I was raised in a home that had a strong emphasis on personal responsibility. I knew if I came home with complaints against teachers, friends, enemies, establishment, etc., I could expect to hear this question. “But what did you do?” I hated this at the time. I wanted my parents to take my side and to call the school or that friend’s mom and pull the proverbial “Karen” move and defend their poor child. Thankfully, my parents erred on the side of caution and did not want their child to be a self-indulgent, entitled menace to society and if I have shaped up to be anything at all, I owe them the credit.
It was just Mother’s Day and in honor of that, I will tell a little about my mother. My mother nurtured us but did not coddle us. We were expected to pull our weight and answer for our actions. She loved us and comforted us when needed and told us to pull it together when that was necessary.
It was suggested that I write about the current battle in our legal system over the right to execute a child with no voice. I know where I stand on this issue and I have no “wiggle room” in my mind for the morality of the matter. The wanton murder of innocent life is never acceptable. That being said, it is necessary to examine the other moral arguments laid at my door.
My pro-choice friends will always say to me that politically conservative Christians only care about the unborn and not about the underage mother who was raped or the life of the child now growing up in a broken foster system. They will ask, “What happens to her once she carries that baby and gives birth? What kind of life is that for the child or mother?” They and many others feel like Christians are myopic on this issue. In many cases this is a deflection tactic to avoid the gravity and morality of their own decisions; however, there is some weight to it.
As a blanket statement, I feel like the accusation is patently false since I know many, many Christians on a personal level who work tirelessly with pregnancy centers (interestingly enough a current target by those who “care” for young disadvantaged mothers). I know of many more based on research and not personal relationships that work every day to not only help these mothers through pregnancy but post-birth as well. Either coming alongside them to raise the child or helping with adoption.
I cannot ride on the coattails of those Christians who are engaged in the trenches of this fight. I cannot rest on their laurels, instead, I have to look at myself. Do I care enough about those mothers, fathers, and those children? Or am I happy to say “Look at the pregnancy centers. Christians do care.” Am I spending the moral capital of people who take Christ’s teaching seriously? When was the last time that I looked for how to help young mothers and families in my community? When was the last time I gave towards outreach programs or tried to mentor someone who has no family structure? To be candid, it has been a long while.
Not everyone should be working in the foster system. Not everyone can adopt and not everyone is capable of being a counselor or mentor to those who find themselves in that situation, but it doesn’t take long to look around and find a place to serve or give or pray. For many like me, that critique hits close to home.
Youtube’s algorithm recently curated a video (from my proclivity for watching first responder videos) and sent me a real pull on the heartstrings. A nurse who always wanted children and just was too busy in her career helping others to be able to have children. She came across a small girl, born premature, and to a mother on drugs. She immediately put in the paperwork to be her foster carer and now, some 3 or 4 years later was her adoptive mother. The little girl was an inspiration of bright smiles, golden curls, and vivacious energy.
This is not often the case for children who are born into unfortunate and desperate circumstances. Their outlook can be very grim and so the argument to take their life, in these cases really gains traction. But what if there were more of us who would be like that nurse and would step into that gap that is created by sinful choices and be the bridge for that child. It would not change the mind of those who are bent on having a restart button for choices made or unfortunate circumstances, but it would be the responsible act of a born-again Christian. I need to take stock of my own life, and my own choices and make sure that they align with what Christ has called me to. Maybe this week, you could do the same.