The world is falling apart, or at least it seems that way when my Facebook news feed is filled with stories on Planned Parenthood, Josh Duggar's sexual sins, and the marital cheating website Ashley Madison. As a Christian there's a lot to process, and we wonder what we should say and how to take a stand. Yet if we are truly followers of God's Word our "stand" should be more than just a repost or comment on Facebook. Thirty years from now when our grandchildren read about these things in the history books they're not going to ask, "What did you think?" But "What did you do?"
So what can we do? Keep reading ...
1. Planned Parenthood
Personally I'm not surprised by what I learned about Planned Parenthood. As a 15-year-old scared teen I went in for counseling in a Planned Parenthood office, and I was flat out lied to. I was told that an abortion was "scraping away a few cells" and it would bring a lot of relief. Even though the choice was my own—and I take full responsibility for that choice—I still trusted what they told me. Both statements were untrue. I later learned my baby had a beating heart. I also faced years of depression, shame and regret. Only the love, grace and forgiveness of Jesus has pulled me out of that pit. So I can truly understand why women go to Planned Parenthood. I know the worry of thinking, "I'm going to have to parenting a child all alone and that's just not possible." It's up to us, as a body of Christians, to take those worries away.
Each of us needs to use the voice we have to share about what Planned Parenthood is doing within our sphere of influence, but we should not stop there. The greatest act of being pro-life is loving and helping those who have chosen to have their children and need help.
God's Word tells us to care for the orphans and widows in their distress (James 1:27). I think it's safe to say that teen and single moms should be considered widows and their children orphans in our society. They are often abandoned and neglected. They struggle for basic necessities, yet God asks us to care for them. He wants us to reach out with love and compassion to help with their greatest needs. And ... what do you think would happen if we did?
- Young women considering abortion would see that help is available, and they wouldn't feel alone. They would have hope. They would have no fear of their future as a single mom.
- Young women loved on by Christians would also wonder about this Christ they talk about and consider seeking Him themselves. They would be drawn to the love and look to make changes in their own lives.
- Children would grow up surrounded by positive, godly examples who would be available to break the cycle. How can children make positive choices with their own lives if they do not witness these things themselves?
How can you help a young or single mom?
First, step out of your comfort zone and go where they are. Volunteer at a crisis pregnancy center or local high school. Check to see if there are any teen support groups in your area through organizations like Teen MOPS or Embrace Grace ... or start one!
Second, help them with their needs. Here is a blog I wrote about 17 Ways to Reach Out to Single Parents. Pray and ask God how you can help. Then try to do one thing a month ... it'll make a huge difference in the life of young mothers!
Serving young or single moms will impact the lives and hearts of women. If you truly detest what you've learned about Planned Parenthood, then be the answer in a woman's life today by helping her with her greatest needs.
But before you can be the answer ... there might be some business that you need to take care of in your heart first.
2. Ashley Madison
I was horrified—and thankful—to read about the revelation about Josh Duggar's Ashley Madison accounts. I first heard about the company Ashley Madison when FamilyLife spoke out against the cheating website, but I had no idea that they have 39 million registered users from around the world ... 39 MILLION people who want to have an affair. 39 million people who are paying to make infidelity possible. Like all shocking news stories, the revelation about Josh Duggar made us aware of a huge problem and a growing tread of marital unfaithfulness.
So why am I thankful? I'm thankful that what was hidden is now in the light, so we can talk about it and do something about it. What can Christians do in an Ashley Madison world? Love our spouses. Uplift the beauty of faithfulness in marriage, and reach out to those who are struggling with sexual sins.
I'm also thankful for Josh's sake, that his sin was revealed. Even though this is hard on him, his lovely wife, and his family, healing and restoration only come when sin is brought into the light. All of us are tempted in many ways, but we can only find help for our struggles with honesty and hope. Nowhere in the Bible does it tell us to attempt to conquer our sinful natures alone. That is impossible!
Maybe, like Josh Duggar, you have a sin that you've been hiding. Know that you don't have to remain hidden in fear.
James 5:16 says, "Confess your faults to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man accomplishes much."
Confession is the only way we will find help and healing from sexual sin and all other sins. We need to confess to our families and to God. We need to seek forgiveness, and we must ask for accountability. We must ask God to fill us and bring strength to our weaknesses.
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