…with the light of Christ-centered womanhood.
Much has already been said these days about the horrific reality of abortion–the violent murder of innocent babies in the womb. We could spend pages and pages (and article after article) saying more.
It’s crucial for the Church to be aware and informed about this. To not just know, but remember. Not just remember, but act upon it. How can we be silent and motionless when we know thousands of defenseless children–precious human beings made in God’s image–are being vacuumed, dismembered, crushed to death daily? Hundreds of thousands and even millions a year?
We can’t. We must speak. We must do–whatever God has us to do in our various stations of life.
I recently became part of a ministry, reaching out to mothers considering abortion. As a stay at home mom in a one-car family, I can’t drive out to the mills. But thanks to modern technology–the internet and cell phones–I can write. I can plead… from my couch, with my 19-month-old son sitting right next to me. Or from my bed, in the middle of the night, when a mother has her baby’s execution scheduled for the morning.
It’s difficult. Heart-wrenching. Nightmare-inducing. My flesh opposes it. It’s never something I “want” to do. But I do it anyway, because of the babies, the mommies, and the God who made them in His image. For His glory.
Today I am thinking about how godly womanhood–a central focus here at Wise in His Eyes–intersects with the topic of abortion. I’m thinking about how we can live out our calling to be Christlike women in this world of great wickedness and despair.
When we are the women God designed us to be, we are lights, shining in the darkness, because He is the great Light of the world. When we shine, we offer the hope of Christ, the One who is able to save babies–and their parents, too.
THE LIGHT OF SELFLESS LOVE
I decided to put the greatest light first. This comes before all the others as pre-eminent.
Selfless, self-sacrificial love is true love. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).
The Son of God, Jesus Christ, showed us this love when he voluntarily came to the earth, became poor for our sakes, and was crucified on the cross to pay for our sins. He did this with his whole heart, a heart full of love for us and God, a heart that didn’t shrink back or become selfish or cowardly in the face of danger and death. The closer he got to Jerusalem, the more resolved he became. The light of his love shone brighter and brighter until it was fully revealed at the cross in all its glory. It was love that led him to suffer God’s wrath for us, so that we could be justified by grace.
But what does any of this have to do with abortion?
As Josh Howerton puts it, “Abortion is the evil reverse-image of the gospel. Instead of ‘I’ll die for you,’ it says, ‘You die for me.'” Babies involuntarily, violently losing their lives for their parents’ convenience or well-being is anti-gospel and anti-love.
It’s also anti-God’s law–“For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Galatians 5:14).
Christian women have the light of Christ’s selfless love to shine into the selfish darkness of abortion. We love God because he first loved us, and forgave all of our sins. His blood is powerful to cleanse all sins, even murder. We love our neighbor by pointing them to their sin and need of redemption by Christ. We love the helpless, the poor, and the needy by speaking up for the voiceless and doing what we can to deliver them from death.
We love in word. We love in deed. When we speak to the moms, we don’t simply say “Don’t do this.” If they are in need, we offer aid in the form of the many resources that are available to these moms–including baby items, financial support, and even lovely, safe maternity homes. We tell them, “I will do whatever I can to help you care for your child.” We give them a listening ear and try to address their concerns. We speak respectfully and kindly–yet firmly, urgently, and uncompromisingly. We reason with them, appeal to their motherly instincts and consciences, show them Scripture. We warn them. We pray for them and plead with them with tears.
In all this, the light of selfless love is shown forth. This is true femininity, true womanliness, when we are animated by love. It is the cruelty of abortion that mars and degrades women. Hate and murder in the heart poison womanhood, but Christ-centered love brings healing and restoration.
Not every mother who sees the light will respond to it as we hope. But some do. And we know it is God’s work. That encourages us to keep shining.
THE LIGHT OF GOD’S WISDOM
Mothers (and fathers) pursuing abortion will likely receive lots of flattering advice from unbelievers, affirming them that killing their child is the “wisest” decision. It doesn’t help that our culture has already made it seem acceptable and even “wise” to do such a heinous thing. The parents themselves will use devilish logic to try and justify their choice–financial struggles, wanting to finish school, being too young and “free”, mother’s health issues, the child’s disabilities, you name it. By far the most tragic and twisted excuse I’ve heard is, “It’s better for the baby. The baby shouldn’t be born to parents who don’t love it, or to a bad situation.” Better the baby die a violent death than have a chance at life. Truly this lie comes from Satan, the father of lies, who wants to see every human being destroyed– “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I [Jesus] have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).
On the contrary, Christian women are called to be wise in God’s eyes. We, who are utterly sinful by nature and certainly no better than anyone else, are yet being renewed by grace in the image of Christ, who is Wisdom Himself (1 Corinthians 1:30).
Worldly counsel is dark, foolish, and no wisdom at all. When Eve gazed at the forbidden fruit, it seemed to promise to “make her wise.” But in the end, that was a lie. The moment she bit into it, she isolated herself from true Wisdom, and found herself entrenched in shame, sin, and misery.
Sin is always foolish. It promises what it can’t deliver (life), and it delivers what it says will never come (death). Those enslaved to sin need to hear the words of true biblical wisdom, for in it is life (Ecclesiastes 7:12).
