For the Christian, a pro-life worldview is more than just a political or moral stance. It is a Biblical one. Our theology of God and His creation are the integral foundation of why we hold to such a view. I am pro-life because the Bible teaches me that God is the author and creator of life and that He has made us in His image (Genesis 1:26-27). I believe that all human life, even that of the unborn, has immense value and worth. When asked where we stand on the issue of abortion, most believers would unreservedly say they are pro-life. However, we need to ask ourselves if our pro-life stance is just an idea in our minds, or does it also have action? Does my belief about the sanctity of human life have any outward manifestations or is it just a concept that I affirm and am willing to debate? What am I actually doing to protect the life that God has made?
Scripture abounds with verses exhorting us to put our beliefs to work in this area. Here are just a few:
“Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” Psalm 82:3-4
So, how can we make our beliefs active today in this area? How can we serve and love in this broken world? Here are five ways we can put our pro-life values into action:
What we believe is so important. But beliefs without actions are meaningless. During the Roman Empire, it was common practice for parents to abandon unwanted infants, leaving them to die, exposed to the elements. It was primarily the early church that undertook the cause of rescuing and caring for rejected children. They put their faith to work, and we we'd do well to follow their example.
1. Support Pro-Life Legislation
This is an obvious one. As long as we continue to live in a democratic republic, we ought to use that freedom to uphold what is good and right. However, we must remember that we live in a fallen world, and we can never fully legislate morality. If the day ever comes that we outlaw abortion, that won’t be the end of it. The human heart is wicked, loves sin, and will find any way it can to get what it wants. A person’s biggest problem isn’t that of getting an abortion, using drugs, or living a promiscuous lifestyle. Mankind’s biggest problem is that he doesn’t know God and is a slave to his sin. Everything else is just evidence of that fact. So, yes, please vote. Let your voice be heard by your senators and other elected officials. But remember, the real weapon in the battle against abortion is not human law, it's God changing hearts and those who minister His truth to this lost world.
2. Participate in Adoption
My husband and I always wanted to adopt, even before we learned it would be the only way we could become parents. But adoption isn’t only for couples who cannot conceive. I’m so grateful to be part of a church where we have numerous families who have beautifully blended both biological and adopted children. It is a living, breathing portrait of the Gospel. As John Piper said,
“The Gospel is not a picture of adoption. Adoption is a picture of the Gospel.”
For this reason, I believe it ought to be the church that is leading the way when it comes to adoption. When a woman has the courage not only to carry and deliver a baby that would otherwise have been aborted but is also willing to place that precious life in another family, the church ought to be ready, willing, and eager to reach out to her and her child with love and support.
Many are fearful or hesitant to adopt.
Yes, yes, and YES!!!
The process of adoption has many difficulties and obstacles, but it is well worth it! If you are considering adoption, even in the slightest, know that there are countless resources as well as a community of adoptive parents who can encourage and support you through your journey. In our own adoption experience, my husband and I had two wonderful, godly couples who came alongside us and shared their stories, what they learned and gave us practical counsel and encouragement as we navigated the process. It has been our joy to do the same for other couples and families!
Not everyone is called to adopt, but I do believe that adoption is for everyone. In other words, if you are not able to adopt, consider that you can still take part by supporting adoption ministries and adoptive families. Adoption is very expensive. A domestic adoption can cost $25,000 - $60,000. While there are grants and loans available, the process can be tricky to navigate. Often, it is the very real fear of the financial aspect of adoption that keeps people from stepping out to pursue it. If we as the church came together and gave generously to these couples, think of how many more children could be adopted into loving, biblical homes! We give and spend our money on so many things that don’t last and have little value. What has greater value than the life of a child and the gift of a family?
Another way to provide for adoption is to give charitable gifts to the numerous faith-based adoption agencies and ministries. These agencies not only help those seeking to adopt but they have an important platform to minister to birth mothers and families. They provide support and counseling and have the opportunity to share and live the Gospel to women who are scared and searching for help. Additionally, there is potential for adoptive families to continue to minister and speak truth into the life of birth mothers even after placement. While in the past, most adoptions were secretive and closed, the current trend is to encourage an open or semi-open relationship which provides adoptive families the opportunity to further love and live out the Gospel in the connection they build with these women. As I think about all the moments my adoptive mom friends and I have had to express to our respective birth mothers the life-changing love of Christ, my heart is overwhelmed! Adoption not only promotes life, but it is a wonderful tool for reaching hearts with the Gospel
3. Participate in Foster Care
There are over 600,000 children in foster care in the United States. While most children will statistically remain in the system for a year or two, there are many who will languish there for five years or more. During this time, they can be moved to a different home anywhere from 3-30 times. The continuous upheaval, removal from friends and schools, as well as estrangement from their parents and family creates an enormous need and opportunity for the church to minister.
