I’m writing this letter to you because I am deeply concerned for the safety of your children. Often times, we (adults) want to paint a perfect picture of the world for our little ones to protect them. We don’t want them to grow up too quickly and learn just how dark the world really is. To a certain extent, this practice of guarding our children is understandable and commendable. However, we have to be careful that we aren’t making them feel isolated and vulnerable in the process.
While we might be committed to protecting our children from darkness, there are a lot of people out there who wish to expose them to it. Perhaps they’re bitter about the shortcomings of their own parents or guardians and, therefore, take their frustration out on the next generation. Whatever the case, these vicious monsters, under the guidance of the enemy, often disguise themselves as lovers of children. Very rarely are pedophiles uncomfortable around kids, unless they’re in an active struggle against their perversion. These people will lavish your children with attention, compliments on how pretty or handsome they look, and “love taps”. They’ll also be sure to put on a show of appropriateness in your presence. This is nothing more than an effort to entice and seduce your children, swirling the apple in their faces, so to speak. But you should know that they are waiting for you to walk to the far end of the garden before they offer your children a bite. And if you don’t remain aware and vigilant, the enemy will have his way with them.
In no way am I attempting to diss God’s parenting skills, because He allowed the fall to happen for a specific reason —to bring glory to His name by demonstrating his salvation, love, and power. Not to mention, because He’s omnipresent, he watched the whole thing go down. Up to that point, man saw the world as a perfect and innocent place. They had every tree in the garden at their disposal, except for one—the tree of knowledge of good and evil. You see, God warned Adam and Eve what would happen to them if they ate the fruit from that tree; he also showed them the tree while warning them, so they’d know to stay far away when they saw it. How many of us have shown our children the tree of knowledge of good and evil? How many of us have warned them what could happen as a result of eating its fruits? The truth is that, unlike God, we aren’t omnipresent; we cannot be with our kids every minute of everyday. But have we prepared them for those moments when we’re away? Have we effectively warned them?
Unlike Adam and Eve, the Father knew that the enemy was lurking and seeking to destroy his innocent, lovely creation. Not only did he warn them what would happen, but he also orchestrated a plan for their salvation. Therefore, adults, let’s not pretend that sick people don’t exist in this world. Warning your child about the enemy’s schemes does not destroy their innocence. It’s better for them to hear the full truth from you than to hear the distorted truth from a predator. Whatever your child chooses to do with that information is up to them, but be sure to equip them with a choice. Don’t leave them high and dry with no information on what to expect and how to respond when the enemy approaches. Arm them with truth, love, and direction. And incase they make the wrong choices, provide them an environment to discuss their choices with you.
If you don’t take anything else from this letter, take away the fact that predators are often wolves in sheep’s clothing. Even your children will be able to tell when someone is treating them in a manner that is uncommon and inappropriate. Watch how they react to the mention or presence of certain people. Don’t leave your child alone with anyone who makes them feel uncomfortable or who messes around with them a lot. Also, don’t leave them with people who seem more eager to be around your kids than you are eager to have them around. God has given us intuition for a reason; don’t ignore it. Furthermore, find a way to have a conversation with your kids about potential predators. Perhaps, use the story of Adam and Eve or some other story they’re familiar with to introduce the subject. To keep the conversation light, use the villainous characters in a metaphorical way. Warn them about which attributes they should look out for in these characters. All I’m saying is find a way to have this very serious conversation with your kids, then have it.
Kids are too precious and their lives are too important for us to send them out into the world unprotected. Would you leave your house or car door unlocked? How much more valuable are your children? Woe to me if I protect replaceable, material items more than I protect the life of an innocence child. Don’t get it twisted; just because I focused specifically on sexual predators, doesn’t mean there aren’t other types of predators seeking to destroy your children. Anyone who would cuss, smoke, drink, and engage in foul activity around your child should also be considered a predator. If you do these things around your child, I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but YOU are the predator. The bible says to train children up in the way that they should go, and by implication, that would be the narrow road laid out my Christ. So if you’re leading them down the broad road by your words, actions, or neglect, you are leading them to destruction. Don’t think that, if hypocritical and irresponsible leaders have to answer to God for their actions, that you won’t have to answer for how you raise your children. Jesus said it best: “If anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea” (Matt 18:1-6). That applies to parents too.
You might be saying to yourself, “Who are you to speak on this subject? Do you even have children?”. No, I don’t have any kids; but I have 4 nieces and 4 nephews who I would die for. Also, like everyone reading this, I was once a kid myself. I remember how I was exposed to certain things and who exposed me to them. Some of those things still haunt me in my adulthood. I know too well the dangers of not protecting your children from certain things, or at least, giving them a proper warning. I love my parents dearly, and they didn’t do a bad job at raising me; but there are some things they didn’t prepare me for that I wish they had. I know some subjects can be awkward for you and your children to talk about, but I can guarantee that having the conversation about those matters post-exposure is far more awkward. Cherish their innocent years and steward them well. Even if your children never express a word of gratitude for those “awkward conversations”, most of them will be sure to thank you with the way they lead their lives. And in case that isn’t gratifying to you, heed the words of our Savior and our brother: “do everything as unto the Lord” (Colossians 3:23-24) and “our God who sees what you do in private will reward you publicly” (Matt 6:4-6). God Bless and God speed!