“The people who were most judgmental of me when I got pregnant were Christians. About half the people in the church got angry that my parents wanted to throw a baby shower for me. But I could have had an abortion, and no one would even have known I was pregnant…”
How very, very sad that quote is. It’s sad because it’s true.
It’s also good. Because it can open our eyes to what needs to change – in our hearts, in our actions, and in our churches. Hopefully it disturbs us enough that it moves us to make a change. Hopefully it causes us to pause and ask a very important question: What is required of us when someone we know has an unplanned pregnancy?
What is required?
In pro-life conversations, much has been spoken about saving the unborn … defending the innocents who cannot save themselves. And therefore, there may be much pressure put on a young girl to not choose abortion.
But have we stopped to think about what that encompasses, beyond just not having an abortion? Have we thought about what else is required?
I’m not talking about what is required from the young girl. I’m talking about the people around the young girl. I’m talking about you and me.
If we are expecting her to step outside of her comfort zone and face all of the challenges that come with choosing life for an unplanned pregnancy, then I believe we should be ready to step outside of our comfort zone as well.
What might be outside of our comfort zone?
- Celebrating the unplanned pregnancy. This might be as simple as a heartfelt, “Congratulations,” or as involved and public as hosting a baby shower.
- Providing tangible support. Everything from prenatal vitamins to rides to the doctor to regular ‘check-ins’ where we ask, “How are you doing? How can I help?”
- Muting our opinions, judgments, and agendas, and just listening. That can be hard to do. We often want to tell people what to do and “fix” them. It may be uncomfortable to just listen and offer unconditional love. But that is of far more value to them than our words.
James 1 calls us to not just listen to the Word, but do what it says. And if we really want to know, God’s Word tells us what is required:
- James 1:27 – look after orphans and widows in their distress
- Luke 10:25-37 – love your neighbour as yourself and show mercy (parable of the Good Samaritan)
- Colossians 3:12-14 – show compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience; but above all, put on love.
There are many, many more verses; unconditional love and mercy are woven throughout God’s Word.
It is not enough to “save the baby” and then walk away, there are two lives at stake. We must walk toward the woman that carries that baby and then continue to walk alongside her. And as we journey with her, we love, encourage, support, and celebrate.
That is what is required.
CAPSS Resource Development & Communications Liaison