At the end of the movie, some sobering statistics are given: “Human trafficking is a 150 billion dollar-a-year business. The United States is one of the top destinations for human trafficking and is among the largest consumers of child sex.” As long as people are willing to turn a blind eye to this epidemic, millions of God’s children will continue to suffer. This problem likely stems from a deeper problem about how children are viewed in Western society. From the phrase “Children should be seen and not heard,” coined in the fifteenth century, to today’s widespread options for abortion, it is clear that many people don’t see children as having inherent worth.
The Children of Society
In Western society, children are often considered only as valuable as their ethnicity, the wealth of their parents, their genetic makeup, or their socioeconomic level. In other words, children are viewed in terms of the question “What value do you have in society?” rather than in terms of inherent worth. On a more personal level, many young women are delaying motherhood because of the perceived burden and strain that having a child would place on their life—whether financially, physically, or mentally. In other words, children are seen as getting in the way of life rather than improving it—as a burden rather than a joy. This is because there is a widespread belief that children should be separated from the adult world rather than being an integral part of it. In light of these perceptions, it’s not surprising that 24% of women will have an abortion before age forty-five.
There are, of course, many people who recognize that children have worth and are wanted. Some people grow up unbelievably excited to have children of their own one day. Unicef, an international children’s rights organization, fights for them to be treated with the dignity they deserve, and to right the wrongs done to them. But this doesn’t change the fact that countless people still view children as having little inherent value. The child sex slavery business takes advantage of this fact by giving children a twisted form of worth; turning them into a commodity with a price tag.
God’s Precious Children
As opposed to many societies views of children, God views children as having immeasurable worth. Since the very beginning, children have been a part of God’s creative plan. He blessed humanity and commanded them to “increase in number” in Genesis 1:28. Psalm 127:3 describes children as “a reward from [the Lord].” Far from separating them from our lives, God wants us to train children “in the way [they] should go” (Proverbs 22:6). God has a heart for the safety of children (Numbers 32:17) and cares deeply for the fatherless (Zechariah 7:10). Jesus even personally blessed the children who were brought to him (see Mark 10:16) and rebuked those who tried to shoo them away (see Luke 18:15-17). Jesus explained that those who welcome and care for children in his name welcome Jesus himself in doing so.
In a perfect picture of how highly God values his children, we can see that there is no limit to how far God is willing to go to rescue those he considers his children, regardless of their age. Like Ballard, Jesus went into rebel territory among humans who made themselves his enemies, to be crucified for the sake of the whole world. Jesus even entered death so that he could defeat the last enemy that separated God’s children from him (see 1 Corinthians 15:26).
Because of how highly God values children, Jesus says in Luke 17:2 that “it would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble,” which Tim Ballard quotes in the movie to man who has been trafficking children in the sex trade.
As Christians, we should do what we can to help those children trapped in slavery. By spreading awareness about human trafficking, we can begin to have a part in helping them. If we have the means, we can support missions like the International Justice Mission, Slavery Free World, Operation Underground Railroad, Unicef and many others.
But there is also a personal aspect to this—we should consider how we personally view children. By examining our hearts and asking “does my view of children align with God’s view?” we can see whether we have adopted the view that much of Western society has of children. If we find ourselves misaligned with God’s view, we should pray to God and ask why this is the case and what are true motivations are. By doing this, we can start the path of aligning our worldview in this area with God’s view.
Ultimately, the life of a Christian is about becoming more and more like Christ by participating in his life, death, and resurrection. Whenever we don’t have a worldview that aligns with how God sees things, we are going against who he is and what he stands for. Although through Jesus God doesn’t condemn us for this, we know that one day we will have to answer for our thoughts and actions. God takes the care and value of children very seriously, and if it is found that we have treated a child as less than a full person, or caused a child to stumble or fall away from God, we may experience why it would be better to have drowned in the sea than to experience the consequences of this.
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