Daniel. Esther. Peter. Paul. As a teenager, I knew them all. If there was a
Bible trivia show, I could have been a champion. I went to church and knew
Bible stories like the back of my hand.
I knew about God, but I did not know Him.
How about you? Do you know about God? Or do you know God? What’s
While I had accepted Jesus as my Savior, I didn’t understand what it meant
to have a relationship with Him. I didn’t know His Word, I didn’t know my
worth in Him, and I didn’t know His promises and how to hear His voice over
In the midst of all of this, I had the good desires to be loved and to be a
mom one day. So, when love came knocking, I opened my heart wide. This
could have worked out well if my boyfriend had been a healthy individual,
but he was not. Instead, he was abusive, emotionally manipulative, and a
destroyer of my self-worth.
At the time, I didn’t know God well enough to know His love for me, my
worth in Him, and the promises in His Word. I didn’t know He would fulfill
the desires of my heart as I delight in Him (Psalm 37:4). I didn’t know I
could trust Him for all the details of my life, including relationships.
When we know God and not just know about Him, it changes everything. His
truths permeate our minds. His promises override our fears. His presence
leads us through life’s big decisions. His Word becomes the lamp for our
feet and the light for our paths (Psalm 119:105).
God loves us so deeply, reaching out to us before we could love Him, dying
on the cross for us (1 John 4:19). Our trustworthy Savior invites us into
relationship with Him, so that we may be ever deepening in our
understanding of Him and the good news that He has come to save and restore
us. No matter what we experience, Jesus is present with us, including
giving us wisdom to find safe peoplewho reflect His loveto reach out to
when we experience abuse. Erin Nestico
If you or someone you know is suffering from abuse, and if your situation
is potentially life-threatening, call 911 (or the emergency number for your
area) or go to the local hospital emergency room right away.
If you need someone to talk to but are not in need of immediate help, you
can set up an appointment for a one-time complimentary phone consultation
with a Christian counselor through the Focus on the Family Counseling
Service. In the United States, call 1-855-771-HELP (4357) weekdays 6:00
a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Mountain Time) to set up an appointment. In Canada, book
your appointment by calling 1-800-661-9800 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
(Pacific Time) and ask to speak with the care associate.
Have you ever been hurt by a dating partner’s words or actions?* Have you
hurt someone? There is hope through Jesus. He offers healing and
forgiveness, no matter how terrible the situation may be. Who is a trusted
Christian adult you can talk to as you seek to follow God’s good intentions
for how people should treat one another, including setting up loving
How is knowing God different from knowing about Him?
Jesus invites us into relationship with God, to know Him deeper and
deeper throughout our lives. Would you like to pursue this kind of
relationship with Jesus? If you have questions about it, who are trusted
Christians in your life you can talk to? (If you want to learn more about
what it means to know God, check out our “Know Jesus” page.)
*If you are unsure about whether or not a dating partner is acting in an
unhealthy manner, consider these questions: Is this person controlling,
prideful, dishonest, or selfish? Is this person unable to admit when they
are wrong? Do you both have a say in decisions you make as a couple? Has
this person cheated on you? Are you scared to bring up certain subjects
with this person because they will act in a violent and/or overly angry
way? Do you live in constant fear of offending your partner? Do you find
yourself talking yourself into trusting them? Does this person denigrate
you verbally or make you feel bad about yourself? Does this person hurt you
physically? If one or more of these questions resonates with your
situation, reach out for help and check out the resources in the discussion
Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus
Christ, whom you have sent. John 17:3 (NIV)