One child abuse hotline says it receives nearly 4 million calls a year about nearly 7 million children that have been abused. And we know not all abuse is reported. The same report says 80% of children affected are too young to attend kindergarten—they are preschoolers. Reports say the vast majority of abuse involves at least one malicious parent. Clearly, our modern society does not take seriously enough Jesus’ concerns for the welfare of children. We read in Luke 17 Jesus’ warning about harming little ones: “It would be better to be thrown into the sea with a millstone hung around your neck than to cause one of these little ones to fall into sin.” Why was Jesus so severe in condemning those who abuse children? Perhaps one reason He was so emphatic and explicit is because childhood experiences have such a profound impact on what a person becomes later in life—both negatively and positively. An abused child frequently becomes abusive later in life and often lashes out to hurt others. That is why adults–and especially parents–must be very careful to balance measured discipline with love and acceptance.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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