Yesterday morning I attended a press conference hosted by the Women’s Equality Coalition. They promoted their legislative agenda – which almost exactly contradicts the legislative agenda of The Family Foundation.

The Women’s Equality Coalition promotes abortion on demand, government funding for all contraceptive methods (including those that cause early abortions), and a host of social justice issues that would have serious consequences for families and religious liberty if they were adopted.

Sitting in the press conference that morning, I was most impacted by the personal testimony that one woman shared.

In her brief comments, she described her financial difficulties in detail. She has to work two jobs without time off. “I can’t take a day off if I’m sick, or to care for a loved one when they become sick,” she said emotionally. “I can’t take vacations like everybody else,” she said, “and that’s not fair.” Her life circumstances are undeniably hard.

No one can deny that women (and men) face difficult times here in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Times are hard. Money is tight. Vacations have to be put on hold – perhaps never to be taken at all.

This is not the responsibility of the civil government. It was difficult for me to sit there quietly as these women called upon the government to take care of them. “The time is long overdue for Virginia to take these common-sense steps,” the President of Virginia NARAL Pro-Choice declared.

“You’re in the wrong place,” I wanted to tell these women, “the Government cannot take care of you.” My urge was to confront the entitlement mentality head on. “You need the support of your family, your church, and your neighbors!” I wanted to say.

Confronting such a mentality must be done with gentleness. The Bible says that “a gentle answer turns away wrath,” and teaches us to answer “with gentleness and respect” so that anyone who slanders us will be put to shame. (Proverbs 15:1; 1 Peter 3:15-16)

Instead of confronting this woman about the poor public policy she is endorsing, I thanked her for sharing her story. Sharing her story was a brave thing to do.

Then I prayed for her. I prayed that God would hear her in her need, and help her. (The same way he heard Hagar and helped her.) (Genesis 21)

And now I will advocate for public policy that will promote the family, religious freedom, and the community. Instead of promoting a strong government with the power to take care of us, we must have strong families and neighborhoods that can take care of us.

The Family Foundation is working to ensure that strong families, churches, and neighborhoods will be able to help women just like the one who shared her story yesterday.