I started fighting trafficking the day my daughter was taken from my arms. It was a day like any other, except I was being watched by four people in our local grocery store, one of which pulled my toddler from my motherly grip in a checkout line and started backing towards the door while having her wave and parrot, “Say bye-bye to mommy”.
This scene is a mother’s worst nightmare - mine included.
With my daughter recovered, I began researching. That day changed everything for me in that it opened my eyes and heart to the inherent vulnerability all children, just like mine, have to this sex trafficking epidemic, even here in America.
Especially after the interview.
Years later, my research in this advocacy work led to an incarcerated trafficker who proudly admitted in an interview that it took him less than 8 minutes to identify and lure your child into the child sex trade. I was shocked, but it made sense, when I heard him share the key vulnerability that he, along with all predators, are looking for. Victimizers are looking for a child’s lack of strong family relationships. The family, the reflection of God Himself, is crucial yet in critical condition.
We know the family is a reflection of God because of Genesis 1:27; So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. We also read Jesus is God’s own son, that we are adopted into the family of God, the Church is referred to as the Bride, and God is our Father. There is no doubt we serve a relational God who upholds the importance of the family unit by weaving these clear relational terms all throughout the Bible. But, the family unit is being bludgeoned by blows on every side, and in my line of work, lack of family defense leads to brokenness which leads to the most deplorable crimes against children.
Moms have such an influence over the strength of their family, however. And, while no one characteristic defines our womanhood, it’s our commitment to daily reflect the character of God to our children that makes us invaluable to our families. Because, being made in the image of God means we are His image bearers. With all our varying temperaments and differing personalities, every unique mother is perfectly created to embody the fruit of the very Spirit of God that lives inside of her. Where personalities lack, we don’t excuse ourselves. We don’t say, “I just wasn’t built to be joyful, I’m a realist” or “My maiden name means that I will always lack patience”. No, we simply seek to be more like “God’s image” in the areas we need growth and stay steadfast in the areas we more naturally reflect His character. Our children are most protected in this ruddy world when our example reflects their God in all of His glory. I can’t think of a more lofty responsibility than bearing God’s image to vulnerable hearts.
While I tirelessly advocate for the family as the best prevention against child traffickers, I see the means to this end, the family unit, as much more - the design of God to reflect Himself. We, moms, are His image bearers striving to reflect well the most grand and worthy parent we have ever known.
Your fellow Able Mom,
So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.