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Unplanned Pregnancies

We've recently found out that one of our colleged-aged girls in our church family is expecting. She's taking full responsibility for her baby, though the father is out of the picture. She has all the expected fears and worries about the future, but even more so since she won't have a husband to share the experience with her.

Since I've been in her shoes, although I was able to marry the father of my baby, I want so badly to talk with her, pray with her, encourage her to use this for God's glory, and stand back and watch God move, taking our sin and shame and transforming it into something for his glory and our ultimate good. God is sovereign. This baby came as no surprise to him. And I pray that this baby will do amazing things for God's kingdom. I also pray for a godly husband for this precious girl, who will cherish her and her baby and provide for them both.

Yet, I have some suspicions that some folk in our church won't approve of a beautiful baby shower for this little one and her mom. And that makes me ANGRY. Spitting nails angry. I hope and pray I'm wrong about some people's reactions.

But if it were wrong to throw a church shower for an unwed mother, then it would be equally wrong to bring her son cupcakes for his birthday in Sunday school when he turns 5. And what of the alternative? Would it have been better for her to go secretly get an abortion and never tell a living soul what happened? Just so she and her family would save face?

This young girl must come to grips with the fact that yes, she has sinned against a holy God. But that holy God is also merciful, full of compassion and lovingkindness and seeks to restore her relationship to him.

My unplanned pregnancy in college is what opened my eyes and rocked me out of my complacency. I hope it does the same for her.


Isn't it awful how hateful people are - I figure they must be deeply unhappy for them to be so judgmental.
We have people just like that in our church. They don't even want a baby shower for someone who married the father and attends church every week. "It's telling our kids it's OK to behave like that." I think it teaches our kids that God forgives us of our sins because He loves us so. I hope and pray your congregation is kind and loving to this young woman.

June 15, 2007 at 6:20 PM  

I figure that if we're going to support crisis pregnancy centers and be anti abortion, than we've got to give just as much support (or more) to women/girls in such situations in our congregations or families.

Saved or unsaved.

Yes-- there are those who will find it hard to not hold it against her, but hey the church is full of sinners, some just don't want to admit to it! ;-)

I have heard of churches in which the girl (or boy) in such a situation asks for forgiveness from the church body as a way to address the 'done something wrong' part-- you know church discipline. But it has to be done right, and some churches aren't up to it. It certainly can't be coerced out of the person. Then the church can move on and show Jesus' love for all involved.

BTW, I commented on your comment on my blog today. Thanks for your thoughts. I don't think we really disagree.

June 16, 2007 at 4:06 PM  

In our former church, we gave a baby shower for every baby, even the ones who were conceived out of wedlock. Our philosophy was that we weren't condoning the mother's actions, but we were going to be there to assist her in taking responsibility for her actions. Every child should be blessed, and that was a big part of the baby shower....laying hands on the mom and speaking blessing over the child and the mother. We spoke with the mother's privately and dealt with the sin issue, took it to the Lord, and tried to redeem the situation. Why should a baby suffer the consequences of the parent's wrong decisions?? My mom was 15 when she got pregnant with me. All the odds were against me, yet God had his hand on me and has blessed my life....and here I am....a preacher's wife!!!!! I know for a fact that there were people who wanted my mom to abort, but fortunately, abortion was illegal until the following year. I barely made it here!

June 16, 2007 at 8:00 PM  

You have written so much wisdom in this one post!

I once talked with a sweet young woman who did make the choice to abort her child because her dad was the pastor of the church and she knew, from having spent years listening to the church lady gossip, that it would probably result in him losing his job.

My heart broke as I heard her story, how she finally told her parents after marrying the baby's father and having a second child together.

Think of all the pain that could have been avoided had grace been given, even in a small measure.

Thanks for this uplifting post today!

June 18, 2007 at 7:09 AM  

Actually, the only difference between those of us who got pregnant and those who didn't, is that we got caught...that's what gets me. And those of us who got pregnant also have to let pastor's search committees and other ministries who might interview us or our husbands for positions have to know, too. Someone who just messed around and didn't get pregnant doesn't have to tell anybody anything...

June 19, 2007 at 8:16 AM  

We have had this issue come up too. I still believe that we need to make heroes out of women who keep their babies. We cannot be pro-life and not pro-unwed mother!

I did receive some advice that seemed good on how to handle this...that if you have the baby shower after the baby is born, it takes some of the social stigma off of the situation because everyone is all about the baby. But who knows. I think Christ is all about the mercy, and we should be too.

June 20, 2007 at 2:26 AM  

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