A friend emailed me a story the other day about the actor Jack Nicholson.
I wonder if you’ve ever heard about his upbringing?
Mr. Nicholson was raised by his grandparents. His biological mother conceived him as an unmarried teenager. Now 75 years of age, he still speaks very lovingly about his childhood and the wonderful people who surrounded him as a young boy. It was this background that firmed up his opposition to abortion and his support for the pro-life movement.
“I don’t have the right to any other view,” he once said. “My only emotion is gratitude, literally, for my life. If June and Ethel (his biological mother and grandmother) had been of less character, I would have never lived. These women gave me the gift of life.”
I’m intrigued by Mr. Nicholson’s choice of words, especially his reference to his mother and grandmother’s “character.”
You’ve probably heard it said that your character is who you really are when nobody is looking, when you’re alone with your desires and thoughts.
In this instance, Jack Nicholson has rightly connected character with behavior. That’s because one naturally flows from the other. And so in the greater scheme of the pro-life movement, if we want to reduce the number of abortions while simultaneously working to protect every life under law, we must redouble our commitment to raising children of godly character.
What does that look like?
The apostle Paul described the character of Christ when he wrote about the fruit of the Spirit:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).
Are your children growing in the fruit of the Spirit?
It’s always a good time to take a hard look at our character. It’s not always easy to do so, but it’s a critical discipline if we’re to live a truly God-honoring life.