13, “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear Him”.

Now, the Lord Jesus is truly God, called Emmanuel” or “God with us,” and He said, “I and My Father are one,” (John 10:30). So, what we know about the nature of God we see clearly in the life and walk of our Lord Jesus on earth. And how did the Lord Jesus respond to children? In Matthew 18:4-6 we read, “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in My name receiveth Me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in Me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” Again, the Lord Jesus spoke of that proper father/child relationship in one of His sermons in Luke 11:11-13: “If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” So, it is expected of earthly fathers to give good things to their children, and those who might stumble one of the children is subject to God’s judgment as above.  And now, a very familiar portion of Scripture will demonstrate the love that the Lord Jesus has for little children: “And they brought unto Him also infants, that He would touch them: but when His disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them unto Him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein”. (Mark 10:14-15). 

My dear friend, I truly hope these words are helpful to you in seeing that God loves all people, and especially children, and that hurting them would not only not be His will but will result in wrath towards the perpetrator. My prayer is that you yourself have not experienced such abuse, nor any of your loved ones; and if you have, my heart truly goes out to you, and I will be praying for you and your situation for sure.  May the Lord richly bless you with a true sense of His presence and His peace in your life just now.  (487.5)  (SF)