Monday, January 22, 2018

Pro-life must be Pro-Child

This past Sunday was a day set aside to celebrate the sanctity of human life. Humanity was made in God’s image and made to image God. Humans have been crowned with God’s glory and splendor (PS 8:3-9), and it is important for those made in God’s image to respect God’s image in others (this info courtesy of Pastor Jack Napier’s sermon “Made to Image” based in Gen 1:26-31).


There are many different directions to go when speaking of the value of human life. My definition of pro-life not only encompasses life in the womb, but I believe that being pro-life also means that we are to reflect God to others, that we are to respect God’s image in others, and that we are to render all to God (Napier, “Made to Image”). Within the scope of pro-life, then, I could talk specifically about a myriad of topics...race, gender, aging, abortion, adoption, immigration...but I want to hone in here:

If we claim to be pro-life,
we also need to be pro-child.

I can’t tell you how many times I have been out in public with my three children and have been on the receiving end of this comment or others like it: “Wow! You sure have your hands full!” My kids could have been acting up or behaving beautifully...and I still would have heard the same statement. SO, I know it has nothing to do with behavior, and everything to do with having multiple children.


And, I generally feel like the statement contains this implication: “Wow! What a burden. Life would be so much easier if you didn’t have three kids in tow.”


True, being a parent IS hard. It is a huge responsibility. It is a weighty job! But being a parent is one of the greatest blessings I have ever had the privilege of knowing.


I think it can be easy to go from touting pro-life mantra to completely dissing the children we have been given (whether by put-downs cloaked with humor, complaining, verbalizing stress blamed on them, shaming/embarrassing, or even unknowingly). My kids are tuned in to know when people are talking about them. Whenever someone comments to me about my ‘hands being full,’ all of a sudden, I have the complete attention of three sets of eyes and ears. “That person’s putting us down, Mom...whatcha gonna do about it?”

I will admit I have failed my kids here. Worse, I haven't taken God's word seriously in believing Him when He says children are a blessing. I have taken the easy route...smile and nod, agree with a short yeah, even expand the conversation...especially when I was a newer mom and stressed as I learned the role...when I believed I was justified in agreeing.

But then, God grabbed my heart one day when my girls were toddlers and my son had yet to enter the world...He showed me that as a mom, I am a missionary. At the time, I lived with, breathed with, was teaching and training two unbelievers. Even now, years later, I am immersed in missionary life. I am on the front lines. I am my children's first defense.
And if I don't hold value for them--if I don't respect them--I am not really pro-life.

So now when people approach me, telling me how full my hands are, I say that I love every minute of being a mom. That I am blessed. When people verbalize a common assumption that I probably can't wait to send my kids back to school at the end of a break, I tell them I love having my kids home with me. It is a joy. My children are a prize to me. My love for them is unconditional, no matter if the day has been full of giggles or grumps.


Yes, the work is hard. Yes, our family does have tough days! But as a parent, I want to have a bigger vision for life. I want to fall under full authority of my Father. I want to agree with His Words about children:


Psalm 127: 3-5: Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!


Matthew 19:13-14: Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.


Mark 10:13-14: And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.


As pro-lifers, let us become indignant in regards to disrespecting children. Let us band together and respect God’s image in those Jesus laid His hands on and blessed! Let’s agree with and submit to God’s ultimate authority...He says children are a blessing...may we believe it and live it!

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2 comments:

  1. I agree with the idea that parent is missionary to children. YES children are a gift! Lovely advocating for their value. (Hugs sister)

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    1. Yes they are! And it is my pleasure to advocate for them. Thank you for reading and commenting Tammy! (hugs back)

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