The Roots of Respect

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Adam and Eve were given the ability to have and raise children that were physically, emotionally, and spiritually perfect. But once sin entered the world, educating their children became difficult and challenging. But God guided His children and precious lessons taught to them are still available to us today. Let’s study some of them with the help of the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy.

In Judges 13:4-5 an angel appeared to Manoah and his wife with a promise and instructions: “Now be careful not to drink wine or brandy or to eat anything that is ritually unclean, because you are pregnant and will give birth to a son. Don’t allow a razor to shave his head, because the boy is going to be a Nazirite for God from birth.” In Luke 1:15, the priest Zachariah was visited by an angel with the same promise and guidance: “For he will be great in the Lord’s eyes. He must not drink wine and liquor. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before his birth.”

Ellen White adds:

“The words spoken to the wife of Manoah contain a truth that the mothers of today would do well to study. In speaking to this one mother, the Lord spoke to all the anxious, sorrowing mothers of that time, and to all the mothers of succeeding generations. Yes, every mother may understand her duty. She may know that the character of her children will depend vastly more upon her habits before their birth and her personal efforts after their birth, than upon external advantages or disadvantages.”

Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 218

She continues:

“God had important work for the promised child of Manoah to do, and it was to secure for him the qualifications necessary for this work, that the habits of both the mother and the child were to be so carefully regulated. […] The child will be affected for good or evil by the habits of the mother. She must herself be controlled by principle, and must practice temperance and self-denial, if she would seek the welfare of her child.”

Temperance, p. 90

In these excerpts, it is clear the importance of prenatal preparation by the parents, especially the mother, not only when she is already pregnant, but even before conception. Is that how God sees it?

“The effect of prenatal influences is by many parents looked upon as a matter of little moment; but heaven does not so regard it. The message sent by an angel of God, and twice given in the most solemn manner, shows it to be deserving of our most careful thought.”

The Ministry of Healing, p. 372

Do you know what’s interesting about these divine guidelines? They were given when science had not yet studied the subject. When Ellen White lived, psychological and psychoanalytic studies were still consolidating and studying aspects of adult life. Only in the 70s did research and studies begin to pay special attention to the mother’s influence on the baby during pregnancy. This began what is now called Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology. It wasn’t until the 90s that the Association of Pre and Perinatal Psychology and Health was established in North America. It’s wonderful to see how God always gives His children knowledge ahead of the world’s research schedule!

What does all of this have to do with respect? Society is devoid of moral values; violence reigns, abuse by the authorities is constant, and disrespect is seen in everything, especially in the groaning nature: water, soil, and air are polluted. Nations are looking for alternatives to stop the situation and the first step is to stop generating polluters. Where to begin?

“The womb is the first home that human beings inhabit. It is well-known that every beginning not only has great power but is decisive. The powerful ‘imprint’ of early life is a fractal [defines] the trajectory of an individual’s existence. What is experienced since the first moments of physical life on the planet, and this includes conception, is like a trail of footprints in fresh cement, difficult to erase.”

Nine Months to Save the World

Notice the depth of these words and how they confirm everything that has already been said!

In 2012, at the Rio+20 summit, Julie Gerland, representative of OMAEP (World Organization for Prenatal Education Associations), highlighted the power that women have in forming an individual and stated that investing in the well-being and the joy of pregnant women is to save and preserve the future. She says that,

“Children thus carried, having their neurophysiology respected, have a healthy brain (healthy, robust) and are predisposed to empathy, creativity, compassion, and respect for life (Kinship with all life) in all its forms.”

quoted in Nine Months to Save the World

Looking around, can you see the reality of these words? The world is full of children, young people, and adolescents who are ill physically, emotionally, and spiritually; children of injured and sick parents. Sin, with its disastrous results, has been passed down from parents to children for generations, leaving an unfortunate trail of destruction, unhappiness, and disrespect for God, neighbor, and oneself.

I appeal to you who are not yet a mother but want to be: start preparing today. Study, read, pray, and ask for the help of the Holy Spirit to transform your mind and body to be able to teach your children from the womb to love God, others, and God’s creation. If you are already a mother but find yourself coming up short in this regard, don’t despair. Start studying, seek God’s help and mercy, and do your best to correct what is within your reach and redeem time. If your children have grown up and you no longer see what you can do, God doesn’t take into account the time of ignorance, but still, pray, study, and earnestly seek to be a source of blessing to your children through your own life, giving them a testimony of Jesus’ transforming power.

Motherhood is the greatest responsibility entrusted to mortals. There is much to discuss and reflect, so we want to hear from you. Tell us how this article was useful for your life and what you would like to see us talk about here. It will be a pleasure to talk and learn together!

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