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. Assuredly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it. And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them. (Mark 10:13-16)
Children are precious in the sight of God. The Bible tells they are heritage and reward from the Lord. (Psalm 127:3)
But todays picture of a child has changed. Over a million of them are ill with cruelty. And such come in various forms. Now there are kids who are not safe with their supposed to be protectors and mentors. What they leave are marks that are hard for every child to forget.
Child abuse has its many forms. One is when you hit a childs tender body. When you use extreme force to punish him, that is abuse. When you use instruments that may cause him death or injury, that is the same as abuse.
To neglect a child is also to abuse him. When you refuse to provide for all of his needs, that is neglect. Scores of parents are guilty of this. They do not work hard for their children to have enough food to eat. They do not buy them clothes to wear. They do not send them to school. They do not bring them to a doctor when they are sick. They do not give them a home where they could safely live. Or maybe they dont even let their kids feel that they are loved and cherished. These children have little, if not nothing, of what they need.
To harm a child through words is also abuse. When you criticize him for a mistake he does, that is abuse. When you condemn him if he sins, you abuse him. When you discourage him when he tries hard to change his ways, you abuse him. When you reject him when he tries to draw near you, you abuse him. When you do these, you do teach him to view himself poorly.
To abuse a child sexually is the worst of all. God warns us about it. (Leviticus 18)
Children must be at peace with themselves and the people around them. Our task is to develop their whole being, with an end to lead them towards the Savior. (Ephesians 6:4)
If you think your children are in danger, come to their rescue. Listen to them. Understand their tears and fears. And bring them up to the Lord. He delights to bless them. Always.
But if you think you have abused your child in any way, you need to repent and to change your ways. For God sees their plight and He makes sure that you would give an account for such.
1. Can you recall instances of abuse when you were still a child? What have you done or what will you do to be healed of its hurts?
2. Do you know a child who suffers abuse of various sorts? How can you help him or her?
Children are fragile. Handle them with care.