Isn’t that the age old question? How am I going to deal with this baby? Of course, the baby I am talking about is Jesus. We all decide at some point in our lives how we are going to deal with Jesus. There is no way around it. Even those who choose to deny God’s existence and reject the divine nature of Jesus have decided how they are going to deal with Jesus. But, how we settle the question of what to do with Jesus determines so much more than we realize. When I became a Christian, my heart, mind, desires and perspective radically changed. I became a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). The decision I made about Jesus then should now be reflected in every area of my life and in every decision I make, including how to deal with this unborn child.
Before I surrendered my life to Christ at the age of 28, I had religion. I believed in Jesus and believed He was the Son of God. I believed in God. I knew right from wrong and tried to do what I thought was right and good, but I had not been changed. I had never gotten to the point of desiring an intimate, transforming, and all consuming relationship with the only true God through the only means He provided–His Son, Jesus. So, I had religion. I worshiped something, but not Jesus, just as all people worship something (ourselves, our intellect, our reasoning, our understanding, money, sex, power…insert whatever word you want, because the list is endless). Religion does not change anyone. Religion is dead, dull, and legalistic; it offers no hope, no peace, no purpose, no chance for redemption, and it is powerless. But, true Christianity is a relationship. It is a living, breathing, dynamic relationship between us and the God who longs after us, so much so that He sent His only Son to do what nothing else and no one else could do–save us from sin.
But, I digress. Back to my question. What was I going to do with this baby? I had the power of God living inside of me. I had already seen God do some amazing things. I was a living testimony of His grace, mercy, strength, and faithfulness, but that did not change the decision before me. This baby–he represented a threat to me, just as Jesus represented and still represents a threat to many people. He offended me (just as Jesus did and does). Basically, I did not want anything to do with this baby (once again, see the parallels to Jesus). I was already in enormous pain and had too much to deal with. I did not see how I could handle this child–her child, a child conceived out of an adulterous affair, conceived in sin committed against me. I wanted to hate the child. I wanted to hate my husband. I wanted to hate her. But the love of God compelled me to love in spite of the wrongs and the evil intentions. To be brutally honest, I prayed at times that she would have a miscarriage. That seemed like the only way out. (Yes, it was wrong, but I am only human. I’m not some super spiritual Christian who has all the answers and never thinks a bad thought or utters a bad word.) What, then, was I supposed to do?
As much as my husband had wronged me, as much trauma and pain as he caused me, I still loved him. I could not escape that fact. I was beginning to see his anguish over this sinful relationship. I was beginning to realize that he was at war within himself to end it, but he didn’t know how. Now, he had a choice to make, too. He had to fully face the consequences of his actions, actions he would be reminded of every time he saw his child. God was revealing to me how twisted and dark my husband’s mind had become. He had been so deceived, and now his sin had caught up with him. He hated himself for what he had done, for what he was doing, but he saw no way out. Amazingly, as God revealed more and more to me of the darkness and confusion in which my husband walked, He began to give me great compassion for my husband. I did not marry the man that was now caught up in this quagmire of sin and deception. I married a man after God’s own heart. A man of integrity, a man of understanding; a gentle, kind, and humble man. Everyone who knew my husband thought he would be the last man on earth to commit adultery. That’s the kind of life and Christian walk he had. That was the person I married. That man was still in there, somewhere…perhaps that is why I could not bring myself to stop loving him. Maybe that is why I was fighting so hard and warring for him in prayer so much. He wasn’t a horrible person; he was a fallible human who made a series of bad choices that led to terrible mistakes and actions.
I knew if I rejected that child, I would be rejecting part of my husband. My husband loves being a Daddy. He has always loved children, and he has such a gentle and calm way with them. I saw it in how he dealt with his daughter from an earlier marriage, and I saw it in how he dealt with our daughter. He is the kind of father more children desperately need. I knew he could not deny this child, his son, anymore than he could deny his two daughters. I knew that he would love his son just as completely as he loved his two daughters. I knew that, if given the opportunity, he could raise his son to be a mighty man of God and instill in him a great faith.
Part of me was thinking, “Why do you even care how your response to this child will affect him? Are you crazy? Look at all he has done.” But, the part of me in which God was working compassion did care. You don’t repay evil with evil. You repay evil with good, and you overcome evil with good (1 Peter 3:9; Romans 12:17-21). That is the hard truth God was speaking to me. It was as if God was asking me, “What kind of person are you going to be? What kind of legacy do you want to leave? What do you want to teach and show your daughter about Me? about yourself? about love? about forgiveness? about faith?” Again, I found myself at a crossroad. One path, the path of obedience, would be hard, but it would lead to blessing; the other path would lead me into greater anger, bitterness and resentment. No matter which road I took, my choice would have consequences that were no less important than the consequences of my husband’s actions. Did I really believe that God could and would use what was intended as evil against me for good? If I did, then my actions should demonstrate my faith. If I did not, then why was I still there? I could almost hear the voice of Mordecai speaking to me just as he spoke to Queen Esther centuries ago, “And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14, ESV).
(This story is not over yet, so please hang in there with me. I cannot possibly tell all of it in only two posts.)