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It’s Sunday afternoon, and we just returned from a weekend spent with our moms. Since we’re now back in Texas, it was the first Mother’s Day in a lot of years that we’ve actually spent with them. Needless to say, it was a special one. Knowing this post awaited my attention today, I struggled between wanting to write a Mother’s Day post and writing our usual prayer team post. Then, when we attended church with my mother-in-law and the priest said the following, it tucked itself into my heart and brought the post together:

“When a child is born, he comes out holding a little sign that says,
I will teach you about sacrifice.'”

Sacrifice: the surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim.

As I reflect on my own childhood, I could go on and on about the sacrifices that my mom made for my brothers and me. I don’t recall her buying new clothes, or going for a manicure or even getting her hair done! Instead, I remember her sewing my costumes so I could participate in drill team or surprising me with a highly coveted pair of green track shoes (that we could ill-afford) so I would fit in with some of the girls in my new school. Thinking of it now, I suspect those shoes were purchased with monies that might have provided her with a pair that she really needed, but we were always first.

Today’s society is so “me-focused”, so “I’m worth it”, so “looking out for #1”, that we don’t really understand sacrifice as a people. Often, it seems that there is no need to “surrender anything desirable”, because there is nothing that we consider to have a “higher or more pressing claim” than ourselves. As I thought about it this morning, it occurred to me that if our children truly are teachers of sacrifice, we’ve lost a staggering number of this valuable faculty through abortion.

If all those millions of aborted children had lived, would our society be different? If the lies of the “ease” of abortion hadn’t been told, would millions of parents have grown and stretched as human beings through the act of sacrifice that it takes to raise a child? Or, would they possibly have made the sacrifice of presenting their child with an opportunity for a full life through adoption? I have to believe that maybe, just maybe, without abortion, the “me-centered” society that brought its legalization in the first place would understand sacrifice on a much deeper level. We would not be seeing those children as hindrance to a life well-lived, but we would, as a society, embrace their lives as valuable teachers of putting others first.

I posted the following video on the very first prayer team post, but it bears a repeat, especially today.

Our president’s mother made a choice for life when she became pregnant with him. He has sung her praises, from many a podium, for her hard work and sacrifice in raising him, as a single mom. Today, as I’m sure he’s had her on his mind (deceased in 1995), I pray that he will view sacrifice with her eyes. That instead of viewing unplanned pregnancies as “punishment“, he will begin to see them as a possibility for people to learn selflessness as they raise up future citizens that will bring their God-given potential to our world.


Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.
1 Corinthians 10:24 NIV

Father God, we come to You today – many believers, one voice – to stand for life. Thank You for the collective sacrifice of all our moms as they chose LIFE. Lord, somehow our world has become incredibly skewed in our thinking, having eyes only for ourselves and what would make our lives easier or more fulfilling. Yet, we seem to miss that it’s often through sacrifice of one sort or another that we find true fulfillment. Lord, we pray together this day for President Obama and a change of his heart toward abortion. We pray that he would start to see that the sacrifice made to KEEP and RAISE a child will provide far more fulfillment and potential for our country than the sacrifice OF those children (and the hearts of the parents who abort them) ever will. It’s in the MIGHTY, LIFE-GIVING NAME OF JESUS CHRIST WE PRAY, Amen.

IMPORTANT: If you have had an abortion, please know that this post, IN NO WAY, is meant to be a slight toward you! I hold your heart in the highest esteem! In my years in women’s ministry, I’ve had the privilege of having quite a few women share their abortion stories with me, and seek help and healing from an experience over which they’d never recovered. I’ve come to see that the abortion industry’s “perfectly safe procedure” approach doesn’t begin to address the emotional scars and often life-long ramifications of such a choice. If you are living unhealed from your abortion experience, please email me (contact tab above) or visit Surrendering the Secret/Pat Layton for further help.