Sanctity of Human Life Day is observed annually on the third Sunday in January. Two years ago around this time, I wrote a post defining what the term “pro-life” means to me (click here to read it). Today I feel led to offer a follow-up post on the subject. Before we begin, please know that this post was written with grace.
In 2014, addressing the readers who already identify themselves as pro-life, I described how the there is more under the “pro-life” umbrella than the abortion procedure. At that time I focused my article on hormonal birth control, but today I want to concentrate on another avenue of observing the sanctity of life.
For the past several months, I have been wrestling with the truth that we cannot limit the value of life only to those inside of the womb. The passion for and importance of life must transfer to people breathing the same air we are. Anyone who claims to be pro-life cannot simultaneously ignore the need to care, love, stand-up, and support children after they are born. The same principle applies to the women who are contemplating abortion! Those ladies, dearly loved by the Lord, need to know someone cares about them and their situation. They, and not just their unborn child, need our support.
Most simply stated we are to love people.
Specific to today’s post, we are to care for orphans, single moms, adoptive moms, and the women considering abortion.
If you are searching the Scriptures, it is impossible to outrun God’s heart for adoption. It permeates the entire Bible. I am convinced all believers are called to either adopt, foster, or fund someone else’s adoption.
About eight years ago, Jason and I were in the midst of the adoption process. We completed our home study and had taken many hours of educational classes. After being on the waiting list for only five months, we were thrilled to find out a birth mother had chosen us. Over the next few months, we met with her multiple times, as well as the birth father and his family. Our hearts grew for these individuals and their unborn child. We prepared our daughter’s room making sure to hang photos of her biological family. Much to our heartbreak, that adoption failed two days after the baby was born. I remember coming home to a husband on paternity leave and yet an empty nursery. I kept praying the mom would change her mind, so I continued to wait by the phone. After a few days of nothing, we hopped in the car and took a road trip because the silence of our house was unbearable.
Our situation sounds bit dramatic, and it took a few years before I reached a peace about it. Today I am content with the fact that I will pray for that sweet little girl every time I pray for my biological children. Perhaps we were matched with them so that the birth family and their little girl would always have someone spiritually fighting for them. But, honestly, it has made us hesitant to jump into the adoption process again. Over the past few years, as our family has grown biologically, we have financially supported those around us going through the adoption process, but the more we pray about it, the more we feel the Lord is instructing us in that direction. He has not yet revealed the how and when to us, but we can’t escape the nudging on our hearts or the explicit command in Scripture.
Adoption isn’t the only means by which you can care for orphans. Taking a pro-life stance for those in the United States also means being invested in the foster care system. Jesus himself says in John 14:18, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” If there are any human beings right now who need a safe home to hear that message, the children in the foster system would be it. I have a dear friend who has recently opened her home to children in the state’s care now that her biological children are in college. It’s beautiful… and messy and painful… but mostly beautiful. I see God so clearly demonstrated by the way she pours in and loves these children. I see Him at work not only in the lives of the little ones, but also in her, her marriage, and their biological children.
Going even a step further, children are not the only people in need of Christ’s love. Several ministries throughout the nation focus on caring for single moms, and many centers exist to provide prenatal and emotional care for women who are considering abortion. I would encourage you to pray about where God wants you to be involved. Pray that God will bring specific people into your life for you to encourage and support. I believe that Roe vs. Wade would be a non-factor if the church were truly stepping up to be the Body of Christ. Imagine how the pro-life moment would expand and flourish if women considering abortion knew they weren’t facing their situation alone and ran to the church for support rather than judgment! I love how Ann Voskamp worded a similar thought in her April 16th, 2013 post,
For Christ followers, it’s more than being pro-choice and pro-life — it’s about always being pro-the-least-of-these.
The abortion debate draws women and children as unexpected enemies; the Gospel defends both as unexpectedly vulnerable.
The abortion debate offers that a woman is ultimately responsible alone for her child; the Gospel offers that no woman is ever alone and the Body of Christ is response-able to both woman and child.
The abortion debate is not so much about how we can somehow change the law, but right now change how we love. To have credibility in lobbying for laws against the abortion of babies, we must have the dependability of opening our doors for the welcoming of children.
If the compassion of the world is “We do not unwanted children born into the world,” then the compassion of the Gospel has to be far more powerful. The compassion of Christ-followers needs to literally and practically and sacrificially be: “We do want all the children born into this world.”
If we are truly pro-the-least-of-these: How does each and every Christian live in a way that witnesses to wanting all children, to welcoming all children, to wrapping around all children?
And how do we value the worth of every single woman?
You and I, we have to. Because ultimately this isn’t a debate and we can’t turn away indifferent — When we turn away from vulnerable women and children, we turn away from the venerable Christ.
I understand this “What Does it Mean to Be Pro-Life” series may not seem directly related to marriage, but it is! Not only do we need to be wise and informed on which methods of birth control are fully pro-life, but as husband and wife, we need to unite in prayer for God to give us a vision for our family. How does he want us to care for the widows and orphans? Which of “the least of these” is he calling our family to minister to?
As we observe the Sanctity of Human Life Day this weekend, be mindful that there is more to being pro-life than opposing abortion! Yes, the millions of babies aborted since Roe vs. Wade are innocent victims who need our support, but we must also stand with the other victims of this fallen world! The struggling women and neglected or abandoned children cannot go unnoticed. We must come alongside those who are fighting on the front lines of this battle and offer them our financial and emotional support. We must obey the direction the Lord leads our families. Above all, we must pray for the Father’s heart to be imposed into each one of us. May our hearts break for what breaks His and may we spring into action!
What does being “pro-life” mean to you?