The tragic news of the Robb Elementary School shooting in Texas on Tuesday has got my heart aching and head spinning. Young, innocent lives were taken horrifically, cowardly, and needlessly.  It seems the only thing our nation can agree on right now is that those children and teachers did not deserve to die. Is there anything good that can come from this heinous crime? Here are three things that I feel are important takeaways.

Reminds us of the importance of raising our kids well

I’m not sure on the details of the shooter’s upbringing, but regardless he was a disturbed teen. At judgment, we will all be held accountable for our own actions. This means that the abused or neglected child that grows up and kills innocent people will be without excuse. It also means that parents who abuse or neglect their children will also be held accountable (for them, it would be better to have a millstone hung around their necks and cast into the sea than what awaits…Matthew 18:6). 

All parents have a duty to bring up their children in a loving and secure environment. Just the basics- love, safety, and gentle yet firm guidelines for behaviors- is going to foster a more peaceful and pleasant community for all. Just imagine a world where all children get this kind of upbringing and what a difference that would make.

But as Christians, we must go deeper. We submit ourselves to every bit of wisdom found in the Bible, knowing God knows best. We teach our kids the true story of how Jesus loves them so much He died for them, and how they are sinners only saved by grace. We teach them about His resurrection and His return, to give them hope and equip them for whatever may come. We live by example, as kids are always watching and imitating us. And we get on our knees and pray to God for mercy and help.  

As parents, we can’t control our kids’ hearts or dictate their future or even pick and choose mental illnesses or disabilities they may face, but we can use every means given to us to set them up for success. When we fail them, we can demonstrate humility by apologizing, making a change, and resting in God’s grace for us.

(Read more about parenting in Michelle’s post: Disciple Them Well! Raise Them Well! Love them Well!)

Reminds us of the value of human life

As more details emerge about the victims of the Texas school shooting, I feel my emotions intensify. The sorrow grows deeper and the anger gets stronger. Two beloved teachers and 19 beautiful children were murdered, and many others wounded. We can see their pictures and read their stories and hear what their families are saying about them. And it’s absolutely heart-breaking. It destroys us. Why? Because we value human life. All human beings are made in the image of God, and the more innocent the image-bearer, the more injustice we feel when that life is snuffed out.  

I’m not sure about the chances of a “pro-abortionist” reading a blog called Red State Ramblings, but just in case that’s you, please hear me. That same heartbreak and outrage you feel over these 21 completely unnecessary and preventable deaths is what half the country (or more) feels about the 2 to 3 thousand aborted babies in the U.S. Every. Single. Day. Let that sink in. Innocent lives are being snuffed out by the millions. 

Somehow this atrocity is hailed as a woman’s right and good for women- yet those people never talk about the physical risks to the mother (such as infection, hemorrhaging, and complications with future pregnancies) or the psychological trauma caused by an abortion. Why are so many women choosing this painful path over motherhood or adoption? I’m sure many of them are pressured into it, by selfish sex-driven men or profiting doctors. Or maybe it’s the way society has taught her that she’s not strong enough to be a mother and have success in the world, so she will have to pick. In any case, in the end, it will be better for these influencers to be tied to a millstone and thrown into the sea. . . We must see abortion for what it truly is: bad for women and bad for society. We must unite to protect innocent human life and actually care for the women and babies who need help. They’re worth it. 

Making abortion illegal won’t bring them back, but it does acknowledge them as having had the right to life and prevent many future lives from being wrongfully taken before even given a chance. (And I’d much rather live in a state that supports this position than one that will use tax money to fund abortions…) This site is an excellent resource for the pro-life movement: 

Reminds us of the cross

Finally, I am reminded of the most innocent life that ever lived and how that life was horribly taken. Only Jesus, the Son of God, walked a perfect and sinless life. He never acted selfishly and he never broke a single commandment. He was tempted by Satan and yet He remained completely devoted to serving mankind and offering himself as a sacrifice for us. As I said before, the more innocent the life, the more injustice we feel when it is taken. That’s why Jesus’ brutal murder by execution (despite him being completely innocent of any crime or even a single sinful thought) was the worst day in human history.

And yet, that’s what it took to redeem God’s people. That magnitude of horror and sorrow and tragedy was needed to pay the price for sin. Whether it’s the sin of murder or more hidden sin such as harboring hate, greed, envy, lust, or idol-worship, God freely offers salvation through the blood of his innocent lamb.

Final thoughts

Join me in praying for the victim’s families and the entire community of Uvalde, Texas. I highly recommend you read this sweet story about how one school responded with a box of tissue nearby:

I know, too, that gun control vs the Second Amendment is a hot topic right now, but I’ll save that post for another day. Let’s mourn and pray for the families, members and leaders of the community, that God would give them comfort, strength, and wisdom needed to face another day.