Much of Ashland has been astir as of late due to the recent teen suicides that have occurred. That there has been a string of such incidents means that we should pause and consider the issue in light of biblical reflection.
I want to emphasize this point to: The best way to prevent suicide is to teach and embrace the truths presented in the Bible. Any other worldview will only help to enhance the tendency towards death.
What motivated the series of suicides locally is unknown to me. I will not pretend to know what issues those particular souls struggled with. Neither will I say that all the guidelines below will prevent suicide altogether. Man is sinful at heart, and will carry out his evil designs. Nevertheless, there are serious issues of a worldview nature that ought to be considered so that these types of episodes are less likely to be repeated.
The first issue regarding these questions of worldview is that of law and the public affirmation of what God has decreed in Scripture regarding murder.
Doubtfully anyone will object to the fact that taking one’s life is against the sixth commandment’s prohibition on murder. Suicide is, after all, self murder. The Bible makes it clear that such an act is a gross violation of God’s law. Moreover, the implication of the law is that we have the opposite responsibility of seeing to the welfare of our persons and possessions.
Teaching such a position then is helpful for it reinforces the notion of self preservation. Even if one does not believe in God per se, the active promotion of this commandment helps to restrain such actions (see The Restraint of Evil).
Since God’s law is not advanced in our day by the schools and public officials the culture has devolved into a relativistic mindset. Without this absolute moral base kids do not have any legitimate reason to stave off their own deaths. The choice of suicide has become just as viable as the choice to have breakfast in the morning.
What kids need now is to understand that there is a higher Lawgiver to whom they are accountable. In hearing this publicly proclaimed they will recognize that they are not the ones who determine right or wrong by their own accord.
To be sure, the commandments of God promote life. These statues need to be taught because they will put in the minds of young people the understanding that they ought to do their best to safeguard their lives.
[The above material is part 1 on how to help prevent further suicides locally]
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Matt is blessed to be a husband, father, and pastor in Ashland, Ohio.