Embracing Life -- Day 27

Chandra White-Cummings

Day 27: Let’s Show Some Love

How do you feel about children? Be honest. Do you see them as a blessing, a nuisance, a burden, or a joy? Probably all of those at one time or another. But even given the ups and downs of dealing with children, if we thoughtfully consider where we stand, we’ll be able to identify our prevailing, overarching view of children. It’s interesting to me how polarized our society has become as it relates to children. Some see kids as entities whose existence is to be carefully planned, managed, or denied when not convenient or easy for us. In fact, it’s almost funny to see how our insatiable need to control almost everything is reflected in our language: crowd control, population control, birth control, mind control. Others consider children to be a way to improve our marital or social status; a means by which to receive love; a guaranteed legacy; and other self-improvement tactics.

Still others’ disposition seems to be something precariously close to worship. Their entire lives revolve completely around the desires, temperament, and whims of their children. All of these dysfunctional approaches to parenthood leave the sons and daughters feeling the weight of their parents’ impossible expectations and alternately smothering, or laissez-faire, parenting styles. And it’s not just parents whose attitudes need to be assessed. Childless singles and couples also display their sentiments in one way or another.

The children of this world get our drift. They can tell how we feel about them, and they govern themselves accordingly. Adult emotional distance breeds corresponding aloofness and disregard from kids. Using young people for our own gratification comes back to us as manipulation and disrespect. But somehow, we don’t connect the dots. We’re quick to blame violent movies, oversexed TV shows, and sexually explicit lyrics in music. The problem often lies closer to home.

One of the connections I think we need to make is between how we feel about post-birth children, and how we regard those still in the womb. How can we expect people to value those little ones we can’t yet see, when we don’t appreciate the ones we see every day? Give it some thought, and see where you come out at.

Find out more at the 40 Days for Life website.

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