Perfect Love Casts Out Fear
Updated: Oct 6, 2019
As mentioned in an earlier blog, I have been pro-life for as long as I can remember. After many years of being immersed in the pro-life issue, I have learned that fear is often at the root of abortion choices:
--A teenage girl is afraid to tell her parents that she’s pregnant. --A boyfriend fears the deepening commitment of a relationship that suddenly includes a child. --A married couple with financial hardship and several children fear the cost of raising an additional child. --Parents fear that the big dreams they had for their high-school aged daughter will not be fulfilled unless she has an abortion. --A man fears that his wife will find out about his pregnant girlfriend. --A recent college grad with a bright and promising career fears that a pregnancy will stop that burgeoning career in its tracks. --A hardworking but tired single mom can’t imagine how she will take care of another baby – physically or financially. Fear grips her. --A young female athlete fears losing her place on the team if anyone finds out she’s pregnant. --A relative who has been sexually assaulting a young girl fears his evil ways will be exposed, and the victim fears telling anyone because he has threatened to do the same thing to her younger sister. --After test results are shared, a mom and dad fear that their child will have a disability. --Christian parents fear others will find out that their teenage daughter has been having sex. --A woman fears there will be repercussions to her health if she continues her pregnancy. --A single Christian woman is afraid of what her church will think if they find out she’s pregnant.
Obviously, there are many other scenarios, limitless in number, and fears run much deeper and wider than the quick scenes portrayed above. I can relate to fear. I remember the deep, heart-pounding, mind-racing, adrenaline-pumping, panic-inducing fears I had when I was 14 and pregnant. 1 John 4:18-19 tells us in part that fear has to do with punishment. That’s interesting because I remember a certain well-known political figure saying something about not wanting his daughters to be punished with a child. A child is never a punishment! A child is a precious gift from our Creator God who knows us best (Psalm 127:3-5). A pregnancy is not a disaster. The Lord has good plans for our lives, and desires to give us a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11).
Nothing can bring more hope than a child. When I was director of a pregnancy care center, I found an old sign stored in a box that said “A baby is God’s way of saying the world should go on.” I loved that sign so much that I had a local artist restore it and frame it, and the center hung it prominently where all clients could see it. I even found another like it online for sale and bought it for myself to hang in my own home.
Our heavenly father can bring calm and peace to each and every fear-laced scenario. We can trust the creator of life. He isn’t surprised at these pregnancies (even though we may be) because He has authored each and every life growing in the womb (Psalm 139:13-16). The Lord loves each pregnant mother so much that he chooses to give her the precious gift of a child, and there is no fear in love (1 John 4:18-19). In other words, there’s nothing to be afraid of when facing an unplanned pregnancy.
I know what you’re thinking, that’s easy for me to say. But I’ve walked through the fear and have come out the other side, unscathed. I’ve come out empowered and loved and full of joy. Life always brings joy. Perhaps not at first because facing an unplanned pregnancy is scary, but if we can release the fear, the joy will come. Forty years after choosing life for my son, I look back on that choice with gratitude, joy, peace and fulfillment.
Perfect love casts out fear. As pro-life Christians, we must offer love. Pro-life pregnancy care centers do a fantastic job of loving women and men who find themselves in a state of shock, fear and panic as they face an unexpected pregnancy. These centers lovingly come alongside parents and show them how it is possible to choose life for their child. Where it looked impossible, gradually, with love, it begins to look possible. Parents become empowered.
The Lord does not give us a spirit of fear, but gives us power, love and a sound mind (I’m paraphrasing 2 Timothy 1:7). So clearly, fear does not come from God. Fear says this is impossible; abortion is my only choice. That’s not power. That’s not love. That’s not God.
When I saw the movie Unplanned on March 31, I was overcome with compassion for women who have experienced abortion. It was clear that so many women portrayed in the film were fearful when they entered the clinic for an abortion. Abortion is not a simple procedure, nor is it inexpensive, and I don’t mean just financially. There are emotional, physical, and spiritual costs. Choosing life is not simple either, nor is it inexpensive. But there are emotional, physical, and spiritual rewards.
It’s worth repeating: perfect love casts out fear. We do not have to be afraid or dismayed or discouraged. There’s a better choice. An empowered choice. A life-affirming and loving choice. If we call upon the Lord for help, the author of our baby’s life, we will be strengthened, helped and held (Isaiah 41:10).
Fear not, for you are loved, and so is every baby growing in every womb. Choose love. Choose life.
In Christ’s Love,
Deborah Arlene Author of The Dream
Writer of Light – #5