Suicides are on the increase in our nation and worldwide. Statistics indicate that more persons have died this past year from suicide than from the dreaded coronavirus. As much as we find this topic uncomfortable, it is becoming evident that to protect the adolescents in our homes from this potential tragedy, we as parents need to be out ahead of this alarming trend. We need to prepare our family’s thinking on this topic now. Something is happening to the mentality in our culture that precedes these acts. That is where the battle is won or lost. We need to fortify our homes against the onslaught of cultural propaganda that all but proclaims that suicide is a viable option for handling our problems. While having compassion for those who have gone this route, we dare not allow our families to slip into a soft view of suicide.
In all declining empires, consensus views on nearly everything grow more and more twisted toward the end of that culture. These subtle, gradually accelerating deviant views, in fact, cause the collapse. A falling nation will grow destructive views on nearly all matters ranging from how to conduct a nation's finances (to navigate by debt, greed and fraud), to what constitutes a marriage (homosexual behavior has been prominent in all dying cultures), to what real beauty is (tattooing and carving/cutting on one's own skin), to that nation's view of death. A culture's view even of suicide is very telling.
Currently suicide in our nation is increasingly presented as a dominant way to solve problems in a growing number of thriller novels, movies, and rock music. Add to that the addiction of an adolescent (or an aimless grown man) to endless hours of virtual killing via video games, his compulsive thumb-stomping on the button to do it again and again, and you've got a real persuasion going on about the non-value of life. Our culture is saturated with this message.
Let's analyze the three things that choosing suicide really says, and make a point of discussing these with our family. The person contemplating suicide is thinking:
One: "God is not sufficient for me in this matter. My suffering is worse than anyone else's, either currently or perhaps in all of history, as far as I can see.”
Two: “I have the RIGHT to end my life.” [Though this is in direct defiance of one of the Ten Commandments that says, “Thou shall not murder.” Note: the moral condition of a person who commits suicide is no different from that of someone who dies in the middle of stealing or committing adultery; in each case, the person is directly disobeying one of the eternal moral laws of God.]
Three: “My body belongs only to me.” [This thought defies the Scripture in 1 Corinthians 3:17 which reads, "Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple."
Committing suicide really says, "God’s word is not to be feared, and I am now God over me." Thus suicide, at its root, under the cloak of self-pity, is on some level a final act of rebellion.
There are many people in the world and throughout history who would have gladly chosen suicide, but out of sheer obedience to God they didn’t. People suffering protracted, long severe illnesses are often tempted by the thought of it, but remain restrained out of deep reverence for God and the thought of meeting Him on the other side. And think of the countless saints who have been mercilessly tortured in concentration camps, who would have loved a way out, but resisted taking their own life, even when they were given the chance. Some lived through such tortures to the glory of God, for when they were released they went on to preach all over the world, declaring that they found that "There was no pit so deep that God wasn't deeper still" (Corrie Ten Boom).
The core issue that we need to teach our families is that God has retained the sovereign right over when life begins and when it ENDS for all of His creation, else He would not be Lord. God alone creates a mortal human being from its first throbbing cell, and then proceeds to sustain it henceforth with every heartbeat. He retains the sole right to end what He alone began. To see that this is so, recall that a man has nothing to do with the hour of his conception. Try as he might, he could not begin his own life. It follows then, that God alone will choose the hour of his death. But all this truth is hardly mentioned from our pulpits amidst 100 sermons over a lifetime, and no doubt is thoroughly absent from the rock music songs—because God Himself is absent from the pop hits. Thus, among the songs of youth any accountability TO God is missing, as well.
Sometimes in Scripture we read that God, as the benevolent parent over all creation, tells us things very firmly. He has said: "Thou shalt not eat of the tree of good and evil." Later in history He said: "Thou shalt not touch the ark." The man died who touched it, even though he was trying to keep it from falling." Strange as it may seem to the modern permissive mind, there are some things God forbids. When God says "Do not" and we directly defy that mandate, history shows there may be irreversible consequences. We are not dealing with a moody psychiatrist here or a goofy mad scientist; we are dealing with the eternal God of the universe. And in Hebrews 12:29 it says of Him that at times He is a “consuming fire” (also in Deuteronomy 4:24 and elsewhere). What we must teach our families is that suiciders will wake UP from their suicides. Who and what they meet with will be infinitely more to deal with than what they were dealing with here.
Instead of discussing these things with seriousness, we as a post Christian-culture have descended into a secular view of all life, allowing it to grow in the songs and media that we buy—sometimes even to joke about it. We've marketed suicide. We've become soft on suicide. Secularism always leads to a death wish, be it Hitler's and Stalin's camps, or our own nation’s 55 million abortions, the vast majority of which were done for personal convenience. Suicide, euthanasia, and short-circuiting the job of procreation through a burgeoning homosexuality, quickly follow. As a result of our secularism, the empire will die—just as it wished for, and argued for, an infinite number of smaller deaths on scores of other topics.
Let us, instead, resolutely choose life by jealously and carefully watching over the messages our children are receiving through media—because what you are so earnestly teaching in the living room can be stolen in a child’s bedroom through rock music and other media. Close off the avenues to the bad press. Have a talk with your children about this deviant message so prevalent among their peers. Do not be soft on suicide. The church and family must hold the line on this one. Speak sternly to your children that this is not an option for solving problems. Let them hear firmly and clearly that there is a morning after.