In this week leading up to the March for Life, our focus understandably turns to the topic of abortion. However, living a consistent ethic of life and building a pro-life household goes beyond the ramifications of the Roe v. Wade decision.
Below are some of the ways my husband and I have tried to live and hand on a consistent ethic of life to our children.
A home that welcomes life
For my husband and me, a consistent ethic of life begins with welcoming human life in all its many forms. In a very literal way, this means being open to having more children. It also means exercising hospitality. We do this by welcoming in friends and guests. We do this by living in an area of town where the homeless regularly frequent our door. We respect and care for the elderly in our lives. And we support events and efforts to help immigrants and refugees. There are many ways to welcome life into your home, but it almost always begins with a creative openness.
A home that stands against abortion
Though we strive to live a consistent ethic of life, abortion remains a heinous and singular evil in our world that deserves particular attention. It is therefore not wrong to give prominence to this life issue or to speak about it with your children in a serious and meaningful way.
My husband and I used to job share for our local Right to Life office, and combating abortion was an even more central element of our family life. We all attended the March for Life. We spoke and thought deeply about building a culture of life, speaking out against misinformation and propaganda in the media. And we did not shy away from discussing it with our young children who could make the obvious connection between loving each other and caring for babies growing in their mothers’ wombs. They could see the importance of supporting mothers who were afraid or who were considering abortion. Though we did not explain the abortion procedure in detail or go into all the reasons women choose abortion, our children could accept the simple idea that it’s hard to love bravely and that mothers are always called to be brave.
A home where every life matters
In our modern “throwaway culture” (as Pope Francis called it) or “culture of death” (as Saint John Paul II called it), to begin building a consistent culture of life in one’s home may seem daunting.
For our family, it starts with this simple principle: God made all human life, and each human person has infinite worth. Every man, woman and child is completely planned and loved by God and must be loved and protected by us. Every single life matters. This is not hard for children to understand, and they can rest in this consistent reverence for the gift of all life.