Jesus was a HUGE advocate for protecting kids. In fact, using pretty graphic imagery. Once Jesus said, "It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, that that he should offend one of these little ones." (Luke 17:2) Ouch. I think all of us can relate to that thought, especially when you hear of a child enduring brutal violence or being sexually molested.
At the same time, I think there's a disconnect in society.
- Dating — Parents sometimes encourage their kids to date/have a girlfriend/boyfriend WAY, WAY, WAY too early. (I've heard of parents brainstorming together about their boys and girls starting to date each other as early as 6th grade! Really?)
- TV & Internet — Parents quite often allow their kids to have UNRESTRICTED access to internet or cable TV. (You wouldn't let a strange man go play with your kids upstairs by themselves, would you? Then why would give your kids head upstairs to have unrestricted access to the explicit images and video of strangers, instead of installing a product like www.SafeEyes.com?)
- Emails & Texts — Parents, I'm sure out of an honest desire to help their kids, provide email accounts or iTouches or cell phones to allow them to communicate. But these tools often include UNMONITORED emails or text messages. (Someone forwarded me an email a child received from another child. It had a link link to a racy YouTube video with this note [ACTUAL EMAIL], "this a dirty video but i love the song!!! you will luv it too !!! but ya it is really dirty and made feel WIERD!!! if u know what i mean!!! hehe". If your child wanted email, why wouldn't you provide monitored email when they're at a young age? If your child absolutely HAD to have a cell phone, why wouldn't you limit who they can send/receive texts from?)
We need to close the gap as parents.
I know many of us think to ourselves, "If I just show trust to my kids, they'll come out OK." You're wrong.
We think, "My kids don't have friends who will send them that stuff." You're wrong.
They need you need to protect them and journey with them as they grow.