10 ways to foster a culture of life within your family

July 10, 2023

What does it look like practically to create a culture of life within a family, especially if there are young children?  How can caregivers uphold the value of life in age-appropriate ways?

The sanctity of every human life is one of the most important truths we can teach the children in our care. Kids are being raised in a society that devalues life at every turn, from messages on billboards to ads on streaming services. Too often, any individual who requires our personal sacrifice is viewed as a burden and a threat to our autonomy.  And the abortion industry thrives off of this way of thinking.

If we want our children to be both hearers and doers of the Word, we must demonstrate a pro-life ethic not only in our words, though that is essential, but also in our actions.

Here are 10 ways you can create a culture of life within your family and develop ongoing trust between you and your children. 

  1. Connect with your local pregnancy resource center (PRC). Find out where your closest PRC is, and reach out. All PRCs need support in some way. Ask for a tour, and bring the whole family. Let your children see the facility, hear the stories, and develop empathy for women who may feel scared and alone.
  2. Donate baby items for expecting mothers. You could do this through your local pregnancy center, church, or another local organization that supports pregnant women. Take a family shopping trip to purchase diapers, wipes, bottles, blankets, toys, and more. Talk about how exciting it is to welcome a new life into the world and to support moms by meeting physical needs.
  3. Fill a baby bottle. Many pregnancy centers hold what is known as “Baby Bottle Campaigns”—but even if yours doesn’t, this is still a wonderful way to uphold the value of life. Keep an empty baby bottle in your home where it will be seen every day. Set a goal for your family to fill it up with loose change. Once filled, donate the contents to your PRC or other organization that supports moms. Pray together over that money, that it would bless both parents and new life.
  4. Memorize Scripture that points to the sanctity of life. Psalm 139 is a great place to start. Read this passage together and work toward reciting it by heart.
  5. Read picture books that are pro-life. Picture books have the unique power of uniting both words and images to communicate powerful truths. Add life-affirming books to your library and make a point to read them together. A few places to start: Pro-Life Kids; God’s Very Good Idea; Wherever You Go, I Want You To Know.
  6. Talk about your relationship with your children before they were born. Share stories of your excitement about meeting your children. Share about the kicks, how they heard and knew your voice, and how they developed eyes, fingers, and toes while they were in the womb. Normalize talking about the humanity of children from the moment of conception.
  7. Host a baby shower. If you have a family member or friend who is expecting, offer to host a baby shower or even invite your children to attend one with you. Create the expectation of celebrating new life.
  8. Practice gentleness with babies and respect for the elderly. Whether your children are preschool-aged, teenagers, or somewhere in between, there is value in creating an expectation of gentleness and respect toward all life. Cast a vision for your family members as protectors of the weak. This can be demonstrated with babies by using gentle touches, soft voices, and kind speech. This can be practiced with the elderly by holding doors, assisting with physical needs, and listening attentively to stories and wisdom.
  9. Learn with your family about adoption and foster care. Pray about whether or not God is leading your family to pursue one or both of these options. Invite other families who have fostered or adopted to come share about their experiences. Pray together for those families. Add these words to your family vocabulary, and make sure your children see positive examples of both.
  10. Tell the truth about abortion using age-appropriate language. Our world has sterilized the word “abortion” with phrases like “pro-choice,” “abortion care,” and “removal of pregnancy tissue.” If your children are older, they are hearing this language. Do they know what abortion really is? You can tell the truth about the humanity of the unborn and the sadness of abortion without going into extreme detail. For younger children, it may sound something like this:

    “Sometimes when a mom gets pregnant with a baby, she might feel afraid or scared about being a mom. Some people might tell her that abortion will help her not be afraid. Abortion is when a baby’s life is ended on purpose inside the womb. Abortion doesn’t protect babies or mommies.”

    With age and maturity, your children can learn more. But the important thing is making sure you are the source of their information. Hearing the truth from you will build trust and increase the likelihood that they’ll come back to you with questions. 

Giving feet to your faith

If your children hear you say you’re pro-life, but see no evidence of compassion, empathy, and love toward all life—whether it be a preborn child, a lonely man in a retirement home, or a mother facing an unplanned pregnancy—then they will be less inclined to believe you when they’re grown. 

Additionally, making the extra effort to uphold a culture of life within your family, especially regarding our tiniest of neighbors, will give feet to your faith and bolster the faith of your children. In his book The Storm-Tossed Family, Russell Moore says, “The self-interest that sears over the joy of birth will also sear over the joy of new birth.” New life here on earth is God’s megaphone for proclaiming the gospel to the world. That’s why abortion is inherently a gospel issue.

