Any normal parent would not plan on providing opportunity for a child predator. However when the tools of a molester are put into play it is very possible that a parent could be deceived, or let their guard down and become apathetic because of familiarity. Don’t believe that you are not capable of providing opportunity, the statistics show that you do.
Opportunity: a set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something.
As parents we must be aware that there are those who are seeking opportunities to do a child harm. As the watchmen of our families, we must not provide the opportunity for the children in our care to be harmed.
I Peter 5:8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
Opportunity is something that a predator will create. Almost everything in their world is built to create deniability or sympathy. A predator will often be the person that many often feel sorry for. This is a state that is manufactured to be a defense mechanism by playing on others sympathy. Or, if the person genuinely does have a difficult life for whatever reason, they will use their situation as a way to escape prosecution. This technique is especially effective when the predator knows the victim, thus the predator knows or is family with the parents of the victim. We have all seen the news stories with neighbors, co-workers, and family members in disbelief when being interviewed on the arrest of a “pillar of the community”, “patriarch of the family”, or “anchor within the congregation”. This is by design. This is exactly how the average predator has had anywhere from fifty to one hundred fifty victims before being caught depending on the offenders preferences.
As watchmen we must be like the Men of Issachar found in I Chronicles 12:32. The men of Issachar were ‘aware of the times’. We must be aware of the threats to our families and take the appropriate action to eliminate opportunities for our children to be harmed. As parents we must examine the reason why some might have access to our children. Then there should be a very small list of individuals that are allowed access to your children unsupervised. Any individual who is able to have access to your child either supervised or unsupervised must always display integrity and transparency.
Opportunity is something that a predator will create through dishonesty. Has anyone in your circle of friends or family been caught in a lie yet continued to try to convince you that the lie was truth? Has anyone in that same group ever kept anything from you that as a parent you wish you would have known and thought that they would have known to tell you? These types of situations can end up being character flaws. At the very least you should consider the level of access that they have to your children. If they get a significant amount of access, perhaps the level of access that they have should be reduced. Just because someone is known to be less than truthful does not mean that they will molest or allow the molestation of your child. It does however bring into question if you will get the truth regarding what happened with your child while in their care. Since deception is one of the tools in the molester’s toolbox, and deception can create opportunity, every person with access to your child must display incredible integrity.
Opportunity can also be created through a parent’s apathy. A parent that is not diligent when their family is incapable of telling the truth creates opportunity. There are many ways that a parent can inadvertently create opportunity for a predator. Parents can be too loyal to their own parents, in-laws or siblings. Parents can also be too loyal to their church thus being apathetic towards their children. This is not an anti church or anti Christian statement, but rather a call for parents to use their own brain rather than the collective thinking of others who are not responsible for your children. (I Tim 5:8) Opportunity is access. Opportunity is time and place with your child. Opportunity is a situation that does not “sound” bad or compromising. Opportunity is a parent not doing their homework, not asking the difficult questions. Opportunity is what is used by those who would want to do your children harm. Be the good watchman.