We are all granted free will by our Creator. However, God also gave us laws by which we are to live. Laws that govern how we are to conduct ourselves and how we are to treat others. God’s word is very clear on this. Even clearer are His mandates when it comes to the most precious and innocent among us, our children.
Love God, love one another.
In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus shares God’s two greatest commandments, “And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. The second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself,” Mark | 12:30-31.
Imagine if we universally embraced and followed those two things. It’s hard, isn’t it? Especially today, when we see evidence of evil, violence, corruption, and selfishness on a daily basis. Worse, it’s targeting our children and they are suffering.
Exposing kids to woke ideologies and gender identity politics is pervasive. Social media, entertainment, even their schools have jumped on the bandwagon. Moreover, with child trafficking on the rise, the most innocent among us are falling prey to the most horrific evils known to man.
The statistics are alarming.
Today, we are facing the horror, and sadly, the prevalence, of increased violence toward children on many levels. “At younger ages than ever before, children are being targeted with sexual content and confusing gender ideologies,” The Heritage Foundation | February, 2021.
Additionally, child sexual assault and child trafficking are also on the rise, both in the U.S. and around the globe.
- 15 % of sexual assault victims are under the age of 12; nearly 30% are between the ages of 12-17; 82% of all juvenile sexual assault victims are female
- Child trafficking is one of the fastest growing crimes in the world with over 1.2 million child victims each year
- 80% of internationally trafficked victims are female; 70% are trafficked into the sex industry
What cannot be quantified, however, is the devastating emotional, physical, and spiritual damage done to the victims who experience it.
God’s word is very clear on our sacred duty to safeguard and protect the innocence of children. In God’s eyes those who physically, emotionally, or spiritually harm a child are engaging in the greatest evil.
Dear and precious are the little ones in the eyes of God.
“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,” Matthew | 18:6.
Offending Christ’s little ones is so heinous a sin that Jesus likens it to tying a stone around your neck and drowning yourself in the depths of the sea. To do so not only destroys the physical body, but it condemns the soul as well. The consequences for sinning against a child are unmistakable and eternal.
Reacting in shock and horror to violence against children is not enough. As Christians, we have a responsibility to do more. God calls us to imitate His care and love for children. More importantly, He calls us to do everything in our power to stop those who try to hurt, abuse, or oppress them.
In God’s eyes, children are the most innocent and precious among us and nurturing and protecting them is our sacred duty.
As a victim of childhood sexual abuse, I know the lasting damage it causes. I wasn’t capable of understanding what was happening. I was afraid to go to my parents. Afraid that I had done something wrong and they wouldn’t want me anymore. When the truth came out, my parents handled it quietly. We rarely ever spoke about it.
Still, the guilt and shame of abuse came with me into young adulthood where it manifested itself in very destructive ways. By the time I was in my late teens, I was suffering from anorexia and body dysmorphia. I over-exercised and overcompensated for my perceived imperfections in increasingly dangerous ways.
By the time I was 21, my first abusive marriage ended in annulment eighteen months after saying “I do.” My late twenties saw me headed further down the road to alcoholism.
I suffered for three decades before I was able to overcome, through God’s grace and mercy, the darkness I’d carried with me. My husband, our daughters, and our families suffered too.
The cycle of destruction is vicious and difficult, but not impossible, to break.
Surrendering my life to God was the only way out of the darkness.
Looking back, I don’t blame all my poor choices and behaviors on those events in my early childhood, but I can say without malice, that they contributed. I say without malice, because I have learned to accept, forgive, and let go. With God’s help I am now in a good place, but the road to peace was a hard one. I would not be here now without God’s help and continued guidance.
JN Fenwick ©2023