In the first two parts of this series, we looked at how to teach your children to value each stage of life. In this final post, we’ll discuss some practical ways you can help your children espouse pro-abundant life values.
- Identify the Idol of Self
This one may seem a bit strange on the surface, but selfishness is one thing that everyone struggles against. Do I make decisions out of love for others and love for Jesus, or do I make decisions based on what I want and what’s best for me?
Selfishness lies at the heart of the pro-choice argument. The sexual revolution sold sex without consequences and liberty without boundaries. Concepts such as self-sacrifice and answering to a higher moral authority are now met with cultural disdain.
As parents, we have the choice every day to feed our children’s selfish natures or to teach them about humility, the consequences that follow disobeying God’s rules, and sacrifice. We can gently and lovingly allow them to feel the results of their selfish choices. While they’re under our roofs, we can take the “teaching moments” and, with a heaping dose of grace, identify the idol of self that is often at the root of all of our sins—from lying to lust, cheating to stealing.
- Communicate Your Values to Your Children
One modern parenting trend revolves around allowing your children to discover “their own paths”—to find their own faith and determine their own values. But, this is the opposite of what the Bible instructs for Christian parents. We must be disciple-makers in our own homes, first. And, part of this process involves telling our kids, clearly and often, why we value what we value.
When the TV news discusses anti-life legislation, talk to your children about why you’re pro-abundant life. Encourage your children to ask questions about what they see in the news or hear at school on the issue. Hold open and honest conversations so that you can be their best source of information on these issues.
- Establish Family Habits that Support Your Values
Praying and reading the Bible with your children is one of the best ways to help them grow in their faith and stay committed to following Jesus in adulthood. As a part of these family-strengthening habits, why not pray for those leading the pro abundant life movement? Pray for your local pregnancy center. Pray for women in your area who are facing the difficulties of an unplanned pregnancy.
When reading the Bible with your children, point out verses about how God knows us, formed us, and has a purpose for each of us. Ask questions and start a dialogue with your children about what these verses mean to the unborn, the elderly, and people who are “different.” Reinforcing the truth that we all have value, are equal, and possess a God-given purpose here, can foster kindness and respect for others in your children.
- Get Involved.
Actions speak louder than words. And, when it comes to raising pro abundant life children, I sometimes wonder if what I do for the pro-abundant life cause shouts louder than what I say about it.
If you’ve been blessed to support the movement financially, tell your children that you’re sending money to help. Visit your congressman’s office or write a letter or email expressing your opinions on issues of life. Volunteer at your local pregnancy center or attend the March for Life in Washington, DC some January. Or, consider starting or participating in a Making Life Disciples course at your church.
Showing your children that you are actively taking a role in promoting abundant life doesn’t require a lot of time or money. Instead, it simply requires a heart that is willing to take action for the cause of life.