Dear Christian Sisters,
As the Lord has taken me on this journey of changing the conversation about abortion, I have often wondered if our church is welcoming to women who have unwanted pregnancies.
As it relates to the topic of abortion, how well are we Christians loving people?
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”
Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
Matthew 22:36-40 NKJV
Yes, we do get angry at the pro-choice movement because they are for killing babies, but do we show love and compassion (“Love your neighbor as yourself”) for the brokenhearted women who are pregnant out of wedlock? Or the woman who just found out that her baby will likely have Down Syndrome?
I mean, who is making the decision to abort?
There’s no point in telling the babies that you love them enough to fight for their lives because they have no power. So, let’s tell the women that we love them enough to fight for their eternal lives because they do have the power to choose life.
Right now, the word “Christian” has a political connotation to it that tarnishes the Name of our Lord. If a non-believer hears “Christian” in the context of politics, does following Christ sound appealing?
A small group leader in my church makes a point in not calling herself a Christian but instead calls herself a follower of Christ. I like that.
If we want to make a real difference in the number of abortions, we need to stop being angry, politicized Christians and start being followers of Christ, showing compassion on brokenhearted women who are in difficult situations.
The Woman at the Well
Jesus in his encounter with the woman at the well did not condemn her. He had a conversation with her. He had a conversation that led her to believe that He is the Christ and that led many more Samaritans to believe. Here is the story as John told it in his gospel:
But He (Jesus) needed to go through Samaria.
Jesus did not need to go through Samaria because that route was better or easier. Dr. Bill Creasy explains that Samaria is in the mountain range. It would’ve been easier for Jesus and his disciples to stay along the Jordan river.
(Dr. Creasy is a great resource on biblical geography and studying the bible from a literature perspective. You can get his book of John from Audible.com.)
Jesus needed to go through Samaria presumably because He knew He needed to talk to the woman at the well or perhaps just because He wanted to visit Jacob’s well.
So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour. A woman of Samaria came to draw water.
There’s only one woman at the well. Now, ladies, let’s think about that. How often do you go someplace by yourself? You might liken going to the well for water back then to using the restroom today. You don’t go by yourself. All the women go at the same time.
So why would this woman be the only one at the well? She was at the well at 6 am—while all the other women were at home making breakfast and doing other morning preparations for their household—because she was ostracized.
The other women went to the well after dinner and brought their children with them. Because she knew she wasn’t welcome, she went when no one else would be there.
Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.
Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.
Samaritans of this time had some Jewish heritage from the northern kingdom of Israel when Israel split into Israel and Judah, but their forefathers had intermarried with Assyrians (when Assyria conquered the northern kingdom of Israel) and worshipped Assyrian idols alongside God. Because of their mixed heritage and idol worship, Jews of Jesus’ time would not associate with the Samaritans.
Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”
The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?”
Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.”
Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.”
The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.”
Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.”
The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.”
Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.”
Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”
And at this point His disciples came, and they marveled that He talked with a woman; yet no one said, “What do You seek?” or, “Why are You talking with her?”
I can imagine the woman staring at Jesus in silent awe as the disciples returned. Can’t you?
The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men…
…not the women–perhaps because they wouldn’t talk to her?
“Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” Then they went out of the city and came to Him.
In the meantime His disciples urged Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.”
But He said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.”
Therefore the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?”
Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!”
There He goes again, talking in metaphors, making the disciples think! I love this about Jesus. He makes us think. Just goes to show that Christianity is a thinker’s belief system. Here, Jesus is pointing out that the harvest is right there at the well—and they were about to reap!
“And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors.”
Ooh, I love this metaphor! I’ll sow—you reap. Or you sow, and I’ll reap. No matter which, we will rejoice together!
And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all that I ever did.” So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. And many more believed because of His own word.
Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.”
John 4:4-42 NKJV
So, you see, Jesus didn’t condemn the woman for having many husbands; He engaged her in conversation. As a result, not only did she believe, but many in her community believed. How awesome is that!?!
In the Church Today
Now back to today’s world. If a pregnant teen walks through the church doors, do we embrace and love her? Or do we show judgment on our faces? Do we condemn her?
Or do we have a conversation with her that leads her to believe that Jesus is the Christ? And that following Christ means choosing life?
I was once that pregnant teenager.
We went to church up to that point. Well, we did more than that. My dad was on staff. My mom volunteered in multiple capacities. I was a leader in our youth group.
But as a pregnant teen, there is no way I would go to my church. It was shameful.
It was shameful no matter where I went.
Think about the teens or young adults at your church. If any of the women in those groups were pregnant, would they think, “I’m in a mess! I’ll go to church. They’ll know what to do. They’ll help me through this, the most difficult time in my life.”
No, probably not.
The Woman Caught in Adultery
It is not our job to condemn sin. Remember the story of the woman caught in adultery? To refresh our memories, here it is from the Gospel of John:
The scribes and Pharisees brought to Him (Jesus) a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act.”
Caught in the very act. So where is the man? According to Leviticus 20:10, both the man and the woman are to be stoned to death.
“Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him.
Did you catch that? It was a setup. They caught her in the very act, let the guy go, and accused the woman so that they could accuse Jesus.
But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.
Jesus drew their attention away from the naked woman and down to the ground.
So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last.
Kinda makes you wonder what Jesus was writing in the sand, doesn’t it?
And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”
She said, “No one, Lord.”
And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”
John 8:3-11 NKJV
Are we without sin? Of course not! We have all sinned. If we were there to condemn the woman, wouldn’t the Lord Jesus be writing our sins in the sand?
We are not to condemn. We are to lead women to Christ. We are to teach her all that Christ has commanded us. (Read my previous post on Abortion & The Great Commission.)
Who of us is standing up for women pregnant out of wedlock?
We women have got to figure this out! We have got to figure out how to make the church a welcoming place for all sinners!
We are empowered women. Like the widow who demanded justice (Luke 18:1-8), we too are persistent in getting justice and should be persistent in getting justice for other women. We are gifted at hospitality. We know what it’s like to be a teenage young woman.
We are the ones who are going to make a difference in women’s lives. AND we’re the ones raising boys to be gentlemen and Christ followers.
The harvest is plentiful. We need to get to work.
With the love of Christ,
P.S. My friends and I are meeting to figure out how to make our church welcoming to women with unwanted pregnancies. We don’t have all the answers, but we want to do what Christ has called us to do. One idea is to start a chapter of a new ministry called A Mother’s Cry, which is founded by my friend Julie Mad-Bondo. Please comment below with your ideas as well.