For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them (Psalm 139:13-16).
There might be people reading this who have no qualms about abortion, but most Christians consider themselves to be pro-life. However, there needs to be some clarity between the terms pro-life and anti-abortion. These two terms are used interchangeably by most people and might seem to be synonymous. After all, when someone is pro-life, they are necessarily anti-abortion, right? And if someone is against (anti-) abortion, then they must be in favor of (pro-) life.
Is there confusion?
Let me explain by asking a few questions.
Do you think that life begins at conception and that it is morally wrong to intentionally snuff out that life because of … well, for any reason? If so, then you are anti-abortion, and you may be pro-life as well.
Do you believe that all babies should be protected from the destruction of Planned Parenthood and any other people or organizations that would try to convince a pregnant girl or woman that her life would be better without the added disruption of a baby? Is it your understanding that an embryo is actually a human being and not just a clump of cells? Yes? Then you are anti-abortion and, again, possibly pro-life too.
Now, a few questions from another perspective.
When you hear that a friend or acquaintance – or even a stranger – is expecting her third or fifth or tenth or sixteenth child, do you respond with, “Don’t they know what’s causing that? Can’t they find something better to do?” You are not pro-life, but you could be anti-abortion.
When you see a woman in line behind you in a store, and she has three or four children in tow, do you think to yourself (or even make a snide remark to her), “I do hope you’re babysitting!” If so, you are definitely not pro-life, but you still might be anti-abortion.
Are you beginning to get the picture?
There are many people who consider themselves pro-life because they do not want a child to be killed at any stage of development. That is not a bad thing! It is wonderful that there are people all around the world who recognize life in its earliest stages.
Yet some of these same people who claim to believe that God is the only one who can create life also believe that sometimes people should “just say no” (to having more children).
The above passage from Psalm 139 describes God’s active involvement in the creation of human life … all human life – not just the life that is in danger of being ended in an abortion facility. He created … and He creates … and He will create every life that has ever existed or ever will exist. That includes the life of the unplanned (by the humans involved) … the life that doesn’t look or function like “normal” people … the life that turns out to be a glorious example of human intellect, like Sir Isaac Newton – or the one that unleashes horrible evil on mankind, like Adolph Hitler. And yes, God’s creation includes baby number one through the largest number ever birthed by one woman. [In case you wondered, the Guinness World Records website says, “The greatest officially recorded number of children born to one mother is 69, to the wife of Feodor Vassilyev (b. 1707–c .1782), a peasant from Shuya, Russia. In 27 confinements she gave birth to 16 pairs of twins, seven sets of triplets, and four sets of quadruplets.”
God created every single one of those children. If you’re going to take the Bible as God’s Word, then you must accept that God creates babies. And not only does He create them; He says they are a blessing!
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one's youth.
Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them! – Psalm 127:3-5
I’ll close with an experience I had several years ago when my children were still young.
I was in Hobby Lobby one day in early 2004. I happened to be accompanied by three (only three) of my children, who were about 15 months, 5 years, and 6 years of age at the time. When I got in the checkout line, there was a woman in front of me. As we stood there, she looked at me and said, “I do hope you are babysitting.”
Understand that my children were being well-behaved and not attracting attention to themselves through crying or anything like that.
With my smile firmly in place, I said, “No ma’am. They are all mine.”
She kind of sneered at me and said, “You do know what’s causing that, don’t you?”
Again, with a gentle smile (at least I hope my smile and my voice were gentle), I replied, “Yes ma’am. We have a three-letter word for it, spelled G-O-D.”
She appeared to be a little taken aback by that, but it didn’t stop her from continuing. “My brother and his wife have three children, and I told them it must be something in the water.”
After “the encourager” left the store, the cashier looked at me and said, “I loved your answer!”
I said, “Thank you! What she didn’t know is that I have two older children at school, and I just found out I am expecting another baby!”
The customer behind me said, “I loved your answer too. I have eleven.”
And God created every single one of them – just like He had created all the ones “the encourager” knew about, the ones she didn’t know about … and also the one I didn’t yet know about, who came along in 2008!
Children are a heritage from the Lord.
If you found out that you have not been pro-life like you thought you were but simply anti-abortion, then I hope you will become an encourager for life – not just a discourager of abortion.
And when you see a mom with two or three or seven children tagging along behind her, pray for her and give her a smile. She might need to be reminded that those lives are God’s blessings.