The goal of foster care is the reunification of families. While many children can and have been adopted out of the system, those who decide to participate as foster parents are primarily engaged in the task of providing a safe, loving home for these children while their parents do the work of regaining custody.
Being a foster parent is not for the faint of heart. You are opening your heart and home to children who are hurting and often have numerous and profound needs. When presented with the idea of foster care, I’ve commonly heard many people say, “I could never do that. I would love them too much and wouldn’t be able to let them go. It would be too hard.” My friend Maiah, who is a foster parent along with her husband Kyle, has the right and biblical response to such feelings. “You can't be in it for you,” she says.
“You will be disappointed. For all those people who think and say, ‘I could never do it . . . I could never say goodbye.’ I think the focus needs to turn from [self] and to the children who need someone to love them, feed them, bathe them, change them, and help them grow during a time when their parents and family cannot. This is a ministry of service, and it is loving your neighbor, even if your heart breaks just thinking about having to pack his little bag and hand him over to someone else. God's grace is sufficient for you and me, too.”
Christian foster parents have the opportunity to share the gospel and love of Christ with the children in their home, even if only for a little while. Those seeds of truth are planted with faith, knowing that God may bring others along to water and reap in due time! They can also have a great impact on the parents and families of their foster placements. It is truly a domestic mission field!
Of course, not everyone is called to foster parent, but we can all participate in foster care. Give charitable gifts to faith-based foster organizations like Faith Bridge, a ministry that works to equip local churches to meet their community’s foster needs.
Another way to participate is to serve foster families by becoming certified as a respite family. Respite homes take foster children temporarily (anywhere from a weekend to two weeks) to give foster parents a short break. This is a huge blessing to foster families! Additionally, you can serve foster families with something as simple as regularly taking a meal or offering to babysit. Helping them to carry the load they bear in any way is a great encouragement. Most of all, let these families know that you see them, you care, and you are praying for them as they serve the Lord by loving these children and their families.
4. Support Pro-Life Ministries
One of the major factors that lead to terminated pregnancies is a lack of information. Most women who choose abortion not only believe it is their only option but do not even really know what happens when they abort their child. My daughter’s birth mom once shared with me that she aborted her very first pregnancy and regretted it deeply. “I had no idea,” she told me. “It was a horrible experience. I will never do it again.”
Additionally, social and economic pressures are heavy factors that lead women to resort to abortion. According to a 2004 survey by the Guttmacher Institute, 48% of women said they choose to abort because they were either not ready for a child or felt they could not financially support one. Thankfully, there are many ministries that are working to remove these obstacles and provide these women with a better alternative.
For example, consider a ministry like Abort73 whose mission is to provide extensive education and information about the injustice of abortion, both to the child and mother. Their work is in “response to God's call to establish justice, expose evil, minister to the needy and helpless, and extend love to every human person.” Donating to ministries like these provides crucial information to those who are considering abortion and equips pro-life proponents with both secular facts and theological truth that they can use to inform others.
Other pro-life ministries that need the support of believers are crisis pregnancy centers. These centers are the “boots on the ground” in the battle to prevent abortions. They work to provide education, counseling, and resources to pregnant mothers. Consider donating money or even your time to these organizations. They are often in need of volunteers to assist in community outreach, counseling, distributing information, hosting events, and more. Some of these centers, such as The HOPE Center, even provide prenatal care and position medic buses in areas that are targeted by Planned Parenthood to show these mothers that they are loved and there is another way. Considering giving your money, time, or whatever resources you have to these kinds of ministries!
Pray for the women who find themselves with an unwanted and unplanned pregnancy. Pray for opportunities to meet such women and be ready to share the truth and love of Christ with them. Pray for the parents of adoption and foster care. Pray for the countless ministries who are working to save children from abortion. Pray without ceasing!
Only God can change the heart. This is where the battle truly lies. It won’t be won through legislation or a condemnatory attitude. Preventing abortions will happen as one life touches another and spreads not only the truth about the injustice of abortion but more importantly the life-changing truth about Christ and the Gospel. This is the greatest need!
The battle to protect life is a platform to share the Gospel. If we sit back and only espouse the idea that life is precious and should be protected but do nothing to actually reach people enslaved to their sin who feel there is no other way, what good is our belief?
God’s word calls us to put hands and feet to what we believe with our minds.
“So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” James 4:17
Prayerfully consider where and how you can serve others, shining the life-changing light of God’s truth into a broken world!
What are we actually doing to protect the life that God has made?
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