The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice. – Proverbs 12:15
Last month, I spent several days with my parents who live in another state. I’ve been helping them prepare for a major move, closer to where my husband and I live. Such a relocation is significant – I have lived at least 500 miles from my parents for the past 25 years, and they haven’t lived in an apartment in more than 60 years. Plus, the community they are leaving has been home for them the past 29 years.
The decision to move didn’t come easy for them; both are independent and prideful (yes, so am I!). Yet, as Solomon states in Ecclesiastes 3:1, “For everything there is a season…”
My parents are in their mid-to-late 80s, and in this new season of their lives, they aren’t able to do as much physical labor as they did even five years ago. That’s hard to accept … for them and for me. Although asking for help and admitting they can’t do as much for themselves or keep up the house and yard as they once did is difficult, their friends helped them during the summer and early fall. Those friends have also given them wise counsel: “Moving closer to your daughter and living in a place where you don’t have to mow grass or shovel snow is a good thing” and “Living close to Gayle will be a blessing and very helpful.”
Wise counsel. The Bible says we all need it. Solomon states in Proverbs 19:20, “Listen to counsel and receive instruction that you might be wise in your latter days.” That ‘we’ means us as individuals and us in the pregnancy help movement. We need wise counsel from Godly friends and from God himself. Pregnancy help staff and ministries need the Holy Spirit’s guidance in helping women who come through the doors and in leading the work forward, especially in these days of hostility toward pro-life people and organizations.
Pregnancy resource center staff and volunteers provide wise counsel to the women (and men) who visit our facilities. Offering the truth about what abortion is and does, providing ultrasounds which showcases the truth about life, and giving resources in the forms of other organizations and ministries that can also assist is being that wise counsel for women conflicted and unsure about themselves, their babies, and their situations.
I remember sitting in the consulting room of the pregnancy medical clinic at which I worked for 13 years, listening to women talk about their fears and concerns. Many lamented, “If I don’t get an abortion, he will leave me,” or “He said we have no choice but to abort.” During those sessions I’d recall hearing wise counsel from friends and family members about some of the men I dated during my 20s and 30s: “Be careful with your heart” and “Make sure he truly values you.” I didn’t listen a lot back then, yet now older, wiser, I so much wanted to tell the young women across from me in that consulting room, the same advice I had been given. Oh, how the roles had reversed in 20 years!
Only through the Holy Spirit can we reach the women sitting in our consulting and ultrasound rooms. Recently, my former place of employment held its large annual autumn fundraiser. One of the patients who spoke that evening told the audience, “I never thought I could get pregnant. I was scared – I had no idea what to do. Coming to True Care gave me hope and confidence.”
That hope and confidence received by her and the thousands of other women who walk through the doors of pregnancy centers comes because the Holy Spirit is welcome into our facilities, whether buildings or mobile units. The Holy Spirit resides in each staff member and volunteer, and those who meet with clients can shower those women with the hope and confidence they need to continue their pregnancies. We can break through barriers to their hearts, help them see their value, and the value of their unborn, not only to us in the pro-life world, but to the Creator of Life himself.
Prayer is critical to pro-life ministry. Through prayer and the work of the Holy Spirit, we can garner wisdom to serve, to minister, and to administer. We must discern the Lord’s voice, and we can do that by heeding His counsel to “be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). The pregnancy help ministry is God’s work. He must be at the helm, and He must be heard.
As you step into your office, your prayer room, your consulting room, and your exam room, pray and be open to the Spirit’s leading as you meet with each person God brings you. Continue to be that wise counsel to your clients and continue to seek the wise counsel of others whom the Lord brings in partnership with your ministry as well as from the Lord himself. As Scripture tells us, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7) and “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” (James 1:5).
When I hugged my mother goodbye after being with her and Dad more than a week, packing boxes, making healthcare appointments upon their arrival at their new residence, and reminiscing and reliving memories as a family, I said “I’m looking forward to you and Dad being closer to me and Greg.” My mother’s response? “I am, too.”
Tweet This: The pregnancy help ministry is God’s work. He must be at the helm, and He must be heard.
I believe she’s accepted wise counsel, from her friends, from God, and perhaps, yes, even from me. Who says a daughter can’t give good advice to a parent? (at least when that child is no longer 20 or 30 years old!) And this daughter, of earthly parents and a Heavenly Father, tries harder to heed the wise counsel she receives these days.
Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisors, they succeed. – Proverbs 15:22