That’s all it takes, isn’t it? One word to raise your heartbeat and get your hormones moving. Everyone has an opinion on vaccines. I’ve seen multiple things on Facebook where moms are getting together in pictures and writing articles about how we need to love and support each other even when we make different choices on things.
Some of the things they mention are homeschooling vs. public school, stay-at-home mom vs. working mom, natural labor vs. medically altered labor, etc. Seriously the list goes on, but you know what I have never once seen in any of these pictures, memes, and articles? I’ve never seen a single person say or try to encourage the fact that parents who choose to vaccinate can still love, support, and be friends with those who believe it is in the best interest of their child not to vaccinate them.
I’m serious when I say that I believe this is a big problem, not just in our culture but even in our churches. Is your vaccinating/anti-vaccinating opinion the line that love will not cross? Why do people vaccinate their children? The answer is simple; they vaccinate their children because they believe that it is what is going to protect their child and be what is best for their health.
Why do people choose not to vaccinate their children? The answer to this is also simple; they do not vaccinate their children because they believe that it is what is going to protect their child and be what is best for their health. Does this surprise you? The educated mom who chooses to vaccinate her child does so for the exact same reason that another educated mom chooses not to vaccinate her child.
If you’re a pro-vaccine mom, what would your response be if you found out a mother at your church who chose not to vaccinate had a child come down with an illness that people get vaccinated for? Gossip? Would you feel the urge to have an “I told you so” conversation? Would you avoid her and her family as if she had committed a gross sin?
Let’s flip this story around. How would you anti-vaccine moms respond if you found out that a pro-vaccine mom at church had a child who had recently suffered from a vaccine injury? Would your response be “I told you so” or “I tried to warn you”? Would you gossip about her and her choices?
I honestly don’t want to write this article. It’s probably going to upset everyone who reads it. Pro-vaxers and anti-vaxers alike aren’t going to like it, but hopefully, my sisters (and brothers) in Christ will see the truth in it. Do you really think that God wants to see His children divided and refusing to love over this? Oh, trust me, I understand what people believe is on the line. Life.
Certain illnesses can potentially end a life just as a severe vaccine injury can end a life. I’m not telling you to vaccinate, and I’m not telling you not to. I hope that every mother and father would take the time to do their own research on such a hot topic and then make the choice that they believe is in the best interest of their child/children’s health. So, if I’m not here to tell you what to do or not do concerning vaccines, then why I am I writing this article?
I’m writing this article to encourage you to put down your pride and opinions when they get in the way of you loving your sisters (or brothers) in Christ. If you had a little prideful flare up at reading that last sentence, then this is especially for you. In view of eternity, this doesn’t matter. I know that feels hard to believe at times, but hopefully, you know it’s true.
What does matter, however, is how we think and behave in front of our all-seeing Heavenly Father’s eyes. Is God pleased with what you’ve shared or written on Facebook (or some other social media platform)? Is God pleased with what you have said about that other mom at church for her decisions? Are you making this the line that you refuse to walk over in love? What if you repented of your pride? What if you repented of choosing this division over God’s command that we “love one another” (John 13:35)? What might change in our hearts, minds, and behavior toward one another?
Above all, put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.
Colossians 3:14, CSB
And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of people’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immoralities, thefts, murders, adulteries, greed, evil actions, deceit, self-indulgence, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a person.”
Mark 7:20-23 (CSB, emphasis added)
The Scriptures say that pride defiles us from within. If we are going to live humble lives in a way that is pleasing to our Lord and Savior, we must leave our pride behind. My hopes in writing this article are simple. I want us to be united in love even in this.
I want the pro-vaccine mom to call (or text) to check up on the anti-vaccine mom whose children have come down with an illness that people vaccinate for. I want the anti-vaccine mom to call and check in on the pro-vaccine mom whose children also came down with the illness that they were vaccinated for or perhaps suffered from a vaccine injury.
I want these moms to truly love and care about each other. I want these moms to make a casserole and take it to the other mom and her family. I want them to treat each other like sisters in Christ in all circumstances. My hope is that we would recognize the lie that this is not the line that love will not cross.
Now as you excel in everything — in faith, speech, knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love for us— excel also in this act of grace. I am not saying this as a command. Rather, by means of the diligence of others, I am testing the genuineness of your love.
2 Corinthians 8:7-8, CSB
Since you have purified yourselves by your obedience to the truth, so that you show sincere brotherly love for each other, from a pure heart love one another constantly, because you have been born again — not of perishable seed but of imperishable — through the living and enduring word of God.
All flesh is like grass,
and all its glory like a flower of the grass.
The grass withers, and the flower falls,
but the word of the Lord endures forever.
And this word is the gospel that was proclaimed to you.
1 Peter 1:22-25, CSB
Featured Image by Roberto Nickson