Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Daily Devo - Tuesday, 7/7/2009

"The children of your servants shall dwell secure;
their offspring shall be established before you."
Psalm 102:28 (ESV)

One of the hardest aspects of counseling and pastoral ministry is when I must work with a child who has been sexually abused. It is painful and gut-wrenching, not only because of the pain the child is experiencing, but also because of the pain I know they will experience later in life. Even a child in Junior High is too young to fully understand the emotional damage that was inflicted upon them.

I remember vividly once painful experience. A late elementary-aged girl was referred to me for counseling and was brought to my office by her court-mandated guardian. Although we had never met previously, as the girl entered the office she rushed over to me and gave me a great big hug. Her body seemed to almost melt into mine. Still clinging to me in a deep embrace, which was awkward for both adults in the room, she said "I'm so glad you met with me, you seem very nice." It was all I could do to fight back tears. This young girl had been so sexualized and abused that she knew no other way of relating to older men. Instead of protecting and loving, her parents had abused and destroyed.

The psalmist in the verse above cites a future promise, but also a partial present reality. God's plan is for families to be healthy, loving, and stable. When we give our lives to Christ, and build our families upon His foundation of love and truth, then our children can be raised in relative security. Even in the most harrowing of circumstances, the children of Christ-centered parents experience the love and care of a faithful mom and dad.

The consequences for rejecting God's righteous rule over our lives--and our parenting--has drastic consequences. But the joy of embracing His plan for our families can be a blessing for generations to come.

JG

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