Educators as Protectors of Life

By Karin Forsthoefel

As educators, we work to improve the lives of children, in all of their diversities. We are promoting the culture of life. Even if we cannot bear children, or do not have the means to care for our own children…if we are educators, we are caretakers of God’s children. This is our primary task, in fact. There can be other benefits and other motivations for teaching, but the result of our work is truly the level on which we enhanced a child’s life—with a sense of security and safety, hope, excitement…and all the qualities which characterize a free and happy childhood. We must be primarily concerned for how well we provide for children an environment in which they can be free and fully alive. This is our role in promoting the culture of life.

It is a scary thing to consider the changing perspectives on what is considered a life, a valuable life, as we continue to live each day in this world. This statement in itself alerts us to the underlying problem that causes the devaluation of life: the fact that we have taken control. In present-day America, we have decided that we are in charge. We decide what a life is. We can create life, we can manipulate life, and we can destroy life…so we can define life. These are the terrifying realities that we must face.

“They called us cockroaches…they couldn’t call us human beings. If you call it human, then you can’t kill it…because there is respect. Is that not what we are doing to our babies, the unborn? They are not children, because if we call them children, then we have responsibility,” said Immaculee Ilibagiza, a survivor of the Rwandan genocide and an advocate for peace, faith, and love. In this statement, she describes the kind of speech that was broadcasted on the radio during the genocide to recruit more murderers and to threaten the lives of all remaining Tutsi’s.

Not only is all human life sacred, but especially the lives of children. Psalm 127:3 tells us that “truly children are a gift from the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a reward.” Children have so much potential before them and they model for us the beautifully innocent love that God wants us to love God and each other with. Matthew tells us to “become like children” (Mat 18:3) in the eyes of the Lord. This is not to say that we should act childish or immature, but we should model the fearlessness, innocence, and unconditional love that children pour out in every situation and encounter.

Naturally, God has created us as social beings—“It is not good for man to be alone” (Gen 2:18). God has placed a bond between all human beings, a respect for all human life that no single person can deny. Because of the social connection and human bond that we are given by our Creator, it is extremely important that we value each other’s’ lives and work for quality of life for all people.

We are not to forget who our true Creator is. 

We do not create our own lives. God makes possible the miracle of conception, for God created woman out of man, so that “they [would] become one flesh” (Gen 2:24).


Dear Lord,

Remind us each day to keep the unborn in our prayers, to fight for life no matter how old or how young, and to bless you with our work as educators and justice-workers, pro-life advocators and child-protectors.

Amen.


Written by: Karin Forsthoefel


Edited by: Joseph Twiner, Barbara Miller, and Susan Ferguson

 
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