When Does Character Start?

From Anti-Choice to Pro-Abortion: A Startling Teen Transformation

Note the decision making process in this fifteen year-old’s story:

1. I am against abortion.
2. My family is against abortion.
3. I got pregnant.
4. My boyfriend pressures me to have an abortion.
5. I get mad at him.
6. After a few weeks dealing with the difficulties of pregnancy, I choose to get an abortion.
7. The abortion is uncomfortable but now I feel fine.
8. Now I am “all for abortions.”

Stand To Reason blog author “Steve” reported on this and in his post asked many questions dealing with character. The assumption being that our view of character would influence our view of the proper actions in this scenario. If we are ‘pro-choice’ we ought to see the illogical decision making process; if we are concerned for the girl, that we recognize the damage to her future character and functioning; if we have other concerns …the coulda’ shoulda’ woulda’. It’s a reasonable perspective to take.

We could answer “yes” to all of Steve’s questions, though, and still come no closer to the resolution of the problem we face within the abortion issue. It is not a matter of finessing the reason… it is a stark case of building the case for right and wrong, for building the standard and the character within to abide by that standard.

If we do not do this we will see the slippery slope as the favored way of escape for one very elemental explanation: we are human. Somehow, all the other answers want to recognize human reasoning without our propensity to fail in reason and default to what is easiest for our short term feelings.

I think we have to work further back in the equation of what moderates our actions. Part of the character building in our children has to go beyond a set of rules that ‘our side’ abides by, even beyond an accepted overall ‘world view’. There have to be critical thinking processes put into place, and an embedded reverance for human life. Even a reverance for all life is in order.

And then there are the good old facts of life. The REAL ones. Like how sex between a male and female can result in pregnancy. No modifications to that , because birth control is only so effective as a preventative, and never 100%. Like how babies are people and what the development of a human life consists of in utero…none of that “it’s only tissue like muscle tissue or organ tissue”. A baby is more than a gall bladder. Get these facts through. In bolded emphasis.

Stop paying into systems that divide young women from those responsible for them, from systems that make the will and the decisions of the boyfriend more important than the views of the parents and Church. There is just something very wrong with that whole picture.

We keep thinking we can subscribe to the inundations of the culture, the media, and the school systems on what constitutes morality and duty, and then wonder why a girl undergoing pressures to have sex or those inherent in an unwed pregnancy would suddenly shift gears.

Enough years in the classroom of relativistic me-first philosophy will produce a lifestyle of expediency. And that means that ethical concerns will be the first ones down the drain.

This is more than one girl having an abortion. It is whether our society will remain ethically responsible and hold the integrity of human dignity, or not.

Character starts the moment our baby arrives. Our taking on the full spectrum of raising a human being who is loved and knows how to love others, one who is aware of their responsibility to others, including those children they reproduce after them….

We are one another’s keeper, and we need to implement that thinking.

It isn’t sides, or issues…it is us. Our character is who we are, and how we treat each other. Maybe we should start talking in those terms to our children.

3 thoughts on “When Does Character Start?”

  1. Well said, and right on target. I would add that living with integrity and character, living up to the standards that we know are right is always hard at some point. There are challenges, sacrifices, consequences, forks in the road where we must choose to go one way to the exclusion of another way. Too many kids grow up with the illusion that life is supposed to be easy and happy and personally fulfilling. It often is the opposite.

    Character summons up the inner strength to do the hard things, because they are right. This young woman’s courage buckled when her pregnancy got hard, and she abandoned her values for what seemed like the easier road. I don’t think many of us are raising tough-minded and courageous children.

  2. Charlie, you are so right. I think we confuse things when we concentrate so hard on teaching our kids what to believe about issues, or accepted behavior, rather than the building of their character.

    This is sort of strange since so much of the gospel’s teachings are character building. Perhaps we have lost some sense of what the concept of “duty” involves and how it relates to our love of God?

    I’m not sure on the large scale, but on the small scale the family circle is ideal for inculcating the importance of each persons life. If we can just slow down enough to relate!

  3. I agree that character is important.
    I only wanted to say that none of us should accept the same transgressions that other people are doing because we have done it. I say transgressions because maybe they do not even know that they do something wrong.
    Don’t blame the wrongs you have done on the culture or media, etc.
    If you accept that you choose to do wrong and tell God that, God will bless you.
    to many people go through life not accepting that they have done wrong.
    I wonder if anyone reading this has a good reason why they need Jesus. If you don’t think you have done wrong then why need Jesus as the sacrifice for sins?
    John 3:16.

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