How Father’s Day reminds pro-life people of our ultimate “Why”

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When Father’s Day comes around, I think about the men I’ve spoken to whose lives were impacted by an abortion decision.

Some fathers are haunted by the death of a child whom they were helpless to protect. They struggle with resentment and bitterness.

Others suffer under a load of guilt because they pushed a woman toward an abortion.

Either way, men are deeply affected by abortion decisions. Father’s Day is a great time to remember these fathers in prayer and think of them with compassion.

This Father’s Day, though, my reflection falls along different lines.

I find myself zooming out to look at the big picture of the life-affirming mission and why we put our energy into this work.

I think beyond the fathers impacted by abortion to the Father of us all—because understanding His heart toward His image-bearers is the greatest motivation for this mission.

Allow me to share some thoughts from Day 12 in Unleashing Your Courageous Compassion: Forty Reflections on Rescuing the Unborn:

“Then God said, “Let us make humanity in our image…God created humanity in God’s own image, in the divine image God created them] male and female God created them (Genesis 1:26-27).”

After fashioning the heavens, the earth and all other living creatures, creation comes to an apex—God forms one special creature different from all the rest, the only one created in his image.

Each time a sperm cell enters an ovum, a life begins.

Whether this new person is male or female, dark-skinned or fair, blue-eyed or brown-eyed, short or tall—these attributes are already determined at conception.

Psalm 139:16 poetically describes the unique destiny God has planned for each person He creates—but it also confirms a scientific fact.

The DNA code for each human being is set in place from the beginning.

Every unborn person brings delight to the heart of our heavenly Father. Every abortion is an assault on one of His precious image-bearers.

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Thousands of years ago, Israel’s pagan neighbors worshiped a god named Molek by heating up a large iron statue of the god with fire, and then placing their newborn children on its iron arms to be burned to death.

God vehemently forbids His people to practice such unthinkable evil (Leviticus 20:2-5; 2 Kings 23:10; Jeremiah 32:35).

Abortion is less visible and more private than these ancient practices, but no less destructive to the innocent victim. Nor is it any less reprehensible to God.

God calls us to take a stand for justice and to defend the innocent.

As John Ensor says in Answering the Call, “Among all human life, God especially cherishes innocent human life. … Among all forms of innocent human life, God especially treasures children. … Among all the ways that innocent children bring delight, God especially delights in fashioning children in the womb.”

Ensor goes on to say, “Among all the offenses of man, the greatest offense is shedding innocent blood. … Among all the ways men shed innocent blood, the most offensive is child sacrifice.”

There’s no easy way to state this painful truth: abortion is child sacrifice.

Just as in ancient times, an innocent life is offered in exchange for the perceived benefit of another person.

Circumstances are weighed against personhood, and personhood loses.

In Jeremiah 7:31, God says of this travesty that He neither commanded it, nor has it even entered His mind.

Why? Because the willful destruction of His smallest, most innocent image-bearers makes Him sick.

I’ll never forget the moment I truly understood this for the first time.

I’d been asked to speak at our local March for Life.

Two months before the march, our son Sam and his wife Jamé had welcomed their first baby, Helaina Joy, into the world.

As I pondered what to say at the march, the Lord asked me to imagine how Sam would feel if someone kidnapped his baby girl and violently killed her.

As quickly as the unwelcome, horrific thought dropped into my mind, I shoved it away—but not before I got the message.

The anguish. The rage. The gut-wrenching grief.

In that split-second moment of empathy for my son in that awful scenario, I heard the Lord say, “That’s how I feel every time one of my image-bearers is destroyed in the womb. I am their Father.”

The impact of the Lord’s emotions hit me so hard I could scarcely choke out the words of my speech that day.

This is it. This is our why—that our heavenly Father’s heart breaks with every abortion.

Tweet This: Our heavenly Father’s heart breaks with every abortion-and is why the pregnancy help movement works to save women and children from abortion

As we celebrate Father’s Day, yes, let’s be sensitive to men who carry guilt or bitterness over an abortion decision.

But more than that, let’s reflect on the heart of our Maker.

Ultimately, it’s His passion and compassion that drives our mission.

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