Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Value of Life

Stephanie and I went in to our first official appointment for our pregnancy on Tuesday. It was an exciting time for us, particularly as we found out that we get to go in for an ultrasound on Monday because they think Steph might be further along than we initially thought :) We're heading into uncharted territory, but we are confident that God is in complete sovereign control of the entire situation.

Part of the discussion at the doctor's office that really surprised us (although I probably could have anticipated it if I would have thought more about it) was the part about genetic testing of the baby. The doctors offered to run typical genetic tests for Down's syndrome and for cystic fibrosis. But they prefer to test babies as early on as possible in the pregnancy so that parents could choose "not to continue with the pregnancy" if they didn't want to bring a baby into the world with one of those conditions. How awful, I thought. I knew all of this in my head through things I've heard in the news, but it just sunk into my heart more so when it was my own child.

Think about it: if babies are going to have disabilities, it has become a viable option in our country to just cut off that child's life. And sadly, I think it's less for the sake of the child and more for the sake of the parents. They don't want the "inconvenience" of a child with special needs--one that might take more of their money or keep them from enjoying their twilight years because the child still would need full-time supervision even as an adult...Our culture has certainly lost its understanding of God as the Creator of life--all life, even the life of those that some now consider of lesser worth.

I know that I don't understand all of the emotions that could possibly go into a decision like that or into raising a child with special needs, but I do know that the Bible is clear when it says of God:

For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them. -Psalm 139:13-16

So today, if you are a parent, love your children regardless of their disabilities or their less flattering traits. God made them as they are and wrote the script of their life long before the world was formed, and He has placed you in their charge to care for them and teach them the gospel as best as you can. Take time today to thank God for your children--and for your own life, personality, and body that He has given you (flaws and all).

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