Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world
We’ve been reading for weeks about Boko Haram kidnapping schoolgirls, and further reports say some have been sold off as wives for as little as $12. It’s frightening, and there is a well justified international cry for justice.
But if you think all governments are outraged at this type of violation of little girl’s bodies and souls and rights and freedoms, they aren’t. According to NPR, the Justice Minister of Iraq recently proposed legislation that would allow fathers to marry off their own daughters as soon as they reach 9 years of age. It makes one wonder if the office of Justice Minister of Iraq means the same thing as it does in other countries.
Children at age 9 are still growing up. Can you imagine a grown man taking a 9 year old home and calling her his bride? No, such a “marriage” would force the child to be no more than a slave, trafficked by her father to another man, robbed of her childhood and forced to live in ways no child should have to endure.
What would their “marriage” be like? Does anyone really expect a 9 year old to communicate with a man as a grown woman would? How does the man speak to the child – as a spouse or as she really is, someone barely out of infancy?
Then when it comes to sexual intercourse the prospect becomes truly frightening and nauseating, because it then becomes nothing less than child abuse.
Yet it would all be legal.
That’s not the way it’s supposed to be. Here are just a few of the things the Bible tells us about God’s special care for children:
- Children should be treasured as a blessing from God. (Psalm 37:26.)
- Children receive God’s blessings in ways that adults should emulate. (Mark 10:13-16.)
- Children are a spiritually protected class of people. (Luke 17:1-2.)
- And the bottom line: Children belong to God, not to parents. (Ezekiel 23:27.)
The NPR report linked above said the legislation in Iraq is proposed but not guaranteed. I pray it goes down in unequivocal defeat. These children deserve protection, not government approved exploitation.
And I pray for the girls kidnapped by Boko Haram, held hostage and sold off as chattel-brides.
Jesus loves all of these children, cherishes them, and knows each of them by name. As the song we ourselves sung as children reminds us, they are all precious in his sight.