Coming Alongside Pregnant Teenagers Isn’t Rocket Science

“A small Christian school in western Maryland is not backing down from its decision to ban a pregnant senior from walking at graduation next week” (Washington Post, Christian school: Teen banned from graduation ‘not because she is pregnant but because she was immoral’, May 24, 2017.)

***

I was on the elder board of one of the most conservative churches in our town when a similar situation happened in the family of a fellow member of the board. His teenage daughter and her teenage boyfriend were expecting a child. This short post today isn’t about what the school in Maryland did, but about how we handled it at our church.

We did not accept the proffered resignation from the elder board member but instead the church rallied around both families and came alongside the young couple. As coincidences sometimes happen, that young couple was pregnant with their first at the same time as me and my wife as well as our best friends (who happened to be the youth pastor and his wife).

We decided to all sign up for the same child birth classes and went together every week, plus going out for frozen yogurt afterward. When the babies were born, we all hung out together and brought the three kids up in the same church nursery, going to the same Sunday School classes. There were birthday parties, pool parties, barbecue picnics, and more. Never did we tell the young couple they couldn’t take part in anything because of the pregnancy.

That’s how we handled it.

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Afterword: This was not the only opportunity the church had to come alongside a teen mother, and do it well.

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15 Responses to Coming Alongside Pregnant Teenagers Isn’t Rocket Science

  1. Bev Murrill says:

    Yup! And what would Jesus do (much as I hate those bracelets)…He’d be at the birthing classes with them as well. Honestly, what are those people thinking! They have now reaffirmed everything the world thinks of Christians … and they’re wrong … Good thing Jesus is kinder than this.

  2. Ah, sex! The unforgivable sin amongst Christians. They seems to have forgotten that sex was invented by God. And they’ve forgotten Jesus’ saying “let he who is without sin cast the first stone”. Are they saying they (the rule makers of that Christian school) are all without sin?

    No wonder so many have left the church, since sex is the unforgivable sin. And there is never any forgiveness for it.

    T

  3. Doug says:

    Eternally Excellent!!

  4. Jeannie Prinsen says:

    Thanks for sharing that, Tim. I’m sure that couple (and the elder) were very grateful for the grace — AND maybe even more strikingly the solidarity, the willingness to stand alongside them and emphasize what you all had in common. Great example.

    • Tim says:

      The whole family is wonderful, and it turned out later when the oldest brother got married his wife and mine became close friends.

  5. joepote01 says:

    Thank you, Tim, for sharing such a good example of how well a church can encourage young unwed parents! I’ve had the opportunity to see some really good examples as well as some really bad examples.

  6. Pastor_Bob says:

    Ah, the school rules and how the church handles its concerns, They should be the same, but there are those who preach the letter of the law verses the spirit of the law. How does one take, hold and profess a moral position and show the love of Jesus at the same time?

    You got it right if you said by sinful humans who will miss one art or another. The school us NOT the same as the church, but can the school act different in some ways than in other? Yes….

    But, are these “rules” properly described by the school at the time of enrollment? Case in point…. my Bible College took care to describe its ban on “the theater.” One year it was a simple ban, next year it was even more carefully described “wholesome entertaining, biblical, moral message” were excluded. My senior year had no mention of this at all. When one is very busy studying, there is not much time. So….

    How does one define moral conduct, the consequences without sound “judgmental” – be loving in approach, and true to the application of the word? Expect someone to not like the decision, and pray A LOT!

  7. This is a clear example of showing Christian love, Tim. I suspect that young mother, the child’s father, and the child felt cared for, included, and especially that they were still a part of your Christian church, that group of believers who truly showed the love of Christ.

  8. Lea says:

    I watched a recent documentary about abuse and one of the (adult) victims said he wanted the church to just ‘do what’s right’. And yes, it isn’t rocket science!

    It so happens I know a girl now who got pregnant at my high school when I was a teenager. At the time, I think I made all sorts of assumptions about how badly it would affect her life and you know what? As an adult, she has a loving husband and family, good job, house, etc. Maybe we should tell teenagers in this situation this, and put them in touch with someone who has been through it to encourage them!

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