Your words matter. How you respond to someone with an unexpected pregnancy could be the difference between life and death.
A few years ago, my family travelled to Florida for our annual family holiday. Every year, we have the same glorious agenda. We sit on the beach, and we eat lots of food. The Ford Family likes to keep it simple.
One day, we woke up early to eat at a nearby breakfast restaurant. We pulled into the parking lot and noticed a line going out the door. But because we like to eat good food, we were willing to wait in line. During the hour and a half of waiting time, we struck up a conversation with another family in the restaurant. They were a young couple with a small child, and they began to tell us about the church they attend. When we heard they were churchgoers, my mother started telling them about Embrace Grace, the ministry she co-founded.
My mum explained that when a single girl has an unexpected pregnancy, Embrace Grace invites them to church, teaches them their value in Christ, and throws them an extravagant baby shower. Embrace Grace celebrates their pregnancy and shows them that God loves them.
“What about the Fornicators?”
As we were explaining Embrace Grace to the family, they both showed concern in their facial expressions. They responded with words I will never forget.
“What about the fornicators? You would never celebrate them, right?”
My mum, grieved by their perception of God’s desire for the Christian life, told the couple, “We celebrate each girl, because she is deeply loved by God, and so is her baby.”
How Would Christ Respond?
John 8:1-11 is a passage that displays the beautiful heart of Jesus, but the message is radical to the Greco-Roman world (specifically in Jewish circles). In this passage, we see the Pharisees, the teachers, and scholars of the Tanakh (modern-day Old Testament), bringing a woman to Jesus. This woman was brought to Jesus because she had been caught in the act of adultery. The Pharisees wanted to test Jesus to see if he would uphold the old covenant standard, but Jesus brings his new covenant.
Whenever the Jewish law teachers questioned him about proper punishment for the adulterous woman, the Saviour of the World knelt in the dirt and began to draw. When the Pharisees demanded an answer, Jesus, the perfect representation of the Father’s heart, responded to the Pharisees with a brilliant statement. Jesus said, “let the one who has never sinned cast the first stone” (John 8:7).
He then stooped down and continued to draw in the sand. The Pharisees then slipped away, leaving the adulterous woman with Jesus. Full of grace, Jesus turned to the woman and assured her that she has no accusers. Not even the Son of God, who is the only one worthy to throw a stone, accuses her. This account is more than a story, it’s our Saviour showing his People the new standard. In this scripture, we see Jesus Christ showing His people how to respond to those in sin, pain, or separation from God. Jesus responds with radical grace.
How Should You Respond to Unexpected Pregnancy?
If you are ever blessed with the opportunity of a woman approaching you, letting you know that she has an unexpected pregnancy, let your first word be, “CONGRATULATIONS!”
Women who find themselves in crisis pregnancies need to understand that their child is a blessing from heaven and that Jesus still offers them hope, light, and life amid their brokenness. God delights in showing mercy to people Micah 7:18. He never charged you with the responsibility of casting judgment toward women who are fornicators. That isn’t your job. Your job is to love those women, to show those women that Jesus Christ is full of grace and that He wants a relationship with all people.
Your words matter. They have the power to bring life or death Proverbs 18:21. How are you going to use your words to change the lives of mothers and babies? Just one encouraging word can push a mum with an unexpected pregnancy to choose life. A single baby shower can give a mother the confidence to keep her baby. Your actions can change two lives at once.
You are blessed with an opportunity to create change. How will you respond?
© 2020 Jess Ford. Used with permission. Originally published at focusonthefamily.com.