Life and death have met me a lot this week—their notions and results of those who have chosen each have caused me to think deeply, more definitively, about my own beliefs, particularly in light of the 38th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion. Whenever a hot button issue surfaces, Christians should take a stand, if not publically, in their own hearts based upon the heart of God. His counsel to us—not our feelings or conscience—is what we must follow, but this is not always easy to do, especially for women like strong black women.
In keeping with natural methods of healthcare, abstinence is undoubtedly the only natural way to keep from getting pregnant. This should be the decision for Christian singles, with sex being reserved for marriage. In marriage, ideally you and your husband should agree on whether or not to have a child. If you decide not to have children, the only natural form of birth control is the rhythm method. You could abstain from sex, but you would have another set of issues besides unwanted children, and those issues you don’t want.
But what about those hard issues, like an unexpected (and unwanted) pregnancy that comes from a slip in decision on a lonely night or from a cruel man, a stranger or one in your own bedroom? Is abortion acceptable in these situations? Is abortion the “natural” response to getting rid of something you didn’t expect, want, or plan for or don’t want around to remind you of a bad decision or the violent act? If the mother of a poet I love who loves so many or an evangelist who feeds the souls and bodies of thousands each year decided abortion was natural after they were raped, I and so many others would miss the love of these soul-feeding wonders. And I wonder what soul-feeding wonders were among the more than 50 million babies aborted since the passage of Roe v. Wade in 1973. And I wonder how many mothers thought their decision was natural because they were told that what was in their womb was not yet life or that they had the power to change their destiny and they believed it, wanted and needed to believe that, because they didn’t know or hadn’t considered the counsel of God.
We have believed that we have the freedom to choose in all things. God would not have given man volition if we didn’t have the right to choose, we say. But He says, “This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19). God gives us a choice but then commands us to choose life. I choose life, personally knowing the horror of rape and the turmoil of receiving something I didn’t expect from it. God’s council is true and life affirming even in the midst of personal darkness, death visited upon us. His council is the only one that we can trust and eventually rest secure in (Psalm 56:11, 2 Corinthians 1:8-10).
Copyright 2011 by Rhonda J. Smith