I have two weeks of episodes to comment on. Last week we saw Adrian, the young girl we thought would have an abortion. To remind you, her father was not in favor of the abortion and her mother said she ‘supported her decision either way’…but what we learned by the end of the show was that mom really was leaning towards abortion. As I said, this is not unusual, even in a Christian home, for the parents to be divided on what to do. I felt for the young girl. Either choice she made she knew she was disappointing one parent. It is why I really wish parents could meet privately and wrestle together but stand united when they are face to face with their child. I think in any area, a child doesn’t like to choose between parents.
So why did Adrian not choose abortion? Interstingly, she runs into a woman at the abortion clinic who sits with her and talks with her without an agenda. Is it exactly how we do our inital visit with clients? No, but there are similarities. Especially when it came to really listening to Adrian. Sometimes when someone comes to us in crisis, all we want to do is help and fix…and somtimes all we need to do is listen. Really listen. THAT is what we do at Hope Clinic. Many times we don’t need to shame, guilt or put fear into a cleint for her to see that choosing life is an option she really wants all on her own. Sometimes she needs to just find her voice, talk it out, think it through and her choice may surprise even herself.
Then last night I really liked two other things. One mother was talking to her daughter about a boy the daughter liked. And the mom said something we need to say to young adults more often…and frankly to one another more often. She said: ‘we just can’t decide based on our feelings alone. Sometimes we need to think more. And sometimes no matter what we are feeling, we need to go with what we know to be right and healthy for us in the long run’. And honestly I think that is one of the biggest problems facing young people…well all of us today when it comes to us acting immorally. Because the infidelity rate is high enough in marriage for us to recongize it is not just immature teenagers making unhealthy decisions. Many times we abandon logic, reason, and what we know to be true based only on what we are feeling. And then we seem surprised that the outcome doesn’t turn out so well. I liked that reminder. For you, for me, and for our clients.
The other thing I liked last night was hearing from the one male parent who I think is the healthiest male role model. The father of Adrian’s baby is Ben. I am referring to Ben’s dad. Ben’s dad lost his wife to cancer and has been raising Ben alone until he recently got remarried. I don’t agree with everything he says but he does not waiver in his ability to show love for his son no matter what while challenging his son to ‘do the right thing…be a man…take responsibility’. And he doesn’t just say it. He tries to explain it, model it, and support Ben through it. He is firm but the foundation is love. Ben hates how much his dad pushes him yet he doesn’t hate it because he is pushed to do something he didn’t think he could do and when he does it, he realizes he is stronger than he thought. I wish more dads could do this. More young men today need this kind of love. An unconditional love, yes. But one with boundaries. One where the moral compass does not change but one that offers grace as well. It is a hard balance for sure. But it is the greatest, hardest, most rewarding and important thing a father could do for a son. Even more that help pay for the most prestigious college or buying him a car. But helping him become a man.