tough love?

One thing I've appreciated about being back here at Reba Place (though that wasn't my plan for this fall) is the chance to do things differently. There were several frustrations during the years I lived and worked here before, which I didn't always handle well. But now I find the difficult experiences of the year away have helped me. I find myself responding differently now, and better, I think.

Probably the main area of change is in my response to the wrongdoing of others. I remember journaling about that just before I left here. Now I find myself able to change my behavior in relation to the wrongdoer, and even able to talk with them about what seems to be a problem.

I suppose this might be called "tough love." But that term has been used to justify much that is not love at all, but exercise of power, coercion, control over others. Probably a better term for what I've been doing is conscientious objection. Not long ago I wrote about it in a discussion forum, and this pretty well describes how I've been trying to act now:

...I do think there can be a definite "co-dependency," when we're helping not so much for the other person, but to reinforce our own "savior" image, or trying to find our own self-worth in how much another person needs us. I like how the Al-Anon program focuses on healing our own spiritual problems, rather than focusing on the alcoholic's problems. Working on purifying our own motives is something Jesus definitely teaches.

And I definitely think we are always to forgive, or at least pray for God to help us forgive eventually.

But forgiveness doesn't mean we should ignore the self-destructive behavior. I guess I think the loving response in this case would be something like a conscientous objection, refusing to participate in something that will help the person continue on the path of destruction.

Jesus was always giving, but didn't always give what people asked him for. I think we should always strive to give the alcoholic sufferer help in finding their way back to health, but not give them the means to continue feeding their sickness.

...I agree with you about the need to respond to the abuser [or wrongdoer], against the abuse, for their sake (as well as others).

You wrote:
BUT this seems to directly contradict Jesus' supreme act on the cross where he totally alllowed people to abuse Him unto death. And how do you stop someone from being abusive (emotional, intellectual, physical, etc.)? This amounts to attempting to control another human, and must be done with some means of force.
Yet (as I was just talking with a friend about last night): Is the only way to respond or stand up to abuse a forceful/coercive one? Is it even necessary to "stop" the abuse--which, as you point out, Jesus did not do--or are we called to reject and denounce it, while still loving the other and respecting their freedom?

You also rightly recognize that the abused often cooperates with the abuser (often due to abusive relationships they've been raised in). The abuser treats us like dirt, and we act like dirt. Jesus didn't fight back, but he didn't act like dirt either. He stood up and told them what they were doing was wrong. He conscientiously objected when they tried to pressure him to cooperate. And he didn't run away when they threatened. He even intentionally "turned towards Jerusalem," going where they were stongest, yet showing them no fear. For their sake (and for ours). Because he knew they could not hurt him ("why fear those who can only kill the body?") and he loved them.

Can't we stand up to abuse in similar ways? Through refusal to cooperate, refusal to accept the abuser's portrayal of us, refusal to jump when they say jump? A sort of conscientious objection...