I read this piece initially, and had very little interest in speaking to it for a couple of reasons. Yet the more I thought about it, the more it piqued my interest. I wondered, how many moms continue to smoke while they are pregnant?Well, take a look at the chart below
I was also curious to know what were the most common birth defects caused by smoking mothers. Turns out to be a cleft palate; interestingly enough though, it can easily cause other, more severe deformations of the infant’s body, cardiovascular system, nervous system, and more. It can cause premature birth, low birth weight, sickness (varies greatly), and for the mother: gives a greater risk for miscarriage, cause issues with the mother’s placenta, and the other obvious health risks.
The interesting thing about smoking while pregnant is that most people are fully aware of the consequences. If they don’t know, all one must do is type “risks with smoking while pregnant” or some other assortment of garbled letters. You can misspell “smoking” and still come up with website after website of the dangers associated with the activity while pregnant. Actually, all you really need to do is be able to read, turn your wrist over, and look at the surgeon general’s warning on the box of smokes as you flip the top to pull out your “lucky.”
I have no issues with a person that smokes. I smoke. I enjoy cigars, a pipe, and even cigarettes. I don’t believe there is anything remotely sinful about the activity; though it can present sinful tendencies in it being something you are slave to. My point being: if you can’t go a day without a cigarette, you’re subjecting yourself over to be mastered by something. Seriously.
However, there is something more problematic when a mother smokes. The mom isn’t affecting her own health only; she’s directly inflicting upon an infant at the most crucial point in development. This is sin, against your child and your Maker.
If we truly believe that all children are a gift and heritage from the Lord, that they are a blessing, that they are utterly dependent upon our care – I don’t see how we can possibly continue to put them in harm’s way. One may cognitively agree with those statements, yet if they continue to smoke during their pregnancy, there is a fundamental disconnect. There are also some other, deeper issues of the heart going on.
Photo From: http://www.co.benton.or.us/health/health_status/images/mat23.jpg
So, you smoked while you were pregnant and your baby suffered some of the consequences of it. What now?
If there are long-term consequences, there will yet be long-term consequences. This is the unavoidable weight that comes pressing down when we’ve done something we regret, having gained wisdom and granted repentance on the other side of it. The results of sin can often be more detrimental than we first thought they could ever be. And yet, all such things are under the control of a sovereign God who decreed such a thing would come to be.
There is not one instance where something is outside of the Lord’s jurisdiction or control. Nothing escapes Him. Let this be your comfort and delight, knowing that the punishment we face for sin is the result of our Father chastening us. Know too, that this great evil is the result of a fallen world subjected to futility. Know, even more so, that there are always consequences in handling precious things in environments of incredible danger.
One may ask the age-old question of God’s benevolence in respect to ordaining such a thing to pass – yet what is man that we stand before our Maker and shake our fist? How might one do so, having known that which they did was wrong?
Yet primarily, this is a gospel answer. Forgiveness is always readily available to those who repent and turn to Christ. Always. Christ shall restore all things, and these great evils we see today will be done away with. In this time, we must endure, even through the results of our own doing.