The following is an excerpt from the book, Real Life Moments, by J. Mark Fox, C4FIC Board member.
“…A time to keep silence, and a time to speak…” (Ecclesiastes 3:7b)
It was suppertime at the Fox’s, and we were discussing the Right to Life vigil that would be held that evening around the county courthouse. This was another anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion in the United States.
One of the kids said to Judah, who was not sure about this vigil idea, “It’s cool, Judah! You get to hold a candle!” Another added, “And we might get our picture in the paper!” Judah was mildly impressed, but I was surprised at what I heard from my children. I responded, “Guys! The reason we do this every year is not to hold candles or because we might get our picture in the paper. If that’s why you’re doing it, I’d rather you stay home.”
There was a slight pause, and the older children looked intently at their broccoli. My problem is that even when I say the right thing (which happens every now and then), I still have a tendency to say it the wrong way! Thankfully, this evening was saved by my 5 year old who was not offended by my brusqueness. Judah flashed his big brown eyes at me and asked, “Are we doing it for you, Daddy?”
Cindy said, “Oh, how sweet,” and my eyes pooled with tears at Judah’s innocence. And I thanked God for the high and holy privilege He has given us as parents, the privilege and the delight of leading children to faith and obedience.
The question Judah asked made me think about my own motives for standing at the courthouse on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. My heart whispered in prayer, “Am I doing it for You, Daddy?” Am I going to the courthouse to set an example for my children, so that they will see that the issue of the sanctity of life is more important than my temporary inconvenience? That is a good motive, but not the best. Am I going to the courthouse for the nearly 45 million babies who have been aborted since 1973? To pray and work, as Job said, for “the one who had no helper?” (Job 29:12). That is a good reason to go the vigil, I decided, but not the best. Judah’s question rang in my heart: “Are we doing it for you, Daddy?”
That’s really the issue for me. So I plan to take my family whenever possible to the courthouse, because my Father is passionate for life, and I am His child. I will add my little voice to the millions who are standing and praying and holding candles across the nation, hoping that the holocaust of abortion will end in our lifetime, because I believe God would have me do so. Is it a simple issue? No. I know the issue of abortion is volatile, with strong emotions on both sides. It can divide political parties and raise blood pressure and motivate voters and inspire poetry and song. Most life and death issues can.
I remember the day we lost our second born to miscarriage. The doctor explained, “We’ll never know what happened. But there was something wrong with the embryo and God decided to end its life in the first trimester.” Cindy and I wept for the son or daughter that we would not get to raise, but were comforted by the assurance that our Father is in control. He is the One who gives life, and takes life; He is the One who is life, and that’s why I go to the courthouse. I am doing it for Daddy.
Prayer: “Lord, help me to be a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves.”
Action: Talk with your children about the wicked practice of abortion and make plans to participate with your local Right to Life organization in their next event.