From my front row seat

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

"Don't they know about birth control?"

"Why do they have so many babies?  Don't they know about birth control?"

I'm occasionally asked these awkward questions so I recently put together a survey to settle this once and for all.  I polled the women we had living with us at the time.  Nothing was surprising.  It was a collection of obvious responses:
  • "I was so young I didn't know anything about birth control."
  • "I was raped."
  • "I was using drugs and didn't think about it." 
And a very common one:
  • "I wanted someone to love me."
The mothers we serve are often judged because of the poor choices they made that affected their children.  And of course, there's always the inevitable observation about all the good people out there who desperately want children but cannot conceive, and yet this mother who has made all sorts of mistakes is allowed to have baby after baby.  Yes, it's the elephant in the room.  And it's a big one.

But this is the comment that occasionally rears its ugly head, feels like a punch in the stomach, and brings out the Mama Bear in me.  "They should not be allowed to have any more children!  They should be sterilized."


The problem is, it's impossible for me to have an unbiased opinion about this issue because I know, personally, hundreds of precious children who would not be with us today if that were a solution.  They have names.  They run into my office and say some of the funniest things I have ever heard.  They smile, they laugh, and they cling to their mothers as if she is all that matters in the world.  Their lives have value.  And quite frankly, it is not up to us to decide who can have children and who cannot.

Besides, at what point would one cross over into forbidden motherhood?  Who would make that decision?  What about the fathers - would they also be sterilized?

Truth is, I have known plenty of mothers who were just as destructive to their children, but because they weren't drug addicts and their dysfunction or abuse was behind a much nicer door, no one questioned whether they should be allowed to have more.

At the end of the day, it's really hard to understand some of these questions and only God can answer them for us.

What I do know, however, is that the broken families CAN be healed.  I've seen it happen many times!  That's why we consider every day around here to be Mother's Day - not just one Sunday in May.  

We have seen that it is possible for a mother to become more nurturing to her children.  The mess really can be cleaned up and the family can be made whole.  There's a name for it.  It's called redemption - and it's a beautiful gift from our Heavenly Father.

Let me show you what it looks like.  Just take a peek at one family's amazing example...

So does anyone have the right to say this little girl shouldn't have been born?  I do know the answer to that question...and I believe one day Aria will tell me I am right. 

Lord, thank you for the beautiful sanctity of life that you reveal to us every single day.  Thank you for showing us over and over that through you, we can forever change the life of a child by changing the life of a mother.  Amen