“I came to the Lord through an abortion. My ex-girlfriend and I decided to abort 10 years ago…” *Mike, telling his story at Care Net’s 2022 Called and Missioned Pro-Life Men’s Summit.
Recently, I was blessed to speak at the Fatherhood CoMission Summit, where I addressed the nation’s top fatherhood and family leaders. After my talk, as is usually the case, a number of people approached me with the same dilemma: they have a heart for serving men and women facing pregnancy decisions, but they aren’t sure how to help.
The first thing I do in these situations is start with the idea that we can’t just be pro-life, we have to be Pro Abundant Life. Once folks understand this concept, the rest comes much more easily. So, what does it mean to become engaged in the Pro Abundant Life movement? Here are 3 ways.
3 Ways To Engage in the Pro Abundant Life Movement
- Understand the biblical support for a Pro Abundant Life vision.
- Know what the research on abortion says.
- Connect with others engaging in Pro Abundant Life work.
#1 Understand the biblical support for a Pro Abundant Life vision.
“Pro Abundant Life” comes from John 10:10 when Christ said, “…I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Jesus was saying, “I’m not only pro-life. I’m Pro Abundant life.” The practical idea of using this term for Care Net’s ministry means we don’t simply work to save babies from abortion, as God-honoring as that is. We are also working to help both women and men considering abortion become disciples of Jesus Christ and to build strong, God-honoring families.
Too often, the pro-life movement “settles” for saving a baby from abortion, but doesn’t do enough to ensure that mothers do not become “repeat customers.” Fathers are also often ignored or neglected through this limited view of pro-life work. In Scripture, however, we don’t see Jesus doing“retail”; he was not seeking repeat customers. He never let anyone who he served materially, physically, or emotionally walk away without addressing their spiritual condition as well.
His goal with all those to whom He ministered was for them to come as they were but not to stay as they came. In other words, because Jesus’ work was always transformational, not transactional, that is how we should operate, too. Pro-life work can be transactional. Pro Abundant Life ministry is transformational.
And the way to make pro-life work transformational is to address the issues that lead to abortion. Thus our focus on helping people build strong families and to be transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ.
#2 Know what the research on abortion says.
Mike, whose quote opens this article, also explained to us at our pro-life men’s summit, “Through abortion, you’re overwhelmed with guilt…there’s trauma and there needs to be healing. I do believe that I am healed.”
God can heal the human heart. We need to understand and champion the father’s influence in dealing with pregnancy decisions.
Since you’re reading this, you no doubt understand the power of God’s design for marriage and family and the sanctity of life. God’s design for family can’t be fulfilled if we’re not engaging men.
The research tells us that 86 percent of women who have abortions are unmarried. The abortion problem, in many ways, is a marriage problem. Moreover, Care Net conducted two national surveys over the last few years and in both, we asked: who was the most influential person in your pregnancy decision? Women said the father of the baby was the most influential factor in their decision to have an abortion. When we asked the men the same question: who was the most influential factor in your partner’s decision to have an abortion, he answered, “I was.”
We know fathers play a pivotal role in abortion—for good or for ill. Accordingly, it’s our job in the Pro Abundant Life movement to make sure the role the father is playing is a positive one rather than a negative one.
#3 Connect with others engaging in Pro Abundant Life work.
If you’re not sure how to get started helping women and men faced with pregnancy decisions who are at risk for abortion, the best place to start is to get connected to the people and organizations on the front lines. Indeed, over the past few years, much groundbreaking and pioneering work has been quietly taking place across the country. To help spread this work, Care Net is hosting our second annual Pro-Life Men’s Summit at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas – where Dr. Tony Evans’ serves as pastor – on March 3 and 4, 2023. You can watch incredible testimonies from past attendees, learn more, and register at CalledandMissioned.com.
Returning to Mike’s story, he finished by saying, “Out of guilt, I started going to church…I gave my life over to the Lord Jesus Christ.” If you’re reading this, know that you can help other men like Mike be set free from their past. And if you are like Mike, you too can find forgiveness from God, be set free, and become a part of the Pro Abundant Life movement.
*Real names were changed to protect the privacy of the people involved.