Keeper of His Home

by Chelsea McCafferty

On Guard Against Sexual Predators

on March 31, 2015

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He’s the friendly neighborhood swimming coach. She’s the neighbor who always offers to babysit. He’s the uncle who spends more time outside playing with the kids than speaking to the adults. He’s the worship leader at church. He’s a predator and his target is our children.

There’s no easy way to write about child molestation. It’s disturbing…shocking to the senses. It’s so wrong and yet alarmingly common. When 1 out of every 5 girls and 1 out of every 20 boys are being sexually assaulted, that tells us that there are far more sexual predators out there than we even want to realize. Hey, we have to realize it. We have to face facts. We need to know about the danger if we are going to be able to guard our children and keep them safe to the very best of our abilities.

I’m known in my family and amongst friends as something of a “paranoid” mama. I definitely am extremely cautious. I don’t just leave my daughter with anyone, even if that person is someone who appears trustworthy. I’ve seen too much in my life and it has opened my eyes to the understanding that sexual predators roam the world as wolves in sheep’s clothing. While we may eyeball the creepy, old man who lives down the road and make a mental note to keep our kids away from him, the predator is more likely to be a family friend, friendly neighbor or even a family member. You can’t just trust people because they don’t LOOK like child molesters. Predators are masters of disguises and they are all around us.

You know, a sexual predator usually accumulates quite a few victims before he/she is found out. Once the police finally catch a child molester, he/she has probably already assaulted multiple innocent children. It’s a horrible thing. It’s tragic. It’s an abomination and I guarantee you God will judge harshly those wicked people who harm His children.

I know this topic is dark. I don’t write about it to bring you down but rather to warn you that we need to keep our eyes wide open and we need to be a little “paranoid” in order to protect our kids. I know that we can only do so much. Those families who have experienced the pain of a child being assaulted are in my prayers. I can’t imagine how hard it is to have that happen to your child. It must be absolutely devastating. I know we can’t always keep our kids safe, but I am going to do everything in my power to guard my child against sexual predators. I’m okay with being mocked for my caution. I’m perfectly content with the sacrifices that must be made.

No, my daughter will not attend that sleepover.

No, my daughter will not be dropped off to meet one on one with a teacher in a windowless, private room.

No, my daughter won’t be checked in at Sunday School unless there are strict rules about having two workers in each class, bathroom policies, background checks and access for parents to check on kids at all times.

Yes, I will watch carefully and follow my instincts about people who behave unusually.

Yes, I will make sure everyone knows that I am a mother who is paying attention and on guard.

Yes, I will make my opinions known, because my daughter’s safety is worth more than a comfortable silence.

This world is dark and the days are evil. There are predators lurking all around and our children are the prey. Am I being over-dramatic about this? I think not. I think we are being way too casual about it all actually. Churches need to get wise. We need to have stricter rules in place. We need to understand that there can be wolves dressed as sheep who are earning access to the kids in order to attack. We need to make it clear that keeping strict rules about anyone who works with children is not a personal offense, but a safety measure that everyone should be more than willing to adhere to.

Parents, we shall not live in fear. God has not given us a spirit of fear. I’m not afraid, though it may sound that way. I’m simply awake. I’m alert. I’m on guard. I know I can’t control everything. I also know my Heavenly Father can. I know He is watching over us, and yet He has given free will to all men and women and sometimes their free will choices to enact evil upon us brings us great pain and suffering. Listen, it’s not “paranoid” to realize that our children are weaker and an easier target and that we need to take extra special care these days to defend and protect them.

So mock me if you like. I’m perfectly okay with that. I honestly don’t care what anyone thinks about my caution as a parent. If it reduces the chance that my child will fall prey to a sexual predator, I’m more than willing to take the mockery and judgment. She’s my priority.

As for those who have already experienced the pain of having a child abused, or been assaulted yourself, my prayer are with you. This kind of assault leaves wounds and scars that are unlike anything else. I pray that you are able to find healing, comfort and even forgiveness through Jesus Christ.

And for the child molester who may be reading these words…repent. Repent now and turn to Christ. You are filled with evil and wickedness, and you are an enemy of God. You’re only hope is to turn to Jesus and turn yourself in for your crimes. I want you to know that I see you and I pray for you, but I also want you to know that I’ve got my eyes wide open. I’m on guard and I’m ready to defend my family by whatever means necessary. In other words, if you come into my home and seek to harm my family, you won’t victoriously. In fact, you might not walk out at all.

This may all sound very harsh, but I believe the church and parents need to be less trusting and more on guard with out kids. We need to be willing to say what needs to be said. We have to be willing to say no to situations where adults have access to children without accountability and transparency. We need to understand that child molesters come in all shapes and sizes, and that they win us over with kindness and gentleness. They are on mission, so we must be on guard.

Please join me in praying for the protection of children, for the wisdom and discernment of parents, churches and schools, and for the justice, repentance and salvation of sexual predators.

For tips on trying to prevent sexual abuse, visit the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Beautiful defense via photopin (license)

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2 responses to “On Guard Against Sexual Predators

  1. Laura says:

    I completely agree with you. We used to make fun of my mom for being overprotective and now I’m worse than she was.

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