“I would never have an abortion myself, but I support the right of others to do so.”
“Abortion is wrong, except in some cases.”
“Sometimes we’re forced to choose the lesser of two evils.”
Why is abortion defended as a “woman’s right” even among people of faith? How does a mother, father, or grandparent rationalize abortion? What has to happen to make people who acknowledge the Creator of life set themself in His place and take a life?
The ministry of Titus 2 for Life began after years of asking these questions. In order to make abortion “unthinkable,” we must honestly examine what happens prior to an abortion, including a “me first” mentality, promiscuity, loss of true identity, and failure to trust God. But is there, as one Titus 2 participant asked, a missing piece to the puzzle of abortion? Is there something so terrible that, in moments of fear and hopelessness, even Christian women and their families feel compelled to play the role of God?
An e-mail conversation following a Titus 2 Retreat began to reveal that missing piece. A participant wrote: “Without breaking confidences, a group of us shared the painful circumstances of abortion as related to us by friends, family, congregation, and community members we have cared about and listened to over the years. A common thread seemed to run through these accounts. Young women who had been victims of childhood sexual abuse became promiscuous or experienced further sexual abuse from men during their teen years. When they found themselves pregnant, they chose an abortion.”
Childhood sexual abuse (CSA) is, without a doubt, a missing piece in the abortion puzzle.
“I don’t even remember when it began. My older step-brother would slip into my room at night and crawl into bed with me . . .”
“When I was twelve, my ‘uncle’ began touching me . . . later, when boys wanted to do the same, I honestly didn’t know how to say ‘no.’”
“Between the ages of 10 and 14, I was sexually abused by my step-dad. My mom knew but was too afraid to say anything . . .”
“The principal of my Christian school said I was special and what he was doing to me was our secret . . .”
The stories break our hearts. One study done in 1997 found that “compared to women who were not abused during childhood, women who reported a history of childhood sexual abuse were 1.5 more likely to have had an abortion.” (Source: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9315271)
This statistic (and more) was researched by a Titus 2 participant whose heart was touched by the stories she heard following a retreat. She has been motivated to speak so that a culture can begin to prevent more harm, death, and hopelessness.
Titus 2 women gather to contrast the world with The Word. Abortion is a worldly idea, but God calls it a sin. What has to happen before the sin of abortion? Other sin.
Sin happens when we rebel against or fail to trust God. Sin happens when we let our sinful human flesh come under Satan’s authority. Sin happens when God’s people are silent about sinful behavior. Sinful humans caught up in sinful behavior affect the lives of others.
CSA is an example of sin’s generational effect on all of us. The consequences of one sin can affect generations to follow. God says: I, the Lord your God, am a jealous god, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me . . . (Exodus 20:5 NIV).
In pausing to take a breath, I sense what some of you are thinking. Why is God so unjust to compel innocent children to bear the sins of guilty parents? Ahhh . . . and so it might seem to those who stop with verse five. Please! Don’t stop! Read the rest of what God has to say. He continues with a powerful, life-changing “but” that is followed by words of hope: I . . . am a jealous God, punishing . . . to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me . . . but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commandments (v. 6).
Do you hear what the Lord of life is saying? He is “a jealous God” because He created male and female. The first man and woman’s sin tainted all of their children and children’s children. Sin produces consequences. But, praise God! There is Hope! There is always Hope for those who love and trust God! This Hope died for our sin ad rose to victory. Hope is Jesus Christ who covers the repentant sinner with mercy every morning.
It is never a child’s fault when he or she is abused. A child has not sinned when they are forced to do something against their will. The adult who puts a child in harm’s way or strips away innocence is always held accountable. So, what does the person who experienced childhood sexual abuse do? He or she finds hope and healing in God’s promises: Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame . . . The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and He delivers them . . . The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:5, 7, 18 NIV).
What does the adult who sinned against God and one of His little ones do? He or she finds hope and healing in God’s promises: When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to You and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord’ – and You forgave the guilt of my sin. (King David in Psalm 32)
What do Titus 2 women (and men) do? They speak up. They expose the darkness of evil with the light of God’s Word. For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing ofour great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own, eager to do what is good (Titus 2:11-14).
Copyright: Linda Bartlett