To introduce this week’s lesson on the sanctity of human life, remind the men about the suicide of kidnapper and rapist Ariel Castro last September in Ohio. Click here to read story from USA Today. Note that Castro was serving a life sentence, plus 1,000 years for kidnapping and abusing three girls in his Cleveland home. Ask: How did you feel when you heard the news that Castro had committed suicide? Discuss responses.
- Point out that while Castro’s family was described as “devastated” by his death, others labeled him a “coward” who couldn’t take what he had dished out. Others believed he had done the world a favor.
- Highlight the following from the article, including the quote from Castro’s attorney: “The attorney says he realizes that many people will likely view Castro’s death as ‘good riddance,’ but says he plans to ‘get to the bottom’ of the circumstances surrounding his death. ‘This is a human being,’ he says.”
- Ask: What does Castro’s humanity have to do with our reaction to his death? Discuss responses.
Share that the implications of the lawyer’s statement—that every human life should be respected—actually aligns with the teaching of Scripture. Explain that today’s lesson examines selected verses from Psalm 139 and reminds us that every person is created by God in His image—and therefore possesses value.
Challenge men to consider whether or not they value some lives more than others and how God might want them to respond to the truth of today’s verses.
- Substitute the following question for Question 2 in the Personal Study Guide: When have you felt God’s presence the way David described in Psalm 139:1-6? How did it influence your view of Him?
- Substitute the following question for Question 4 in the Personal Study Guide: How do other belief systems say we were created? How do these compare to David’s description of God’s creation?
Share your thoughts. Who do you believe are the outcasts in our society today? What churches do to affirm the value of these individuals?
The options for men for the Honest to God unit were written by Bob Bunn. Bob helps develop stewardship curriculum and resources for churches for Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. He is the author of Indelible Parenting, a four week study for parents based on Deuteronomy 6. He and his wife, Mary, live in Nashville with their three teenagers.