CViE|22 Sep 2018
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CViE|22 Sep 2018
The title of this post “perilous times” are words written by the apostle Paul in one Timothy 3:1-3 and is so descriptive of the world in which children and young people are living today (as well as ourselves).
These are the key findings of the Children’s Society (with the University of York) “The Good Childhood Report 2018”.
The press release issued with the report, picked up by the media, focused on the finding that nearly a quarter of girls aged 14 (22%) said that they had self-harmed. One in six (16%) of more than 11,000 children survey reported self-harming at this age, including nearly one in 10 boys (9%). This survey is only a sample of the total number of young people in the country however it does raise concerns as to the challenges that young people face. Behind the statistics are young people’s lives and the following quote illustrates the pressures faced “Feeling not pretty enough or good enough as other girls did contribute towards my self harming, however, I don’t feel just being a girl was the reason is I think boys feel the same way to.”
The report also picks up on the high level (46%) of self-harming among those who were attracted to people of the same or both genders. This is a sad indictment on our society that has turned its back on the teachings of the Bible and drawn in by an ideology that aims to destroy the gender identity of man and woman and every ethical standard of sexual behaviour – gender mainstreaming. Nonetheless, our heart goes out to young people caught up in the confusion of gender identity.
The finding regarding the importance of a strong supportive family in helping young people to cope with the pressures of life is not a surprising one. However, the onslaught over the past century and heightened by the advancement of promiscuity in the 60s
Ephesians 6:1-4 sets out the framework for the relationship between parents and their children. Matthew Henry has commented “The great duty of children is, to obey their parents. That obedience includes inward reverence, as well as outward acts, and in every
On the Christian Medical Fellowship website, there is a very frank, honest and challenging account of someone who was set free from self-harming. In the article the author shares the following:
I have had (and continue to have) complex and enduring mental health problems from a young age. Sometimes I’ve been well enough to work with children with special needs, or as a physio assistant, and to do nurse training; at other times I’ve been consumed with depression and hallucinations with extended periods in psychiatric hospitals.
My primary diagnosis is
I’m learning to put God’s attitudes towards my thoughts and behaviours higher in my mind than those others, which vary widely. Some nurses, doctors and therapists have gone ‘above and beyond the call of duty’ to care for me. Others have been hostile and cynical – particularly when I have had to attend A&E with more severe self-harm, and have been called a liar because they can’t appreciate that I don’t always remember what has happened, and frequently been referred to as a ‘time waster’.”
“So, what made me stop self-harming after 17 years of being trapped in a vicious cycle? I have been under eleven different psychologists and
It wasn’t until a close sister in Christ rebuked me (not for the first time), that the Spirit really worked in me to make me realise that self-harm is actually a sin in God’s eyes. For years I had seen it as part of my illnesses. The Spirit made me realise that it is my choice whether I dwell on my thoughts. That was a very difficult thing for me to
But praise God that he was powerful enough to free me from this trap. It took five more months to completely break free. When ill again last year I had the odd episode or two, but praise God I did not fall back into the deliberate self-harm (DSH) cycle again.
A particular verse which I frequently call to mind when tempted in a variety of ways, is Colossians 1:21-23:
‘And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him’, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven’ (ESV) [Click here for KJV]
I frequently feel worthless and evil, but these verses clearly state that because of Christ’s sacrifice I am now holy, blameless and above reproach before God – what an amazing truth!
“Lastly, I would encourage you to be gentle with anyone who self-harms (this may include yourself!). Yes, there may need to be times of rebuke, but there also needs to be much support, love,
Stopping is not at all easy, but it is possible in Christ.”
The article reminds us of the need, as mentioned earlier, for compassion in dealing with others and that the devil works in the minds of people (Ephesians 6:10-14). Also, the exhortation of Paul is very apt and needful “Neither give place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:27)
We live in challenging times, there is a need to be aware of what dangers exist around us and to be careful not to say “it will never happen to me/us”.
The Lord grant help and support to Christian parents to invest the time in bringing up their children in this ‘time-poor‘ society and the wisdom of how, what, when and where to speak.
This comment has been kindly provided
Click here for the “Good Childhood Report”
Click here for the CMF article