May it never be said that we let the world inform our children’s beliefs about the immeasurable value of life—or about the One who authors it. 

Mary Holloman

Mary Holloman is the Communications Coordinator at The Pregnancy Network in North Carolina. She has written for many online publications, including Lifeway Research, the Christian Broadcasting Network, Her View From Home, Charisma Magazine, and more. She is a contributing author for three books, and her debut children’s picture book, The … Read More

Article 12: The Future of AI

We affirm that AI will continue to be developed in ways that we cannot currently imagine or understand, including AI that will far surpass many human abilities. God alone has the power to create life, and no future advancements in AI will usurp Him as the Creator of life. The church has a unique role in proclaiming human dignity for all and calling for the humane use of AI in all aspects of society.

We deny that AI will make us more or less human, or that AI will ever obtain a coequal level of worth, dignity, or value to image-bearers. Future advancements in AI will not ultimately fulfill our longings for a perfect world. While we are not able to comprehend or know the future, we do not fear what is to come because we know that God is omniscient and that nothing we create will be able to thwart His redemptive plan for creation or to supplant humanity as His image-bearers.

Genesis 1; Isaiah 42:8; Romans 1:20-21; 5:2; Ephesians 1:4-6; 2 Timothy 1:7-9; Revelation 5:9-10

Article 11: Public Policy

We affirm that the fundamental purposes of government are to protect human beings from harm, punish those who do evil, uphold civil liberties, and to commend those who do good. The public has a role in shaping and crafting policies concerning the use of AI in society, and these decisions should not be left to those who develop these technologies or to governments to set norms.

We deny that AI should be used by governments, corporations, or any entity to infringe upon God-given human rights. AI, even in a highly advanced state, should never be delegated the governing authority that has been granted by an all-sovereign God to human beings alone. 

Romans 13:1-7; Acts 10:35; 1 Peter 2:13-14

Article 10: War

We affirm that the use of AI in warfare should be governed by love of neighbor and the principles of just war. The use of AI may mitigate the loss of human life, provide greater protection of non-combatants, and inform better policymaking. Any lethal action conducted or substantially enabled by AI must employ 5 human oversight or review. All defense-related AI applications, such as underlying data and decision-making processes, must be subject to continual review by legitimate authorities. When these systems are deployed, human agents bear full moral responsibility for any actions taken by the system.

We deny that human agency or moral culpability in war can be delegated to AI. No nation or group has the right to use AI to carry out genocide, terrorism, torture, or other war crimes.

Genesis 4:10; Isaiah 1:16-17; Psalm 37:28; Matthew 5:44; 22:37-39; Romans 13:4

Article 9: Security

We affirm that AI has legitimate applications in policing, intelligence, surveillance, investigation, and other uses supporting the government’s responsibility to respect human rights, to protect and preserve human life, and to pursue justice in a flourishing society.

We deny that AI should be employed for safety and security applications in ways that seek to dehumanize, depersonalize, or harm our fellow human beings. We condemn the use of AI to suppress free expression or other basic human rights granted by God to all human beings.

Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-14

Article 8: Data & Privacy

We affirm that privacy and personal property are intertwined individual rights and choices that should not be violated by governments, corporations, nation-states, and other groups, even in the pursuit of the common good. While God knows all things, it is neither wise nor obligatory to have every detail of one’s life open to society.

We deny the manipulative and coercive uses of data and AI in ways that are inconsistent with the love of God and love of neighbor. Data collection practices should conform to ethical guidelines that uphold the dignity of all people. We further deny that consent, even informed consent, although requisite, is the only necessary ethical standard for the collection, manipulation, or exploitation of personal data—individually or in the aggregate. AI should not be employed in ways that distort truth through the use of generative applications. Data should not be mishandled, misused, or abused for sinful purposes to reinforce bias, strengthen the powerful, or demean the weak.

Exodus 20:15, Psalm 147:5; Isaiah 40:13-14; Matthew 10:16 Galatians 6:2; Hebrews 4:12-13; 1 John 1:7 

Article 7: Work

We affirm that work is part of God’s plan for human beings participating in the cultivation and stewardship of creation. The divine pattern is one of labor and rest in healthy proportion to each other. Our view of work should not be confined to commercial activity; it must also include the many ways that human beings serve each other through their efforts. AI can be used in ways that aid our work or allow us to make fuller use of our gifts. The church has a Spirit-empowered responsibility to help care for those who lose jobs and to encourage individuals, communities, employers, and governments to find ways to invest in the development of human beings and continue making vocational contributions to our lives together.

