Wednesday, July 3, 2013

God Forgive Us

Kermit Gosnell (news article) . . . Douglas Karpen (news article) . . . partial birth abortion . . . late term abortion . . . the terms are endless, the supporters are everywhere.

How did we get to this place? How did we get so far from "be fruitful and multiply"? What happened to "Children are a blessing from the Lord; they are a reward from him." (Psalm 127:3)? I know for a fact that we didn't just suddenly wake up in this state of affairs. Somehow we actually traveled here.

The question in dealing with abortion has been "when does life start?" If it starts at conception, abortion is wrong. If it starts with the first heartbeat, abortion is okay before then. If it starts with the first breath outside the womb, abortion is okay at any stage of the pregnancy. We could come up with hundreds of scenarios. This is a good question to ask if abortion is truly the issue. I don't believe it is. I don't think God thinks it is either. I believe (and I believe God feels that) abortion is a symptom of a bigger issue.

Yes, sin is the ultimate root cause, but what if, even we as Christians, have helped pave the way to this symptom call abortion? What if there is a mindset we need to change? I challenge you to walk this path where God has led me.

Abortion hasn't always been the answer for "disposing" of an unwanted pregnancy. Before abortion, an unborn baby was just that: a baby, and the thought of killing it was appalling. It would have been considered murder. So, how did a mother deal with an unwanted pregnancy? She gave the baby up for adoption. (PLEASE HEAR THIS: I am NOT against adoption. I think it is a noble calling to raise someone else's child.) We condone women giving up their baby. We praise women, nowadays, for making that hard choice and sacrificing their child and allowing it to be raised by someone else. I know there are times when a child MUST be removed from the home because it is not a safe place to live, and my heart hurts for those children. I know there are children who have lost both parents and have no one else in this world. I am saddened for those children. But the ones I grieve for are the unwanted. The ones whose mother gave them up because she didn't want to be a mother. How sad it is that we have reached a place where it is a negative thing to be a mother.

How did motherhood become such a terrible thing? Personally, I think it happened on accident. Not too long before my time, sex before marriage was out of the question. It just didn't happen. Well, it did, but there was much shame when it was found out. Some time throughout the years, it became an acceptable practice. We had to do something though to keep our daughters from getting pregnant. We needed something to prevent our sons from becoming single dads. So what did we do? We created condoms and birth control and all kinds of methods. Instead of teaching our children "don't have sex", we started teaching them "you don't want a baby". With these blurred lines, the message that was passed on was that a baby is an inconvenience. A baby is a bad thing. We need to do something to keep a baby from being created. And so condoms and birth control became common household items. Our sons keep condoms in their wallets. Our daughters have alarms set as reminders to take a pill.

With this thought process, the Christian's mindset has taken a turn as well. Birth control and condoms have become common even within the confines of marriage. I do believe there is a time and a place to use these methods. I'll be honest; for medical reasons, I'm currently on birth control. However, for most couples, the reason for using these methods is to prevent pregnancy. We don't want another child. We can't afford another child. We're not ready to be parents. We don't want to be parents at all. This is a sad state for us.

We are to be the "light of the world" and to be an example to others. We are to live God's Word for all the world to see. No, birth control and condoms are not specifically mentioned in the Bible. I'm not going to try to argue that they are. However, preventing pregnancy is mentioned, and it had some serious consequences. God doesn't play games. According to the story of Tamar in Genesis 38, her brother-in-law-turned-husband, prevented her from becoming pregnant. God struck him dead immediately.

Not only did God say to "be fruitful and multiply", and call children "a blessing" and "a reward", He killed the one who prevented it! That sounds like a serious warning to me. I think it's time to change our mindset.

There is a saying (I've heard that it's in the Bible but could not find it there so don't want to quote it as such.) that what parents do in moderation, their children will do in excess. I think this can be applied to Christians and non-Christians. We (should) set the example for the lost world. What Christians allow in moderation, non-Christians will allow in excess. If we continue to show the world that children are a hindrance, that they're an inconvenience, that we don't want them, well, Kermit Gosnell and Douglas Karpen didn't want them either. We don't want them so we keep them from being conceived. They didn't want them so they kill them. How are we any different if we have the same mindset?

Psalm 139:13-18
13. You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
         and knit me together in my mother's womb.
14. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
         Your workmanship is marvelous - how well I know it.
15. You watched as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
         as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16. You saw me before I was born.
         Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
      Every moment was laid out
         before a single day had passed.
17. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
         They cannot be numbered!
18. I can't even count them;
         they outnumber the grains of sand!
      And when I wake up,
         you are still with me!

Getting Back to My Roots

I started this blog almost exactly 17 months ago. When I started it, it was for accountability purposes. I'm not going to go into all of the details, but you can read the post here. I started a verse-by-verse study of Proverbs 31. Somewhere along the way, this blog became less about sharing what God had shown me and more about sharing it with others in hopes that they, too, would learn something from Him. I became more concerned with how many people were reading my posts and commenting on them. I began writing based on what I thought God wanted other people to know instead of based on what He was speaking into my life. Somewhere along the way my perspective got jumbled up. I began worrying what other people thought of my writing. I began basing my worth (in the context of my writing) on how many comments came my way. My focus was completely off.

So, I had to take a break. I had to walk away from this thing I love doing. I had to step back and reevaluate my priorities. I've been spending time with God away from this arena. I've been allowing Him to speak into my heart and share His passions and desires with me. He has shown me so much of His heart. I've fallen in love with Him all over again. We've "renewed our vows" so to speak. He has given me permission to return to this. He has put so much on my heart. He has taught me so much, and I want to share it all. If you learn something in the process, well, thank God! If not, that's okay. He'll speak to you through your own time with Him. 

(SIDE NOTE: I encourage you to get alone with Him at some point each and every day. The morning is truly the best time because you can commit the entire day to Him before any of it has happened. However, if your house is like mine, no matter how early you get up to get some quiet time, your kids will hear you and wake up too. Don't get stuck on "it has to be in the morning". Morning may be best, but it's better to do it at other parts of the day than not at all.)

All that said, from now on, I'm not going to be stuck on finishing Proverbs 31. There are so many things He has been showing me that I have put off sharing because it was not part of Proverbs 31. From this day on, I'm going to share what He has shown me that day through my time with Him. If it comes from Proverbs 31 (and I do have one post He has been writing in my head :-)) then my OCD will be happy! If not, that's okay too. This blog has been committed to God. His hands are on the keyboard from this point on. 

P.S. I might still share posts about my kids occasionally!!! :-)