Building A Pro-Life Culture
As my husband drove home from work the other day, he saw hundreds of crosses at a local Catholic church representing the millions of lives lost to abortion. He realized that those crosses could represent not just the lives lost to date, but all the descendants of a single child lost to abortion.
Think of it as a sum of generations. 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, and in 9 generations you have 511 people. 511 persons who will never see a sunrise, hold a child, have a first kiss, marry, master calculus, get a job, laugh, cry, or call out to God. 511 people who can never know God’s goodness and praise Him for His glory. 511 image bearers who will never do God’s work here on earth.
The difficulty of establishing a culture that values life is enormous and we all wonder, “What on earth can I do?” But the reality is as believers we have been empowered by God to do his work on the earth; to love justice and mercy, to care for the widow and the orphan, to comfort the despairing, and to love as Jesus Himself would.
Creating a culture that loves and respects human life requires much more than praying and picketing at an abortion facility. There are many very practical ways we can act to change our culture to value every human life.
We can support parents who choose to raise their children despite difficult circumstances. Refuse to view single mothers or couples dealing with an unplanned pregnancy critically. Instead treat parents and children as loved by God, created to know, love and serve him. Help them build a stable and happy family. A single mom may need a home, and perhaps yours is the one where she will meet Jesus. Maybe parents need someone to babysit while they go to work or school to build security for their child. Perhaps a young mom needs a ride to parenting classes. Can you provide a car seat or fix a washing machine? Support a single mom emotionally, spiritually, and financially as she raises her child, and welcome her and her child in church.
Adopt children who cannot stay with their birth families. You and I have been adopted and know the many blessings of adoption by God.
Pray for families who are adopting children and support them emotionally, practically, and financially. Parents welcoming children by adoption often receive negative comments and questions from concerned family and friends. Be as happy and supportive when your family members and friends choose adoption as when they give birth. (Restrain your curiosity and respect the privacy of adoptive families who want to protect their children from hurtful questions about their birth families.)
Make it possible for families to adopt disabled children by contributing to their adoption expenses. Organizations like Reece’s Rainbow provide grants to parents adopting children with special needs or medical issues.
Become a foster parent. There are thousands of children who cannot live with their own families and need a loving home, support for reunification with their first families if possible, or long-term foster families if not.
Be a foster parent booster. You can encourage and support a family raising foster children by bringing a meal, providing a birthday cake, babysitting and giving the couple a date night, or welcoming foster children for a weekend so the parents can recharge their batteries.
Volunteer with an organization like Safe Families for Children that helps families in crisis before state intervention becomes necessary.
Serve at a crisis pregnancy center or on a help line. If the thought terrifies you, deliver a package of Pampers each month to help families in crisis. Get the name of a woman in an unplanned pregnancy and pray for her with your family every day at dinner.
Encourage that pregnant mom at the grocery store with the 4 snotty nosed children aged 5 and under trying to corral her kids by being friendly and helpful, rather than wondering out loud why people who can’t control their children have them.
Building a pro-life culture means loving and supporting all lives, not just babies in the womb and cute little newborns. Befriend those with disabilities. Likewise, support those with mental health issues who are often stigmatized and avoided in our culture rather than viewed as image-bearers of God. Love the elderly.
Speak carefully about abortion and the women who’ve have had them. An estimated 25 to 33 percent of women have had abortions. It may be that someone who has had an abortion is listening to you speak, whether you realize it or not.
Heal the broken-hearted. Come alongside a woman who has had an abortion and love her enough to both grieve with her and tell her that there is forgiveness for her sin. She needs to know the guilt and sorrow she carries for her lost child is legitimate, and that God can forgive her and make her whole. Encouraging women and complicit men to turn to God for forgiveness is a difficult but necessary task.
Become an informed voter. Perhaps you are not thrilled with the slate of candidates available in our imperfect republic, but you can choose better over worse in an election. Be bold enough to share candidate positions on abortion with friends and family. You may offend a few, but the alternative is the continued death of millions of children. State legislatures are having a great deal of success in limiting abortion, so state level candidates are very important.
Be an active citizen and stay informed about pro-life legislation. Call your legislator when the next bad bill comes around. You are a citizen and that doesn’t just mean you have rights, you are responsible for what your government does in your name.
Man, made in the image of God, is the pinnacle of His creation. God values each of us so much He sent Jesus to die in our place. If God places such a high value on human life, can we do less? Please consider these ideas prayerfully and ask God to show you what He wants you to do.
He has shown you, O man, what is good, and what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8