We deny that human worth and dignity is reducible to an individual’s economic contributions to society alone. Humanity should not use AI and other technological innovations as a reason to move toward lives of pure leisure even if greater social wealth creates such possibilities.

Genesis 1:27; 2:5; 2:15; Isaiah 65:21-24; Romans 12:6-8; Ephesians 4:11-16

Article 6: Sexuality

We affirm the goodness of God’s design for human sexuality which prescribes the sexual union to be an exclusive relationship between a man and a woman in the lifelong covenant of marriage.

We deny that the pursuit of sexual pleasure is a justification for the development or use of AI, and we condemn the objectification of humans that results from employing AI for sexual purposes. AI should not intrude upon or substitute for the biblical expression of sexuality between a husband and wife according to God’s design for human marriage.

Genesis 1:26-29; 2:18-25; Matthew 5:27-30; 1 Thess 4:3-4

Article 5: Bias

We affirm that, as a tool created by humans, AI will be inherently subject to bias and that these biases must be accounted for, minimized, or removed through continual human oversight and discretion. AI should be designed and used in such ways that treat all human beings as having equal worth and dignity. AI should be utilized as a tool to identify and eliminate bias inherent in human decision-making.

We deny that AI should be designed or used in ways that violate the fundamental principle of human dignity for all people. Neither should AI be used in ways that reinforce or further any ideology or agenda, seeking to subjugate human autonomy under the power of the state.

Micah 6:8; John 13:34; Galatians 3:28-29; 5:13-14; Philippians 2:3-4; Romans 12:10

Article 4: Medicine

We affirm that AI-related advances in medical technologies are expressions of God’s common grace through and for people created in His image and that these advances will increase our capacity to provide enhanced medical diagnostics and therapeutic interventions as we seek to care for all people. These advances should be guided by basic principles of medical ethics, including beneficence, non-maleficence, autonomy, and justice, which are all consistent with the biblical principle of loving our neighbor.

We deny that death and disease—effects of the Fall—can ultimately be eradicated apart from Jesus Christ. Utilitarian applications regarding healthcare distribution should not override the dignity of human life. Fur- 3 thermore, we reject the materialist and consequentialist worldview that understands medical applications of AI as a means of improving, changing, or completing human beings.

Matthew 5:45; John 11:25-26; 1 Corinthians 15:55-57; Galatians 6:2; Philippians 2:4

Article 3: Relationship of AI & Humanity

We affirm the use of AI to inform and aid human reasoning and moral decision-making because it is a tool that excels at processing data and making determinations, which often mimics or exceeds human ability. While AI excels in data-based computation, technology is incapable of possessing the capacity for moral agency or responsibility.

We deny that humans can or should cede our moral accountability or responsibilities to any form of AI that will ever be created. Only humanity will be judged by God on the basis of our actions and that of the tools we create. While technology can be created with a moral use in view, it is not a moral agent. Humans alone bear the responsibility for moral decision making.

Romans 2:6-8; Galatians 5:19-21; 2 Peter 1:5-8; 1 John 2:1

Article 2: AI as Technology

We affirm that the development of AI is a demonstration of the unique creative abilities of human beings. When AI is employed in accordance with God’s moral will, it is an example of man’s obedience to the divine command to steward creation and to honor Him. We believe in innovation for the glory of God, the sake of human flourishing, and the love of neighbor. While we acknowledge the reality of the Fall and its consequences on human nature and human innovation, technology can be used in society to uphold human dignity. As a part of our God-given creative nature, human beings should develop and harness technology in ways that lead to greater flourishing and the alleviation of human suffering.

We deny that the use of AI is morally neutral. It is not worthy of man’s hope, worship, or love. Since the Lord Jesus alone can atone for sin and reconcile humanity to its Creator, technology such as AI cannot fulfill humanity’s ultimate needs. We further deny the goodness and benefit of any application of AI that devalues or degrades the dignity and worth of another human being. 

Genesis 2:25; Exodus 20:3; 31:1-11; Proverbs 16:4; Matthew 22:37-40; Romans 3:23

Article 1: Image of God

We affirm that God created each human being in His image with intrinsic and equal worth, dignity, and moral agency, distinct from all creation, and that humanity’s creativity is intended to reflect God’s creative pattern.

We deny that any part of creation, including any form of technology, should ever be used to usurp or subvert the dominion and stewardship which has been entrusted solely to humanity by God; nor should technology be assigned a level of human identity, worth, dignity, or moral agency.

Genesis 1:26-28; 5:1-2; Isaiah 43:6-7; Jeremiah 1:5; John 13:34; Colossians 1:16; 3:10; Ephesians 4:24