Some of you who read Sunday's post may think, "What a jerk! This guy has no clue just how difficult it can be to face an unwanted pregnancy. How insensitive."
First, I will admit that it was a hasty post. I didn't put much time into it. And I deeply apologize, it probably seemed insensitive, because it probably WAS insensitive. I can be insensitive at times.
Now that I've had time to think about it, I confess that you are indeed right; Indeed, I cannot know how difficult it must be, but I can speculate: NINE months of torturous living; headaches, back pain, swelling, misshapen figure, weight gain, swollen ankles, cravings, nausea, constipation, constant prodding of your body, all climaxing into several weeks of sharp, painful contractions, diarrhea, hot sweats, painful weight gain, followed by many hours of terrible pain in labor, IVs, spinal taps, difficult body posture, excruciating final labor. Or possible C-section surgery, or even threat to your life.
And then there's the costs: Delivery time off from work, painful, exhausting recovery time, who will help out (if you have no husband or faithful boyfriend), who will pay the hospital, the doctors, the pharmacies, the formula, the baby food, the clothing, the late nights, the early mornings, the bigger car, the car seat, lugging twenty-eight pounds of equipment everywhere you go, constant diapering, worrying that someone will harm it...
And then there's the toddler years: Getting into everything, feeding, diapering, clothing it with increasingly-more-expensive clothing (which is rotated in size well before it is worn out), the rebellion, the screaming, the crying, the hitting, having to discipline, getting a bigger house to fit your growing family, feeding it, the added expense of health care, doctor bills, groceries...
I could go on. Elementary years with its bullies and school programs. Teen years with all of its worries and rebellion, "I HATE YOU MOM!" College years with its expenses and concerns. To say nothing if the baby is born handicapped. Oh, the challenges that mothers of handicapped children must be facing! My ponderings on the burdens of childbearing have probably only touched the surface of the iceberg.
NO WONDER A WOMAN WOULD WANT TO ABORT HER BABY!! A quick, $500 procedure can eliminate ALL of that misery before anyone even knows you are pregnant. I can understand the draw and attraction of abortion, believe me I can. My wife is about to have her third child, and I can tell you that the first two weren't cake, and neither will number three be.
But is that all there is to it?
Many people today speak of abortion as though it is cutting out a painful tumor. And if that were all to it, why in the world am I getting so upset about it? It is because a baby in the womb is a life, a human being. The Maker of heaven and earth wrote a book called a Bible, and He uses the same word "baby" for the child in the womb and the child out-of-the-womb. See this five-minute video, which gives a short Biblical defense: It's a Baby!
If you went door-to-door and asked one hundred people this one-question survey: When is it right to take an innocent person's life, the overwhelming answer would be, "never."
Consider this: People just one-hundred years ago were beginning to have the opinions that are common today: There are too many people in the world, children are a drain on an economy's resources, we need to promote some sort of birth control, etc. Have you considered that if they were successful and unrestrained in their campaigns, that there is a significantly good chance that you would not be alive today? YOU are the life they were seeing in their future. Some day, people -- yes, real people -- will come out of wombs and live their lives.
It is NEVER right to take an innocent person's life, no matter HOW painful or costly.
So... what's a woman to do? Where will she go for the support that she will need for (oh my... this is staggering) the next twenty years? (Or fourty, if you consider the burden that grandchildren also can be.)
She goes to God's very promises!
* God promises to provide for His children. Read Habakkuk 3 and Matthew 6:19-34 out loud. Go ahead, read it out loud, I'll wait :-)
* God promises to comfort us in our difficulty. Read 2 Corinthians 1:3-11 out loud.
* Jesus went through difficulties that were not unlike child bearing; see Hebrews 4:15. Indeed, if you had been innocent but drank your loving Father's wrath against you for what someone else did, you would be facing temptations, pains and difficulties far GREATER than child birth.
* God says that children are a blessing, no matter how you feel about them. Read Psalm 127 aloud. It is true that while children are a burden, the blessing does indeed outweigh the pain. I speak for my wife, but she would say the same thing. When I consider that I am raising future men who may become soldiers for the glorious army of King Jesus, I am given strength to press on.
* God says that the pain of childbearing is because we have rebelled against Him, NOT because we are basically good people. Read Genesis 3 aloud.
* When she makes mistakes, God promises to give her His own "goodness" (righteousness) as though she had never made a single mistake in her life. Read 2 Corinthians 5:21 aloud.
* God promises to reward those who faithfully, humbly, and persistently serve their children as Jesus served us. Read Hebrews 11:6 and Matthew 6:19-21 aloud again.
And on and on. God's Word is RICH with promises. I can tell you that He has never failed us, but if you need a stronger testimony, listen to or read the biography, "George Mueller of Bristol, and His Witness to a Prayer-Hearing God." In it, you will read such testimonies as this:
One morning the plates and cups and bowls on the table were empty. There was no food in the larder, and no money to buy food. The children were standing waiting for their morning meal, when Mueller said, "Children, you know we must be in time for school." Lifting his hand he said, "Dear Father, we thank Thee for what Thou art going to give us to eat." There was a knock on the door. The baker stood there, and said, "Mr. Mueller, I couldn't sleep last night. Somehow I felt you didn't have bread for breakfast and the Lord wanted me to send you some. So I got up at 2 a.m. and baked some fresh bread, and have brought it." Mueller thanked the man. No sooner had this transpired when there was a second knock at the door. It was the milkman. He announced that his milk cart had broken down right in front of the Orphanage, and he would like to give the children his cans of fresh milk so he could empty his wagon and repair it. No wonder, years later, when Mueller was to travel the world as an evangelist, he would be heralded as "the man who gets things from God!"
Secondly, she can go to God's people for strength, refuge and support. She should seek to find a GOOD church, one where the pastor practices these nine principles from the Bible. Yes, I am aware there is hurt and hypocrisy inside the church, but generally speaking, the more a church practices those nine principles, the better they are. God's people have become for us like our extended family. We are deeply blessed to have them. If you are in Jacksonville, consider joining us at Grace Covenant Church.
Therefore I plead with you: Do not murder. Do not encourage anyone to murder. Do not lust after someone else, which is as Jesus said, adultery (see Matthew 5:27-28). If you have lusted after someone else, or even hated them in your heart, you will stand before God on Judgment day; not as Father, but as Judge, guilty of adultery and murder (see Jesus' words in Matthew 5:21-22). You know it's wrong to hate, you know it's wrong to lust after what God did not give you through marriage. I urge you, repent and trust in His promises before it is too late!
So to summarize, I'm not taking back what I said Sunday, it is true. Abortion is as human sacrifice to the gods of convenience and fornication. But truth needs to always be a companion with grace, and I made a mistake.