Saturday, March 4, 2017

Parents Please Protect Your Children - Too Many Horror Stories

   I know that those who go to this blog probably expect something light and happy here. But I feel like I need to remind us of the horror of the fact that there are pedophiles out there, and there are others who feel like they have a right to help themselves to whatever their hearts desire, even if it is harmful to others. They just don't care. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to their perversion, but the fact of the matter is, even if it doesn't make sense to us, it is still out there.

   I shudder in horror thinking back to a time when my adult daughter was somewhere between the ages of 8 and 11. The Internet was brand new and we let our daughters do way too many things without monitoring them.

   Fortunately, we had to share some of our computers. I noticed that there was a man who was periodically sending me messages. I didn't understand who he was or what his point was, so I ignored them. After a while, I realized that he must have had some kind of dialog with my daughter, probably more often then I was aware of what was going on.

   One day, I sat at the computer and a message was there. I began to dialog with this man. Somehow, he asked me my age, and I remember telling him that I was 43. He seemed surprised for some reason I didn't understand at that moment. Looking back, I believe he probably was thinking he was dialoging with my daughter. He seemed disappointed. I should have taken better control over the computer after that. Back then, the technology was not as sharp and it is today. He sent pictures as well, of himself. But today, he could probably even find out where we lived and where my daughter's bedroom would be located in the house.

   I remember another time, we were at the downtown library. I had my daughter (same one as in the paragraph above) who was about 4 at that time, and my son, who was a baby in a stroller. We were looking at books on the shelves and I heard a loud 'psst'. I looked around and didn't see anything. I kept an eye on my kids though. A couple minutes later I heard the same sound. Someone may have been trying to get my kids attention, but I was with them and they were not going to get out of my sight.

   Finally, in class last year (we were studying how to counsel children) we were taught about a situation that really happened to a woman who brought her 6 year old son to the store with her. The child was getting bored and continually complaining about being in the store. A young man started a conversation with her. He made comments like saying that he had a son who would do the same thing in the store. He appeared to be very friendly and warm. He offered to take the little boy to a video store nearby. The mother said no. The seemingly friendly man continued his dialog and asked the mother again if he could take her son to the video store. He promised to bring him back. The mother, wanting to be nice, said that he could take the boy with him. Sadly, the mother never saw her son again.

   Child sexual predators do not necessarily just go after little girls. They use little boys as well. Years ago, we could let our children walk around the store while we were shopping (if they were old enough). Today, this is not wise.

  Parents, please watch your children. I would not send them to a restroom in a store unless they were older and with someone. We live in a time when people in this country have turned their backs on God, and as a result, God has turned them over to their sinful pleasures. We see this in the political realm. We see people who have no self control and live for their sinful pleasures, without consciences that work, and without regards to whoever they hurt. We live in a generation where child abuse is rampant, and we are reaping what was sown in the last generation when people who were abused have grown up becoming abusers themselves. They need the Gospel message sent to them. Only the Gospel can permanently change people's hearts and give them a new start in life.

   Keep in mind that sexual predators do not see themselves as perverts. They live in a darkened world of lies and they have consciences that have been seared. Many are victims of sexual abuse and have no way to be able to change themselves. Some even make a lot of money who are in the business of pornography especially child pornography. Keep our guards up. Prepare our children so they can know what to look for.

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