Monday, December 24, 2007

Child Abuse.....

I’m sure you’re all aware of what child abuse is and will agree that there is way too much of it going on. In fact, just one child being abused is way too many. But I’d like to address other forms of child abuse that may go unnoticed by most people and not just the obvious.

What else constitutes child abuse?

How about never saying “No” to your child? Some parents don’t want their children to feel bad so they give them whatever they want. Or the parent would rather be their child’s friend so they allow things they probably shouldn’t. If your child makes a mistake, they should be allowed to own it. Coddling the child or “taking away the hurt” prevents the child from learning how to deal with life’s problems. I think it is important to not rob the child of the opportunity to learn some of life’s lessons. If a child isn’t allowed to deal with the consequences of their behavior, how are they to learn what is appropriate and what isn’t?

Think of some adults you may know that often seem to feel that they are treated unfairly, when they may be the only ones who see it that way. Ask them about their childhood and you may find that their parents, or maybe someone else, was always there to bail them out of trouble. They weren’t held accountable for their actions growing up, and resent being held accountable as an adult. Child abuse.

Comforting and coddling are two totally different things. If you don’t know the difference, let me know and I’ll explain to you in more detail.

The Bible teaches us to “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6). The bible also talks about what it means to “Train a child”, and it involves discipline and instruction. Teaching a child how to make good decisions is a good thing, allowing the child to call the shots is not. Proverbs Chapter 22 tells us to “…not withhold discipline from a child”, and Chapter 29 says that “a child left to himself disgraces his mother”. Kids need boundaries, rules and limits and they need to know what they are.

There are too many “do nothing” parents out there and they are guilty of child abuse, whether they realize it or not.

In a marriage, there is the example of the “Love Tanks”. In order to have a happy and fulfilling marriage, it is necessary to keep each other’s “Love Tanks” full. If one spouse isn’t filling the other’s tank, the “neglected” spouse may turn to the children for the love they need to keep their love tank filled. This is unhealthy for both the child and the parent. Filling your love tank is the responsibility of your spouse and not your children, and places an unnecessary burden on the child that the child may not even be aware of. It may not seem like a big deal at the time, but these things can have long term effects on the child that can carry into their adult life. More child abuse.

What about speaking negatively to your child? I see this happen quite a lot. I recently heard about one little girl who was at the mall with her mother. She saw a pretty shirt and asked her mother if she could have it. Her mother sternly told her “No!”. When the little girl asked her mother why not, her mother angrily replied, “Because it says ‘Daddy’s Little Girl’ on it!”. This particular little girl loves her daddy but is told mean, hateful and hurtful things about her father (which are untrue) repeatedly by her mother. This girl’s mother was abused as a child and you can read about that here.

That woman is, in my opinion, guilty of child abuse!

Children are like wet cement, whatever falls on them leaves an impression.

How about another form of child abuse you may not have considered?

What about God’s Son? When we disobey the teachings of Jesus Christ, we dishonor the Son of God. When people reject Christ, or refuse to believe on Him, they are abusing God’s one and only Son. Could that too, be child abuse?

(This next idea I got from our pastor's opening statements in church this morning).
A very popular saying around this time of year is “Jesus is the reason for the season”. But what if I told you that the real reason for the season was me, Alpha Dude? Or, what if I told you that the reason for the season was YOU?

Yes, we celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmas. After all, Jesus’ birthday is what Christmas is really all about, right? But have you ever taken the time to ask yourself why God sent His Son here in the first place?

Jesus came into this world as a little baby, born of a virgin, in a little town called Bethlehem and….well……you know the story. But consider this……

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him, shall not perish, but have eternal life”. (John 3:16)

Guess what? YOU are a whosoever! God sent His Son here to walk this earth, to live a perfect, sinless life, to minister, to teach and to die a cruel death and rise again on the third day and give us a direct line to God Himself……for YOU.

The reason for the season, my friends….is YOU. It’s us. We are why He did it.

Jesus Christ, God’s Son, was nailed to a cross to pay for the sins of you and for me. So every time we sin, it is like striking one of the nails that held Him to the cross. It is for us and because of us that He came and died. And when we sin? Child abuse.

So anytime we reject the Son of God, anytime we treat Jesus in a negative way, we are abusing His child. The Bible also teaches us that when we accept Jesus as our Savior, we become children of the Most High God (I John, Chapter 3). So what happens when we abuse each other? Child abuse.

So how are we going to treat Jesus this Christmas season? (Not just at Christmas, but all the time). Love your neighbor as yourself, and remember who your neighbor is.

“…..I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me”. Matthew 25:40

Have a most wonderful Christmas, and please, don’t be a Herod.

Peace, Joy and Blessings to you.


Dr.John said...

Great post. I stopped by to wish you a merry Christmas and a blessed New Year.

EE said...

Child abuse always hits especially close to home when my family gathers for the holidays. My neice and nephew have to go to their father's house, where terrible things happen on almost every visit...especially during the holidays.
On a more upbeat note...Have a very Merry Christmas, Dude!!!
God Bless You!

CrazyDeb said...

Wonderful words of wisdom Alpha Dude!

Hope you've had a marvelous Christmas filled with blessings and joy!

That Chick Over There said...

Amen to that brother!

my4kids said...

I agree with you on all parts Dude.
The thing with kids I see all the time and it is very sad to see.

Real Life in South Carolina said...

I love your last point. Actually, I love all your points. It's so true.