If I may, I would love to offer some words of vulnerability in hopes that someone reading this may find comfort when having difficult conversations. For about ten years now, I often feel that as I visit familiar places, people speak to me with a heightened awareness that I am a “pro-life Christian.” I am not ashamed of this label whatsoever. But, being a member of Generation Z, many of my peers are neither pro-life nor Christian.
The uniqueness of my worldview sometimes strikes anxiety in my peers, other times anger, but rarely curiosity. I have noticed a recurring pattern where people tiptoe around particular conversations when they are around me. At the barbershop, in social gatherings, at my favorite coffee shop, and around close friends, I feel that political or religious conversations, aka difficult conversations, are to be promptly cut off because a “pro-life Christian” is in the room.
I have shared this feeling with many of my like-minded peers, and every time I am met with the same response, “me too.”
So this begs the question. Do people actually tiptoe around conversations with me that are adjacent to religion or politics, or is this a strange fear in my head that has no bearing on reality?
I assume I will never truly know the answer to that question. And that is okay. I write out my experiences because I am confident that one or two of you reading this article have felt similarly in your life. You have felt as though you walk around with duct tape on your forehead that reads “PRO-LIFE CHRISTIAN.” You feel like an outcast. Often, you feel alone.
Perfect Love Casts Out All Fear
How to Have Difficult Conversations
I want to acknowledge the difficulty required to be a Christian with orthodox beliefs in a culture that does not value life or God. It’s not easy to stand amid crowds outraged at your worldview. There has only been one remedy I have found that has lightened the load of feeling outnumbered, and that is a growing understanding of who my Father in heaven is. When I know God’s heart and His love for myself and the world, I understand that it is not my responsibility to convince others of the truth about preborn life in those difficult conversations.
My job is to present the truth to those around me with gentleness and wisdom, and the Holy Spirit’s job is to change hearts and minds. I take profound comfort in knowing that I am neither powerful nor intelligent enough to convict another person of their thought patterns or belief systems and lead them to repentance.
Because you and I are not the changer of minds does not mean our words are meaningless. The Holy Spirit chooses to use us to plant seeds of truth in others, and his choice in using us is an act of grace. By no means are we worthy of being an instrument in the hands of God, but nevertheless, He chooses to use us. Because God has shown a profound measure of grace in partnering with messy humans like you and me, we must take seriously what we say and do, mainly when speaking about abortion to those who disagree with us.
A particular tone has reverberated through abortion debates on stages and streets, and the tone sounds a lot like anger. From a mere strategical standpoint, let me suggest that carrying a tone of anger with someone who passionately disagrees with you is not an approach that leads to persuasion in a difficult conversation. The cliche, “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar,” is a cliche for a reason. It is a truth rooted in scripture.
Difficult Conversations Start with the Right Tone
When having a conversation about abortion with someone or a group of people who disagree with you, always remember that the substance of your words cannot be heard if your tone is not one of respect and humility. Let us remember nearly every person who advocates for abortion access truly believes they are advocating for the well-being of women. The domineering institutions that control our culture’s narrative, namely the universities and the mainstream media, have lied to our nation for half a century about the realities of abortion.
Every sin a human being commits is committed as an act of ignorance or malice. In the same way, individuals either promote abortion from a heart of ignorance or a heart of malice. The average pro-choice person does not have a comprehensive understanding of embryology to understand that life begins at conception. People simply believe the information they are fed from the institutions that control the popular narrative. In my experience interacting with hundreds of pro-abortion individuals, I have learned that nearly all supporters blindly accept what the universities and mainstream media tell them. They regurgitate what they are fed.
Difficult Conversations Require Looking at the Other Side
Rarely do they argue for the intentional killing of innocent life as they reject the premise that life begins at conception, though embryology is conclusive in establishing life’s beginning. So, as we interact with our neighbors who support abortion, we must remember that we are almost always interacting with people who lack knowledge rather than people with malicious intent. Most pro-abortion people do not believe that abortion is killing a child. This tragic misunderstanding of science has been popularized and has led to the mass genocide of our innocent.
When we engage with those we disagree with about abortion, please do not assume they have malicious intent. Most likely, they have the wrong information. Present the facts of life’s beginning and abortion’s violence to them with humility and grace.
Tough Conversations are Required
This conversation is one that we must engage in. For the Christian, our heart must be aligned with the heart of our Father. We must do justice. We must fight on behalf of the defenseless. So, may we all decide to engage in this difficult conversation and take action to end abortion. But let us be unwavering in our gentleness and love for everyone. May we present scientific truths with humility and offer consistent logic with love.
Pro-lifers are not covert in our intentions. We are trying to change the way that our culture thinks about abortion. We want to change hearts and minds, one person at a time. When enough individuals accept the unborn child’s humanity, our legislation will also honor the humanity of the unborn.
Difficult Conversations for the Pro-Life Christian
To the pro-life Christian: The duct tape on your head is showing. And may I suggest that is not a bad thing. The world believes that the pro-life Christian is a judgmental person with a religious desire to control women’s bodies. They anticipate you hosting the difficult abortion conversation with anger, name-calling, and a lack of compassion.
May we all, without shame, present the beauty of Christ and the humanity of unborn children to those around us with a radical gentleness, even when others react with hostility.
It is not your job to change hearts or minds. The Holy Spirit cares more about justice than you do. Your job is to offer your body as a holy, pleasing sacrifice before God, which is the definition of worship, so that the Holy Spirit may use you as an instrument of mercy and justice even in difficult conversations. Friend, the pressure is off. May the Church harmoniously strive to protect the unborn in gentleness and worship our Father, who is worthy of all honor.