A recent column on character on my personal blog garnered a lot of reaction from friends (thankfully, it was positive); and started me thinking about why we in the pregnancy help community seem to be gaining more and more ground lately—even against more opposition from legislators and the courts.
My blog post began on an entirely different track, commenting on the FBI’s announcement not to pursue charges against Hillary Clinton for her email debacle, then shifts to a focus on a book I’m reading this summer with my youngest boys, "Little Britches".
There, I found another reason why we are winning the hearts of the people as we advance the calling of life.
Finding the book at all was a surprise. My wife and I are looking at a more classical education as we homeschool our youngest two—ages 6 and 8—and happened across a list of classics for young readers. "Little Britches" is on the list and I remembered that somewhere, I have that book.
“It’s signed to me, I think,” I told Jennifer. Pulling "Little Britches" off of my bookshelf, I found the book and the inscription on the first page:
This book is for Kirk Walden,
With the wish that every day of his life may be as happy as mine have been, and filled with good friends.”
My dad was a junior high principal in 1965, and invited Mr. Moody to speak to his students. The book was a gift from Mr. Moody. I hesitate to admit I had never read it, until now.
"Little Britches" is Ralph Moody’s autobiography of his family’s move to a broken down ranch in Colorado and the story of lessons he learned amidst his adventures as an 8-year-old boy. An anecdote early in the book captured my attention and reminds me of who we are.
With his father away for the day, little Ralph deceptively tells his mother he has his dad’s permission to take a horse out to do transport some heavy railroad ties. His mother, believing her son, lets him go to “work.”
What Ralph believed would be a fun adventure turned into a disaster and that evening, his father was told of Ralph’s lie. A spanking is expected, but Ralph’s father does something else. From the book:
When he spoke, his voice was deep and dry, and I knew he must have been coughing a lot on the way home. “Son, there is no question but what the thing you have done today deserves severe punishment. You might have killed yourself or the horse, but much worse than that, you have injured your own character. A man’s character is like his house. If he tears boards off his house and burns them to keep himself warm and comfortable, his house soon becomes a ruin.
"If he tells lies to be able to do the things he shouldn’t do but wants to, his character will soon become a ruin. A man with a ruined character is a shame on the face of the earth."
I read that portion at least three times to my boys.
And this has everything to do with our work in the pregnancy help community. We face opposition, and while none of us are perfect, we’ve sought to maintain our character in the midst of every attack.
Tweet This: "A man with a ruined character is a shame on the face of the earth." @KirkWalden #prolife
Our opposition says we are “deceptive;” that we are dishonest with those we see. We know better. We hold each other accountable and seek to raise our standards at every opportunity. We believe in truth in advertising and when a woman or couple comes in our door, we hold steadfastly to honesty in every communication.
Honesty is not simply a good attribute; it is central to what we do and what we offer.
This is why our “house”—using the analogy from Ralph Moody’s father—holds fast against all attacks. In the face of challenge, our character is unmoved.
For those who cast falsehoods against us in an attempt to protect their own profits, I hear the words of Ralph’s father again: “A man’s character is like his house. If he tears boards off his house and burns them to keep himself warm and comfortable, his house soon becomes a ruin.”
I’m not sure when the abortion industry will become a ruin, but I know this: With every attempt to legislate us away, with every lawsuit and with every media attack on our work, the boards are being torn from the house of the abortion industry.
One day, the house of the abortion industry will fall. And ours will stand taller than ever.