It was my mom’s mug.
Not even her favorite.
But I remember how proud my dad was of my mom whenever he saw it.
There was nothing remarkable about the little gray mug, or its basic line drawing that said, “Here’s 2 you. KREM2.” It was just a tchotchke gift from a TV news station in the ’80s, given to anyone who went on air.
My mom heard Krem was opening five-minute slots of airtime to anyone who wanted to share what was on their mind. So, my mom went on to speak against abortion with the intent of saving lives. She carefully wrote, then bravely spoke for those who cannot speak. It was a big deal for her. It was scary. And many people who saw it – including our neighbors and friends – didn’t agree with her. Loudly.
She did it anyway. Because it was right.
I remember it even now as an adult – and I am still proud of her just as my dad always was. As kids, you watch your parents; studying them even when they aren’t aware of it, learning important lessons about their values.
How It All Began
Growing up in a pastor’s home we saw our parents as the pastor and his wife on Sunday – then during the week, we saw them as Dad and Mom. And I’m proud to say they are the same people. My parents’ values were consistent and visible in every part of their lives all the time. Then, when I was in third grade, they became licensed foster parents specifically to be a welcoming home for expectant teenagers. My dad worked in hospice so he could comfort and share Jesus with those facing their own undeniable mortality.
Still, my parents live out the Biblical value of when life begins.. As kids, we saw it. It shaped us. And now, it informs how we raise our kids. Additionally, because of the values instilled in us by Jesus through our parents’ lifelong example, we started helping our kids with their own pro-life projects.
The Cousins With a Cause
Four years ago, our kids and their cousins chose to give up their Christmas presents instead of asking for money to be donated to their cause. As this purpose grew, we began titling them the “Cousins with a Cause.”
They raised money with art and bake sales, selling their own toys (and a few of our things!) and doing chores around the house. They set up fundraisers on Facebook for Giving Tuesday where they would ask family to consider donating, and even donated their own birthday money to the cause. Their first year, the Cousins with a Cause freed two young families from bond slavery at brick kilns in Pakistan. The next year, they teamed up with our church’s children’s ministry to donate a fresh water well in a village without access to safe water. They then began impacting and saving lives in other ways. They delivered diaper bags loaded with supplies to their local pregnancy resource clinic. This year, partnering again with the children’s ministry and now the entire congregation, they raised funds to donate an ultrasound machine through Focus on the Family’s Option Ultrasound Program!
And it’s not just financial projects! For instance, the kids participated in the March for Life at our state capitol. Then, they toured pregnancy resource clinics. Volunteered at the food bank. Supported foster families. Finally, they even helped us call our representatives to ask them to oppose bad bills supporting the abortion industry.
Take the Next Step
These are things anyone can do. You can. Your kids can.
Kids are learning. All the time. They’re seeing in you what’s important, and they’re learning now to protect and value the lives of others. Not everything has to be a big effort – pray for God to use your family and to be faithful when He does! (In fact – attending a Bible-believing church is a great place to start. Get your children in church around others who share and will encourage your children in Biblical values.)
To anyone who doesn’t know where to start, just do anything! Here are a few ideas to get started building pro-life values in your home.
Show Your Kids the Humanity of the Preborn
First and most important: Pray with your kids for the preborn. Second, if you have them, show your kids their own ultrasound pictures. Then emphasize that the little person they see in that scrabbly image is them. The same them.
Speak positively about every person at every age and ability. Likewise, talk to your kids and let them hear you speaking on behalf of the preborn. Be real with them about the threat to the preborn, but also show them the people bravely standing for them and how they’re doing it.
Teach Them to Use Their Voice for Saving Lives
Take your kids to the March for Life so they can learn that saving lives is a group effort. Also, let them make their own signs and learn how to peacefully demonstrate. Take your kids to your state capitol to meet their representatives. Additionally, did you know you can request a 10-minute appointment with your representative to talk about anything you want? You can! In fact, they value hearing from their constituency. Even if they don’t agree with your values – it makes a difference! Bring your kids and let them hear you impress on lawmakers the value, humanity and rights of the preborn. Teach them that their lawmakers are accessible to them – and influenced by them. (Remember to send a thank you!)
Pay attention to the legislative bills in your state. Next, call the legislative hotline and respectfully request your representative vote according to your pro-life beliefs (“Please oppose HB1234”). Policymakers weigh public perception and contact from voters heavily in their decisions; after all, it’s how they keep their jobs. Therefore, a phone call to a representative (takes less than 1 minute) can make a big difference! Get others to call, too. Teach children to use their voices. Sign them up for a public speaking or debate class. Equip them to use their words powerfully, effectively and respectfully for the preborn, who cannot speak for themselves.
Show Them Saving Lives Means Action
Ask your pastor or elders where to get involved. It doesn’t have to be the perfect project or ministry. Simply help where they suggest! Pray for a servant’s heart. Help moms. For example, offer to babysit for a single mom. Accompany an expectant mom to an appointment. Help find baby items for unexpectedly expecting moms. Post on your social accounts offering to help those in an unexpected pregnancy. Become a sidewalk advocate, offering to pray near Planned Parenthood with moms considering abortion. Help your local pregnancy resource clinic. Next time you’re at the grocery store, let the kids pick out a pack of diapers or formula to take to the local pregnancy resource clinic or pregnancy help organization and drop it off together on your way home.
Help kids in foster care. Further, donate to foster programs and support foster families. Focus on the Family’s Wait No More Program has a great cause in sending a new suitcase, teddy bear and Bible to kids in foster care.
Help pro-life ministries. One great way of doing so is to donate to Focus on the Family’s Option Ultrasound Program to help provide women with free ultrasounds and so much more. Many women choose life after hearing and seeing their baby’s heartbeat! Or, call your local pregnancy resource clinic and ask if they have a specific need you can help meet! Pray for those who are working faithfully in this ministry every day.
Remember, you are fighting for someone’s life. You might one day even meet the baby you helped save!
Saving Lives Takes Work
But even if we do these things only to be met by angry faces or discouragement, remember that we do this because it is right. And because it is teaching our children. So, fight the good fight and remember to do everything with prayer.
Kids will grow up to look back on their childhood and remember what they saw in you and what was important to you. Something as simple as the mug received when you stood alone for the preborn can be a powerful reminder for them. Your love for Jesus and your example matter.
Let your kids see you take that brave stand for those who cannot defend themselves. Pray to shape them into people of action; leaders in a world that will need them. And never get tired of doing what’s good.
Here’s 2 you.