Keeping Kids Safe

by | Nov 30, 2006 | Church & Ministry

We must make it a priority to know what our youth are saying and doing in cyberspace.
Virtually everyone has heard of MySpace. With more than 90 million users, it has become the most popular social network on the Web. Whether or not you know much about it, you can be assured that your kids do.


About 20 million teenagers in America have a MySpace account, which they use to meet new friends, connect with old friends, post pictures and write online journals—sharing their thoughts for the whole world to see.


Millions of teenagers spend several hours each day on this site for entertainment and interaction.


The problem many parents are not aware of is that not everyone on MySpace is a teenager. Many adults are online for legitimate social-networking purposes themselves, but untold thousands of them are online predators posing as teenagers. They hope to begin a relationship that will ultimately lead to a sexual encounter.


Time magazine recently reported that a 14-year-old girl was raped by a 19-year-old Texan named Pete Solis after he met her on MySpace. The girl’s mother is now suing MySpace for $30 million alleging the company did not take proper precautions to protect her child from Internet pedophiles.


The latest data show that 71 percent of people who join MySpace accept the “friendship” of other users who are actually strangers to them. The scary part is that 41 percent of youth respond to invitations from people they don’t know.


It may look innocent enough to see your teenager sitting at a computer, talking and swapping pictures with an online friend, but do you have any idea who is on the other end? There is no way to verify online the age and profile of a person.
Our young people are more vulnerable than ever to cunning and smooth-talking criminals.


The pornography on the site does not help either. Even though the company tells people that they should not post inappropriate pictures, the indecency and imitation of celebrity crudeness on many teen MySpace sites would cause some adults to shiver.


As a concerned parent or ministry worker you are no doubt asking yourself what can be done to protect young people from the threat of online predators and other criminals.


For starters, make sure your computer is in an open room and has the most effective protection software to block pornography. In addition, ask your kids lots of questions. Who are they talking to? When you look at the list of friends they have on MySpace, you should know all of them.


A more thorough way to protect your kids is to help them switch over to My Battle Plan at www.battlecry.com. On this site, I not only help them connect with friends, but also help them establish a plan to grow their faith and be held accountable to that plan. They will begin to set spiritual goals and learn to encourage others to make an impact for Christ.


As parents, leaders and laypeople, our involvement and protection is needed now more than ever. The stakes are high because we face the possibility of losing an entire generation. The future of America is right before our eyes.


If you have a desire to see young people protected, saved and on fire for God but don’t know how to get started, I suggest you attend one of the leadership summits listed on the site.


We need to defend and rescue our kids. It is no longer enough for us to say, “We didn’t know.” We have the opportunity to be informed and equipped, so we must make it a priority to know what our youth are saying and doing in cyberspace. We must seize the moment and capture the heart of this generation before the next predator does.


Ron Luce founded Teen Mania in 1986. He and his wife, Katie, have seen more than 2 million youth attend events they host called Acquire the Fire, and they have sent more than 50,000 teens across the globe on mission trips. Ron and Katie live in Garden Valley, Texas, with their three children: Hannah, Charity and Cameron. To read past columns in Charisma by Ron Luce, log on at www.charismamag.com/luce.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Troy Black Shares A Message to Help You Fight For Faith Again

Troy Black Shares A Message to Help You Fight For Faith Again

Young, old, rich or poor—nobody is immune to the feeling of brokenness. Jesus' life, death and resurrection on earth is a constant reminder that death no longer has a sting. Fear and hopelessness lurk throughout the earth trying to find an opportune moment to consume...

Kevin Sorbo’s Transformative Encounter as a Teen with Billy Graham

Kevin Sorbo’s Transformative Encounter as a Teen with Billy Graham

Actor Kevin Sorbo is known today for his roles in faith-based movies, like "God's Not Dead" and "Left Behind," but the iconic "Hercules" star's Christian roots took form at an early age. Sorbo recently told CBN's "Faith vs. Culture" he first read the prophetic book of...

7 Forms of Functional Cessationism

7 Forms of Functional Cessationism

In this article, cessationism refers to the doctrine, practice or belief that the ascension ministry gifts and the manifestations of the Holy Spirit ceased with the early church and do not function in the present church age (Eph. 4:11-16; 1 Cor. 12: 4-11). The...

Practical Tips to Maximize Your Time

Practical Tips to Maximize Your Time

We all have the same amount of time—four hours a day, seven days a week. And the longer I live, the more I discover that time is too valuable for us to waste any of it. That’s why it is so important that we learn to live on purpose, for a purpose. The truth is if you...

Enter the Courts of Heaven with Rabbi Curt Landry

Enter the Courts of Heaven with Rabbi Curt Landry

This article was first released by Curt Landry Ministries. Note: This is the first of a two-part series of articles. When you enter heaven's courtroom to do spiritual warfare, you are asking that the will of God, what is written in His books, be released from heaven...

RECENT ARTICLES

The Spiritual Awakening of Buffalo, New York

Monday night, Jan. 2, 2023, God drew our nation to prayer as Bills player Damar Hamlin experienced cardiac arrest on live tv. Could this have been the largest spontaneous prayer meeting in the...
Dr. Don Colbert: How This Every Day Ingredient is Killing Your Brain

Dr. Don Colbert: How This Every Day Ingredient is Killing Your Brain

Read Time: 4 Minutes 43 Seconds Of the many artificial sweeteners out there, such as aspartame, sucralose (Splenda), saccharin (Sugar Twin and Sweet’N Low) and neotame (NutraSweet), aspartame is one of the most common. How common? Aspartame is an ingredient in more...

Pin It on Pinterest