It was the story of a five month old baby boy who died after being left by his parents in his car seat for eight days. EIGHT DAYS, with no diaper changes, no one to pick him up and hold him, apparently even no one feeding him, other than the mother saying she stuck a bottle in the carseat beside him, assuming he would feed himself (at five months old).
(You can read the story here, if you really want to torture yourself)
Instantly on reading the article, I was sickened, saddened, and horrified.
I've been seeing articles on things like this happening all together too often lately. Even ONCE is too often, but it seems like in the last several months I've seen several different instances of babies dying due to gross neglect on the part of the parents.
It makes me sick to read about it. It makes me angry to think of those poor innocent babies left to die. It confuses me - how can a woman carry and give birth to a child and then seemingly forget that that child even exists?! In at least two instances, the parents of the child were said to have been 'playing video games with friends' during much of the time that the baby was left alone.
One thought that stands out to me, though, is this -
When did parents stop teaching their children responsibility? Do the majority of American parents no longer teach their children to take responsibility for their actions? Are kids no longer taught to think of someone besides themselves?
Just the other day I happened upon Yahoo! Answers, and saw a question from a girl wondering if she could be pregnant (there's a lot of those on there, unfortunately); upon closer examination, she told the story that she had been pregnant, had an abortion, had already had unprotected sex with her boyfriend, and then, a WEEK after her abortion, was already afraid she had gotten herself pregnant again. After reading that, my curiosity got the best of me and I looked around a few minutes longer and discovered several others that had the same basic story...some of them having had multiple abortions already.
I came away from there sickened. And I wondered - do young people today not have ANY sense of responsibility? Does it not even cross their minds that just because something feels good, maybe, just maybe, it might not be the smartest thing to do? Do they go into relationships with the thought in mind that, well, if they WERE to happen to make a baby (because, you know, that IS a well-known side effect of having sex...at least, I THINK it is...), then they'll just abort it and go on their merry way?
I thought I was still a fairly young person, but if that's the way young people think today, I'll gladly be an old lady.
I don't want this to turn into another piece about abortion - I wrote on that a while back. My point was more about kids that bring a child into the world (choosing NOT to abort it) and then kill that same child with neglect only a few short months later. (I just got off on a tangent there...sorry)
Since when are video games more important than the life of another human being - no matter how small? Have we (and I use the tern 'we' loosely, referring to parents today) raised a generation of people that have no moral compass whatsoever? Are they so removed from reality that they can justify leaving their own flesh and blood to rot in their own waste?! Apparently so, at least in this case, as the article stated that the father of the child, a 23-year-old, "showed a complete and total lack of remorse for the death of his son."
God help us.
God help me, as a parent, to bring my children up knowing right from wrong, and to teach them to take responsibility for their actions; to teach them to love others, to think of those less fortunate than they.
God help me to show them how a parent should love their children, and put the needs of those children before their own desires; to teach them not to be selfish, but loving, and giving.
There's a meme that's gone around the inter-webs a few times now, that states:
"We talk so much about leaving a better world for our children...but we forget about leaving better children for our world."
The facts are these:
We can moan and groan about, "What is this world coming to?", and bewail the rising crime and the increasing numbers of seemingly totally amoral people in the world today, but until we take ourselves up be the seat of our pants and determine to DO SOMETHING about it, nothing is going to change.
If we continue to promote the ideas that telling our children "no" will somehow scar them, and allowing them to act like small tyrants is acceptable, NOTHING is going to change. We have to teach them while they're teachable, for when they're grown it's too late! I'm not saying that it's impossible for a person to change when they're grown, but the likelihood is small. If a child is allowed to run the home as a child, and never disciplined for fear of causing 'trauma' to their poor little personalities, they will grown into undisciplined adults; if they aren't taught responsibility when they're young, they will grow into irresponsible adults.
Take note: I am NOT in any way advocating child abuse. There is a world of difference between lovingly disciplining your children and abusing them.
Is the madness ever going to end?
No, probably not. According to the Bible, evil is always present, and always will be, as long as Satan is still alive and well. But it also tells us that we can overcome evil with good.
Where does good come from?
Again, the Bible tells us that all goodness is from God...and that apart from Him there is NO ONE good in and of themselves. It is only through Christ that we can be truly good.
How do we overcome the evil in this world?
We can begin by teaching our children.And how do we teach our children to be good?
Introduce them to the only one who can actually help them.
(And in the mean time, a little discipline won't hurt.)
Do I understand why God allows events like this one I mentioned to happen?
No. I doubt I ever will.
I do know that that baby is infinitely better off with Jesus than with the sorry excuse for parents he had.
But that doesn't always ease the pain.
All I can do is leave that in God's hands and resolve, with everything in me, to teach my children better.
And that is what I will do.