Monday, February 16, 2015

The value of.children

These opening verses of Genesis 4 are also filled with meaning for us. In the first place note that the mother not the father is the speaker. And what she says is, I have acquired a man with the help of God. The verb to acquire is kanah. The child's name is Cain.
She then has a second son whose name is Abel. The word means a breath, and points to the shortness of his life.

Even though sin is now part of the universe in which they live, and the birth process is painful, man and woman are reunited and with God's help other adams (humans) are created. How often do we stop to remember than in every single conception there are three involved: a mother, a father, and God. Regardless of whether the child is conceived naturally, through a process like IVF or even rape, the child's value and dignity is always the same . The child remains God's creation whom the mother and father simply acquire/ receive.

Do we really want to live in a society that says to one child, "You are worth more because your parents were married and wanted you"? And to another, "You are worth less because your parents were not married, and the last thing your mother wanted was a baby."

I can say with some certainty that in the winter of 1960 when my 16 year old mother became pregnant, she did not want to get pregnant. It is also highly likely that if abortion had been readily available, I would not be here today. Thankfully it was not. She gave birth to "baby boy___________." Danville Social Services named me Wayne Patterson and in November 1964 I was adopted and renamed Wayne Ball.

Abortion is not a political issue. It is a life and death decision about children like me. In choosing to abort, you are inherently saying that this child is worth less. You are saying that the child's life is not his own or her own but it is a thing, a piece of property that belongs to the mother, to be kept or thrown away at will.

On behalf of all of us unwanted children let me proclaim the good news. We are not worth less. Our lives are gifts from God. The child of every unplanned and even unwanted pregnancy has as much right as anyone live and to proclaim the words of the psalmist:

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
(Ps. 139:14)