Mistreating a child is out of step with God's love

The child was terrified. The paralysing fear was reflected on her eyes that kept darting from one side to the other as if searching for answers on why it was happening to her.

The child was terrified. The paralysing fear was reflected on her eyes that kept darting from one side to the other as if searching for answers on why it was happening to her.

Her stepmother had tied together both her hands with a rope, and threatened to burn them if she didn’t produce the money she accused her of stealing. She had stoically protested her innocence; despite thorough beatings she had received.

Many of us have been victims of such wickedness. Every day, life is a terrifying hell. We don’t know where and when the next round of beating or acerbic abuse will come from. We don’t know what triggers such wickedness and why it has to happen to us. How can we escape that kind of brutal hideous madness?

Stepparents are the ones we should look up to when we happen to lose our mothers, either through death or divorce. But being a member of a blended family is often challenging.

Death or divorce is heartbreaking. But adding a stepparent to the equation may often feel like having salt rubbed into the wounds. Consequently, relationships between the children and their stepparents are notoriously marked by conflict. Most of the time, those relationships are filled with bitterness, anger and frustration.

We are always comforted to know that a broken family was not God’s plan for us. The book of Malachi 2:16 says it plainly: “‘I hate divorce,’ says the LORD God of Israel.” But as people of God, we must interrogate ourselves why we normally opt to go through the extreme case of divorce and put physical and emotional health of our children in jeopardy under malicious care of the stepparents.

David Machabe, a Christian at Christian Life Assembly, Nyarutarama says that he was once a victim of a malicious stepmother who took over after his own mother’s death.

“She used to mistreat me and my two siblings while treating her own children with due reverence. But God who works in mysterious ways ensured that we become more successful in life than her children who dropped out of school and became the laughing stock of the village,” he says.

Machabe adds that as always, the answer to how we can handle such a discomfiting situation is found in the Word of God.

He says: “Things like divorce is not God’s best interest for a family. When you are a child, you don’t have much say whether or not your parents stay married or not. You are not immunized from experiencing the consequences of marriage gone sour. But understanding God’s plan for marriage may help you in understanding why dealing with divorced parents and becoming part of a blended family is often challenging.”

Jesus himself relied on his “stepfather” for support and companion. According to an article appearing on Got Question? Org., in a family, we should always be encouraging and uplifting. We should also be a good example of Godliness and conduct ourselves with integrity and with instruction from the Lord.

The children are also advised in the Bible to obey their parents. Part of the reason why such conflicts appear in a blended family is the emotional distance the bereft children normally have with their stepparents.

However, the family is a basic unit where each member has important role to play. Stepparents who mistreat their stepchildren are severing their relationship with God.

For those going under such difficulties, remember that prayer is all you need and God is going to deliver you from torment.