DAY 37: The Other Half of the Equation

Stephen Arterburn – author and founder of New Life Ministries – went to college to get a Christian education, but what happened is that he got a girl pregnant – and pressured her to have an abortion. 

Years later he was invited back to his alma mater to speak at a chapel service, and he confessed what happened in front of the student body.
Afterward he wrote: “I didn’t fully grasp what I had done until about three days later. That’s when it really hit me. This shame just came over me. I had destroyed the life of my own child.
And I just couldn’t believe it. There was nothing I could do to reverse it or undo it. It was done. I felt like I had sinned too much, gone too far. God could never use me, never forgive me.
There was no funeral, no way to grieve, no one I could talk to. The silent shame started ripping through me, and I had so many ulcers that I ended up in the hospital.”
Every abortion involves at least one man.  Yet abortion is treated as if it was primarily as a “women’s issue.”

In 1976, for example, the Supreme Court eliminated a man’s legal right to be involved in the decision to abort his child.  Fathers don’t even have a right to be notified if the mother decides to get an abortion.

But abortion doesn’t just hurt women.  As Arterbern’s story reveals, it hurts men too.

Unfortunately, many men fill the stereotypical role of the self-centered bully who coerces, manipulates and pressures his partner to get an abortion.

Other cowardly men run away and abandon their partner – leaving them to fend for themselves.  They refuse to take responsibility for their actions and “check out” entirely.

Others take a more passive approach.  They act as if their job is to support whatever choice their partner makes.  So they go with the flow and don’t take a stand.  

Still others may want to keep their baby, but their partner chooses to have an abortion against their will.

In all those cases, abortion is devastating to a man’s identity.  Whether they acknowledge it or not, God has designed men to be leaders, protectors, and providers.  But abortion puts men in the position of being helpless to protect their own flesh and blood.  When men are involved in abortion they fail as leaders… fail as providers… and fail as fathers to protect their own child.

In that respect, abortion can be every bit as painful, traumatic and scarring for men as for women.  And therefore both need healing.  Both need God’s grace and forgiveness.  And both need to take ownership for the devastation they have caused.

1 Corinthians 16:13-14 says: “Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.”

Now that’s what true manliness looks like!

Suggested things to pray for:
  • Pray for men to experience the healing in Christ they so desperately need after abortion.
  • Pray for men to rise up and act like real men by protecting the lives of their children and the hearts of the women in their life.