In the world of convenience and consumerism, life becomes disposable. Our heart lead us to work diligently training our children (and ourselves) to hold precious ..life. It isn't easy, yet, our Lord calls us to it.
The LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being (Genesis 2:7).
You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my spirit (Job 10:12).
Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture (Psalm 100:3).
Day to day life lends itself to the teaching to value life. Meeting special needs, elderly, less fortunate, the lost or just the neighbor who doesn't share your values provide opportunity to teach. An inmate's life is no less valuable than I in God's eyes. Unborn children are a treasure as is the person with physical disabilities. If I meet someone with a different life style than mine, that does not mean their life is less valuable than mine. It's a hard lesson to teach and to live.
As parents, our reactions to the people who come into our lives teaches more than our words ever could. The example we display will stand in our children's (and others around us) hearts. Did I treat them with respect? Show kindness? Lend a hand if there was a need? The simple offer of kindness (a smile, saying hello, being polite at the checkout counter) speaks volumes to the heart of our children.
When my children were very small, we spent a lot of time in hospitals and specialists' offices. Our time with families and children with various needs gave us great opportunity to teach (and learn ourselves) a valuable lesson in life. In later years, my husband had a prison ministry which lead our family to wonderful discussions regarding inmates, crime, victims and compassion in the midst of consequences.
With teens growing up and stretching their own convictions, we have participated in elderly care ministries, mission trips, outreach and service. Our family sponsors a child through Compassion International and keeps up to date with several missionaries on a one on one basis. Teens and adults alike benefit from the realities of life in other countries and the evident struggle there to see value in lives. A few years back we used our summer to study culture and religion in other nations- that was a true lesson in the value (and lack of it) for life.
As a parent, I can talk until I turn blue about valuing life..but my kids won't hear it without seeing it lived in me. I, on my own, cannot truly value life without God's help. My own value for life starts on my knees in prayer..seeking the guidance of Christ as my daily life leads me to various encounters and different situations. I am not perfect (none of us are)...yet.
When those times come where my example has been wrong..when I have judged or been harsh...maybe impatient or just indifferent...there is another lesson to be taught; humility. Sharing the reality and honesty of my error and seeking to make it right is the example I try to show...and teach ...after all, I am human.
Life is precious...it deserves respect and proper priority. I value the life of my herd and flock; of the plants in my garden, but not over the life of my children, extended family, or neighbors. In our home, life it to be valued for the purpose God intended; butchering is done respectfully with appreciation for God's provision. Good stewardship is expected over the produce our crops yield...but, our family is more important than all this....they are more highly valued; they are precious.
Today, I'll make mistakes....okay, I'll make many mistakes..but I will value my family and seek to continue to teach them to value life.