September 14, 2013 – Allen and Diane Lake
Editor’s Note: Additional contributions to this article were made by Deena Graves and Hal & Cheryl Sacks.
All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before You… A posterity shall serve Him. It will be recounted of the Lord to the next generation. They will come and declare His righteousness to a people who will be born, that He has done this. (Ps. 22:27, 30-31)
A Glimpse of Reality: In Her Own Words
A ten year old girl started experiencing sexual abuse at the hands of her mother’s boyfriend. At age eleven, she couldn’t take it anymore, so she ran away. A gang offered her survival, love and protection – for a price. She spent the next five years in and out of juvenile detention, psych hospitals and drug rehab. At age sixteen, she was rescued by Traffick911, and she wrote these words:
My life is just another sorry story. Never wanted the home I had cause I never felt safe in it. If it wasn’t for that man, I would have loved home. But, yeah, right. That would have been another fairytale story. “Just hush and please don’t tell.” That’s what he would say. Afraid of being home, knowing he was there, was so unfair. Knowing the gang could find me was not so good at all. It was him and it was them. It was both of them who took away my home. In the streets where I lived, knowing I would get beaten, was never fun. It was just this little, young girl that was alone and at that time had no relationship with the Lord. Every time I was scared, I would want to run home. But really? I had no home. Having no home and no family, I was never blessed. Hating others as I watched them go to sleep and rest at their homes. Home. Home. Home. I never had one. Why? Cause the people I loved the most betrayed me. But, as soon as I gave my life to the Lord, everything changed. He gave me a beautiful family. He gave me beautiful people and those people gave me a beautiful home. Somewhere I can run to. Somewhere I can rest and sleep and somewhere where I don’t have to be afraid of the next knock on the door. Thank you for a beautiful home.
Families in Crisis
Research shows alarming long-term growth in the number of single parent households. Contributing factors include welfare availability, the growing acceptance of single motherhood, childbearing outside of marriage and higher divorce rates.
Virtually every major social pathology contributing to human trafficking is strongly associated with the breakdown of the family. In fact, the connection of social pathologies with family instability is so strong that some researchers have concluded the likelihood of children’s involvement in crime is determined by the extent of both parents’ involvement in their children’s lives, rather than race or income. (1)
Most trafficked youth have a history of abandonment, abuse and neglect. One study revealed that 64% of girls who became child prostitution victims had one or both parents who were addicted to drugs or alcohol. (2)
Cohabitation outside of marriage factors into family instability as well. Children born to cohabiting parents are three times more likely to experience the absence of a parent in the home. (3) It seems inevitable that society’s increasing acceptance of same sex couples who parent will contribute to these statistics, also, although there are no studies yet to substantiate this.
In the Old Testament we find that God’s planned structure for the family unit is referenced five times in the Ten Commandments. (Deut. 5:6-21) We see that parents determine generational blessing or cursing (vs. 9, 10), set the tone for family worship (v. 14), are to honor their own parents in order that they might be blessed (v. 16), and are to be monogamous and content within the bond of marriage (vs. 18, 21).
This passage reinforces God’s design for the family, consisting of two parents (one male and one female) committed in marriage who together create an environment in which their children can thrive. Parents are intended by God to establish a model for their children in which the Lord is worshiped and obeyed, parents are honored and respected, and the covenant of marriage is nurtured and cherished.
Of course, as New Covenant believers we are not bound by the letter of the law, but the moral standards and pattern established for the family have not changed. We are compelled to follow His commandments because of love, not law, that we might reflect the heart of Christ. (Matt. 22:37-39)
Many lack the understanding that following God’s intended design brings blessing, and choosing not to follow His ways brings a curse. (See Deut. 28.) Spiritual laws of blessings and cursing are similar in some ways to natural laws like gravity – just because you can’t see them, taste them, or touch them doesn’t mean they’re not there, and you don’t have to believe in gravity to fall down.
Without this understanding, the injustice of human trafficking can seem like God’s injustice to others. In reality, injustice manifests where men have decided not to follow God’s standards. And not following God’s standards for the family affects not only individuals and families, but society as well.
The family unit is the foundation of society – because God set it up that way. He created family first, before any other cultural areas of influence such as government, business or education. He created one man and one woman and then told them to start a family and spread their influence in the earth. (Gen. 1:27, 28) The other areas of societal influence build upon this base.
Ask the Lord about generational healing, and what you can do to uphold His standard for families. As the church lifts up His name and families are restored, we will see the end to human trafficking.
1. “The Fatherhood Crisis: Time for a New Look?” National Center for Policy Analysis. http://www.ncpa.org/pub/st267?pg=3.
2. “Prostituted Youth – Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention.” Seattle Human Services Department. http://www.seattle.gov/humanservices/domesticviolence/prostitutedyouth/nationalperspective.htm.
3. “Statistics.” The Fatherless Generation. http://thefatherlessgeneration.wordpress.com/statistics/.
Lord, forgive me for mirroring the sins of my culture through breaking marriage covenants, dishonoring my spouse, neglecting my children and putting the god of materialism above You.
Father, we repent for breaking Your commandments regarding how to conduct marriage and family in ways that release Your blessings upon us, our children and all of society. Forgive us for neglecting to disciple the next generation regarding holy relationships, marriage and family.
– God of Creation, we call out to You for the healing and restoration of our families to Your original design. May husbands and wives honor one another and children experience a safe and loving environment.
– Give parents wisdom for a redirection of priorities, first a turning to You in repentance, then refocusing on the health and well-being of family members and relationships.
– Heavenly Father, we pray that pastors would teach on the biblical model and role of parents and the family.
– We ask that You would awaken fathers and mothers to the need to pray with and for their families consistently, intentionally and fervently, that You would restore the family altar in homes across our nation.
1. Establish a consistent time for family prayer in your home. We encourage you to buy a copy of Prayer Saturated Kids, written by Cheryl Sacks, co-founder of BridgeBuilders International, that will help you in praying with and for your children.
2. Invite a single parent and their children to regularly take part in your family’s activities; become an extended family and support system to them.
3. Make time with your children a priority – plan family fun nights, one-on-one “date” nights, etc.