Is God punishing me?

Many victims of domestic violence who have lived a faith-based life often believe they are “in this mess” because God is punishing them. Perhaps it was because of premarital sex, or some other secret sin that the Creator of the Universe has chosen to chastise them by allowing brutal abuse, whether verbal, emotional or physical. Nothing could be further from the truth. Far too many times victims of abuse or domestic violence are told it is a direct result of being “unequally yoked,” and that “you made your bed, now you have to lay in it.” While I do believe life holds many consequences for our choices and actions, I cannot accept that the God of my life chooses to run around looking for those of His children to punish, hurt and damage further.

Again, those of us whose lives have revolved around our faith most likely also believe in the forces of good and evil, God and Satan. Let’s give credit where credit is due. YOU were not the perpetrator of the evil acts. You were the victim. Perhaps you are now the victim. God is not punishing you, or trying to get you back for the time you yelled at Him and told Him how totally irritated you were with how things were going in life. He’s big…He can take your honesty.

The very first Bible verse I was taught, at about the age of 3 years, was “God is love.” Pretty simple, huh? God is love, pure and simple. Abuse is not love. Degrading your partner is not love. Grabbing an arm and threatening to harm someone is not love, and neither is jealousy. Those are not love.

In Corinthians we are given the perfect definition of love. The Message Bible puts it so clearly:

Love never gives up.

Love cares more for others than for self.

Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

God is love


So, we should be able to deduce from the scripture that if it doesn’t “look” like this, it is not love, and therefore, it is not God.

We may gain a lot of reassurance and hope from another verse in the Bible, Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (NIV)




Read CNN’s report, Empowered Patient and Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine’s Extraordinary Woman, both featuring Carolyn. Visit her website at

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