Teaching Your Children Respect for Human Beings Is Your Most Important Job
By Laura Kizior
In today’s world, it is not enough to be personally pro-life. Certainly we all pray for an end to abortion, donate to the Pennies for Life collection every October, and maybe even volunteer for a local respect life group. But it isn’t enough. If we are serious about ending abortion and other threats against life, we have to do more than just participate in group events. We have to change the culture.
In his 1994 encyclical Evangelium Vitae, Saint John Paul II called for us to build a culture of life in our society—to form a way of life that upholds respect for the dignity of every human person from the first moment of existence until death. A culture of life is a positive, proactive way to fight the threats against human beings by celebrating the gift of life in every human person and recognizing the family as the building block of society. Sounds beautiful, right? As loving and caring families, you already understand the need to strengthen family life, uphold the dignity of the human person, and live in a way that is pleasing to God. And the best way that you can build a culture of life for your children is through your teachings within the home.
Education is key to building a culture of life because it lays an intellectual, moral, and logical foundation for pro-life beliefs. If, while they are still young, you teach your children about the beauty of a developing baby in his mother’s womb, they can take that knowledge with them their entire lives. If someone ever tries to tell them “It’s just a blob of tissue,” they can confidently respond, “No, he’s a baby; he’s just not done growing yet” because you have given them the tools to understand that we are all made in the image in likeness of God—no matter what stage of life.
Give your children that early encounter with the masterpieces of God’s creation, show them pictures of precious preborn babies, and teach them scientifically accurate information about the stages of human development. Once your child has personal knowledge of the sanctity of human beings from the first moment of creation and a solid understanding of moral ethics, he will be better equipped to defend all human beings with his friends, his coworkers, or even his college professor.
To help you build a culture of life in your home, American Life League’s Culture of Life Studies Program is developing a series of academic supplements for kindergarten through 12th grade. Our Life Primer series is geared toward students in kindergarten through third grade and teaches the beauty of human beings, helps kids learn how to stand up for those who cannot defend themselves, and shows them how we are all uniquely created by God.
Teaching the culture of life to your children and giving them the intellectual foundation for their belief in the sacredness of every human being is the most important lesson that you will ever give them. Visit cultureoflifestudies.com to find free resources, coloring pages, academic supplements, and more to start building a culture of life in your home.
Laura Kizior is a content developer for American Life League’s Culture of Life Studies Program, which stresses the culture of life as an integral part of every academic discipline. CLSP is dedicated to helping students become effective communicators of the pro-life message. Sign up for our e-mail newsletter to see how we can help you foster a culture of life at home and in school.