This Sunday, May 8, the USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Italy, and others celebrate the lives of mothers on the holiday known as Mother's Day. Since 1914, when USA President Woodrow Wilson officially proclaimed the second Sunday of May as a national holiday to honor mothers, people of all ages have used this day as an opportunity to say a special thanks to the one who gave them life. For many, it's a day to shower their mom with homemade gifts, flowers, and maybe even dinner. But for others, it can be a difficult time of year-especially those who've experienced the death of a mother or child.
It's been 23 years since I've celebrated Mother's Day with my mother, as she died an unexpected death when I was 19 years old. But just because she is no longer alive, that does not mean that her memory can no longer be honored. In fact, the whole idea behind honoring mothers on a special day each year came about in 1907 when Ana Jarvis began a campaign to establish a national Mother's Day which was to be celebrated on the second anniversary of her own mother's death.
I had always spent Mother's Day reflecting on memories of my mother-her warm smile, her loving kindness, her giving nature. But, seven years ago, a closely guarded secret was revealed that put a new twist in those memories. Through a phone call from my father, I was told that I had a half-sister. Her name was Lisa and she had been searching for her birth mother-my mom. Through our phone conversation, I discovered that my mother had become pregnant out of wedlock at the age of 19, before she had married my father. Just as most young ladies who found themselves in the same predicament did in 1961, she gave her baby up for adoption. Her one requirement was that the baby be placed in a Christian home.
Because of my mother's unselfishness and the fact that most of society back then had a Bible-based worldview (not to mention the fact that abortion was a felony in 49 states), she chose life. And because of her sacrifice, a mother who wouldn't otherwise be able to experience the joy of motherhood was able to hold God's amazing work-so fearfully and wonderfully made-in her hands. Although the pregnancy was not in accordance with God's order of things, I now had a sister-not just a sister by blood, but a sister in Christ.
While statistics show that about 60% of Americans have a personal connection to adoption,1 either through knowing someone who has been adopted, by adopting their own child, or by making an adoption plan for their child, God's Word (Ephesians 1:5 and Galatians 4:3-7) tells us that we (believers) are all adopted sons and daughters of Jesus Christ.
One doesn't need statistics to know that more people in society today are choosing abortions over adoptions. Many have bought into the lie that a fetus isn't human life but merely a mass of tissue. And many have grown up in the public school system that teaches that they're just animals, struggling for survival after evolving for millions of years. So, why not get rid of a "spare child" if it's just an animal?
But Genesis 1:26-29 and Genesis 2:7 make it clear that we were made in God's image, distinct from the animals. God's Word also makes it clear that human life begins from the moment of conception (Psalm 139:13-16). Even Norma McCorvey, who under the pseudonym of "Jane Roe" in 1973 prompted the landmark United States Supreme Court case Roe vs. Wade (which decided in favor of abortion), now believes abortion is wrong and has since become a born-again Christian.
If God's Word speaks so clearly about this topic, why is there so much controversy? If we look to Genesis (see How to Stop Abortion), we'll find there really shouldn't be any controversy. That is, if we let the Bible teach us. After watching Dr. David Menton, AiG anatomist, explain the incredible design and complexity of human life from the time of conception in the just released DVD, Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, one would be hard-pressed to not see the hand of our Creator.
But why aren't Christians gaining ground in the war against abortion? What can Christians do to help the cause for life?
As Ken Ham, president of AiG-USA, has explained in a number of resources (below), abortion is not the problem-it is a symptom of a greater problem. The real problem is that our once-Christian foundation has eroded as fallible men have added things like evolutionary ideas and "millions of years" to God's Word. The more people have believed man's interpretations over God's revelation, the more they have rejected the Bible-and the more man has chosen to determine his own truth instead of God being the Truth.
To see lasting changes in today's culture war that includes abortion and right-to-life issues, we first need to restore faith in God's Word as the absolute authority, beginning in Genesis, where all life first began.
On this Mother's Day, I think not only of my own mother, Virginia, but I also think about the thousands of others who have said "yes" to life. But let us not forget the One who gave us all life-our Creator God who gave us new life through His son, Jesus Christ.