For those of you who don’t know me well, despite the fact that I am a blogger and a podcaster who talks an awful lot about my life, I somehow still manage to be an incredibly private person. There are just some things that I don’t talk about. Ever.
This is one of them.
I don’t mind talking about the fact that I messed up. I do that a lot, and I can because I know the forgiveness of Christ and because I have watched God turn my mistakes into blessings for others on this blog. He is so good that way.
But this one is harder. Much harder.
To be honest, I have been wrestling about whether to share this with anyone or not. Other than Benjamin, so far I haven’t. But as it again came to my mind as a possibility for about the 1000th time, I realized that my only reasons for not sharing were selfish and the reason for sharing was possibly life-saving.
How could there really be a question?
So here it goes. Talk about the Bible applying to real life…
When Benjamin and I first got married, we debated about whether we would use birth control or not. (*deep breaths* We are way past my sharing comfort level already…) We talked about it between ourselves, we talked about it with others. Ultimately, we decided that birth control pills were the wisest course. We were in college and having a baby just wasn’t feasible for us. The pills seemed to be the easiest way to go.
Flash forward a year and a half to me laying on the couch, sick as a dog, while Benjamin sat on the floor, surfing the web. We were talking as Benjamin scrolled, but I was slowly falling asleep. When he stopped talking to read, I didn’t notice, and when he said, “I want to talk to you about this later. Just go to sleep,” I wasn’t even concerned.
Little did I know that Benjamin had just been punched in the gut spiritually. When I awoke, he showed me what he had been reading.
It was this article from the Village Church that he had stumbled upon, which looks at every birth control method and compares it to the values of Scripture.
It divides contraceptive methods into three types: methods that do not terminate or potentially terminate life, methods that are intended to terminate life, and methods that have inherent potential to terminate life. Our pills fell under the last category. Inherent potential to terminate life.
The article explained that birth control pills have three steps in the process of preventing pregnancy. The first two, it says, are purely contraceptive, but the third makes it more difficult for a fertilized egg to implant and grow. Instead, that conceived baby gets flushed out. In other words, if it makes it to the third stage, it is little better than the morning after pill.
The article says, “the point remains that the very intent of the mechanism is to make the environment hostile for an already-conceived child.”
Abortion is defined scientifically as the ending of an unborn human life, and this article also says, “Though not intentionally or maliciously attempting to abort a child, those who use such forms of control risk an early, spontaneous abortion.”
I was stunned. Benjamin was stunned. We hadn’t thought. We had never even thought to check. Benjamin did some more research and found on three separate sites the accuracy of what this article had said. We were stunned.
I am writing this today, a Christian and a strong pro-life woman, and I can’t tell you whether or not I have had an abortion. I have no idea. Because I was careless with human life.
Some people might look at this post and wonder why I am making a big deal about this. Lots of people use birth control pills and it’s not like I put lives at risk on purpose. But this is where the Bible comes in. In a world that sees abortion as a right, in a world that doesn’t place the value on life that God places on it, we have to keep our hearts in tune to His Word and into His view of what life is.
In Psalm 139:13-16, the psalmist wrote to God:
For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.
From the very moment of conception, from the time a baby is “made in secret,” God sees that baby, loves that baby, and has “fearfully and wonderfully made” that baby with a purpose and a plan.
Life itself is God’s design. In fact, human life came from the very breath of God. Genesis 2:7 says, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”
God made human beings in His own image to bring glory to Him and to receive love and life from Him in a way that no other part of creation can. It is important, and we don’t have the right to decide for ourselves when it ends. We have the responsibility to protect it.
So where does that leave us? In the beauty of the design of life in the Bible, in this situation, Benjamin and I can feel only condemnation for our carelessness. But that’s not where we have to stay. Even for those who purposely choose an abortion, even for those who hate another person (which the Bible says is equivalent to murder in Matthew 5:21-22), even for those who carry out cold blooded murder, God offers freely and lovingly, His mercy.
1 John 1:9 is an often quoted verse, but if we really stop and think about it, it is one of the most powerful verses in the Bible. It so simply states a mercy that is unthinkable. It says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Benjamin and I prayed hard that night. We prayed for forgiveness. We prayed for cleansing. We have no idea if using those pills even had a consequence. Maybe steps one and two always did their job. We will have no idea until Heaven. But there we might meet a baby of ours that never got the chance to live the life God would have had for them.
But you know what? God forgave us. Without hesitation, without grudge, God forgave us, just as he forgives us for every other mistake that we ever could make in this life. Because we have been washed in Jesus’s blood and our sins have been paid for by Christ, we can be forgiven daily by our perfect, holy Lord for the sins we commit every hour of every day. Nothing is too big or too terrible for Him to forgive.
Our God is so gracious and so merciful. I praise Him right now for His forgiveness, for His design for life, and for the courage that He gave me to share this story with you.
I encourage all of you to go read that article from the Village Church, to do some more research, and to think about whether birth control methods used by you or someone you know might be putting life at risk. There are so many other options, life protecting options. Just be careful of what choices you make.