Abortion is a tragic part of our cultural reality right now. Every day, babies are killed in the name of convenience, rights, or even responsibility. It’s deplorable and it’s heart-rending. It’s a mindset that flies in the face of our Designer’s value of life.
We need to be taking steps to end it. We need to be fighting to protect unborn life.
But we also need to ask ourselves a question — Are we actually even pro-life?
Pro-life advocates are often accused of fighting for unborn babies then disappearing while that baby grows up. Where are we, people ask, when babies grow up hungry and unloved? Where are we when kids in foster care are shuffled from family to family? Where are we when people are starving in the streets or when mothers feel so scared for their babies’ futures, they get desperate?
Anti-abortion and pro-life aren’t the same thing.
Because God’s value of life doesn’t end when a baby is born. In Luke 12:6-7, Jesus said:
“Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
God cares enough about each person that He takes the time to number the hairs on their head. He loves and cherishes them individually for the entirety of their lives. And He asks us to do the same.
So how can we be sure that we are truly seeing life the way that God sees it?
Valuing the Lives of Hurting Women
All over the country, people are standing with signs in front of abortion clinics, hurling accusations and insults at the women walking in. All the time, people make faces when women admit to having an abortion. We shake our heads at those who would even consider it. And we do this all in the name of valuing life.
But have we ever considered the stories of those women? Are we trying to understand the poverty, the hurt, or the desperation that drive many to make the choice to end a baby’s life?
Not to say that we should condone the conclusion they came to, but are we treating those women with the basic human dignity that they are afforded as image-bearers of God?
Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”
Every person, regardless of the choices they make, should be treated with value based solely on that fact. Yelling that women who choose abortion are “baby-killers” steps far from how Jesus would treat them (see how He treated the adulteress in John 8:1-11). Not only that, it minimizes your chance to help those women who are desperately and incorrectly trying to solve real problems.Yelling insults at women who have abortions steps far from how Jesus would treat them. Click To Tweet
Valuing the life means living out Colossians 3, which tell us to “put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering…” (verse 12) and then in verse 14 says, “But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.”
We need to share with those women who are considering an abortion how wrong it is, but we need to be “speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15).
Valuing the Lives of Children
According to the Administration for Children and Families, there are currently more than 400,000 children in the foster care system. We are working and praying for the day when abortions will be illegal, but we have to know that when it comes that number will only go up. As we present adoption as a viable option for mothers with no means, more and more of those children will be placed into foster care.
Are we valuing the lives of those children?
What about the lives of children growing up in rough homes? Or the children who leave school every weekend with no hope for a square meal until Monday?
Are we treating those children like their lives have value to us?
God has a tender heart for those who are unable to advocate for themselves. In Isaiah 1:17, God tells the people of Israel, “Learn to do good; seek justice, rebuke the oppressor; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow.”
In Psalm 68:5, it says, “A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy habitation.”
Ending abortion won’t suddenly make every child wanted or well-cared for. As we are seeking after the heart of God, we have to be finding ways to care for the children who are in less-than-stellar situations. That might mean praying about adoption, supporting others who are fostering, or just being a friend to a child who lives in our neighborhood.
As we fight for kids to have the chance to live, we have to know that our obligations to love and serve them can’t end with their first cry.Our obligation to love children can't end with their first cry. Click To Tweet
More than anything, valuing the people around us means caring for their souls. It is asking God to help us love them with the depth with which He loves them. And it means putting ourselves in sometimes awkward or difficult situations to ensure that each one has the chance to hear about the love and sacrifice of Jesus.
In John 14:6, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Each person can only have access to God’s forgiveness, His grace, and His hope through Jesus. And there are people around us who don’t know that.
More than anything, God desires for each life to give an opportunity to come to Him. 1 Timothy 2:4 says that He “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
That should be our desire as well.
Making Pro-Life Decisions
So what does this look like? How can we live in a way that goes beyond being anti-abortion and truly is pro-life?
Well, we have to look at every person with the love of God. We have to know that He designed each person in His own image. And we have to recognize that God loves each person enough to send His Son to suffer for all of their sins.
Thinking that way will change the way we think about abortion, the way we think about war, disease, poverty… We will be driven to provide for the lives of others and to be extremely cautious about putting others in danger. It will even change the way we look at the strangers we pass on the street.
Learning to love others the way God does will teach us to see their lives with the value that He does.