“If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.” 

The “love” passage from 1 Corinthians 13 is often quoted at weddings, but I heard it in a new way at a prayer meeting several years ago. “Love,” the speaker told us, “has to be why we are here.”

In the struggle to protect life, we can be tempted to be unloving. We who by the grace of God recognize that children in the womb have value in his sight and are worth protecting, who move in great faith on their behalf, often need reminding that love is what motivates our action and animates our prayers. If the abortion rate was dramatically reduced tomorrow, and we did not have love for the mother and child, we would be nothing — and the underlying problems would not be solved.

The reasons women turn to abortion must be addressed, which is why I am encouraged by the work of NAE’s Generation Forum: Faith, Sex & Life. The Generation Forum seeks to reduce the number of abortions by empowering churches to honor God’s good gift of sex and helping Christians to understand human sexuality, build strong families, respect human dignity and celebrate the precious gift of life. This is our great hope, outlined in NAE’s Theology of Sex.

Paul’s letter to the Corinthians goes on to remind us what love does and what love is like: it is patient and kind, and it believes, hopes and endures. In the midst of complexity and challenges, we are reminded that love never gives up, and it cannot fail.

This article originally appeared in the NAE Insight.