Not all children who experience abuse become abusers; however, most abusers were once abused in one way or another. This raises the question, “Why do some children become abusers while others do not?” Certain factors predispose children to make particular choices about how they respond to their experiences. One thing they all have in common: each young spirit was crushed by heartache. The Bible says, “Heartache crushes the spirit.” (Proverbs 15:13)
Childhood Predisposing Influences:
- Temperament: The child is willful and assertive; confident and forceful; lacks compassion and empathy for others; exerts power and control over peers.
- Personality: The child is aggressive and impulsive; competent and secure; has an inflated ego and a sense of entitlement; competitive and dominates relationships.
- Environment: The child experiences some form of abuse within the home; spends excessive, unsupervised hours watching violent TV programs and sitcoms laced with sarcasm; forms the belief that being mean to others is the best form of self-protection; unable to express anger and frustration safely at home.
All children are impacted by abusive treatment. Some take the path of succumbing to abuse and defining themselves by the negativity of that abuse. Others take the path of rising above abuse and defining themselves by positive character building values.
“As for the deeds of men – by the word of your lips I have kept myself from the ways of the violent. My steps have held to your paths: my feet have not slipped.” (Psalm 17:4–5)