You Were Convenient!
I wish I could remember where I read a snippet (Twitter?) where the “tweeter” observed the silliness of parents who wonder aloud where these kids today (every generation says this) “Get the ideas and behavior they have?” The author of the post replied, “It came from the parents, not the kids because kids know nothing in and of themselves!”
Those adults who embrace a Pro-Choice (sorry, “Pro Women’s Health Choices”) mindset and stance have, in reality, undermined their own foundation for parenting. Every parent will face that moment when they must reiterate that they love their children and their children are valuable and important to them. Why would this argument be undermined?
It will be difficult, hypocritical and even bordering on lying to try to convince an internet-savvy teen of this when the argument the Pro-Choice movement makes boils down to convenience. Whether or not a baby is brought to term, delivered and allowed to live, is purely based on the whim of the parent.
The culture says the baby is nothing more than a choice. For some, the child may represent an attempt to remove a woman’s freedom, a left-over “collar” representing a patriarchal and backward chauvinism found in those radical church-goers who will not modernize their beliefs. Of course, “modernized beliefs” would always look exactly like what society supports.
Since a child becomes a demonstration of convenience and convenience is the resultant outcome of choice, how can one choice have more value than another? Well, if the choice is to end the life of a baby (by whatever euphemistic term currently in vogue), then yes, that choice has more value. Yet any choice seeking to limit that one has no value.
Here we are: since the early 1970’s the self-esteem of adolescents has experienced an ever-devolving spiral. By what means can we communicate the intrinsic value of a child when our culture screams a child is a choice, is a convenience? As a parent struggles to convince a young girl not to have sex before marriage (oh I’m sorry, “Too early”) or a teenage boy not to try drugs because it devalues them as a person (of course, they know they have no value beyond “mom & dad’s choice”), how will parents surmount the new religion of eroticism and sexual freedom?
In this culture, a child is not a gift (that would mean there exists a Giver), the child is not made in the image of the Creator (we merely evolved) and because no child is imbued with an absolute value, our society has nothing (in and of itself) to counter the eroto-mania, death culture prevalent in our world today.
Rejecting the Truth of God doesn’t mean people have merely rejected church or a biblical morality. Rejecting the Truth of God, which is where we learn of human worth and dignity, means that any reason for the disposal of life must be accepted.
Besides, it’s convenient.
Want and Will
Wanting is an interesting concept. First, it’s emotionally driven; what I want today may be completely different from what I want tomorrow—or even in ten minutes. Out of control “wanting” is incredibly destructive. I remember back in the seventies, a company called Household Finance used to have a commercial that had a tag-line in it saying, “When you want something long enough, it can become a need.”
Uncontrolled “wants” can weaken our will. Yet a mature person has the ability to live a life which constantly strengthens their will. This means we must deny our wants: no piece of cake, no new car, not purchasing something which cannot be paid for this month, and on. It is the denial of our wants which strengthens our will.
For those of us who know Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, the most striking example of the “want vs. will” battle is found in theGospel of Luke 22:39-46. In this passage, we see Jesus Christ, the Son of God—who is God—struggling in the Garden of Gethsemane with His approaching death as He prayed to the Father.
Almost everyone who has ever attended church, Sunday School or even Vacation Bible School as a child is familiar with the events of this story. Jesus, who was fully man and yet also fully God, experienced the human condition to its fullest extent. “Sure, He experienced everything every human experiences!” No, that’s inaccurate.
Far too often, we are tempted with something (think a “want” here) and we fail and give in to the “want.” Jesus Christ, coming as the second Adam and being Virgin Born so He would be able to demonstrate what perfection really is (Adam and Eve were created perfect, yet because they sinned, we do not know what perfection is through the human condition), experiences every temptation just as every human does, yet He—Jesus—experiences temptation to the full and He defeats and overcomes it!
Who do you want to tell you what it’s like to run a marathon? The guy who starts and then quits half-way through the race (“You cannot believe how brutal a marathon is!”), or the guy who starts, finishes and wins the race (“Yeah, it was brutal, but the winning is incredible!”)?
So, Jesus Christ, in the Garden of Gethsemane, struggled with what He wanted and the will of God. No one who is sane would want to die the death of crucifixion at the hands of the Romans. There in the garden His prayers were so intense that Luke records, “And being in agony He prayed more earnestly; and His sweat became like great drops of blood falling to the ground” (Luke 22:44).
Now here, I must point out a not-so-minor peeve of mine. Jesus did not sweat drops of blood! I cannot count the number of teachers and pastors who claim He did. I have even heard long medical lectures about how if anyone ever does sweat drops of blood, then their death is immanent. First, Luke clearly stated “His sweat became like great drops of blood.” This is a simile, an extremely useful literary tool which enables the reader to have greater sensory appreciation for the event they are reading.
Second, and perhaps even more important, if He had sweat blood then His sacrificial death would have been unacceptable. The sacrifice had to be perfect in order to offer it to the Lord. Under the Levitical code, all sacrifices must be of the “firstfruits”—the best of the best and without any blemish.
If you’ve ever been Savannah, Georgia in the summer—or any other location where the heat and humidity are above ninety degrees and ninety percentile, our sweat is like we are sweating blood because of the increased salinity of our perspiration which in turn, increases the viscosity of our sweat. But I digress….
What we are witnessing in Christ’s struggle in the Garden is His struggle between His want and His will—and who alive has not struggled like this? There are times when even in our fallen selves we have, by God’s grace, overcome our desires and our wants and have exercised our will to not give in to the temptation we are facing.
Yet allow me to point something out for our further consideration: as God, Jesus could have exercised His will—yet he chose not to! Jesus Christ while asking for this “cup” of torment to be removed by the Heavenly Father, this suffering Jesus as God submitted Himself as a man to the Father’s will even though as God, He could have exercised His will as well and avoided the Cross.
The love God demonstrated on the Cross—the Father’s giving of His Son to die and the Son’s giving of His own life—was not a choice made at the last moment; this was a willful choice made in eternity past for Jesus to die in my place and in yours. Jesus did not want to die. Jesus, because of the love of the Father, Son and Spirit, made the choice in eternity past to demonstrate how much God loves us so we have the opportunity to live with Him forever.
If we desire the ability to exercise more “will” and less want, we too must make our choices now. Not in the moment of “want.”