The virtuous and godly woman, who has been shown God’s kindness and wisdom herself, does this very thing:
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness. (Proverbs 31:26)
Lost parents need to be encouraged to keep and love and cherish their children. They need to be told the reality, that there is no acceptable reason to kill a child. They need to be warned, even rebuked if necessary, from God’s Word, about the evil of murder and its consequences. They need someone with biblical wisdom to help awaken their suppressed consciences, which would ordinarily be screaming, “Love your baby! Don’t let anyone harm her!”
Yes, this message will stand out in stark contrast to what they’re hearing everywhere else. Yes, it may offend the unbeliever, but only in the way that the bright sun, when it breaks through the night, temporarily stings the eyes of those who are accustomed to living in darkness. They may feel more comfortable in the dark, but they need the light of God’s Word.
The Scriptures alone contain the words of life. Words of hope. God’s truth is the means through which He will change a stony heart and grant a heart of flesh. That’s why we must keep speaking.
THE LIGHT OF THE BEAUTY OF MOTHERHOOD
Not every Christian woman is a mother. But here I want to focus on the special role Christian mothers have in being godly examples for other moms who are deceived thinking that abortion is the answer.
Motherhood is a precious gift, just like the child who is created in the womb by the hand of God. That is the objective truth, whether we feel it or not. When Christian mothers (imperfectly but genuinely) live out their calling as a gift–when we treasure every child He gives us–when we love and protect our babies even while they are tiny embryos in the womb–we show other mothers that their pregnancy is not a curse, but a blessing.
Some mothers may feel like it is a curse, a dreadful or even disgusting thing. Women who don’t feel ready or desirous to be mothers may think it is the worst thing to happen to them. They may think it’s been “forced” upon them, or that their child is a “parasite” hijacking their bodies. Yes, this is the wording sometimes used.
How can this be? Where are their motherly instincts? While it’s understandable to struggle with bittersweet emotions toward a pregnancy (particularly if “unplanned” or with complications), it is sin in the heart that leads a mother to despise the gift, to not cherish the life created inside of them, even to hate it. That sin of hatred then (to use ironic language) gives birth to death–the murderous casting off of the child in the act of abortion. They call it “ending the pregnancy” but it is truly ending the life of their own little baby.
In Isaiah 49:15, God asks, “Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb?” The answer should be no, no, no! How could she? But He tells us the sad reality: “Surely they may forget…” But God our Father is not this way toward His children. “…yet I will not forget you.”
In humility we must recognize that we ourselves are exposed to a similar temptation–albeit not to the same degree–to not value our children and the gift of motherhood as we should. That should lead us to respond humbly and compassionately to mothers who don’t feel an attachment to their child. Yet we must remain bold and unmoving in saying that they must love their baby, even if they don’t “feel” it. Their motherly feelings may come after the child is born, but ultimately, it isn’t our emotions that should lead us. We have a moral responsibility to God to love and care for the children entrusted to us.
We are called to life-giving nurture. Many actively aborting mothers do not want to give up their bodies for their child. They don’t like the thought that a baby is within their womb, clinging to them for support and life. They don’t want to deal with a growing belly, needing new clothes, enduring the baby’s birth, or all the hardships that come with caring for a newborn. They don’t want their plans put on hold or changed. They don’t want to do the hard work of readjusting their lives for this little one. They hope that by “ending the pregnancy”, getting rid of the child, things can go back to the way they were before. (They never do–women are scarred by their abortions, and some go on to deal with depression and suicidal thoughts as a result). Some are actually already moms to children outside the womb–and they don’t want another mouth to feed, another baby to care for.
In contrast, Christian mothers, by nurturing their children, giving up their bodies, time, plans, energy (and yes, sleep!) to that calling, shine the light of the beauty of motherhood into the darkness of abortion. We are imperfect moms with many flaws and sins to confess and repent from. It isn’t easy to mother children (no need for rose-tinted glasses here)! Yet we pursue motherhood with joy, in the strength of our God. For that reason, we are in a special place to encourage other mothers to accept that calling themselves.
I love seeing families ministering in front of the abortion mills, particularly pregnant moms or mothers with little children. What a wonderful example of the beauty of motherhood (and fatherhood–dads who love their children are much-needed examples, too)! We know that, apart from God’s grace, we could all be in the position to hate our callings. But by His mercy, and despite the struggles, we embrace them for His and our children’s sakes.
BE THE LIGHT
This isn’t an easy ministry. So much of the battle is having the conviction and faith to continue fighting… to keep the lamp burning bright. The evil one’s strategy is to dampen our determination, so that we’ll grow weary, faint, and dim. We’ll leave the field with our heads hanging low, sometimes before the opposition even has a chance to strike at us. If we are hiding our lights under a bushel, the enemies of God don’t even have to snuff it out. We’re doing that for them.
I can’t tell you how many times I am tempted to quit. There are far more pleasant things to do with my time. But by God’s grace, I don’t. And I won’t.
Yes, there is so much darkness. But we know the light will prevail, because He reigns. One day, all the darkness will be banished, and we will find ourselves in the brightness of eternal day with our God. That day is coming faster than we know it.
So until then,