Every Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, across the country, the question is heard from little voices: “When is it Children’s Day?”
Mothers and Fathers laugh and reply: “Every day is Children’s Day!” And so it is, for children are our future; all of it. They are the next generation that lead us into eternity.
Through our children, we receive a bigger glimpse of God. “He must love us beyond our imaginations,” we think, realizing it is somehow infinitely more than the love for our own children. And too, we gain a greater glimpse of ourselves. Whining, not listening, rejecting what parents know is best…Lord, now I know how you feel when I am stubborn or don’t listen to you. And oh, all those times, I used to…
Humility is Good
Our children give us a sense of helplessness and that is good. Humility is always good. We want to protect our loved ones from harm and make them good, but we must face that it is not of our doing, only of our desires. So, we turn more readily to God, the only one who can move beyond our mortal efforts.
Our children make demands from the beginning as we try over the years to wean them from self-centeredness. Ironically, it was their very birth that best weaned us from our own.
We pray more, love fiercer, and care more because of our children. Sacrifices become easier and more voluntary. Heaven feels closer, because it’s a place where we want to unite with them one day.
Passage to God
It is sadly true that not everyone holds their children close and draws nearer to God. Without having received love, some men and women do not know how to give it. It is not an excuse for abuse and neglect, but a travesty nonetheless. Wounds and confusion interfere with the natural order so that some mommies and daddies fail to see a better way through their children. However, becoming a parent opens the door to God and love a little wider, furthering the likelihood that they will enter.
We know too that tragically, many children are not allowed to live to see the light of day. Still those mothers and fathers have the power to heal. For those who have aborted their children, no amount of denial can erase motherhood and fatherhood. There is still love, even if buried or hurled to remote places.
It is actually love and the fear of feeling it that drives a post-abortive parent to erect walls and go on the offensive. Women demanding to control their bodies only live a fairy tale. They did not make their own bodies, cannot stop the progression of life, and cannot undo a pregnancy. A pregnancy– new life–once begun, never ends.
Ironically, it is the love for their children, denied, that leads them to anger and hostility; claiming it’s their choice to do what they please. Why else do they lack calm or sureness? Lies substitute for truth, shouting for listening, and anger for peace. They are wrong, and if they quiet their voices and hearts for long, they will feel that. But they are afraid, so they shout until which time, for some, love breaks through. Then they grieve and repent, and step over the line to the other side where it’s okay to love their children.
For those of us who defend the lives of children unborn, they make us better too. They give us passion and a love of life, a reason to step out of ourselves and fight for something/someone of intrinsic value. We rise above our comfort zones, weep for lives unborn, and fight for our brethren.
Children, born and unborn, are our treasures. They increase our faith in the God who made them, and our hope in their future. And they give us love, the natural response to creation. “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Cor 13:13)
© 2014. Patti Maquire Armstrong. All rights reserved.