How to Love Her

How to Love Her

by Heather Cofer | September 1, 2013

There is a battle raging around us in this day and age that is literally affecting millions of people – the battle for the unborn. Not only is it taking the precious lives of countless babies, but it is damaging the lives of many young women, as well as all those closest to them. Abortion is such a difficult and intense topic, and it can be tempting to want to stay on “neutral ground.” Yet, as Christians, we must stand firmly for those things the Lord has made clear in His Word, and in this case, His design for life.

There are many of us who have the desire to enter into this great battle, but are not sure how. And if we came in contact with a young woman in a crisis pregnancy situation, we do not even know what we would say, or how we would even begin to help or comfort her. This is the journey the Lord has begun walking me through.

God had been gently tugging on my heart for a couple of years with the subject of abortion, and after several instances of being confronted with the issue, I knew I must take action. I knew the Lord wanted me to enter into the fight for life, and more specifically, the fight for the women whose souls who were being deceived into thinking that abortion would solve their “problem.”

I have had the privilege of volunteering at a pregnancy resource center for the past year. When I started, my heart’s desire was to have face-to-face interaction with young women in crisis pregnancy situations, but that didnʼt happen for a while.

Before I went through the training to become a “client advocate” or counselor, I had a period of waiting and serving behind the scenes – putting together bags of baby clothes, helping with events, and praying for all those who came seeking help. It was a wonderful time of preparation and trusting the Lord, realizing that if this was how I spent the rest of my time as a volunteer and never stepped foot in a counseling room, it was more than worth it.

Once the first training came around, I was incredibly excited. I wanted to soak up every bit of knowledge I could handle.

Throughout the training, the Lord began opening my eyes to how He views these women, and His pattern for how we are to minister to them. I realized there were so many misconceptions I had had about how to help them, and I was beginning to understand that the issue was much deeper than “If only she knew it was a baby…”

What the Lord was awakening me to was that when He brings a young woman into our life, He wants us to show love specifically to her. If our goal is only to save the baby, and we donʼt show the love of Christ to the one carrying that baby, what good have we done? So often in the fight for the child, the woman carrying this little life gets trampled and hurt by the comments that are meant to try and help her see the Truth. We turn to our own means of trying to reason rather than looking to Jesus to see how He desires us to minister to her. 

How did Jesus approach the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:1-30), or the woman caught in adultery about to be stoned (John 8:1-11)? Though He confronted them about their sin, He was gentle, loving, and compassionate. People who saw their need were drawn to Him, not pushed away by Him. He didnʼt try to reason with them or make them feel guilty – He simply spoke the Truth in love. And this is what we are called to as those bearing His name. Jesus said in John 13:34, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” First Corinthians 13:1 says, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.” We can speak Truth to someone all day, but if we do not display the love of Christ to them, it will do no good.

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When we come in contact with a woman considering abortion, we must be able to understand how they are viewing their situation. One of the things I learned was that the mind-set of most women considering abortion is not, “I donʼt really believe this is a baby.” Actually, many will tell you that they know it is a baby. Rather, they are viewing the pregnancy as death to themselves in a number of different ways, including their education, career, dreams, etc. So, their mind-set is more along the lines of, “Either my life is over, or this babyʼs life is over.” 

When a study was done among a group of pro-choice women, all of them agreed that abortion was killing, knew it was ultimately wrong, and (if they believed in God) believed that God would punish those who did make that decision. However, they also believed that He would simply forgive them because they didnʼt mean to get pregnant, and (in their minds) had no other choice. This mind-set is a lot harder to deal with than just trying to convince a woman that there is actually a baby inside her womb; it is a distortion of the Truth. Yes, it is true that if you are truly repentant of your sin, God will forgive you. But there are still major consequences that come from this decision that so many women donʼt understand. In crisis situations, it is difficult to think rationally, and so often they canʼt see anything but how to immediately take care of the “problem,” not thinking of what their actions will mean for the future. The absolute best way to combat this is by approaching them in the way Jesus has established – sharing the Truth in love.

In one state, the majority of the crisis pregnancy centers decided to change their focus from trying to save the baby to intentionally directing love and care toward the women. Not surprisingly, it became the state with the fastest dropping abortion rates! When they started showing love to the woman, she, in turn, chose life for her baby. When the Lord establishes a pattern, we can be sure that it will work.

What are some practical ways we can be prepared to minister and show love to a young woman going through a crisis pregnancy?

First of all, we must be praying for the Lord to prepare us, and give us His wisdom and insight. We cannot rush into it in our own strength, or nothing good will ultimately be accomplished.

We must never be judgmental in our attitude toward them, but always humble. We have to remember that the Lord has shown incredible mercy and grace to us, and we are to show that same mercy and grace to them by our words and attitude.

We must be ready to listen, allowing them to share their story, asking them questions, and only offering advice when we know it is the right time. Often, once they have had the opportunity to share their situation in a safe environment, they are able to see more clearly that abortion does not have to be their only option.

Finally, we must always be ready to share the Gospel: “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit...” (Heb. 4:12). Donʼt force it upon them if they are not open, but if you see they are ripe, never be afraid to give them the Truth.

Our greatest desire for this woman should be that she comes to the saving knowledge of Jesus. God desires her to be saved just as much as the baby she is carrying within her. And may we, as we begin this journey, bring Him much glory by directing the eyes of those He brings into our lives to the Giver of all life, that they, too, might glorify Him.

(Much of the information in this article came from an article “Profile of a Woman with an Unplanned Pregnancy,” the Life Choices Level 1 Volunteer Training Manuel, 1st Edition 2012.)

(For another wonderful article on this topic, read Leslieʼs article, Standing for Life in the Jul/Aug 2011 issue.)