Let me start off by saying that because my children go to public school, we have chosen to be very intentional about our response to issues they come to us about. We do not take lightly anything they bring up to us, and we always want to respond with the Gospel.
Last month I had to address the issue of same sex marriage with Rilyn. She brought it up because she knows some friends at school that have two mommies. I took her out for a drink at Sonic, brought her Bible, and we had a great discussion together. One of our old pastors in Houston wrote an excellent blog post about addressing same sex marriage with a gospel centered approach here.
This week I had to talk with Rilyn about why we didn’t vote for Obama and will not in November. Isn’t parenting fun?!? :)
A couple weeks ago Rilyn was learning Texas history in class and they learned about Rick Perry being the governor. Her teacher stated that we all have our personal opinions about who to vote for and why and we should respect everyone’s decisions, but that he doesn’t like Rick Perry. That caught Rilyn’s attention because she learned Rick Perry was an Aggie- Ha! That lead to more discussion, and she learned her teacher likes Obama. So Rilyn came up to me after school that day and asked if we voted for Obama. I told her no we did not and will not in November and I would love to share the reason why, but I want to wait for daddy to talk with her too. You could tell she wasn’t too happy with waiting. Weeks passed unfortunately, and this Thursday as I was eating lunch with Rilyn in the cafeteria, she looked at me square in the eyes and said, “Now can we talk about why you didn’t vote for Obama?” Wow, she had been stewing on this issue for weeks! I was immediately convicted to address issues with her more quickly.
“Well Rilyn, your dad and I are one issue voters, meaning there is only one issue that we think is so important that this one issue will tell us who to vote for.” Rilyn said, “I know what it is, if they are Christian or not!” “I can see why you would say that, but nope. Many people say they are Christians, but aren’t reflecting Christ in the way they live, and what if both candidates aren’t Christians? Then who would I vote for? The one issue that we give our vote to is called the sanctity of life. You will hear terms like pro-choice and pro-life…”
I then explained to her abortion…at 7 years old. I’m sure I didn’t even know what that was until college. But I trust that God had Rilyn ask me this question, (and then ask me again,) because it’s for His Glory for her to know NOW.
I told her that God created life, so why do humans have the right to tamper with human life? Doesn’t this right belong to our Creator? God created everything and therefore owns, or has authority over, everything. Deuteronomy 10:14 “Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it.”
Last summer, I did a study called Abortion is About God and have volunteered at a crisis pregnancy center for the past few years. God has placed me with a community of believers that all have the same heart for this issue, and together we have prayed in front of abortion clinics in Austin. All this to say, the sanctity of life is something I think about on a daily basis and I pray my children will fight for this cause one day too.
As pastor John Piper puts it from his sermon, One Issue Politics, One Issue Marriage, and the Humane Society:
“So it is with politics. You have to decide what those issues are for you. What do you think disqualifies a person from holding public office? I believe that the endorsement of the right to kill unborn children disqualifies a person from any position of public office. It’s simply the same as saying that the endorsement of racism, fraud, or bribery would disqualify him—except that child-killing is more serious than those.
When we bought our dog at the Humane Society, I picked up a brochure on the laws of Minnesota concerning animals. Statute 343.2, subdivision 1 says, “No person shall . . . unjustifiably injure, maim, mutilate or kill any animal.” Subdivision 7 says, “No person shall willfully instigate or in any way further any act of cruelty to any animal.” The penalty: “A person who fails to comply with any provision of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor.”
Now this set me to pondering the rights of the unborn. An eight-week-old human fetus has a beating heart, an EKG, brain waves, thumb-sucking, pain sensitivity, finger-grasping, and genetic humanity, but under our present laws is not a human person with rights under the 14th Amendment, which says that “no state shall deprive any person of life . . . without due process of law.” Well, I wondered, if the unborn do not qualify as persons, it seems that they could at least qualify as animals, say a dog, or at least a cat. Could we not at least charge abortion clinics with cruelty to animals under Statute 343.2, subdivision 7? Why is it legal to “maim, mutilate and kill” a pain-sensitive unborn human being but not an animal?
These reflections have confirmed my conviction never to vote for a person who endorses such an evil—even if he could balance the budget tomorrow and end all taxation.”
And finally, in light of Mother’s Day tomorrow: I leave you with this excerpt from Piper’s sermon Motherhood is a Calling (And Where Children Rank) that has something to do with the sanctity of life:
“Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling. You do not collect children because you find them cuter than stamps. It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It is what God gave you time for.
Christian mothers carry their children in hostile territory. When you are in public with them, you are standing with, and defending, the objects of cultural dislike. You are publicly testifying that you value what God values, and that you refuse to value what the world values. You stand with the defenseless and in front of the needy. You represent everything that our culture hates, because you represent laying down your life for another—and laying down your life for another represents the gospel.
Our culture is simply afraid of death. Laying down your own life, in any way, is terrifying. Strangely, it is that fear that drives the abortion industry: fear that your dreams will die, that your future will die, that your freedom will die—and trying to escape that death by running into the arms of death.
But a Christian should have a different paradigm. We should run to to the cross. To death. So lay down your hopes. Lay down your future. Lay down your petty annoyances. Lay down your desire to be recognized. Lay down your fussiness at your children. Lay down your perfectly clean house. Lay down your grievances about the life you are living. Lay down the imaginary life you could have had by yourself. Let it go.
Death to yourself is not the end of the story. We, of all people, ought to know what follows death. The Christian life is resurrection life, life that cannot be contained by death, the kind of life that is only possible when you have been to the cross and back.”