Disposable People--by Kimberly B. Southall

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Our society has embraced the convenience of disposable items. There are disposable napkins, plates, cups, eating utensils, baby wipes, diapers, cleaning supplies, contact lenses, and the list goes on and on. Many of these things make our daily life much easier and more sanitary. And we're grateful for them. But I believe this ease of "disposability" has crossed over into territory which is far from sanitary. I speak of our society's evil trend toward treating people as disposable, too. Do we, as Christians, do so, too?

Unborn babies. God's Word makes it clear that each person is created by God in the womb:

13For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. 14I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:13-16 (NIV) [See also Isaiah 44:2, 24; Isaiah 49:5; Jeremiah 1:4-6]

It is also very clear in His Word that God forbids killing innocent humans:

"You shall not murder." Exodus 20:13 (NIV) [See also Matthew 15:19; Matthew 19:18; Mark 7:12; Mark 10:19; Luke 18:20; Romans 1:29; Romans 13:9; James 2:11]

And, yet, millions of innocent babies have been murdered in the womb (and some even after emerging from the womb) with the approval of the government and the people as a whole. We dress it up by calling it by politically correct terms like "abortion" and "choice," but a rose by any other name would still smell just as sweet (or in this case rotten), and it's murder. Our babies have become disposable in the eyes of our society. By and large, we sit idly by and turn a blind eye to this evil. God does not. Babies are not disposable to God; they shouldn't be to us, either.

Spouses. The Bible states in no uncertain terms that divorce is contrary to God's will:

"I hate divorce," says the Lord God of Israel . . . Malachi 2:16 (NIV)

1Jesus then left that place and went into the region of Judea and across the Jordan. Again crowds of people came to him, and as was his custom, he taught them. 2Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?" 3"What did Moses command you?" he replied. 4They said, "Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away." 5"It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law," Jesus replied. 6"But at the beginning of creation God 'made them male and female.' 7'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, 8and the two will become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one. 9Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." 10When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this. 11He answered, "Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. 12And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery." Mark 10:1-12 (NIV)  [See also Matthew 19:1-12; Luke 16:18; 1 Corinthians 7:10-17]

God's Word clearly teaches that when two people marry, they become one flesh. God has joined them together and they are not to be separated. This is so very simple . . . just like the "standard" marriage vows which go something like, "for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, 'til death do us part." But is that the way it is in our society today? Or even in our churches? No, the statistics I've heard recently are that half of marriages end in divorce. That's pitiful even by the world's standards, but in the church it's inexcusable and disgraceful. And it's because many selfishly see their spouses as disposable. When things aren't as rosy as they once were, one or both spouses begin to think they'd be better off without the other. They want to be "free" of the burden of dealing with the other personthey want to be "happy." How can doing the very thing which God said He hates, which is forbidden in His Word, make someone truly happy? It doesn't. But this fact doesn't seem to stop many from trying to separate what God has joined together.

Husbands and wives, you are one flesh. You vowed to love one another for as long as you both shall live. Do it. Love is an action, not a feeling. Don't harden your heart; love your spouse the way God loves youunconditionally. Your spouse is not disposable.

Others. There are so many others ofttimes considered to be disposable, I surely will unintentionally miss naming some. Some of these other "disposable people" include the elderly, the terminally ill, the mentally ill, the physically handicapped, those with serious problems such as addictions, troublesome teens, "illegal aliens," and persecuted Christians in other countries. In other words, we can be apathetic toward other people for whom our taking the time to care might be too difficult or take too much of our time or effort.

Think about it. Are there people whom you consciously or subconsciously consider to be "disposable"? Remember this:

16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:16 (NIV)

God loved the whole worldthat means every one-enough to send His Son to die for our sins so that we could be saved. If He loves everyone that much (and He does), then we should also do our utmost to do so. No onebe they unborn infant, unloving spouse, elderly with dementia, terminally or mentally ill, etc.is disposable. No one.

Copyright © 2004 Kimberly B. Southall. All rights reserved.