I toured a local pregnancy center with my church’s missions group for the first time as a preteen. We listened as a staff member described the services, programs, and resources offered to women who were considering abortion.
When the woman finished her speech, I raised my hand and asked a question: “What is abortion?”
I had no idea her answer would change my life.
The truth about abortion has broken my heart every day since. I spent years reading books and studying the history of abortion and the pro-life movement. I wanted the skills to defend the pro-life position biblically, scientifically, and philosophically.
My knowledge and confidence on the subject increased, but it wasn’t enough. Something was missing.
After graduating college and settling in Greensboro, North Carolina, the burden remained. What could I do about abortion? How could I serve women who felt it was their only option?
I did what so many of us do when questions haunt us—I Googled it. My search took me to The Pregnancy Network (then known as Greensboro Pregnancy Care Center). I made a phone call, scheduled an interview, filled out an application, attended training, and began to volunteer. Six months later, my husband started volunteering too.
A year later, I applied for an open position and joined the staff as Client Services Director.
That was nearly eight years ago, and since then I’ve seen thousands of women walk through our doors—many have chosen life, but many also still chose abortion. It’s become clear to me that as long as unplanned pregnancies exist (nearly half of all pregnancies are unplanned) there will be women who feel as if abortion is their only option.
We don’t have to go far to find women who have chosen abortion or who are considering one. Studies show as many as 1 in 4 women will have an abortion in her lifetime. That means the women you meet at the store, interact with at the office, and sit next to in Bible study may have wrestled with this difficult decision.
Like it or not, we’re immersed in a culture that champions the “necessity” of abortion. So what does it look like for us to create a culture of life within our own families? How do we minister to the needs of women facing unplanned pregnancies and show our children we value life at all stages? There are no cookie cutter answers, but here are 7 ways my husband and I try to uphold the value of life in our household:
- We pray as a family for moms and dads who are pregnant and scared.
- We work together to raise money during our pregnancy center’s annual Walk for Life. We let the kids use their interests and creative ideas as a way to raise funds. We also give financially to the center.
- I take the kids to visit and also to volunteer at our pregnancy center. We know the staff and they are familiar with the layout of the building—what the rooms are used for, the ultrasound machine, offices, etc.
- We talk regularly about how all lives have value, are made in God’s image, and deserve to be protected.
- We practice being gentle with babies and smaller children; we encourage our older children to protect one another and their baby sister. We affirm them when they demonstrate bravery or gentleness toward one another.
- We celebrate every pregnancy we hear about. We talk about fetal development and the excitement of welcoming a new life into the world.
- We have attended prayer events outside our city’s abortion facility.
Every family’s circumstances are different; what works for us may not work for you, and that’s okay. You are uniquely equipped to model and teach the value of life to your family. If you have a desire to stand for life but are not sure what that looks like, here are a few resources/suggestions to help you get started:
“You are uniquely equipped to model and teach the value of life to your family.” @mtholloman #Life #Parenthood #FamilyTweet
- Find your local pregnancy center and get connected. You can find the pregnancy center closest to you by clicking here. Pregnancy centers are the single most practical way to make a difference and stand for life. Most centers have a variety of ways you can serve, everything from working one-on-one with clients to folding baby clothes to giving financially.
- Educate yourself. Many people are silent because they feel ill-equipped to engage with others on such an emotionally- and politically-charged issue. You don’t have to be an expert, but you can arm yourself with foundational truths that will allow you to stand for life with confidence and compassion. One great place to start is this podcast episode, How to Defend the Pro-Life Position. It is also helpful to educate yourself about legislation regarding abortion in the US. 2021 was a huge year for the pro-life movement, and a Supreme Court decision this summer regarding Roe v. Wade could be historical. You can learn more about these topics by clicking here.
- Love the expectant mothers in your life. Chances are you know of a woman who is unexpectedly pregnant. Whether she’s a family member, co-worker, or a familiar face at Sunday church services, she may be feeling scared and alone. Step out in faith and offer your support and love. Take her out to lunch. Give diapers or a baby gift. Have the kids make cards. Your encouragement and kindness will go farther than you know.
- Pray. If your heart is not burdened by abortion, pray that God would change your heart. Pray for women facing unplanned pregnancies. Pray for the men and women complicit in abortion decisions. Pray for healing for those who have abortion in their pasts. Pray for wisdom for our Supreme Court justices as they make crucial decisions in the coming months.
Our role as parents and leaders in our homes is to equip our children with the tools they need to stand for life with confidence and compassion. One day, each of us must give an answer for what we did or did not do to protect unborn life and to advocate for women facing unplanned pregnancies. May we be found faithful as we lead our families to uphold the immeasurable value of life.
5 thoughts on “Creating a Culture of Life in Our Families”
Breaks my heart also Ms. Mary, but we must have hope. Living in a very rural area, I’m certain people in my little community too have been subject to the pain and anguish of abortion. I don’t have those clinics nearby to stand and pray over, but I pray against abortion every morning. Love your post in that we must model godly values in our life if we ever expect anyone else to see the difference from this world. I pray you continued success in your efforts. I wonder if someday you will meet in heaven all those children you tried to save. God’s blessings young lady.
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Mary, thank for your ministry in this critical area and for reminding all of us to pray and do what we can to support ministries like yours. You offered many practical and creative methods for honoring the lives God created.
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Thank you, Mary for this powerful message about abortion and practical ways we can affirm life. And thank you for your ministry to women experiencing unplanned pregnancies.
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This action is always in season, “Step out in faith and offer your support and love.” Unplanned and/or unwanted pregnancies have the common truth of life ~ life not yet birthed into our world. May we be God’s ambassadors of love and wisdom for those who feel they have no choice, and for those who reject available options to abortion.