Thoughtful Thursday: When Childhood Ends

Hopefully most of us have fond memories of our childhood.

I know that there have been times in my life when I would like to be a kid again. Times when I don't want to make those hard decisions and instead just curl up on my mom's lap and have her tell me that a Bandaid will make it all better. Times when I want to have one day with no responsibilities except to make the best mud pie in the world. Times when Christmas and birthdays seem to drag their feet in getting here, instead of rushing up so quickly that I'm not sure how we will get it all done.

But as Bob Dylan sang, "The times they are a-changin'"

Now we seem to rush our children into adulthood. Unfortunately this manifests itself most in trying to turn our children into sexual beings at a younger and younger age. Go shopping for girl's clothing (and I'm talking little girls, 3 or 4 years old), and you will discover a world of writing on the backside of their pants, itsy bitsy triangle bikinis, and even padded training bras. Media sells sex to girls and boys at young ages, including Disney, Nickelodeon, and movies targeted at children. The focus on making yourself marketable to the opposite sex is happening with 5 year olds.

But these examples, while bad, are NOTHING compared to what society has told our children about their sexuality.

This problem has been thrust to the forefront with the explosion of cover up and lies at Penn State.

Apparently, protecting children is not necessary if you are winning at football.

Apparently, watching a boy being raped in the shower by a grown man is not a reason to risk your future with said football program.

Apparently, when the truth comes out, the victims are not as important as expressing your outrage over the enablers being fired from working at the university.

And the summary of these messages is this: Children are expendable if money is involved. In fact most things are expendable if money is involved, including our morals and values.

While most of us, hopefully, will never have to deal with our child being in a situation like the ones that occurred at Penn State, but we do have to deal with situations like clothing and media with our children every day.

These corporations are sacrificing our children's childhood and sexual innocence on the altar of money every day. And we are funding it. These corporations wouldn't make the clothing or produce the shows and music if we as parents weren't buying it.

So take a stand. Let society know that causing our children to lose their childhood is not acceptable. It's not acceptable to cover up child rape, and it's not acceptable to market our children as sexual beings.

I'm praying for the victims of Sandusky, those who are known and those who are unknown.

I'm praying for the victims of society who will grow up thinking they have nothing more to offer the world than their sexuality and lust.

Jesus pronounced the punishment for those who take away a child's innocence, "But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea." (Matthew 18:6)

Jesus felt that protecting children was a life and death decision. Hopefully one day, we will too.

Writing with a heavy heart in the treehouse,


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