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Spiritual Abuse of Our Children

By Watchman | October 31, 2013

“Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them.  But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to Me and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.’ ”  (Mark 10: 13-14)

“Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.  You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”  (Deuteronomy 11:18-19)

“But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.”  (Mark 9:42)

     Most people would agree that we are responsible for our children’s well-being.  We are rightly indignant and appalled when we hear on the news of parents who abuse and neglect their children or of monsters who sexually molest and kill them.  We endlessly debate the important topic of emotional abuse and its effect on young people.  Yet there is another form of child abuse now rampant in the world, and it receives little if any attention: the spiritual abuse that occurs when we raise our children without teaching them about the love and laws of God.  In fact, many of us are helping to condemn our own children to hell.

     We see to our children’s nutritional and educational needs, make sure they make it to soccer practice on time and have as up-to-date a gaming system as we can afford and we consider ourselves good and loving parents.  For many, many generations, even those who were not passionate believers in Jesus knew that it was important to raise their children to know the precepts of Scripture and to introduce them to the knowledge of God and Jesus. This is no longer the case, and the effects of this lack is evident in the lives of our children. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among adolescents and bullying, once the almost exclusive domain of a few badly brought up or supervised kids, is at epidemic proportions.  We hear more and more of the shocking instances of “sexting” among teenagers and drug abuse is rife.  More and more of the offenses committed by young people of all ages and backgrounds involve fighting and violence of some sort; most of the offenders admit to high levels of anger and frustration. We often learnedly refer to this, but rarely address where all the anger comes from.  Ask many social workers, politicians and college professors and they will tell you that the anger comes from inequalities of income and opportunities.  That sounds so logical, but is it?  The history of mankind is flooded with people who were poor but strong, happy, loving, productive and upright in character.  And how does that address the increasing instances of violence, bullying, depression and suicide attempts amongst children of the middle to upper class?  It can only be a lack of God.

     One culprit is undoubtedly that bane of our present generation, political correctness.  The current psychological climate tells us that if we impose our Judeo-Christian beliefs on our children, it is tantamount to abuse; teaching them hate, condemnation, prejudice.  The new “Common Core” curriculum in American schools is geared toward purging our students of any taint of  lingering family values or faith in Jesus or the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  They are taught that all religions have equal validity, yet are prohibited from exercising their right to freely proclaim their beliefs. They are being taught that following God’s laws is not only unimportant but hateful, while tolerance of other religions, lifestyles, world views and people is a must;  except, of course, tolerance of Jews and Christians. We teach them that they are owed love, affirmation, fame and material belongings without any limits or responsibilities; without giving real love or affirmation to others in return. When they find that they do not automatically receive these things, many are faced with a reality they have not been taught to expect.  In many areas it is becoming difficult for Christians to take in foster children for fear that those fostered will be contaminated by the Gospel of Jesus Christ which condemns sin and encourages righteousness.

     Another strike against our children nowadays is that inert, influential little box that sits in most living rooms, dens and bedrooms: that’s right, the television.  So many shows today designated as “family viewing” are instilling in young people ideas that directly counter what God has commanded us to teach our children.  Geared toward teens and pre-teens, most glorify disobedience to parents and authority figures, sexual exploration, alternative lifestyles, the occult and freedom from restriction.  Because of this growth of influence of television, many of our children are having their views on politics, God and religion formed by Hollywood rather than their families.  They are glorifying the fleeting flame of outrageous teen/twenty-something singers and actors/actresses rather than God.  While several groups are committed to screening TV to try to keep it so-called family friendly, parents have the ultimate responsibility here for what is seen in their homes.  If it is ungodly, don’t allow it in! You may not have any influence over children over 18 (though I think parents who believe that may be in error), but you can certainly monitor what your underage children watch.  If they don’t like it and tell you you have no right to decide what they can see…Tough.  You do have that right, and in today’s chaos it is very important to exert that authority.

     The Bible tells us that we must be “in the world, but not of it.”  Most Christians can quote this phrase and think they manage to do just that.  Yet I have witnessed many Christian parents who believe they must let their children decide for themselves what their religion means to them, yet push them immoderately to enter beauty pageants, excel in their studies and go to only the most prestigious schools (regardless of how spiritually arid they may be) in order to make the most money later, or to be the best athletes or cheerleaders.  While all children should be encouraged to do the best they can be–after all, God gives them gifts, talents and abilities for a reason–we have forgotten to teach them that doing one’s best is more important than being the best.  Why would we exert so much care and energy into trying to make our children into “stars”?  Is it for our own satisfaction and pride?  The one thing we should want more than anything else for our children is that they love and follow the Lord.  The schools and books and movies and politicians all play a role in trying to keep our kids out of the Lord’s hands, but the final and ultimate responsibility is ours.

     All young people need a certain amount of freedom or they will never learn how to function properly in a world which imposes fewer and fewer restrictions on them.  They need to learn how to deal in a godly and kindly way with all kinds of people and with ideas that they may know to be wrong.  There is a difference between granting them some freedom in which to test their wings and turning them adrift in a lust-ridden and greedy world without the proper training to cope with it or restrain themselves from evil.   A study published by the National Institute of Health found a “surprisingly unique significance of children’s eating dinner with at least one parent on most nights” on their behavior and resistance to anger and depression. I am only amazed that this came as a surprise to them.  Children need freedom; but they also need the parameters and guidance that only a family can give them.

     It is spiritual abuse to not teach our children about Jesus and His redemptive work on the cross.  It is spiritual abuse to teach them that their feelings and desires are more important than the will of God for them and their lives.  It is spiritual abuse to allow them to believe that they are so important that choosing to follow sin instead of righteousness is an acceptable option.  Until our children come to an age when they are no longer under our control and authority, we are responsible for teaching them good from evil; right from wrong; holiness from filth. We must teach these truths to our children; when we sit in our houses, when we walk with them, when we go to bed and when we arise.  If we do not do so, we will not be held innocent when we stand before God and it would indeed have been better if  millstones had been hung around our necks and we’d been thrown into the sea.



Topics: A Special Word for Today, According to Scripture, Current Events and the End of the Age, Just A Thought, Kingdom Living, Salvation | 3 Comments »

3 Responses to “Spiritual Abuse of Our Children”

  1. Pirjo Says:
    October 31st, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    Thank you for this important message, Melissa.

    I can’t imagine parents knowingly leading their children to spend the eternity in hell. I believe it’s the result of not understanding what they are doing, or what the consequences of their chosen lifestyle are.

  2. Watchman Says:
    October 31st, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    I know. I too have trouble understanding this, yet I have seen many parents watching their children do what they know God has forbidden and not intervening or protesting because they don’t want to lose their child’s love. Sometimes they are afraid they themselves will appear unloving to their child. However, any love that will stand aside and watch its object headed for destruction is not a healthy or righteous love.

  3. Shirley Says:
    November 3rd, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    I had to allow the magnitude of what this “Cry from the Wall” implied before I responded. I prayed about it. Abuse of any kind is unthinkable, but “abuse” for an an eternity is unimaginable! There are so many parents who do not believe in God, heaven, hell or eternity. They pass this on to their children without giving thought to the impact their “belief systems” can have on their most precious gifts. The thought of taking a chance of relegating their children to an eternity, separated from God, by any means…I have no words for it.