We recently marked the passage of the 43rd year since our nation legalized the killing of unborn children. I cannot bring myself to call it an anniversary, because that infers a celebration, and only those who condone abortion dare to celebrate it.
We have also seen in recent days the indictments of journalists whose “crime” is that they sought to expose the brutal and greedy practices of those who not only violently kill, but then callously sell the body parts of tiny babies.
As my heart grieves the untimely passing and unlived lives of so many precious children, I pause to thank God for the two beautiful lives He has entrusted into my care. Both of my children are adopted. Both have lives that could have been ended before their birth. Both of their birth mothers chose life for them. I am forever grateful for that.
As I watch my little ones quickly grow, and I see the moral foundations of our culture crumble a little more each day, I have a fervent desire to teach my children that life is precious and valuable. I want them to have solid moorings, and a deep appreciation for life – not just their own lives, but also the lives of those around them.
In a world that believes it is acceptable for a mother to murder her own baby, in a world where many believe that the old, or feeble, or those who do not have a life of “quality” should be done away with, it is crucial that we as parents purposefully and diligently instruct our children what God says about the worth of life.
I have thought and prayed about how I can teach my children this lesson. The following list includes seven truths I am trying to instill in their hearts. I believe every parent who values life needs to do the same.
Life is a planned design.
Every child’s life may not have been “planned” by its parents, but every child has a life that is formed and fashioned according to a master plan. Contrary to the teachings of evolution where everything is happenstance and chance, we need to teach our children that we have a Master Creator who designed them before they were born. He knows each member of their body, each feature of their face, and each hair on their head. Every part of them was chosen by God.
One of the most beautiful passages in the Bible on this topic is Psalm 139, especially verses 13-18. Read it to your children. Discuss what it means. It is a wonderful way for them to hear from the Bible how precious they are to God.
“For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.” (Ps. 139: 13-16)
Life is a present from God.
Life is a gift. From the moment God breathed life into the first man, and he became a living soul, (Gen. 2:7) life has been a gift from God.
Again, life is not the product of some random chance. We need to teach our children that they were not a mistake. They were not an accidental blip on someone’s radar.
As we strive to teach this to our children, it is vital that we remember that if we make comments, or display attitudes about life that diminish its importance, we undermine everything that we are trying to teach. Children are not “accidents”. Children are gifts. Old people, sick people, disabled people, even discouraged people, are not bothersome burdens we should be trying to rid ourselves of. They are lives that are precious in God’s sight. They are living souls. Until we learn to personally value and place a priority on life as God does, we will never be able to teach these truths to our children.
Life begins at a specific point in time.
Human life begins at conception. This elementary fact is foundational. From the moment that conception occurs, a separate life begins. Although it is not fully developed it is still fully distinct from the life of either of its parents. It possesses its own DNA, and will rapidly develop its own members and functions. It is dependent on its mother to continue its growth and development, but that dependence should be considered a sacred trust for the mother, not a reason that somehow justifies extinguishing that life.To think that a life is expendable just because it is dependent is the type of thinking that can later rationalize the murder of any infant, even after it leaves the mother’s womb. Just because a life cannot continue to exist without assistance does not mean it is not life, or that it does not have value.
When we change the definition of “life”, and make the point of its beginning arbitrary in order to justify ending it, then all “life” is subject to the same ambiguity, and is at risk. The reasoning of Hitler, Margaret Sanger (founder of Planned Parenthood), and many others can be traced directly to the teachings of Darwin, and the “survival of the fittest” thinking that evolution teaches.
Life is precious.
This is absolutely essential. All life is precious, because every soul is precious. “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? “ (Mt. 16:26) When we diminish the worth of any life because it somehow does not meet a standard of “value” in someone’s eyes, then whoever is in power gets to determine which lives are worthy of continuing, and which “deserve” to be ended.
Those who refuse to acknowledge God as the Creator of life, and the sustainer of life, then find no reason to recognize Him as the One with the right to end life. Once God and His Word are removed as the standard for our morality, there is no standard at all – only subjectivity. That is why the culture of abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, and mass murders has grown exponentially as evolutionary thinking has saturated our culture. A godless culture is a culture that devalues life.
Life is passing.
Life moves by quickly. The Bible says, “It is even a vapour…” (Jas. 4:14). It also compares it to grass, that grows and fades, and then is gone (I Pet. 1:24). It is often difficult to teach children the concepts of time, and even of mortality. It is a hard fact that life is fleeting, and death must eventually be faced.
Even hard truths are important, and often the hardest are the most vital. As our children grow, we need to teach them that it is important to take life seriously – to cherish our moments, to make the most of our opportunities, to spend our time wisely – because life is brief. An awareness of the swiftness of life should lead to a greater regard for the significance of life.
Just as life is fleeting, death is certain. This is a necessary truth to face and teach if our children are to understand and appreciate the true worth of life. It is also that they know that death is more than just an ending, it is also a beginning. That leads to the most important truth we need to teach our children.
Eternal life is possible.
“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” (Heb. 9:27)
You may say, “I would never want to teach that to my children. It would frighten them.”
My friends, the first lesson our children need to learn if they are going to be able to stay on a solid foundation in this collapsing society is the fear of God. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”… and knowledge, and understanding.
“The fear of the LORD tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.” (Pro. 19:23)
If I prepare my children to appreciate their earthly life, but fail to teach them how to prepare for eternal life, I have utterly failed.
Because death is certain, and we must face our Creator and Judge, we need to prepare now for the eventuality of death. How can we be prepared for eternity, and how can we teach our children to do the same?
The answer is clearly given in the Word of God.
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (Jn. 14:6)
Sin has been a part of this fallen world since the Garden of Eden. We are all born with this sin nature, and are separated from God (Rom. 3:23; 5:12). God’s holiness and justice prevent Him from allowing sin to enter heaven; but God’s love and mercy and grace caused Him to send His own Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to pay the price for sin and satisfy God’s justice.
If we are willing to repent of our sins, and to believe in our hearts that Jesus died on the cross and rose again from the dead to pay the price for our sins, we can be forgiven, and be reconciled to God. This is how we can receive eternal life (Rom. 10:9-10, 13; I Cor. 15:3-4)
There is no other way to heaven. There is nothing we can do to earn salvation. There is no “religion” that merits it. No amount of money can purchase it. Although I should teach the way of salvation to my children, I cannot choose it for my children. They cannot “inherit” it. Each person must choose or reject Christ for themselves. There are no other options in eternity. There is eternal life or eternal death – heaven or hell. Jesus Christ is the only way to God. (Eph. 2:8-9; Tit. 3:5; I Pet. 1:18-19)
Do you have eternal life? Have you taught your children that they can have eternal life, and that the choice is one they must personally make?
Life has purpose.
A life that is designed by God is a life that has both potential and purpose. For those who come to know God through Jesus Christ, life becomes even more filled with purpose. Faith in God and His Word helps me to know and believe that just as I am not some accident of fate, so the circumstances in my life are not an accident of fate. They come into my life as a part of God’s purpose for my life. As I follow God’s Word and His plan for my life, I am confident that my life can fulfill His purpose.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Rom. 8:28)
Are we teaching our children the value of life? Are we teaching them that life is cheap, or that it is something to be cherished? Are we teaching them that life is worthwhile, or that it is worthless? Most importantly, are we teaching them that their life and the lives of others are precious in the sight of God, so precious that He sent His own Son to make a way for them to have eternal life?
May each of us place a high premium on life.
“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:”