This one is a bit heavy today; if anyone knows me, I absolutely detest confrontation, and am usually buttoned up about all issues political or social because I know what I believe and I simply hate to argue with anyone about it. But these thoughts were so heavy on my mind that I had to get them out, and so here I am, weighing in on the issue of abortion, women’s rights, and the recent decisions made in Alabama. I know I’m about two weeks late to the party, but that’s how serious it is for me to write this – I had to take some time to think on it and pray about it, and this is what is on my mind and what I feel God has led me to share with you.
For the record, I am not anti-woman or anti-woman’s rights. I am not pro-white man. I am not pro-life. I am not pro-choice. I am not any one of the many divisions we continually create among ourselves. I am, however, pro-God and pro-His design for life, procreation and the moral right. We, as women, have been given an incredibly honorable position in this life by being made participants in the miracle of creating life, and yet it seems we are fighting to throw that honor away because of hardship, inconvenience, or difficulty.
No matter your denomination, Biblical interpretation, or political leanings, as followers of Christ, we are called to uphold the teachings of the Word as absolute and unchanging truth – as light to a dark and fallen world, and as our absolute moral compass and ultimate authority. Humanity has always muddied the waters based on our perceived “rights”, convenience, feeling, intellect and popular opinion – we are not to uphold any of those things as truth, however, and will certainly not be able to use them as an excuse when we stand before God on the day of judgement. Earthly situations can feel serious, and indeed are serious, but this life is merely a precursor to eternity, so think very carefully about the decisions that you make here.
God spoke his thoughts on this through His prophets, who walked closely with Him and heard His word:
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” – Jeremiah 1:5
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand— when I awake, I am still with you. – Psalm 139:13-18
God speaks to us through His word, making it CLEAR that each new life is known by Him already as a treasured creation, an individual spirit that is known and loved by Him. It may be your body, but it is also now concerning the body of a new life, with a new soul that is not yours to extinguish. It is not your choice, and if we are arrogant enough to step into the position where we dictate life and death, woe to us. We should never assume that responsibility of deciding who lives and who dies in this capacity – only God.
His word is pretty clear on that too:
“You shall not murder”. Exodus 20:13
“Have nothing to do with a false charge and do not put an innocent or honest person to death, for I will not acquit the guilty.” Exodus 23:7
“And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each human being, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being. “Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind.” Genesis 9:5-6
“There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.” – Proverbs 6:16-19
God’s perfect design is that a mother’s body is to protect, nurture, and comfort her unborn baby – from the first moments of conception, a mother gives nutrients, blood, and safety for the child to grow and develop. A newborn baby knows and can differentiate its mothers voice and heartbeat immediately at birth. My own baby girl was a little bit unstable when she was born until the moment she was laid on my chest, and she instantly became calm and her vitals remained stable from that moment on; a mother means comfort. A mother means safety. A mother means calm. A mother means selfless care and nurturing. And we are voting to turn God’s beautiful design on its head and say that a mother means “you are inconvenvient to me, I will get rid of you.” “Its not a good time for me, I’m making the choice to end your existence.” “I’m scared, I’m making this decision about your life.” “I made a mistake, I don’t care about you as much as I care about myself.”
If there is “choice” involved, it is the choice to match your lifestyle to God’s design to limit negative consequences like unplanned pregnancies outside of marriage because of questionable choices. It is to have faith in a sovereign God that will take a negative situation and work it out for your good if you only seek Him and have faith that “ …all things work together for good to them that love God” (Romans 8:28). It is to see any new life as a miraculous gift from the Giver of life, and not as a trivial blip on your radar to be discarded as unwanted trash. It is to trust Him implicitly even in the midst of a health crisis or scary report from a doctor. It is to see yourself in the scope of eternity, and to understand that even if your mortal body is in danger, or situations have occurred that were outside of your control, it is far more important for your eternal soul to be at peace and in line with the perfect will of God than for your life to be convenient, without difficulty or disruptions to your plan.
There are people in this country, your neighborhood, church, school, EVERYWHERE yearning with heart and soul for a child to love and to give a home and a future – did you know that a recent estimate of the cost of adoption through an agency is close to $40,000? Whereas a private adoption arranged directly between parties is a much more feasible $4000 (americanadoptions.com). Have you stepped outside of your own view long enough to realize that your difficulty could be the answer to someone else’s lifelong prayer? That you have the power to make a decision to give someone else the chance to create their dream life and family without going into financial ruin? You could create a miracle in someone else’s life!
I am saying all of this, and yet I know that, to play devil’s advocate for a minute, in the face of my own death due to pregnancy or birth complications, I would be terrified and feeling lost and “cheated” of the rest of my life. If I were in the position of a husband, being in a dramatic situation where the doctors are asking me to choose to save my wife or my baby would be crippling and haunting. To be the victim of a horrendous act like rape and find out I was carrying a child from that would make me feel helpless, ashamed and horrified at the thought of a child. But the decision to end these babies’ lives is not our decision to make. We cannot use the excuse of a difficult or scary situation to sanction ending another life. We simply can’t do it.
Many of you may not know, but I actually did have an unplanned pregnancy. I had just moved to a new state, started a new job, and did not have any medical insurance at the time. I was living with my parents and my husband hadn’t found a new job yet in our new home state – it was really the worst possible timing! I was scared, unprepared, and trying to find my way; the difficulties made it a bit difficult to feel absolute joy over the pregnancy, but I was still happy and felt like I would do anything to be sure the baby was healthy and loved and we were able to provide. A few short weeks later, I lost the baby, and was utterly devastated. It was our second loss in a year, and I mourned those babies deeply and for a long time. But, those are the exact situations where our hope and anchor MUST be in Jesus alone and not in our physical state, our situation in life, or our “plans”. It would be devastating to lose a spouse, or a child, in circumstances such as those, but even more devastating would be to come before the throne of God with the blood of an innocent on your hands because you “knew” the outcome in advance and stepped into the role of God to manufacture a better outcome for yourself. It is so dangerous for us to play that role, and it comes with eternal consequences. We cannot know the will of God, and so to play His hands here on earth and create endings that work well for us is a dangerous business.
Of course, just like everything, ultimately this isn’t about abortion. This is about God and man, and how far we, in our intellect, have gotten from His sovereignty, love and grace. We cannot decide these things and be in the will of God. His will is for life, for love, for prosperity and for hope. We cannot be living squarely in the spirit of God and even have something like this up for debate. How He must mourn to see these babies discarded as if they were nothing! Read in the Bible the stories in Exodus and Matthew about Pharoah and Herod murdering vast numbers of innocent babies that were inconvenient and a source of fear for them – things did not go well for them, and it seems we have not learned that lesson either. Distance from God and living outside of His will will never create situations where we do the right thing.
The pride I felt at reading of the decisions recently made in Alabama, and the quotes that came from it, gave me such hope that there are still God-fearing people in positions of authority here in this country. People that know that public outcry is no match for the word and authority of an all powerful God. I pray that God blesses them for their faithfulness to His word, and that more people are pushed into action because of it!