May 14, 2015

Abortion’s ease and a father’s apathy

by Jesse Johnson

It is hard to comprehend the damage that the culture of death has done to our society. Abortion on demand has produced a generation of women scarred by the trauma of taking life. Marriage as an institution has been corroded, the basics of morality have been lost, and motherhood has become more about convenience than sacrifice.

But often lost in our view of abortion is the role of the father. One of the many casualties of our Moloch worship is that the father’s role in pregnancy has been minimized and marginalized, while his obligation to care for the child has been vanquished.

By stressing that human life is a choice that should only be made by the mother, fathers have been eliminated from the picture all together. Sexually promiscuous men are free to sleep around, and if it results in pregnancy they have no obligations. Abortion is so cheap and our culture celebrates the women who do it; the result is that the father’s conscience is simultaneously seared and soothed.

And this too is now celebrated. Carafem—a Washington DC area abortion clinic whose motto is, “Abortion. Yeah, we do that”—has started this ad campaign in the DC Metro:

abortion yeahThe gist is this: a guy gets a girl pregnant, and can’t take five minutes away from work to talk to her about it. His response, via text message of course, is just get an abortion. See the point: abortion is so low-key that you can just tell your partner to get one by text message! With any luck, she will have gotten that take care of by the end of your shift.

The point of the ad is obviously sell abortions. The whole absent father is just a sort of taken-for-granted secondary story-line. The contrast with CaraFem’s tag-line is equally obvious: while your loser-boyfriend can’t take five minutes to talk about the most major decision of your life, CaraFem is “always there for you.” Advice to non-Christian girls: If you have a closer relationship to your abortion provider than to your boyfriend, well… you can probably do better.

How can Christians do anything to stop this? Well for starters, when we think about abortion we need to remember that it takes two to tango. The abortion movement may be super-confused about where babies come from, but we can’t be. When a woman is contemplating abortion, there are really three problems—first is her understanding of God, second is the value she places on her own life above her child’s, but third is the lack of leadership from the father.

It should come as no surprise that in a culture that has lost its proverbial head when it when comes to all things gender related, that male leadership has withered and died. When you talk to an abortion-vulnerable person, remember that she is only one piece of the puzzle. She too is a victim. She is a victim of a man who wants sex without commitment, who desires the girl without the marriage, and who wants the mom to do the dirty work of the abortion.

God designed husbands to lead and fathers to provide. It’s obvious why an abortion provider would celebrate men who do neither. It falls to Christians to not just plead with women to choose life, but plead with fathers to care about their own children. We should call fathers to provide for their children, and for churches to teach them how to do that.

Remember, we aren’t just living with a missing generation of children, but we are living with an absent generation of fathers.

Jesse Johnson

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Jesse is the Teaching Pastor at Immanuel Bible Church in Springfield, VA. He also leads The Master's Seminary Washington DC location.
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  • Ray Adams

    God’s wisdom seen in man’s rejection of it. Thank you for highlighting the role of the father to care and provide for mother and child, not to soothe conscience.

  • Jason Alligood

    The brashness/crassness of this betrays the sentiment of being non-judgmental, which of course is just an attempt to soften the reality of what one is truly doing. Hell in a hand basket is too light a phrase to describe the trajectory. Let God be true and every man a liar.

  • Karl Heitman

    Your last statement is very powerful and true. Thanks for being a voice, Jesse.

  • Johnny

    The clinic address… “Friendship Heights”. What a tragic, sick irony.

  • tovlogos

    Thanks, Jesse — not too many today even notice the absence of males.

    “first is her understanding of God, second is the value she places on her own life above her child’s, but third is the lack of leadership from the father.”

    Absolutely, and men have to take their share of the blame.
    One thing I remember about my two sons — it seemed to me they didn’t listen to a word I said at times; but said, Yes, dad. However, they copied everything I did — my demeanor, the way I communicated with my wife; the way I greeted people, etc. It gave me the stark realization to watch myself closely, be as perfect as possible; and lead by example.
    Although no one is perfect, being conscious of things greatly mitigated potential damage. It is just as easy to see the difficulty if the wife was not a professing believer — we would seem detached, which would create cognitive dissonance in the boys.

  • I agree w your general points and most specific ones in the post, but I am hesitant to be too quick to refer to women who murder the babies God gave them as victims.

    I understand your point, but I’m afraid it has the potential to mis-communicate to people contemplating abortion. After all, if you just took it another step then we could say the “absent fathers” who are vilified in the article are also victims. Many of them are victims of having an absent father themselves, abusive parents or in some cases even were abused by “clergy” or someone they should have been able to trust.

    So ultimately, we all have excuses in a fallen world, yet as Cain showed, and Adam before him, we will choose to rebel against God regardless of our circumstances and we must be held responsible.

