Matthew 18:5-6 (ESV) 5 "Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
It should come as no surprise, to any of my readers, that I care a lot about children. Children come to us, like a lump of clay. It is the job of adults, to mold that clay and to teach that clay, and to educate them, so that they may listen and follow God. In Proverbs 22, verse 6, God gives us a promise.
"Train up a child in the way he should go;
even when he is old he will not depart from it"
We have one job, to train up a child, in the way of God. But something has gone terribly wrong.
When I was in Texas, I was in charge of a once a week, after school program for kids. One of the kids, would not be able to recognize the truth, if it came up and bit her. I can understand, when a child lies, to get out of trouble. But this girl would lie, just to lie. I told her on several occasions, that if she kept it up, she would not be able to come anymore. She said okay, and would be good for a little while, and then go back to lying. I asked her, if her mother spoke English, or only Spanish. She lied to me and said Spanish, she knew that I did not speak Spanish, and therefore could not get her into trouble. So, I went to a volunteer that spoke Spanish, and a phone call was made to her mother. The volunteer came back, and said the mother would not help us. The mother told the volunteer and I quote "I taught my kids how to lie, because that is the only way, they will be able to succeed."
How twisted is that? How much trouble, are these kids going to have, when they grow up, and are confronted by a boss, for lying? They will not only not succeed, but not have the tools to change. They don't view lying as wrong. They only view it as a means to get what they want.
I ran that after school program, but I also had another one, that I volunteered at. It was at another location, and had someone else in charge. While I was there, we had a situation, with one of our children. It was found out, that the child was sneaking out of his house, in order to come to the program. He liked to hear the Bible Stories, and had accepted Christ as his savior, and was anxious to learn more about God. His problem was his mother, she absolutely could not stand him going to learn about God. She did not believe that God existed, and refused to let her child learn anything about God. So, the child and his mother, basically had reached a non verbal deal. he escaped from his room and came to the program, and when he got home. She would spank him for going. They did not reach this deal, but it was sort of understood. he would not stop going, and so she would spank him for it.
When we found out that all of this was going on, I talked to the supervisor of the program, and it was decided that he would be asked to stay home. Not because we did not want him learning about God, but he needed to set a good example for his mother, in obedience and understanding. As long as she was his mother, and he was a minor, he needed to obey her. So, as much as he wanted to come, he agreed to stay home, until she gave him permission. Things were fine for about two months, and then the court in regards to another issue, revoked the mother's custody and the child was sent to his maternal grandmother. She was excited about him learning about God, and not only would drive him over, but paid for him to go to summer camp. His obedience was rewarded.
While am I sharing these stories? because these are not isolated stories. I have dozens more, about children who have been abused by family members. I met a girl who was removed from her "christian" parents, when her "pastor" father beat her with a belt for ten minutes, because he found her kissing a boy. When she accepted Christ, while living at where I was working. She was too scared to tell her father, because she knew he would react violently to the news. How bad is it, when a Christian child, cannot tell her pastor father, because if she ever went home, he would beat her for accepting Christ into her life?
How can we have stooped so low, that we would abuse the most precious gift that anyone could be given by God? The Bible refers to children, as a blessing, and a treasure. We seem to be turning that blessing into a curse. Those of you who have read my site for awhile, know that in years past, for certain events, such as the Iraq War, I have posted "thank you" once for every soldier who died in the Iraq war. One year, I wanted to posted "I'm Sorry" for every child who was abused in the last year. I could not do it. Xanga refused to post the entry. It was too large and violated a word limit. How sad is that? How sad is it, that so many children were abused, that I could not make the post? I do not remember the exact word count, but it was over 1 million children.
Lately, the internet and the U.S.A. has been concerned with bullying in schools. Some children made the news, when they could no longer deal with the abuse and bullying and decided to end their life. I am not saying it is a bad thing, to be concerned with bullying, I think it is an issue in some if not most or even all schools. But I cannot reconcile the concern with school bullies, and this story right here
. How can we be concerned and view school bullies as the reason that the children committed suicide, and then turn around and blame an 11 year old girl for not stopping at least 18 people from gang raping her. Who in their right mind, could possible blame an 11 year old, after she was gang raped? Anyone who blames this girl, for not stopping her own rape, is lower than the scum of the earth. I don't know all of the above story, but I am going to say this once, and I want it to be loud enough, to get through to people. if you are abused in any manner, by anyone, IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT!!!!!! there is nothing, that you can say or do, that would be cause for someone to abuse you. If you are being abused, I encourage you to seek help. It may be the most difficult thing you have ever done, but no one, and I mean no one, should ever be abused. I don't care what you did, and I don't care how old you are. Abuse is never the answer.
If you are reading this, and abusing someone, I urge you to seek help. There are places and groups, that will help you get a hold of your anger, or whatever it is that is causing you to abuse someone.
I don't know, where we went wrong, but something has to change. Our most innocent and precious resource, is being abused and mistreated, and it has to stop. I don't know what the answer is, I don't know how to prevent abuse. But I do know, that we cannot blame the victim. We cannot tell a child, it is their fault, that they were gang raped, or molested, or beaten, or ridiculed and verbally put down. Maybe, it is the parents who need to take more time outs, instead of reacting. I don't know, but I am begging for some answers. We cannot continue to abuse and mistreat our future.What do you think? How can we slow down or stop the abuse and mistreatment of children? What are the causes of child abuse and how can we address them?