Sometimes, people choose abortion even when you’ve done all you can to help them choose otherwise. Loving that person, the one who chooses what you know isn’t good for them, can be hard.
“We love because HE first loved us” – 1 John 4:19
A few months ago, I connected with “Julie”, a woman that was desperate in her attempts to help her 20-something daughter from going through with her scheduled abortion. The daughter and her boyfriend were unexpectantly pregnant, and they were facing a long list of challenging circumstances that were leading them to believe that abortion was their only way out.
I sat on the phone with “Julie” as she described the situation, and I listened to her heartbreaking tears. She was offering solutions and resources, but her daughter was determined in her decision to abort. We came to a point in the conversation when we realized we had no more answers. We would have to leave it in God’s hands and trust Him.
I prayed with “Julie”, encouraged her, and said something like, “Even if she still chooses abortion, just keep loving her. God can redeem anything, and your love for her will prove God’s love for her!”
See the person, not the abortion.
I remember feeling helpless as we ended our call. I had never met “Julie’s” daughter, but my heart ached for her. My heart ached for “Julie”, for what would be lost, for the brokenness that would one day come like a flood because of this decision.
The truth is the pain of abortion doesn’t stop at the woman who experiences the physical procedure. The effects of abortion are like the never-ending ripples from a stone thrown in a pond. The pain bounces from circumstance to circumstance, from person to person, year to year, relationship to relationship; it can and will consume everything in its way, if allowed to. When we invest our hearts into someone’s circumstances, it can feel personal. When they still choose something we know is going to hurt them, we can take offense, feel like they’ve rejected us or as if they don’t trust us.
On more than one occasion, I have witnessed the stance of, “If they choose to make an abortion decision, I can no longer have them in my life. They know this is wrong and I just can’t condone the sin.” Many times, we miss the opportunity to be the key that God wants to use to unlock their healing and redemption, because we get hung up on the “rules” of Christianity.
God absolutely calls us to live a life that is pleasing to Him and to speak His truth, but we sometimes mistake the call to live a life of righteousness for our desire to be a judgment seat. We are called to save the lost and to make disciples. We can’t save the lost if we refuse to be in community with anyone who believes differently than we do, or if we omit ministering to those that are walking outside of God’s will.
What would Jesus do?
The Savior of the world was a magnet for the sick, unclean, outcast sinners. His mercy saw them, His love healed them, and His grace welcomed them into the family!
I absolutely love 1 John 4:7-21. Verse 19 overflows my heart with excitement every time I read it! “We love because he first loved us.” How powerful is that?!? Read it again! “WE love because HE first loved us.”
These words echo in my head and heart, forcing me to examine the areas that I’m not allowing love to rule. Every single one of us is so incredibly unworthy and undeserving of God’s love, but he gives it to us freely.
The moment someone steps outside of God’s plan for their life is the very moment they need us more than ever! They need our love, support, our prayers, and our community. Verse 20-21 says:
“Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.”
How can we love someone if we refuse to walk with them? The scripture doesn’t say “show them love from far away and send a nice text message every once in a while”. It says we “must also love our brother and sister.”
When we live in God’s love, we are the face of Jesus to the world! Working in his love, we can bring healing and hope to those who those who choose abortion.
Love is the command.
If you or someone that you know has experienced abortion, please connect with SupportAfterAbortion.com for confidential support. If you or someone you know is single and pregnant connect with EmbraceGrace.com for support.