â€œbe on guard so that you may not be carried away…â€ 2Peter 3:17
No one hopes and dreams of being a sexual offender.
I would even guess that no one hopes and dreams of being a bully.
Yet, everyday people bully, abuse others and commit rape. EVERYDAY that is happening. In the United States, of the reported incidents, it can be said that every 6.2 minutes a woman is raped. This is heartbreaking! (Even now as I type that…I am pausing for the girls and the woman in my church who will be or have been a victim of a sexual assault.)
Be On Guard
Two young men abused, bullied and raped a girl. Two young men who were star athletes…who were sons. One family who was a temporary guardian for one of the accused, describe him as a â€œgoodâ€ boy.
On the day of the verdict, two young girls got on twitter and threatened the victim. These 15 & 16 year old girls who were arrested for cyberbullying and death threats are someonesâ€™ daughters. Probably once described as â€œgoodâ€ girls.
Be On Guard
This world is a dark place and it is easy to see that satan is at work. We must be on guard. We must speak honestly about the pitfalls and the traps in this world. Even when we think that our students couldnâ€™t or wouldnâ€™t do what these young boys and girls did, we must be on guard.
This case and others like it should be a reminder to us that we are in the midst of a battle. Our students need us to believe the best in them while at the same time challenge and call them out on behaviors or attitudes that contradict the ways of Jesus.
No one hopes and dreams of being a bully or a rapist. We must be on guard and remember that even â€œgoodâ€ kids can make bad decisions.
Be On Guard For Red Flags
Behavior Changes: small changes or decisions that could be paving a way to a major decision or action that could be destructive.
New Friends: a change in friendships can indicate that there has been a shift, it can be a simple change and it can also mean that tension or conflict has been destructive in a friendship leading to potential bad decisions.
Drastic Change in Appearance:Â changes to appearance tell us that there is an identity issue happening which can really be a sign of pain. And often pain can lead to destructive decisions.
When you see these changes in a student…get involved and get families involved. These changes may be nothing and they may be everything. As youth workers and as parents, we need to listen to Peterâ€™s voice and BE ON GUARD!
Praying for your wisdom today as you â€œbe watchfulâ€ over your students!