LifeóA Gift to Be Cherished
WHEN Jehovah God bestowed the privilege of childbearing on the human family, what a gift it was! A beautiful baby would arrive to be received by the waiting arms of a happy couple who loved each other and were ready to cherish and care for this little product of their marital union. Only joy would await the family as the childís life unfolded.
But the sin of Adam and Eve brought tragic consequences to the babies born into the human race. As a result of sin, our first mother was cursed with distress and physical pain as she brought forth children. And the sinful environment into which their offspring came made childrearing a formidable challenge. Hence, in todayís complex world, it is not surprising that the conception of a child is often met with anything but joy. Yet, what is the Creatorís view of the unborn? Has it shifted with the changing tides of morality? Surely not. His view of and concern for the unborn children of the world remains constant.
The Scriptures make it clear that within the mother a unique individual human is developing. Life begins at conception. Birth into the world only reveals to man the child that God has already seen. Ezekiel speaks of ďevery child opening the womb.Ē (Ezekiel 20:26) Job describes ďthe doors of my motherís belly,Ē and calls miscarriages ďchildren that have seen no light.ĒóJob 3:10, 16.
Note Jehovah Godís tender regard for the delicate life as it grows in the womb. He said to Jeremiah: ďBefore I was forming you in the belly I knew you, and before you proceeded to come forth from the womb I sanctified you.Ē (Jeremiah 1:5) David said: ďMy bones were not hidden from you when I was made in secret, when I was woven in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw even the embryo of me.Ē (Psalm 139:15, 16) Job calls God ďthe One making me in the belly,Ē who proceeded to ďprepare us in the womb.ĒóJob 31:15.
But what of Godís concern for the despairing expectant mother who does not want the child? Of all persons, the Creator realizes the heavy responsibilities of parenthood. If an expectant mother, though in difficult circumstances, chose to keep her baby out of respect for godly requirements, would he not bless her decision? A parent could and should rightly pray for his help in rearing a happy child. In the pages of his Word, God has already given the finest advice available on raising children. Applying Bible principles in family life will yield blessed results. The joys and rewards of raising godly children outweigh any sacrifices made along the way, as any proud parent can testify.
Does Jehovah view matters any differently if the baby was the product of rape or incestuous relations? Though the act against the mother was criminal, the baby is not to blame. Terminating its life would only counter one act of violence with another. Certainly Jehovah realizes the emotional trauma such victims experience and can help mother and child to cope with the aftermath in a balanced way.
What if a doctor informs a pregnant woman that carrying her child full term may put her life in danger? Dr. Alan Guttmacher stated: ďToday it is possible for almost any patient to be brought through pregnancy alive, unless she suffers from a fatal illness such as cancer or leukemia, and if so, abortion would be unlikely to prolong, much less save life.Ē The Encyclopedia Americana states: ďSince most women can be brought safely through pregnancy even with serious medical problems, few abortions need to be performed to protect the motherís health. Most abortions are sought to avoid having a child.Ē So such situations are quite rare. However, if it does occur at the time of delivery, then the parents must make a choice between the life of the mother and that of the child. It is their decision.
Is it any wonder that the Creator of life has placed clear guidelines on the use of our procreative powers? In his eyes, making a life that one does not intend to care for is sin, just as taking a life is sin.
To be sure, the debate will continue till this systemís end. But as for the Creator of life, Jehovah God, as well as those who cherish his laws, there is no question at all. Life is preciousóa gift to be nurtured and cherished from its very beginning.
Viewing Abortion Godís Way
WHAT of the young girl who conceives a child out of wedlock and is completely unprepared for motherhood? Should she be allowed to bring a baby into the world? Godís feelings toward the baby have not changed just because its mother acted in an unwise and immoral way. The birth of a baby may indeed help its mother to realize the natural results of her immorality and thus impress upon her the wisdom of Godís laws. Putting away the consequence of her illicit sex act may leave her with the pain of guilt, or it may embolden her to further acts of immorality.
If there is no father to share the load, rearing the child wonít be easy. But a strong relationship with our heavenly Father can provide a mother with the moral and emotional strength, support, and guidance to do so. He has also provided the Christian congregation to help ease the burden of single parents.