Five Ways We Fight for Children
Called From desiringgod.org
Less than a week ago, a video was released that provided damning evidence that Planned Parenthood was selling the body parts of infant corpses. Christians immediately took to social media calling Planned Parenthood actions “inhumane” and “barbaric.” Many demanded that the government defund the organization and others insisted that they be shut down.
Christians should continue to leverage their influence online to expose the atrocities taking place inside an organization that makes profit by murdering innocents and traffics their body parts under the guise of women’s rights. But that’s not all we should do.
It’s one thing to protest external problems like Planned Parenthood for what it truly is — a baby-murdering machine. It’s another to look internally and ask how we can protest with our lives in faithful and tangible ways. Protesting online is easy, but protesting with our lives will demand more of us.
Whether you’re single or married, young or old, we can all do something for the sake of the defenseless unborn and glorious truth of what we believe. What can we do?
1. Love Children
More and more, America is becoming a country that loves children less and less. We see them as a ball-and-chain that slows us down in our pursuit of the American dream. Even in the church, Christian couples get strange looks when they say they want to have a lot of kids. Some will even *dis*courage them. “That will change after you’ve had a kid or two.” This response shouldn’t be.
“God is glorified and Satan horrified when our love for and joy in children is evident and contagious.”
The Bible is overwhelmingly positive in its language about children. “Children are a heritage from the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). When teaching his disciples, Jesus uses an illustration of the joy of a mother delivering her baby (John 16:21). Our words and actions should reflect the heart and values of Scripture. The Bible is the heart and values of God, after all.
All Christians should be known as people who love children because we have been graciously loved by a Father. Our love for and joy in children should be evident and contagious, winsomely put on display for the whole world to witness and, Lord willing, want for themselves.
2. Have More Children
My pastor recently said, “The way to outlast an ideology that’s for naturalism, same-sex marriage, and abortion is to pretty much be anything but that, and have kids.” I couldn’t agree more with this statement. Because we love children and believe they are a blessing from God, able, married couples should have more children. Our desire to build families full of expensive, inconvenient, and precious little boys and girls should powerfully set us apart from the rest of the world.
Now, one of the biggest obstacles to having more children is the financial responsibility. It’s a legitimate concern. Every couple should stay close to the Scriptures and pray about priorities. I think we’re sometimes guilty, though, of being poor stewards of our resources and running away from the sacrifices involved in parenting.
Children are a worthy and eternal investment. “Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!” (Psalm 127:5). This word “blessed” also means happy. I hope to be cared for by my children in old age and surrounded by a lot of grandchildren. They are a great blessing and should make us very happy. You’d be hard-pressed to find a grandparent with a lot of children regretting their decision. The Bible promises that children can be a gift that keeps on giving — so have them. A large family reflects God’s family to an intentionally barren society.
3. Adopt Children
Last winter, my wife and I lost our first child when she miscarried at nine weeks. This experience was painful for both of us, and many couples experience it. I’m aware that there are many couples who want children (or more children), but are unable to have them. I would encourage these couples (and those that can have children) to consider adoption.
Adoption is a beautiful way to put our theology to action. The Scriptures remind us of our adoption through Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:5). Now we are viewed as blood-bought, secure, beloved sons and daughters of God our Father. We’re no longer slaves, but sons and heirs through God (Galatians 4:4–7).
Many Christian couples have never considered adoption. I would encourage you to initiate these conversations in your home and with your church family. Pray consistently, and ask if God might have you adopt. Adoption screams to our society that children are wanted and loved.
4. Instruct Children
Scripture commands us to “train up a child in the way he should go” and to “bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Proverbs 22:6; Ephesians 6:4). We know that there is nothing we can do to guarantee the salvation of our child. Salvation belongs to the Lord. But this truth shouldn’t make us passive in our instruction, nor in the decisions we make about their upbringing and education. The Bible condemns this behavior and warns us that we should never neglect the discipline of our children (Proverbs 23:13–14; 13:24).
“Adoption screams to our society that children are wanted and loved.”
As society becomes increasingly godless, parents should be ready to make hard choices about education. Education is never religiously neutral. It’s impossible. Some worldview is at the foundation of every educational institution, program, or curriculum. Few will argue that government schools today even remotely reflect a Christian worldview. Among other ideas contrary to the Bible, government schools will likely teach your children that so-called “same-sex marriage” is legitimate, natural, and courageous, or that a baby boy or girl in the womb is not yet human.
Well-meaning Christians are hesitant to pull out of public schools because they see such community as an opportunity for ministry, a rare chance to be “in the world, but not of it.” This perspective assumes that there are not better options to give our children a full Christian education while at the same time still loving our neighbors.
We need Christians to train their children and love their neighbors well. I think churches should consider building affordable schools for their community. Educating our families and communities guards the minds of our little ones, shows mercy to our neighbors, and shapes future generations of decision-makers in the family and in society. Building Christian schools provides opportunities to more holistically disciple a pregnant teenager considering an abortion.
Education will inevitably lead to change, for good or for bad. We should be thinking, praying, planning, and investing in how to teach children to think and feel and act for the glory of God.
5. Give for Children
Much of what I’ve mentioned so far requires resources — gross amounts of time and money. You may be in a stage or place in life in which most of the above is no longer an option, but you love children and want to help. Consider giving. Give your time. Give your money. Give what you can to families, organizations, and church funds seeking to love, serve, and teach children.
This investment could include babysitting for a couple, or helping a larger family a few times a week by changing diapers and cleaning. You could give to an organization that provides resources for families that have special needs children. You could support agencies that promote or facilitate adoptions, or come alongside families walking through the challenges of adoption. You could even talk to your church leader about building a team of teachers and donors to start an affordable Christian school that could serve the church and the community. Or if your community already has such a school, you could apply for a job, volunteer, or write them a check.
When the world sees us love little ones in these ways, they will be forcefully and beautifully confronted with the love of God himself. These are the fruits — the offspring — of his adopting love for sinners, welcoming them and all their sin into his family forever. Few things tell the story of the gospel more clearly and more tangibly than our passionate, persistent love for the young and defenseless, those our nation so cavalierly and shockingly discard.
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