It seems to me there is a move in our culture today to glamorize teenage pregnancy. The recent movie Juno, the story of the hardship endured by a pregnant, unmarried teen, has been a huge hit. Britney Spears little sister, 16 year old Jamie Lynn Spears, who stars in a show for kids on the Nickelodeon channel – Zoey 101, appeared on the cover of a major magazine with her new baby.
There was also the high school in Glouchester, Massachusetts where an alarming 17 girls, 16 and under became pregnant. What was more troubling was the pact they apparently had made. They all agreed to try and get pregnant so they could raise their babies together. Most of the fathers were older, and one was a homeless guy. On hearing the news of their pregnancy instead of embarrassment, regret, confusion, they were slapping high fives.
With all the fantasy of Hollywood set aside, can I tell you the truth about teenage pregnancy? It’s no fun to be a teenager and pregnant. Labor hurts. I’ve witnessed four of them. My wife said some mean things to me that she later apologized for during labor.
Having a baby radically alters your life. Little Jamie Lynn Spears may have the bucks to hire a nanny, but none of us have that luxury. You have to get up at all hours of the night. There is no sleep. All the thoughts of you cuddling with a soft baby like its a little doll give you only a fraction of the picture. You miss out on your teenage years, a time that should be filled with learning, growing, building lifelong friendships, and memories. While others enjoy their teens you’re forced to stay up all night, get an extra job, and somehow hope to graduate. You also experience the pain of being rejected by the father, who’s probably to young to step up to the plate and be a real provider and dad. You’re left holding it on your own. In short, you’re forced to grow up too soon.
Recently a new survey was released by Liz Claiborne Inc., showing us how early kids are having sex and the abuse that follows. About 10 percent of those surveyed said they had sex as early as fourteen. Sixty-nine percent of the teens who had sex by age 14 said they had endured some type of abuse, some physical, some verbal, and some emotional. Many said they knew sexually active friends who had been struck in anger, called stupid, worthless, or ugly by their dates. It seems that kids are having sex at an earlier age and because they’re not ready for that kind of experience it creates a cycle of abuse.
I don’t think teenage pregnancy is cool. Sexual purity before marriage isn’t old fashioned, and mean. It’s God’s loving plan for us. If you’re a teenage and sexually active, I want to encourage you to reconsider, to repent, receive God’s forgiveness and love, and then change your ways. You can begin again.
1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 says, “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, 5 not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; 6 and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. 7 For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. 8 Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.”