Warning against harming children


                “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he was drowned in the depth of the sea.”


                Children are filled with goodness and a natural faith.  Evil seeks to corrupt and defile what is good.  Children are innocent, and for the most part, adults desire to keep them from experiencing things that can rob them of their innocence.  God is an enemy of anyone who would actively seek to harm any child; Jesus forewarns about the harshness of the punishment for such actions.  The punishment is so harsh that death is a more desirable option.

                [This illustration is rather intense; I felt led to share it because it accurately describes the warning of this scripture.]  I grew up in a home with a stepfather who was a child molester.  He was a Boy Scout troop leader and a respected lawyer in the community.  He was also very skilled at hiding his evil deeds.  He molested many in my family (including myself), and many in the small community where I grew up.  This man robbed so many children of their innocence.  Some of his victims went on to lead sinful lives as a result.  Many became alcoholics and drug addicts.  Most victims struggled through life as they attempted to deal with the pain he inflicted upon them; relationship problems, psychological disturbances, job difficulties; I believe one victim even went on to commit suicide.  Yet, while his evil went unseen by others, it didn’t go unseen by God.  God’s wrath was being stored up; after over 11 years of robbing children of their innocence, he was led away from his law office in handcuffs and publicly shamed; in one day his entire life suddenly became a nightmare.  Truly, it would have been better for him “if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he was drowned in the depth of the sea” (just as Jesus proclaimed in this scripture.)  The judge sentenced him to decades in prison.  Everyone he had known turned their backs on him; his freedom was taken; his clothing, his work, his family, his privileges; a comfortable bed was exchanged for a cot; his suites were replaced with prison issued clothing.  We later learned that he was most likely being sexually abused in prison.  The very atrocities he had brought in to the lives of little children were being visited upon him.  He eventually died in that place.  (I can only hope that he accepted the Lord before his death.  I have forgiven him of what he did because God has given me a new heart.  But his life is an example of how God’s wrath comes to visit those who harm children.)

                Today, as believers, and as Christians, we should seek to protect children from the evils of the world.  We have to be careful about how we behave, and what we might expose the innocent too.  Movies for instance that are inappropriate for certain ages should not be watched if they could be harmful to the development of a child.  We should use proper speech, and behave in a ways that model Jesus Christ.  Children have the Lord as their defender, so we should tread carefully, and always seek to edify them, build them up in the faith, and protect them from evil.

                “Lord Heavenly Father, we come before You now and we lift You up.  You are just an awesome and mighty God.  We pray for all those who would seek to harm a child, and we ask that You would enter their hearts and transform them.  Please continue to protect children from those who would seek to abuse them or destroy their faith in Your Son.  And Lord, help us to be good examples to the youth that are in our lives.  We don’t want any of our actions to cause children to behave in a manner that is not in keeping with Your will.  Help us Father to be good examples, and good role models.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You; and we ask and pray all of these things in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you. 

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