Child abuse and neglect is a disgrace to our nation. Even worse – many Christians are unaware of the issue. I believe that churches should be leading the way.
Sunday, April 29, 2007 was designated as National Blue Sunday. This was a day set aside for churches to pray for the victims of child abuse. As believers it should break our hearts when children suffer. We must recognize that God values children. The Bible says, â€œBehold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward.â€ (Psalm 127:3) Kids matter to God. We must affirm that little ones are Godâ€™s gift to us. Christians should be the first ones to stand against child abuse. We must defend children and work for real change.
The love of Christ compels us to think biblically about child abuse and neglect. Our world is broken. Humanity has rejected Godâ€™s rule. Many people live only to please themselves. In such a world of sin children often become the victims. The same evil that causes child abuse lives within our hearts. Without Godâ€™s grace we might be the abusers. The only cure for the sin and evil of this world is the Gospel. Jesus alone has the power to change hearts. At his final appearing Christ will restore all things. The world will be made right and children will no longer suffer at the hands of their own parents.
As Christians we should feel great sadness about child abuse. But we should also look for ways to help. How then can you respond to child abuse? Here are some ideas:
5 Ways Christians Can Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect
- Educate yourself. Find information to equip yourself to recognize and prevent child abuse. Find statistics, read real stories, learn about local case law and read articles about child abuse. Find resources.
- Be aware of at-risk kids. Become involved in the lives of children. If something seems wrong â€“ question the parent and make a report to our local Child Protective Service.
- Become foster or adoptive parents. There is a great need for families willing to open their homes to kids in crisis. Getting involved means opening your home.
- Train your own children. We must model and teach our children what it means to be a godly parent. Teach your boys to cherish and protect women. Encourage your girls to develop their God-given maternal nature.
- Pray. I place this last because its importance cannot be overstated. There are times when a childâ€™s only defender is God. Remember to prayer for the little ones. You can pray for children that you know. Pray for the children that live on your street. When you see a parent being harsh in the grocery store â€“ ask God to convert that parent. â€œPray without ceasing.â€ (1 Thessalonians 5:17)