The disturbing video of Texas judge William Adams whipping his then 16-year-old daughter quickly went viral last week, with several million views and climbing. Have you seen it? I had the unfortunate experience of watching an excerpt the other day.
I was sickened at the sight.
My heart breaks for this young woman, Hillary Adams (now 23) who posted the video, allegedly to get back at her father. He is (or was) running for re-election. Naturally people want to know if officials are going to charge Judge Adams with child abuse. Citing the expiration of the statutes of limitations, law enforcement officials have recently announced they won’t be pressing charges.
This is an ugly story. The narrative is bad enough, and it needs no embellishment given the horrendous facts of the case. Sadly, though, there are some who are inclined to try and correlate what happened on the tape with traditional Christian-based child discipline. In reality there is absolutely no connection whatsoever.
Ms. Adams was a victim of abuse. It is that simple. In fact, it would be impossible to denounce what occurred seven years ago in any stronger terms.
Conversely, traditional Christian-based child discipline is guided by the need to balance sensitivity and love with the appropriate measure of correction. As parents, our motivation in disciplining should be a pure desire to help change our child’s behavior. It should never be to personally avenge a wrong, however willfully defiant the act in question.
We may lose our temper with our kids on occasion, but it’s never acceptable to harm them, be it physically, mentally or emotionally. When we do lose our temper it’s important for us to humble ourselves and ask our children to forgive us. The dignity of a person – especially a child – is a precious and fragile thing. It is to be preserved, protected and defended at all costs.
I had to turn off that video – but there are far too many individuals who do not have that option. Tragically, they are living amidst abuse and in a constant state of fear. Here at Focus on the Family we remain staunchly and resolutely committed to helping defend the defenseless at every stage and age of life. Please join me in praying for the most vulnerable among us, won’t you?
I welcome your thoughts on this tough subject. Thank you.