Arterburn’s struggle with abortion

The university welcomed noted author Stephen Arterburn as the chapel speaker Feb. 29.

Arterburn graduated from Baylor University and is an author, public speaker, counselor, host of a radio talk show and founder of New Life Ministries and Women of Faith. He has co-written many published works including Every Man’s Battle, The Exceptional Life, Every Young Woman’s Battle, and More Jesus, Less     Religion.

Arterburn spoke on the topic of abortion and his own connection to the issue. University Chaplain Dr. George Loutherback said, “He speaks truth from personal experience.”

Arterburn told the story of an abortion he was a part of in college and describes the feeling of the guilt he experienced.

He said, “I had about 100 ulcers eating away at my stomach and small intestine. It was just a physiological symptom of my guilt.”

He posed the question of why women who lose their child inadvertently are treated differently from women who give up their child intentionally through abortion.

He also talked about the toll that the abortion had not only on him but also on the young woman.

Along with the heavy story and lesson on abortion and what he considers murder, Arterburn told the redemption story of the gospel. He said that God is full of grace and willing to forgive those who may have been a part of the abortion process.

“If you have been involved in an abortion, know that God loves you,”  he said.

Freshman Christian ministries major Alec Lloyd had an eye  opening experience while listening to Arterburn speak.

He said, “What I got from chapel is that no matter what you’ve done,  God will forgive you.”

Arterburn went on to tell the story that after much time of healing and forgiveness, he married his wife. After many years of trying to start a family, they found out they were unable to have children of their own.

He mentioned the irony and sadness when he realized that when he had the opportunity to start a family,  he stopped it, and then when they were ready to start a family, the couple were unable to have children of their own.

After eight years of marriage, the  couple was still unable to conceive, but he talked to a co-worker at the time who had a niece looking for a godly couple to adopt the child she was expecting.

On Christmas Day 1990, Arterburn and his wife welcomed their newborn baby daughter home. After not being able to have a child of their own, Arterburn believed adopting Madeline was not only a blessing, but also a second chance.

He used a story from his daughter’s life as an example of grace.

When she was in high school, she was in a soccer league, and the first game she played with the new team, she let two goals go right past her, and they lost the game.

The following week she was worried about how the coach was going to react.

To the family’s surprise, she was chosen as the team captain for the next game.

Even though Madeline lost the game the week before, her coach not only gave her a second chance, but put her in a place that would be considered an honor.

Arterburn said, “God is a forgiving God, full of grace.”


Author: Michael Murphy

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