This month we are addressing a hard topic as we pray for child marriages. Actually, it is hard to even think that we are putting those two words together. How can a child become a bride? Child marriages, however, are truly a global problem that cuts across cultures, religions and ethnicities.
We find child brides on every continent – yes, every continent. It is hard to believe that a parent could sell her own child to a man who, in some cases, is more than twice the girl’s age. Girls who are only children and not even developed enough to fill the role of wife or mother are often forced to do so very soon after marriage.
How can this happen? I was recently discussing this problem with a friend in Germany, and neither of us could fully comprehend it; at the same time, however, we could see the desperation that many families feel as they live in poverty and must feed their families. On the other hand, I have also learned that many children are sold to satisfy parents’ greed – their desire for more material things.
This is an urgent reason for prayer. God must intervene! The church must speak up. Our hearts must break when we hear and see our children’s lives being stolen from them.
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Psalm 127:3
God calls children a heritage and a reward. Their spirits are filled with innocence, joy and laughter. Jesus actually tells us to be like children as we come to him full of faith and trust (Matt. 18:3).
I’m challenged more and more to do something about the pain and suffering of women and girls around the world. If today were the only time we had, what would we say to God? What would we do in our churches? How can we help to stop the injustice of child marriages?
Let us begin by speaking up in prayer. Let us stand up for truth. Don’t let one day go by this month during which we do not cry for young girls to find the freedom to live out their all-too-brief lives as children and not as brides and mothers.
Thank you for your faithfulness in standing with an army of men and women who continue praying for our young girls to come to know the love of Christ and for God to intervene in mighty ways to bring them freedom.