The Idol of Choice

Contraception affords people the ability to choose against children, against God-given fertility. This pro-choice mentality is the same that drives those who are pro-abortion, even if the pro-choice, pro-contraception crowd stops short of choosing to kill pre-born babies.

I was struck by the sheer bankruptcy of this thinking while hearing people recently describe themselves as “accidents,” “whoopses,” and “mistakes.” While the conversation was largely in jest, as no one of these participants in the conversation probably sees himself as still a “whoops” in the eyes of his parents, and even unintended children can be loved by their parents, it nevertheless belies the pervasiveness of this kind of thinking.

We want to be our own gods. We want the authority to choose how many children we will have. And when a child is born against our planning and desires, when we have to face the reality that there is another God who controls fertility and who gives children as gifts, we call our children “mistakes” to avoid relinquishing control of our own lives to Him who is the Author of Life.

I’m thinking about all this as my wife and I yesterday marked the 7th anniversary of being joined together by God in marriage. Anniversaries are always bittersweet for us as the age of our marriage and the age of our children reminds us of our real mistakes, of our years of choosing against God’s gift of children.

No child is ever a mistake or an accident. Every child is always a gift. That such a conversation can happen among Christians, even Christians who rejoice in God’s gift of children, whether such gifts are in concert with our plans or not, exposes the shallowness of our thinking and the pervasiveness of our culture’s anti-child, pro-self mentality even in the church. Yuck.

Cross-posted at Hemmersphere


Erich Heidenreich, DDS said...

Excellent thoughts. This is the type of answer I was hoping for when I asked at the CCA Symposium how our desire to plan our families reflects our loss of the Imago Dei.

Pastor Hemmer said...

Maybe it's a very fine line between reflecting the Image of God and wanting to be our own gods. To be our own gods, we've got to remove ourselves from under the authority of another God, so we reject His gifts of children. To reflect the Image of God, we receive His gifts as He would give them, and we participate in His work of creation through our procreation.

Erich Heidenreich, DDS said...

That is precisely the answer I was looking for, and the answer I would have given if I had been on the panel.

Anonymous said...

The thing is children need to hear this message early and often. Older kids and teens need to read what the Bible says and study it. That way the can be faithful because their parents directed them to the Bible on such matters. The church needs to help parents in this endeavor. Anyway, I went to that Baby Conference. It was really good for my son to see men standing up for family and valuing children. It was very positive and Bible based. It would be great if our LCMS would do a national conference to promote family life and having more children as a blessing not a burden.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I looked up that CCA Symposium. Looks like it was great. Who was the target audience? Pastors? Fathers? Laity? It seems like something on that order, maybe smaller scale, could be done regionally by interested pastors with a target audience of at least pastors and fathers or even confirmed members.

Untamed Shrew said...

We used to say our first was a "surprise," but avoid that term now. The general public understands this to mean that we did not want to conceive (which was true); ergo it's no better than saying "accident" unless it's understood that the parents view all children as undeserved gifts.

But since no one can choose to conceive, every child IS a surprise, wanted or unwanted. Lately I've realized that children are like faith itself: no one can choose to receive, only to reject.