Bible Study: Post Abortion Syndrome
“I guess I was playing games with myself about God. Deep down inside I knew I had taken another human being’s life. Worse: the life of my own child. But I put that out of my mind–as far as possible. I guess I knew, if I admitted what I had done, I’d have to own the responsibility for it.”
“I played the word game of the doctor and nurses at the clinic for a while. It wasn’t a baby; it was only a fetus or a blob of protoplasm. In my head I played and replayed my reasons for getting an abortion. I went over it so many times and in so many ways that it was never far from my consciousness.”
“Then I worked at forgetting the whole grizzly experience. I quit my job, went back to school, got another job, found new friends, moved. I even got serious about church. I taught Sunday school for a while.”
“I don’t want to admit to killing my child. Then I’d have to face the fact that I violated God’s will. That’s even scarier.” -Brenda
PAS women have an unresolved grief reaction to their unborn baby’s death.
Grief — Mary, Martha and Lazarus
John 11:21-22 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”
Denial — Saul confronted by Samuel and Pharisee in the Temple
1 Samuel 15:15 Saul answered, “The soldiers brought them from the Amalekites; they spared the best of the sheep and cattle to sacrifice to the LORD your God, but we totally destroyed the rest.”
Luke 18:11 The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: “God I thank you that I am not like other men–robbers, evildoers, adulterers–or even like this tax collector.”
Anger — Naaman: Why wash in Jordan?
2 Kings 5:12 “Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than any of the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage.
Fear — Gehazi frightened at army, Adam and Eve afraid of God, and Joseph’s brothers
2 Kings 6:16 “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
Genesis 3:10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
Genesis 42:21 They said to one another “Surely we are being punished because of our brother. We saw how distressed he was when he pleaded with us for his life, but we would not listen; that’s why this distress has come upon us.”
Depression — Judas hangs himself; Elijah under the broom tree
Matthew 27:5 So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.
1 Kings 19:4 While he himself went a day’s journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.”
Guilt/Shame — David’s sin
Psalm 32:5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD”– and you forgave the guilt of my sin.
Acceptance –– Zacchaeus and Our New Life in Christ
Luke 19:5-10 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter “He has gone to be the guest of a ‘sinner.'” But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”
Ephesians 2:1-10 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
How Can I Help?
1. I need to remember that God alone provides the forgiveness and healing for the post-abortive man or woman.
2. I need to be in touch with myself and my issues.
3. I must be willing to put myself on the other person’s level, seeking to empathize and understand.
4. I need to realize I have my own areas of brokenness.
5. I will rejoice in the role God has given me to perform even if I never see results (“Some sow, water, reap”).
6. I must affirm the other person’s basic worth in Christ.
7. I must speak the truth in love; always to free, never as a weapon.
8. I must allow the love of Jesus to shine through me.
9. I must be aware of the other person’s body language, especially when talking about God.
10. I must encourage the other person to celebrate her uniqueness as a child of God.
11. I must be willing to admit I don’t have all the answers. There will betimes I must refer to a pastor, a PAS Group, or a professional counselor.
12. I always want to be ready to pray, so that I speak the truth, understand their situation, and am used by God as a blessing to others.
We cannot assure mothers that their aborted child is in heaven.
Jesus once told his disciples that when he returns in judgment he will say to those who trusted him as Savior, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me” (Matthew 25:34-36).