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Focus on the Family

Helping Families Thrive™

My Child Would Have Been 22 This Year

By Shane Idleman

This is extremely difficult for me to write—I shed many tears, contemplated deleting it, and prayed diligently for direction. Approximately 22 years ago, as a prodigal, I conceded to my girlfriend’s request to abort our child around the 5th week. The pain of that decision still haunts me today.

What would my child look like? Was it a boy or a girl? I can picture walking and talking with my child...watching his or her first steps...holding them when they cry and rejoicing with them when they succeed. But these are just dreams in my mind; dreams that often leave me heartbroken.

Regret is one of the hardest pains because it is a constant reminder that we failed...failed God, others, and ourselves. As a pastor who regrets an abortion in my past, I want to say that there is hope for those who have participated in, or who have had an abortion.

If this is you, I encourage you to read Psalm 51. Both personal experience and the Bible have taught me that God’s unfailing love and compassion will see you through. Allow His forgiveness to set you free through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. We lean on His strength for the future and not on our failures of the past.

And now, a word for my fellow pastors: we can no longer remain silent while silent screams go unheard. We are to be pillars who support truth. Today, the truth is often neglected, watered-down, or avoided altogether in the hope of not offending members and building a large audience.

Abortion is rarely mentioned so repentance is never sought. We want to build a church rather than break a heart; be politically correct rather than biblically correct; coddle and comfort rather than stir and convict.

Deep repentance must take place at the national level. When human life is devalued, atrocities such as the holocaust, slavery, sex-trafficking, and abortion occur. God help us when we destroy what He has created. I cannot, and will not, remain silent. Will you?

Shane Idleman is the founder and lead pastor of Westside Christian Fellowship in Lancaster, California.

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