Nearly every day as a sidewalk counselor, I hear some variation of this question. I hear it not only from the abortion-minded parents streaming into the abortion center, but I hear it from angry passers-by and the clinic escorts. New counselors can sometimes be stymied by this question if they’re unprepared for it.
Here’s what the word of God says:
“He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly, Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary (Isaiah 40:29-31).”
In essence, do we have a right to say ‘do not kill your child’ when the parents do not feel they can provide for their child?
I believe it is important that we do not ignore the underlying fear and real issue voiced in this question. It is undeniable that the vast bulk of women who come to abort do so because they are in a financially desperate situation. Either they are minors with little, if any, income, college students who have loans and parents still supporting them, or single moms in poverty. Studies show many of these women are in a domestic abuse situation. Many have struggled to work while caring for children on their own with no reliable husband or father of the child in the picture.
Their query of how to support the unexpected baby is an honest query. We disagree that the solution is to murder the baby, but we must be cognizant of the need to answer this question in a biblical, tangible and compassionate way.
The mission of Love Life is to mobilize and equip the church to deal with this very question.
In the parable of the Good Samaritan, the model for dealing with others in vulnerable situations is made quite clear. We are not to ignore their plight. We are not just to pray and walk away. We are to get them out of the crisis and bring them to help.
Praise God that the number of “house of refuge” churches trained and mobilized by Love Life is growing. These churches have trained mentors who will walk alongside the women for a minimum of a year. The church is equipped with resource information, both local and national, that address the most common issues these women face. Resources include housing, food, clothing, baby items, personal counseling, financial and budgeting counseling, domestic abuse escape strategies, addiction recovery, crisis assistance for rent/utilities, help finding employment, and reduced child-care resources, just to name a few.
So how do we respond to that question?
As always, we first acknowledge their concern. We express support and compassion for their struggles. We list the many ways we can help. I do believe it is also critical that we point them to the ONLY true answer to ANY struggle: an abiding faith in Jesus and His sacrifice on our behalf.
None of us are guaranteed tomorrow. In fact, all we are certain of is NOW. What we do with NOW is critical. We cannot deal with the struggles we face by defying God, no matter how desperate our situation. We could stand before Jesus at any moment and give an account of our lives, both good and bad. What will we say to Him if we just killed our own child because we were afraid of what tomorrow might bring?
Ultimately, we must first and foremost submit every area of our life in obedience to the Lord. We do so out of our gratitude and love for what He did for us on the cross, paying the penalty for sin we deserved, and then rising from the grave, securing the victory over death and sin once and for all.
No matter what the abortion-determined mothers face, no matter what help is offered or not offered, it does NOT justify murder.
Through the Church, help IS being offered and IS available. This does not mean we take over personal responsibility of the parents to work, nurture, protect and rear their child. It DOES mean the church will be there to help. It does mean the church will be there to point them continually back to God and His strength and provision.
For those whose circumstances are so dire that parenting the child is truly not an option, we recommend adoption.
Sidewalk counselors are often asked why we rarely call out to the abortion-determined moms about the option of adoption. To be honest, it is usually a show-stopper in reaching the moms initially. Adoption is a selfless act. Abortion is the most selfish response possible. To expect a woman to make that 180 degree mindset change in the brief time we have to address her is usually unrealistic. In extended discussions when that seems to be the only viable choice for the women short of killing her baby, we do offer adoption assistance. Part of the mission of Love Life is equipping the church to deal with not only moms seeking to place their child for adoption rather than abortion, but also equipping church members for adoption.
In summary, NO, we will not raise the child for the next 18 years – but the CHURCH will walk alongside that woman to be sure she knows she is NOT alone in this journey. The CHURCH will help with crisis intervention and resources. Ultimately, the goal is that woman who once ran to the abortion center will run into the everlasting arms of Jesus instead