When you read through the Bible, you probably notice new things you never saw before with each trip through the Scriptures. Reading through different versions of the Bible can also help open your eyes to new things. You might be surprised at what jumps out at you, depending on your own circumstances or the circumstances of the world around you at the time.
This happened to me recently as I was reading—Deuteronomy 12:31 particularly struck me. “You must not worship the Lord your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the Lord hates. They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods.”
We may read this verse today and be absolutely horrified and outraged that cultures of the Old Testament would sacrifice their own children to false gods and idols. But what about abortion? Here we are in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, killing our own children. Millions of babies have died because they were simply not wanted. These babies are the sacrificial lambs of today’s most common idol—self.
I once had a job where I had to work with medical records. I couldn’t help but notice some of the cases, and it was shocking. Many women had several abortions, and this was more than 20 years ago. I wondered what had happened in their lives.
There are plenty of temptations women have when they consider abortion. Maybe they think it’s just not the right time for them. A baby could get in the way of a promotion at work or getting a college degree. Maybe the dad isn’t good father material. There might be financial worries. There could be family pressure.
Every circumstance is different. We may never fully understand the depth of issues a woman is dealing with when she contemplates abortion. We must be willing to listen, to pray, and to help find or provide support to offer her life-giving options.
We all have many choices to make every day. Sometimes we choose wisely; sometimes we don’t. It is scary for all of us to face the consequences of our bad choices. When we meet people who are frightened by the consequence of a baby, we can make the choice to come alongside.
“I Thought I Could Handle It”
Several years ago one of the ladies I supervised at work came in, and I immediately knew something was wrong. I asked if she was OK, and she tried to brush it off and said she just wasn’t feeling well and needed some ibuprofen. A little while later, she was sitting at her desk in tears. When I asked her if she was OK again, I was not prepared for the answer she gave me.
“I killed my baby today. I thought I could handle it, but I can’t.”
My heart sank all the way to the floor, both for her and for the lost child. Here was a young woman who was already a mother. She thought she could abort a baby and go on with life as though nothing happened.
Men are affected by abortion too. There was a man I once knew who found out his girlfriend had aborted his child. He discovered this way after the fact and was utterly devastated.
“If only she would have had the baby, I would have taken care of it. She wouldn’t have had to do a thing. I wouldn’t even have asked for child support.”
Hope from Scripture
What can we do to help people who are facing difficult pregnancy decisions? We need to keep our eyes open. Pray that God would allow us to see where help is needed. Be there without condemning. Show both women and men what the Bible says about the sanctity of life. Show them there are alternatives.
Here are just a few encouraging Scriptures:
• Psalm 139:13: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”
• Jeremiah 1:5: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
• Jeremiah 29:11: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”
Actions We Can Take
I’ve also found that, along with Scripture, there are some other practical steps you can take in helping someone with an unexpected pregnancy:
• If possible, have someone who has made such a difficult decision talk to the person about past experiences and mistakes. Personal stories are what make life real to other people.
• If applicable, as disturbing as it might be, talk about the physical act of abortion. When a young girl sees what happens not only to her body, but also the body of her baby, she may change her mind.
• For a less gruesome lesson, find some statistics about abortion. Women need to know their chances of having major health complications, such as difficulty getting pregnant or giving birth later in life, or mental health issues, such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, nightmares, and suicidal thoughts.
Some people think they can help by picketing at abortion clinics. This may be good for some, but I hope to talk to people before they get that far. Let’s talk to young people before it’s an issue. Let’s help them to be aware and be educated to make wise decisions.
Many abortion rights activists say that young women should be educated. Yes, that is absolutely true. They do need to be educated about so many things before they get to the point of considering an abortion. Education comes from learning about God’s plan for our lives and what he has to say about sex, marriage, and babies.
Help to educate any young people that are within your reach. Help to lessen the number of sacrificial lambs.
Ruth O’Neil is a freelance writer in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Resources for Tough Conversations with Children and Teens
I Want to Teach My Child About Sex
by Karl and Shannon Wendt
I Want to Teach My Child About Values
by Marcy Bryan
I Want to Talk with My Teen About Love, Sex and Dating
by Karl and Shannon Wendt
I Want to Talk with My Teen About Girl Stuff
by Heather Flies
I Want to Talk with My Teen About Guy Stuff
by David Olshine
For more information, visit www.standardpub.com