Every year since the Supreme Court’s tragic decision in Roe v. Wade to legalize abortion 48 years ago, thousands of pro-life women, men, and children have gathered in Washington, D.C. for the annual March for Life. The men who attend the March are one of the biggest encouragements to the pro-life movement because their very presence acknowledges that abortion and the sanctity of life is not just a women’s issue—it’s a human issue.

Today’s woman is bombarded with lies about womanhood, motherhood, and her relationship with men. She is pressured to “remedy” an unplanned pregnancy with “quick-fixes” accompanied by damaging long-term consequences. She is told not to expect the father to stick around or take responsibility, that the life in her womb is not a child, that it’s “her body, her choice.” Meanwhile, today’s man is led to believe he has little to no responsibility for the life he helped create and that he has no right to an opinion concerning abortion because he is not the one who is pregnant.

However, even though men may not carry the initial physical burden of having children, caring for the child is just as much the father’s responsibility as it is the mother’s. This responsibility starts when life begins—at conception.

When men are educated and aware of the issues that most acutely affect women, it encourages their innate, God-given desires to protect, lead, and provide for their families and loved ones. This cultivation is healthy, God-honoring, and better equips men to love and care for the women in their lives. A God-pleasing man protects a woman out of honor and love, not out of pity or an attempt to gain power over her.

Here are several scriptural examples of men protecting women and children in their care, thereby honoring God.

Judah, the Son of Jacob

Judah fathered twins by a woman he was not married to, but in the end, he took responsibility for his actions and cared for the children and the children’s mother.

Genesis 38 tells us Judah had a daughter-in-law named Tamar who was widowed twice and childless. According to custom, the father-in-law was supposed to give his widowed and childless daughter-in-law in marriage to his next eldest son. However, Judah did not keep his word to Tamar. So, Tamar tricked Judah into lying with her, and she conceived twins. When she was found to be pregnant and unmarried, Judah was outraged. However, when Judah realized that he was the father, he said, “She is more righteous than I, since I did not give her to my son…” (Gen. 38:28). Instead of harming Tamar or abandoning her, Judah took responsibility for his actions and protected her.

Amram, the Father of Moses

Amram feared God rather than man and defied Pharaoh’s orders in order to protect his newborn son.

Exodus 2 tells us the midwives who attended Moses’s birth chose to let him live, against the direct order of Pharaoh, who had ordered that all male Hebrew newborns be killed. Amram looked after his wife and son for the three months that they hid him in their home, until Moses’s mother, Jochebed, saved Moses’ life again by placing him in a basket in the Nile River. Amram chose life and fearing God over man, and that decision ended up being part of God’s plan to deliver His people from slavery.

Joseph, the Husband of Mary

Joseph chose to protect and care for Mary and her unborn baby, despite the possible shame and personal cost.

In those days, a virgin would be pledged in marriage to a man and remain celibate for one year before entering his house. If a woman broke this covenant and became pregnant outside of marriage, the custom was to stone her and her unborn child in the street. Scripture tells us that “She [Mary] was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a righteous man, and unwilling to put her to shame decided to divorce her quietly” (Matt. 1:18-19). Joseph was going to walk away, but an angel came to him and told him not to be afraid but to take Mary as his wife. By taking her as his wife, many would either assume that he was the father or that he had married an unfaithful wife, and this would bring shame to his family name. But Joseph rose above his fears and decided to be courageous and fear God rather than man.

Wanted: Godly, Pro-Life Men

Women and children (both born and unborn) need men to take a stand for life—to take responsibility like Judah, protect like Amram, and be courageous like Joseph. Rise up, oh men of God. Take a stand against the evil of abortion and support and defend women and the unborn.