Mark 9:42 - And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck.
This world is a difficult one to live in. It’s filled with things that are not appropriate for the young. Movies, TV, magazines or books that exploit children and cause them to lose their innocence.
There are two ways they can be exploited – through the media and much worse, through people who take away the innocent for their own selfish pleasure.
I know this is a difficult subject to talk about. But wouldn’t it be better to bring it into the light than leave it in the darkness?
As a parent we are faced with many decisions on how we raise our children. Some don’t think that it’s a big deal if their children are exposed to sexual things when they are but children. They may believe that they’re actually helping their child by preparing them for what the world has to give.
What is happening, though, is that the age of innocence has been lowered. It used to be that a young person was not exposed to violence and sexual lusts until they were adults. Then the age went to around the age of sixteen. But now, it has gone down to elementary school age.
Children who are exposed to things their eyes are too young to see end up growing up too fast and don’t develop the ability to protect their innocence; thinking that if everyone else is doing it, why shouldn’t they?
These decisions just shouldn’t be thrust upon them. This loss of innocence causes young ones to grow up cynical about life. They lose their joy, their peace of mind, their ability to fight off suggestive behavior and choose instead to live their lives as thrill seekers.
This all has lead to the ultimate loss of innocence – child abuse and human trafficking. What words could I write about such things? My heart breaks. So what can we do to protect our children?
First you can learn the warning signs in the article, “How to Identify the Victims and Perpetrators of Sex Trafficking,” on focusonthefamily.com such as being withdrawn, depressed, distracted or checked out.
Second, talk to your children about human trafficking. The article above will also help you have that difficult conversation.
And last, realize that God places the highest value on children. He will not let the terrible act of robbing children of their innocence go unpaid.
Children are our future and our responsibility; but not just the parent’s who are responsible but everyone around them. That means you.
If you see signs of child abuse or human trafficking reach out to your local police, or call the National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-888-373-7888.
Psalm 90:8 - You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence.
Secrets. Are you good at keeping them or does your “inside” knowledge sneak out from the edges of the wall you’re trying to hide behind?
Some secrets are important to keep – like when a friend tells you something in confidence. Others only hurt you by hiding behind them, as I discussed in a previous post - keeping a mental health issue secret.
But today I’m not writing about your mental health, though it could certainly affect your mental health if you hang onto the secret. I’m talking about things we have done in the past or have been done to us in secret.
On thefreedictionary.com you'll find an article titled, “Secret.” It lists the definitions of the word such as something being done without the knowledge of others. See if your actions fit into any one of the categories.
A way for you to heal from wounds is to bring them into the light. It will be difficult; but wouldn’t it be harder, if someone else finds out on their own, and brings the secret into the light?
I’m not speaking of a secret shared with you by someone else. We must keep things that are shared in secret or we will be known as someone who can’t be trusted.
Yet, as the Bible verse above says, our secrets will come into the light of God’s presence ultimately. It’s not too late to even share your secret with one person, but make sure that person is trustworthy first.
You may find out when you finally open up that what you feared by exposing your secret can help someone else have the courage to share theirs and receive help.
Do you find it hard to keep a secret? Are you a trustworthy person? Is there something in your life that would be easier to carry if you had someone else to carry it with? I look forward to hearing from you.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.