Hi! My name is Ed Hall, Connie’s husband. We blog together at Old Folks At Homestead. I think I get the honor of being her first guest blogger on This Little Light of Mine.
Besides being married, and both being veterans and writers, we share one more thing. We were both sexually abused as children. No, today I am not going to tell my story of abuse. That probably will come later, but today I want to take another direction with you.
My intent today is to try to help you understand the scope and implications of child sexual abuse in the physical world and, more importantly, the spiritual world. So how do I get folks to see the extent of the problem? Let’s try this.
You and I are going to the Mall. Its a nice mall with a second level. We might look for some lunch later, but all we want to do now is browse. Me being me, I need a cup of coffee. So we go to the second floor, find the coffee shop and I get a cup of their strongest, black.
Then we go to the rail and stand looking at the big crowds on the first floor because people watching is always fun. Has Connie ever mentioned what a klutz I am? Well I am. So we are talking and suddenly my coffee cup slips through my fingers and falls straight down.
Before the coffee cup hits anyone, we know that the odds are 1 in 10 it will hit a victim of child sexual assault. If our crowd is a thousand people that means a 100 of them have likely been abused sexually as a child.
Once it hits and we can identify gender, the odds say that 1 in every 7 females have been victims of child sexual abuse. If the crowd is half men and women that would be about 72 women.
If it hits a guy he stands about a 1 in 25 chance of being sexually abused which would mean about 20 of them would be guys. The final 8 represent reports where gender is unknown.
So a hundred people out of a thousand with over seventy girls and about twenty boys. How many kids go to school with your kids? How many people attend your church? With how many people do you work?
Have I got your attention yet? That is a lot of people and a lot of damage. Here is the hard fact. Even with the emphasis on the problem, it is still greatly under reported. So how bad is it really?
Had we an exact number, it still would not fully explain how bad the problem is, because it does not address what the outcomes of early sexualization of children are. The jury is still out on that, but we know that child sexual abuse has been linked to:
Changes in brain chemistry. Similar conditions to Combat related PTSD are seen in survivors.
Emotional and mental problems which include, but are not limited to, failure to mature along set lines, suicidal thoughts and intentions, drug and alcohol abuse, eating disorders and a plethora of other related problems.
Physical illness ,which include a higher incidence of every disease that relates to high stress.
So we know that we have a great problem here in this physical world, but how does it effect the spiritual world? I think we have the question backwards brothers and sisters. The problem stems from the spiritual world, and we are just seeing the bleed over in the physical. When you see confusion, lies, pain, and people turning away from God, then the devil is at work.
Nowhere in the Prince of this World’s work is confusion, pain, lies, shame, and people turning away from the true God more evident than in child sexual abuse.
The people of earth are engaged in a Spiritual War that has raged since before time, and whose ultimate end will come as time ends. There are no Conscientious Objectors to this war. You are either a Combatant or a victim. There is no middle ground.
He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children,you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:2-4
Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:13-14
Jesus had a special place in his heart for children, and he makes us understand that there is something about children that is an absolute necessity if any of us, children or hoary old men like me, want to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. What could these attributes that God values above all others be?
May I suggest, innocence, trust, boundless love, a surpassing joy, honesty and faith in Him above all else? Does that seem like what you see when you are overjoyed by a baby’s laugh and the sparkle in their eyes?
The betrayal of child sexual abuse and violence destroys all these traits that God, and us by the way, cherish in children. Satan could not have invented a better tool to destroy a child’s ability to relate to and trust God than sexual abuse.
Most abusers are male and sometimes this male is the step-father or father. In all cases of child sexual abuse the victim loses trust in the adults who are supposed to protect them. Its all up to them now to protect themselves and survive this trauma.
So how do you think that effects a person’s relationship with Father God? Father is the one who should have protected me or, worse yet, father is the one who harmed me. I can tell you from personal experience it took me awhile to see father as anything other than a Christmas Check, a monthly letter and the guy who showed up from time to time smelling of after shave. So what was Father God to me? Where was His relevance?
We must, as a church, quit sitting on the sidelines in a war between the Great Deceiver and our children. The Seducing Spirit, Oppressor, Anti-Christ, or whatever else you what to call him, is after our children. Now, what are we going to do about it?
When we attack child sexual abuse, we are attacking the crowning jewel of the kingdom of hell, but that is why the Church of God is still here on this earth. We have an enemy to oppose, in a war that God has already won. For Connie and I, our part in the battle includes protecting children, and showing those already taken captive the way to freedom.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
All statistics and other information about the effects of child sexual abuse were found here.