    I get it. Women who are used by men for sex are victims of that man’s sin. And in many cases in 2015, it is the woman who used the man for sex or whatever she is getting as the result. Just my 2 cents. I don’t disagree with you; maybe there’s just no way to really talk about the totality of the situation without the language you picked.

    • acha648

      don’t you know? in christian circles women can’t sin!!
      ( compare any sermon to men vs women…)
      so of course women are not held responsible
      similar to christian leaders
      if a guy gets a girl drunk and has sex with her, and the girl cries rape, everyone punishes the guy

      if a girl gets a guy drunk and has sex with him and the guy cries rape,the christians question why the guy got drunk…

      double standards… just because the culture elevates women as superior and infallible christians don’t have to either…

      • I wish your name was Tim so this would be even more appropriate.

      • But I see where you’re coming from and I think what you described probably happens sometimes…

        • acha648


          so I guess then women abusing men probably happens sometimes…

          so I guess it is okay then…

          or you disagree that christians are pandering to feminists?

          this is exactly what the feminists want they want manhood to be defined as in charge of all the domestic duties ( as this article says) and in charge of ensuring women achieve all that they want to ( as this article says)

          i.e male home maker, female career is the ideal marriage
          so a man leads in ensuring his marriage is as feminist as possible…

          tbh if you were a pastor and a man came to you after being abused by his wife and you told him
          “I don’t think it happens”
          how is that even Christlike?

          no wonder men don’t attend church all the male leaders want to domesticate them and demand they submit to their wives and tell them any calling they have should be on the back burner, and their wife’s calling is first ( i.e unlike any godly man in the bible where the wife supported the man)

          meh I am in the minority who thinks men and women were created differently so I guess I would be laughed at…

          don’t blame MEN for abortions or leaving marriages when you basically tell men that if you want to be a good man, castrate yourself and have no opinion… any man with common sense would leave a marriage like that

          and the woman did the abortion, she chose,

  • 4Commencefiring4

    Aside from the spiritual price being paid by those who promote abortion and those who obtain them (expensive enough already), it’s ironic that they don’t also realize the effect abortion is having–and has already had since 1973–on their precious voting demographics.

    The second-most important treasure to their team, besides keeping abortion legal, is votes. About 1/3 of abortions are of minority children, so that shakes out to millions of votes lost since Roe–most of whom would have voted as their parents and grandparents have. You would think that someone on that side of the aisle would wake up and realize how many voters they aborted over the last 50 years, and how many more they won’t have tomorrow at this rate.

    We’ve had riots recently over lives that “matter”, but nothing about the value of those who never faced a cop at all because they were never born in the first place.

  • acha648

    lack of leadership from the father? really?
    you do realise most women even christian women do not believe men should have a say on what they do with their bodies…
    most men are scared to give their opinion let alone lead…

    and christians are to blame as they make men behave like this under the guise of servant leadership… ( aka do whatever your wife wants, don’t give your opinion if you want to truly be christ like, mutual submission etc – Any Acts 29 manhood sermon…)

    christians have made it impossible for men to be men and women who complain about the lack of men have themselves to blame, they do not allow mento be men…

  • Christina

    Jesse, when you mentioned on your previous abortion post that you were going to address the man’s role in this problem, I had high hopes for a great discussion about the man’s role in the problem. Obviously that is not the case. I am appalled at the responses received and the total missing of the point. If Christians cannot see how the father’s presence (or absence) affects the abortion decision, how can we expect the non-Christian to understand our position. Our goal should be raising good Godly men that respect women and take responsibility for their actions. While that may not fix all situations, it will do a lot for women that feel so alone and abandoned that they have no option other than abortion…..and that would be a great start.

  • sdebeaubien

    As a man who has had an abortion, I can tell you that eventually, God deals with men too. That is, if they get saved, and if their hearts are turned from stone to flesh. My eyes were opened soon after I got saved actually. But I’ve only really been in this “For life” fight for about the past 3 years now.

    Abortion, at its core, is about God. What I have learned from the Bible and from good teachers, and what I see, is that women (and men by implication) are still making the same choice that Eve made in the garden. The temptation is the same: “To be like God”. I tell people that the understanding of that statement comes when you realize that it’s not about becoming some super-powerful being who knows all and tells all, but rather that you become a person who gets to decide what is right and wrong for you.

    Building your own morality, in essence, what our society has done by going off on the current fad of secular humanism, is the real danger. That core sin, more than anything else is what leads to an abortion, or homosexual behavior, or drugs or a myriad of behaviors that define the denial of God in our society. “I decide what’s right and wrong for me!” is what all these people are really saying, and it’s so sad that the only place it will ultimately get them is Hell.

    But, our God is gracious and merciful. He can and does forgive the sin of abortion, of murdering your unborn child. I, like many, have been forgiven, and then called into the fight – FOR LIFE!

  • sdebeaubien

    Here’s a blog article I wrote about the pending bill in Congress to restrict abortion beyond 20 weeks due to pain felt by the baby.