Train up a child in the way he should go,
and when he is old he will not depart from it.
- Proverbs 22: 6 NASB
We are well acquainted with the Steubenville, Ohio rape case because of Social Media. Social media can also be said had a role in the conviction of two teenagers for the rape of a young girl. What I want to talk to you today about is the what I heard on the news last night. A grand jury has indicted 4 adults in relation to the investigation of the rape in 2013 as well as another one.
Where are the adults, responsible adults whoa re entrusted with the care of our children when they are in school? When teenage boys, young men and older men alike think they can use any girls or woman for their own sexual gratification in our culture today we need adults to stand up, speak out and advocate for children and women around the world. When coaches and principles place sports above a person's humanity these crimes will continue to happen.
God has entrusted us to care for the children of this world and these 4 adults have failed. Many more adults around the world have failed the children in our community. I believe it all comes down to ego. They value themselves higher than anyone else's. They will do what ever it takes to save face, protect that which is most valuable to them even if it is at the expense of another person. We cannot expect anything to change, or our children and teens to learn how to respect one another if we the adults do not demonstrate and live out love and respect for ALL people, our neighbors. Minors were charged in this case and convicted and now 4 adults have been charged.
As a person who works with teenagers I tend to have more patience and tolerance for their behaviors than I do adults. Now understand that if a crime occurs or I suspect one I will report it. But the reason I show children and teenagers more grace and patience is because they are still learning and growing. Their brains are still developing and cannot be fully conscience of the decisions they make. We as adults know better, or should. We cannot as easily make an excuse for our behavior when our brain is fully developed. Whether you have children or not all children are looking to us as their example and with the behavior of the four adults I now am understanding the actions (though not condoning) of those teenagers that were involved in the rape.
If we want children to learn to respect and value others then we have to do the same. It is not enough to teach it we must live it. To train up a child in the way of respect we must respect each other.
As a Christian I want to speak to my Christian readers and point out one more area where our ego's can get in the way. The most important thing we can do when raising children is to let them come to Jesus, allow them to encounter God and be moved by the Holy Spirit. At times we ourselves can be a hindrance and stand in the way of the children coming to Christ. We think we know better, we think we should shelter them. But we don't know better, we need to admit them and allow our belief in God and the son Jesus Christ to guide our behavior. When we do we will step aside and allow Jesus to lead the children and us. I don't know a better example for what I mean than a post a friend made on Facebook last night. Take time to read it below:
Travel changes who we are - if we allow it to do so. Timothy travels with us everywhere, and I have been privileged to watch how formative travel has been in his life. Last week he stood by the graveside of JFK. He also heard a gun salute to another fallen soldier, whose graveside service was occurring simultaneously. Last week Timothy stood between an adult Asian immigrant and me, and together the three of us peered intently at the original document of the US Constitution. The adult Asian immigrant looked at my son with tear-filled eyes and whispered, "Look! Look! Isn't it incredible?!" Last week homelessness had a face to it. Timothy saw homeless children of God sleeping in boxes on street corners. He saw their dirty clothes and blankets. He saw them search through trashcans for discarded food. He smelled their humanity. He was spoken to by them. He assembled a bag of snacks (granola bar, banana, raisins, applesauce, Doritos, Welch's fruit snacks, and bottled water) for the homeless man who slept across the street from out hotel. He watched me give the food to the man. He saw the man every night. Timothy was changed, and so was I.
This was written by my friend Kheresa Harmon.
This is how we train up our children. This is how we let our children come to Jesus. Nothing is more important than this. For Jesus told us this.
But Jesus said, "Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me;
for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."