Thursday, October 18, 2012

Day 18—The Most Important Choice

            The world says that a woman's freedom to make choices is one of her most valuable assets, and if her ability to make choices is every stripped from her, then she is reduced to no more than a slave or possession.  Has this viewpoint touched your family?

            I am a strong supporter of choices.  As a mother of seven girls, I am very mindful of their ability (or potential lack of ability) to make choices.  However, my support for "choices" does not always stem from positive motives.  Too often it is rooted in selfishness.  Isn't it easy to demand your way in the name of "I have a right to make my own choices"? 

            Maybe you have not fallen into that trap, but I have.  It can be a difficult to balance teaching my daughters to value and use their opportunities to make choices and teaching my daughters to put consideration for others above their own needs or desires.  If they never do anything for themselves, they can lose touch of who they are.  If they never put the needs or desires of others above their own, they will live shallow, unfulfilled lives.  Maintaining a balance can be a struggle.

            Yet, in some situations, the right choice is not a difficult one to figure out, just sometimes difficult to execute: 

            Your daughter wants to sit in a certain chair at dinner.  Should she be allowed to push to the floor anyone in her way? 

            Your daughter wants to eat "now" and not wait in line.  Should she be allowed to confiscate another diner's food and eat it?

            Your daughter wants the scholarship that will guarantee that she gets to go to the college she thinks she "needs" to go to, but she only got the runner-up position.  Should she be allowed to hire a hit man to get rid of the one standing in her way of what she wants?

            Your daughter is pregnant and does not want to take a detour in her plans to accommodate a baby, not even long enough for him or her to be born and put up for adoption.  Should she be allowed to hire a hit man to get rid of the young, pre-born baby standing in her way of what she wants?

            What does the Bible say:

            Psalm 139:13-16—"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.  When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.  All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."

            Although I could list more verses that expound on the beauty and value of life, the blessings of children, and God's sole sovereignty over the length of a person's days, they will not increase the meaning of this beautiful passage.

            Each life is designed and handcrafted by God himself.  We can never escape his watchful eye, not even in the womb.  God is a God of life.

            Recently, I participated in a Life Chain with part of my family along a bypass around a park.  It was not a controversial setting.  No signs had graphic displays of abortion.  Words of love and life were on the signs.  Despite the drizzling rain, we had some by-passers honk and give us a thumbs-up.  Others chose to show us a different finger.  In the past, I would have been insulted by the second gesture, but this year I felt a deep sadness for those people.  They do not understand the full impact of "choice" when it comes to taking the life of someone who has done no harm to anyone.   It breaks my heart when some people would rather have someone else die than to be inconvenienced.  They just do not understand.

            My daughters understand.  They understand the mourning of innocent lives.  My miscarriages brought heartache to everyone in my family despite my attempt to calmly explain that sometimes it just happens.  They understood there had been a life that was now no more. Even my youngest family members, who were too young to understand (or not yet born), were later touched by these losses when they learned that they had had siblings that did not live past the womb.  After mourning these losses for which they had no choice, they cannot conceive of a truly good reason for someone to purposely end the life of a pre-born baby.  Life is precious and should never been taken away from someone else.  Isn't that ultimately a person's most important freedom—the most important choice—to live?

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