It’s easy to wonder why we should tackle this lesson with young kids, but I have a couple of (hopefully) convincing arguments for you:
- First is that children naturally accept basic truths about this topic without question. Even very young children typically have an interest, even a love for babies and would be traumatized to learn that not everyone agrees.
- Second, when adults think of “sanctity of life,” we tend to go to the extreme ends of abortion, assisted suicide, the death penalty, etc. The main body of this lesson doesn’t touch on those topics at all and instead focuses on the fact that we are each a unique, unrepeatable being, created by God and that life starts long before parents ever meet their baby.
The argument for teaching these truths now is that they will stick with your kids through their teen and adult years when it’s really important. They may choose to push them out or rationalize them away, but somewhere in their conscience is the truth that even in the first seconds after conception a new real baby with a soul has been created.
- Those of you who have been with Family Formation for awhile (and those of you who keep asking for more web-based elements) will be glad to see the story entitled When Did God Start Loving Me? Click over to the top of the blog sidebar to see the brief video that goes with the story. On it’s own, the combo is perfect for your younger kids, but it can also be a great conversation springboard for your older Family Formation kids as well.
- Each family received a little plastic model of an 11-12 week old pre-born baby along with a tiny flannel blanket and prayer card. I clearly remember my little ones playing with this baby, tucking her into a doll house crib. She lived on our prayer table as a constant reminder to pray for babies who had not yet been born.
- For grown-ups, we recommend Contraception, Why Not? by Professor Janet Smith. It’s an outstanding presentation on the topic that stands up well to the test of time. You can find a transcript here. We also highly recommend this talk for your older teens. And if you have access to formed.org, we recommend a compilation of essays she gathered entitled Why Humanae Vitae was Right.
- The other activity for everyone is to color the poster while talking a little about how a baby develops. The poster can also be made into a sign to carry if you happen to go to your local March for Life.
The other, separate part of this lesson can be found in the separate packet. No matter how important it is to protect the innocence of your younger kids, eventually they will get to the point where it’s necessary for you to talk to them about abortion. It’s an accepted part of modern life that is very much in conflict with Church teaching. Your kids will hear about it somewhere and you’re really not doing them any favors by not preparing them with the truth.
That’s where the lesson comes in. When you feel your kids are ready, go through that part of the lesson with them. It covers a little about God’s plan for the use of our bodies, what is abortion and why would someone support it, and what we can do to fight against it. In no way is the intent to pass judgement against a woman who has had an abortion. In many cases, she’s either ill-informed, coerced, or feels she has no choice. Love and support in healing are by far our best response!
Read the lesson and see if this is the right time to talk with one or more of your kids about it.
Finally, where can we find Jesus in all of this?
Well, besides being our creator, He is the Author of Life, our redeemer and the source of all mercy and forgiveness. Through the profoundly mysterious act of the incarnation, Jesus shows the value of human life by becoming one with it, and through His death for our redemption, He shows His unending love for each of us.
- Information on Project Rachel and Rachel’s Vineyard, ministries to women who have had abortions.