Imagine if you will, the consequences for sins against children. Jesus told his disciples in the Gospel of Luke 17:2, “It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin.”
Drowning by millstone to the bottom of the ocean is a better option than what awaits those who harm children or cause them to stumble and lose their sweet, trusting faith in Jesus.
In a recent meeting of our support group we were processing the ways that domestic abuse has harmed our children. For many women, the primary reason they leave the abuser is to protect their children. I know that’s how it was for me. It’s almost as if we could cope forever with abuse against ourselves, but the Mama Bear rises up when we learn that our precious children are also being impacted by the hatred, the control, the violence, and the manipulation in our homes.
If you can bear it, I’d like to share some examples of ways abuse against us harms our children.
The sin of watching pornography seems to be almost as contagious in the home as covid-19 in 2020. The father who finds his pleasure on his screens will surely pass that temptation on to his sons, either knowingly or unknowingly. Sons as young as 10 or 11 can find the temptation to “peek” too much to resist and can tragically have a raging addiction throughout their teen years. There is so much guilt and shame to bear for this sin. We pray “Lord have mercy on our children.”
Along the same lines of sexual sin, there is also the sickening reality of abusive husbands having “creepy” friends who hide cameras in children’s bedrooms. There will be terrible, eternal consequences for the one who invades and steals the innocence of children with sexual sin, no matter the form it takes.
So many of the women I counsel have known the unbearable pain of complex childhood sexual trauma. Years later, they still blame themselves. It completely destroys their self-worth and somehow makes them think they deserve abuse from their husband because of what was done to them as young girls. Abuse feels normal in their home because it’s all they’ve ever known since they were children.
What about the husband who keeps a lock on the refrigerator door so that the wife and children cannot access food during the day while he is gone? Someday that man will wish it was only a millstone around his neck compared to the severe justice God will hand to him.
There are abusers who will not allow their children to go to Sunday school. They will not allow the children to pray or read their Bibles. So very contrary and disobedient to Jesus’ invitation, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.”
My heart breaks for the child who grows up in a home where angry shouting is the norm. The little girl who hides in the corner of her closet because she is afraid of Daddy’s loud voice. Then Daddy comes to comfort her, telling her it’s all Mommy’s fault.
There’s the little girl who grows up to be a young woman in a lesbian lifestyle because she hates men and what they did to her mother.
Lord have mercy on our children and heal our children from the ugly scars of abuse. Lord rescue us and our little ones from this plague in our homes. We pray for healing for those who have been abused and protection for those still in these scary homes. Let the Mama Bears trust You with all their hearts. Let them rise up and flee from the danger. Deliver them and give them courage to leave. Give them strength to remove the abuser through legal means, but dear Lord let the children be safe and free from the abuse. Good Shepherd, lead them to green pastures and let them rest. Lead them to domestic violence shelters where they can be safe. We ask it all in the mighty name of Jesus today.
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