Grace for pregnant teens

13 Aug

While staying on the up and up regarding youth culture for my job, I have noticed that about 85% of articles lately are about teen pregnancy–many specifically about Jamie Lynn Spears. Christians are arguing that the media and movie stars are making teen pregnancy look cool and glamorous. Statistics like those from Gloucester High (where 17 girls got pregnant last year instead of the normal 3-4) make the rates of teen pregnancy alarming–making some feel like our country is going to hell in a handbasket.

But I just read this blog post called “Redemptive Grace” written by Walt Mueller with the Center for Parent/Youth Understanding (CPYU). He has such a wonderful Christ-like attitude to not condemn those girls who get pregnant as a teen but to speak truth to them in a loving, understanding way. When I think about my own mistakes (which are innumerable!) before and after becoming a Christian, I see that there is nothing that makes me any better than Jamie Lynn. I lost my virginity at the age of 17, when I was a junior in high school. I slept with 7 different guys before my junior year of college. It’s hard to admit that and even as I type, it seems worlds away. But I have Christ to thank for redeeming me from the world and its lies about true satisfaction. And I know that all of my sins, as hideous and big as they are, are all washed clean by Christ’s blood. If I didn’t believe that, I wouldn’t admit to them.

These teens don’t need someone wagging their finger in their faces and condemning them as failures. They need someone who will tell them the gospel and reassure them that in Christ, there is grace and forgiveness. So they messed up; all is not lost. Jesus came to “make all things new” and to redeem sinners, even those of us who have made seemingly unforgiveable mistakes.

There was a time when I didn’t understand why God had let me go through all of the struggles and sins I did before coming to know Him. If I was predestined before the foundation of the world to be His (according to Ephesians 1), why wouldn’t He call me when I was a child, like other people I knew? But I now believe that God has His purposes. There is some reason for those trials, even if it is not evident to me right now–or ever on this earth.

I think about the students that come to our conferences and my heart breaks for the girls who I know are struggling with the very things being condemned in the media. No, those things should not be acceptable, but those girls need to know that they are dearly, intimately loved by their Heavenly Father–after all, isn’t that what all sexually active teenage girls are after anyway–love?

Let us reach out to these hurting teens–those who have become pregnant as well as those who haven’t–and be the hands and feet of Jesus to them. Grace is free. Jesus says “Come as you are.”

One Response to “Grace for pregnant teens”

  1. cakboliv August 14, 2008 at 1:25 pm #

    Thanks for your transparency, Kathy. I, too, am humbled by God’s grace in my life and align with you that if we can be transparent with others of how God’s grace extends to our lives, maybe they will understand and recognize their need for God’s grace – through a relationship with Him – in their own lives. Great post and my heart aches for the many young girls who have no idea that God’s grace awaits them!

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