Apathy is a favorite tool of the devil. An apathetic Christian requires little effort to trip up. An apathetic parent is the best kind of parent for the child molester. An apathetic parent is one that is more easily deceived, and one that provides more unquestioned opportunities for someone to be with their child.
I Peter 5:8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
Two definitions of Apathy are: 1) absence or suppression of passion, emotion, or excitement. 2) lack of interest in or concern for things that others find moving or exciting.
In a fight one of the most critical things that one can do is protect their head. By doing so you protect your ability to think about the situation, counter, or remove yourself from the situation. Although family gatherings, social occasions with large groups of friends and social occasions at church are not fights per se, they are situations where your mental guard must be up. One of the best ways to prevent your child from being targeted by a molester is to demonstrate that you keep up with where your child is and what they are doing in social situations.
Apathy is an easy trap to fall into. When we go and visit family do we know all who are present? Sure we know the names and have past experiences with these people, but do you really know them? Did someone show up that you haven’t seen in a while? This does not guarantee trouble, far from it. It does however require you to keep your guard up. There is a reason that the statistics are the way they are regarding family and friends and the probability of your child being abused by one of them opposed to a stranger.
If any of your friends or family has lied to you or deceived you for anything beyond a surprise birthday party, they likely will again. This is important to not be dismissive of such occasions. If you feel that you either need to record conversations or take notes because you have felt you are losing your mind while discussing past events with a family member or friend, then you do not need to be apathetic regarding your children when you are around this person. Remember, the number one tool used by a molester is deception. Keep your guard up.
Apathy is a valuable tool to a molester because an apathetic individual will likely not stand in front of a lie or deception. An apathetic individual will not know where their children are in social situations more so than parents who are more alert. When a molester chooses to groom a victim they will be more apt to pursue the children of apathetic parents.
Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Jesus was warning the disciples not to fall into temptation, but they were alone in the garden of Gethsemane at night. What temptation? What was there to put their guard up for? Little did they know that the next few hours the disciples would witness their friend arrested, tried, and then executed. Imagine all of the different types of temptation that they could have gone through as these events took place.
The action that Jesus wanted the disciples to have was to be alert. The first word in Matt 26:41 in the ESV is “watch” if we look at the definition of apathy it is difficult to keep watch and be apathetic at the same time. There are definite differences, but there are also similarities that the good watchman must employ in the protection of his or her family. In social situations in your extended family, friends, church, do you actively keep up with where your children are and what they are doing? Do you periodically check on them a few times an hour, or can hours go by without you knowing? When your child wants your attention do you give it to them or encourage them to go off and play?
Looking at the metaphor of being a watchman, is it possible to be a good watchman and be apathetic? Based on the definition of apathy it is not possible to be a good watchman and apathetic. Think about it, if you are someone who depends on a watchman for your personal safety you don’t want him or her to be apathetic. Your children depend on you for their safety. Be the good watchman.