Yesterday our church had a focus on the sanctity of life, to mark the national Sanctity of Life week here in the States. The very same morning our Sunday School class had a mini baby shower for one of the couples who are expecting their second baby in March. On the surface this would seem like a perfect confirmation that we as Christians are on the right track with this subject. However once my darling husband and I started to discuss the mornings events back at home we grew very disturbed by the very subtle undermining of the value of life that came out during the baby shower.
The first thing that really stood out to me was the materialism involved. I come from a country where we don't do baby showers (or any other kind of gift showers), so I find this concept rather strange anyway. This is going to be a second son for the couple involved, so I was surprised we were having a shower at all. The couple themselves had "registered" for gifts, but only for a few extra items and a few luxury gifts they didn't already have. Once I got over the shock of discovering that you can register for baby gifts I did think they themselves had not been very materialistic. When asked by another person why they had so few items listed and most of them very inexpensive they replied that they already had most of what they needed from their other son. I agree that there is no need to repurchase goods we already have just because we can.
However the first concern was nothing in comparison to the lack of value that was generally given to life. Hearing one mother proclaim that her third child was an "Oops" and that she really only planned to have two broke my heart. I pray that this child never hears their mother describe them in such a way. This does however seem to be an epidemic attitude amongst the couples we know. Children are seen as a burden, not a blessing. The couple having the baby also intend to stop at two. They have already selected a day to have their baby and to get "fixed" at the same time. As I said to Rob the mother is not being fixed, she is being broken when she has that surgery. It is choosing to become voluntarily infertile for no other reason than a lifestyle choice. How that must break the hearts of the women in our class who had no choice about being infertile. How it breaks my heart at such disregard for the way God made us.
Every person in that room yesterday would agree that abortion is wrong. They would say they agreed with the sanctity of life message. Yet their choices are at the thin edge of the wedge that ends in abortion. It is an attitude of children are a burden that allows the next step of murder. It is the attitude of control over fertility that justifies the death of millions of humans every year. Once we start to take over control of our fertility we are reinforcing the arguments of the pro-choice groups. It is a subtle evil that has almost completely taken over in our social circles.
My wonderful husband and I do not have any children yet. We do not even know if we will be able to have children. We have only been living together for five months. Yet before we even got married we agreed that our family size is not our choice. God will decide how many children we have. We know we will have children. We don't know if we will be blessed with any of those children through birth. We do know that at some point we will be blessed by children through adoption. We hold the value of every human life very highly. It is not our place to prevent a child from being born. We hope and pray that we are blessed sometime soon. We trust the Lord that He knows when the best time is.
Neither of us would have chosen to wait until so late in life to get married. Yet we were both willing to trust the Lord in our choice of spouse. The Lord knew when the right time would be to introduce us to each other. Because we met at exactly the right time our relationship was able to blossom into the wonderful marriage we now have. In the same way we completely trust the Lord for our family size. We both long to be parents, but we know that at exactly the right time we will be. We have a heart for each precious child the Lord brings into our home. We look forward to meeting and getting to know each and every child we parent. We hope for a home that is bursting at the seems one day. We would love for a family meal to require more than the ten chairs we have around our table.
The sanctity of life will only be preserved when we all start valuing every human life as the precious blessing it is. When we open our hearts and homes to more than just two, or at a stretch three children, then we can say we believe in the sanctity of life. When we are willing to surrender our fertility to the Lord instead of controlling it ourselves, then we will be able to have a tender heart to all life.
When the life that is and the life that is yet to be are both treasured, then we will have sanctity of life.