Joh 13:34-35 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. (35) By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
1Co 13:1-2 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. (2) And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
Every real Christian, that is people who have truly been born again, have been taught to love one another by the Spirit of Christ in them. This is our new creation nature in Jesus. His Law is written on our hearts so that it is part of who the new man is. And this is why Jesus and Paul and other biblical authors tell us that love, the real love of Christ, is THE evidence that we know Him. Specifically, this love is love for Christ and love for Christ’s people. Certainly we show love toward unbelievers as well in various ways but the real test is a person’s response to the Lord and to His people. The “nicest” pagan to be found will eventually cease to be “nice” if pressed in regard to his thoughts on Jesus.
Paul tells the Corinthians that a person can wear the finest most convincing “holy” disguise all they like, if they do not love then they are phonies.
Over the years as a pastor I have known hundreds of people who claim to be Christians. But I have known only a remnant who evidenced the true love of Jesus being present within them. The latter were children of God. The rest were not.
If you are in an abusive relationship – domestic, spiritual, or otherwise – then I can assure you that your abuser fails the test of love. Oh sure, the abuser in his setup stage mouths the words “I love you, baby” over and over, unloading flowers and gifts on you. Blah, blah, blah. It is all meaningless. After all, love does not abuse!
1Jn 2:19-20 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. (20) But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge.
Now, where I have really seen this test clearly do its work? Answer: when the victim finally separates from the abuser. Think carefully. What you see is an incredible coldness. No grief (it is fake if the tears come). No mercy. No sense of loss of a loving spouse. No love, in other words. And – mark this down – YOU must be careful that your love is not projected into his mind or else you will think that he is thinking like you are? Understand?
And finally, here is something that is no fun at all to realize and yet a victim at some point must get hold of it. The abuser never loved you. The person you loved, in fact, did not exist. He was a fictional character that he projected to you, but it was fiction. An act. Such people are incapable of love because they do not desire to love. Love requires giving. The abuser wants only to possess.
Start to understand these things and more of the fog the abuser casts will clear away from your eyes and mind.