We have baby fever at the Willis homestead. We are hoping to be pregnant by the end of the year.
One of the arguments I have heard against reproduction is the idea: “Why would I bring a baby into this world.” I never really understood this position at face value. Shortcutting the world’s victory doesn’t feel like much of a win.
But this excuse for voluntary barrenness is troublesome for another reason.
As we speak, or even think these things, we are creating for our children an excuse. We are ushering in a long-established pattern of victim mentality. We inherited it. We subconsciously pass it along.
We view ourselves as a victim of the world around us. The world is dangerous. The world is sad. The world is corrupt. And all of this evil piles up at my doorstep. It keeps me from going outside. It keeps me from letting anyone in.
This is a pattern of the world. ‘They’, ‘them’, ‘it’ – are all boogie monsters that are coming for us, tearing us down, pulling us under. Keeping us from the life we want to live. Preventing us from thriving, threatening our very survival.
Fear is big business in today’s world. It is big politics, big marketing, and even big religion. We have bought into a culture of fear. It is the motivator, the deterrent, the ever-present cloud hanging over us.
Fear cripples us. And it feeds the insatiable hunger of victim mentality. Our victim mindset tells us that we cannot be okay, let alone productive or excelling, unless the things around us change. Well-meaning parents spoil their children to control their circumstances, believing that comfort produces character. Our victim mentality produces perpetrators in us because we start to think that if we can force people to be what we need them to be, then we might have a chance at being okay. The cycle spins around and the layers run deep, all because of the fear produced and re-enforced by our victim mentality.
Our children, if we are lucky enough to receive some, will not just be at the mercy of this world. The reality of the world is only the setting for the life of a child. It is not the main character. It is not the story.
Bringing a kid into this world is not providing another tragic casualty for the way things are. It is providing an opportunity for a hero, or heroine, to make things better. To live their story. A child isn’t a target. It is a weapon.
Jesus came as a baby. Moses floated down the river as a baby at a time when firstborns were literally being hunted and slaughtered. Helpless infants become capable adults.
But some of us, as adults, can’t shake the idea that the world owes us something. We’re afraid of anything not exactly like us and the fear, not the world itself, keeps us from the life we were created for.
Perfect love casts out fear. Humans are the only creature capable of love. And the Creator is the ocean to which all those rivers inevitably flow.
We are foolishly waiting for the world to sort itself out so that we can feel better about things, better about ourselves. But the world is us. It is me, you, and the decisions we make. The world won’t change from one politician, one great moment of sporting glory. The world changes as each of us decide to move from a place of fear to a place of love. When we each take up the mantle of our lives, guided by the Holy Spirit, and move forward with purpose and love, we will find that the fear and the terror are just cardboard settings like the kind in the background of a cafetorium for a middle school play. It is easily changed if the life around it takes action.
The world is without doubt a dangerous place. But it is a beautiful one as well. It is a paradox, to be sure. We’re not hoping to bring the world into our baby. We’re hoping to bring our baby into the world.