Article Three - Kingdom Love at Work
Knowing our King, what are some ways we can show Kingdom love and make a difference to those who have experienced abortion or may find themselves facing an unplanned or complicated pregnancy?
1. Keep Talking About the Gospel
In Matthew 9:13 He says to the self-righteous Pharisees ‘I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.’ Jesus is the physician for those who are sick. Therefore, our churches should be hospitals for sinners. Our message to those who have experienced abortion up close is the same as it is for every one of us – bring your heavy burden of sin to the King and find forgiveness and rest in His sin-bearing death for you (Matthew 11:25-30). No child of God should feel they need to hide their past from their Christian brothers and sisters for fear of rejection. No unmarried man or woman should feel they need to hide an unplanned pregnancy and resort to a ‘quick way out’ for fear of rejection at church. We need to make sure that all who might be tempted to hide in shame know they will be led to the deep well of God’s grace at church. In fact, we need to nurture a church culture in which we are all quick to openly confess our sins and our thankfulness for God’s capacious mercy to us. Sharing personal stories of God’s grace to those who have experienced unplanned pregnancy or abortion is also very powerful.
2. Strive for Obedience Together
Our King also calls upon us to take our obedience in response to His mercy very seriously. The good news is that in the Kingdom of God, we are not alone in our striving for obedience. He has graciously given us His enabling, transforming Spirit to help us turn from self-rule and welcome the born and unborn. We can help and encourage mothers, fathers and health workers to draw on His strength and embrace every vulnerable stranger in the womb. This includes being careful about the contraceptives and fertility treatments we use. We can remind each other that God gives enormous importance — and rich, even unexpected blessing — to the task of loving and nurturing a child from the earliest stages (Psalm 127:3-5; Proverbs 17:6).
As outposts of God’s Kingdom on earth, church communities are in a great position to thoughtfully support vulnerable women and men who find their circumstances radically changed by a complicated or unplanned pregnancy. We might be the only ones to step in and ask a mother or family ‘how can I help you keep your baby?’ We can provide equipment, accommodation, meals, help with employment or study, health care, friendship and a shoulder to cry on. We can encourage Christian health workers and policy makers to think creatively about helping and protecting mothers and their unborn babies in their professional spheres. It’s important to have someone in every church who has some knowledge of pregnancy support services (see resources below). Sometimes women need advocates to help them negotiate their way through considerable pressures to terminate their pregnancies.
In fact, there are many practical ways to be gracious welcomers of all in our churches.We can put on as beautiful a baby shower for the single mother as for the married mother. We can welcome and thank God for the large family with kids running everywhere and another on the way. We can welcome kids and adults with disabilities. We can sit beside the woman who knows her unborn baby will not live long and treasure the time they have together, rejoicing in every movement. In Christ, we can to nurture the habit of welcoming all those who are different to us, who we may find difficult or who may inconvenience us.
Most importantly of all, we can be committed to pray about abortion. Here are some ideas for praying from the Bible.
- Praise our Father
o who has shown His justice and mercy in Jesus (Romans 3:21-26)
o who shows capacious grace to sinners (Psalm 103; Romans 5:1-11)
o who enables us to obey Him
o who creates every person in His image
o who treasures children and those of ‘lowly’ status
o whose wisdom is entirely different to that of the world (1 Corinthians 1:26-28)
- Lamentthe destruction of lives because we know that what God thinks about it (Genesis 9:5-6; Matthew 5:21-22; Habakkuk is great resource for lament)
- Confess our own desire to rule, our indifference to others and our self-righteousness (Psalm 51; 1 John 1:8-9)
- AskHim to change our hearts and help us embrace obedience (Galatians 5:16-25).
o to make our churches places of welcome to ‘strangers’ as we talk about the gospel
o to help parents and churches nurture children sacrificially
o to help us all to be sexually pure
o to bring gospel comfort and conviction to vulnerable mothers and fathers, health professionals and policy makers. Look up your local abortion provider and pray for both the staff and the women who go there
A Life Already Started by Dr Megan Best
Fearfully and Wonderfully Made by Dr Megan Best
Robyn is incredibly grateful that God called her into His family at 17. She loves doing life with her husband Andrew and her two girls Guinevere and Julia. She studied at Moore College and the Queensland Theological College where Andrew is Vice Principal. Robyn enjoys chairing the GROW Women’s Conference, sharing the Bible with women, writing on and helping Andrew teach ethics at QTC, and jogging slowly.