Dear Pastor Susan,
I just read your blog about not awakening love before its time. I’m a college student and I believe I have met the man I will marry. We’ve talked about it and have a plan. As soon as school is over and we find jobs we will be getting married. We are both Christians and were raised in Christian homes. We knew better but things went a little too far once and I just found out that I am pregnant. I didn’t know what to do and I was scared so I told my mom. She was really mad but now she thinks I need to have an abortion and not tell anyone even my boyfriend. She says she hopes I’ve learned my lesson and can go back and finish school and put this all behind me. This does sound like a good way to go but why do I feel so bad?
I’ve edited your question a little to keep everything anonymous because you aren’t the first girl to find yourself in this situation and you won’t be the last either.
I want to say this as carefully as possible but I can’t find the words exactly to be as tactful as I want to be. So, let me just get this out there. Your mom is wrong. I know it sounds good, to just get this situation behind you and move on but the fact is you won’t ever be able to put this behind you. You’ll always think about the “what-ifs” and because you know Jesus, you’ll find that it will be hard for you to find forgiveness for yourself. You have three decisions to make and they are all forever decisions.
The first decision is to have an abortion. Trust me, when I tell you that I understand your mom’s perspective. She is trying to save you and the family the shame and heartache. Only you can’t undo decisions. See, God can and will forgive the indiscretion of a night of fornication but the consequence stands as is. A child is on its way. If you decide to abort, you’ll live with the decision forever and it will have lasting effects on your life. There is no way of getting around this.
The second decision, and my choice if I were you, would be to put the baby up for adoption to a two parent established home. This will be the most gut-wrenching decision you will ever have to make but the most profound act of love as well. Rather than drag this child through the mess of single parenting, daycare, finishing school and all the drama that will ensue, you will lovingly place this child in the arms of a family who is prepared to love and care for a child. You will satisfy a baby hunger in a couple’s lives and yes, this too will have forever effects on your life.
The third option is to keep the baby, hope your boyfriend does the right thing and try to make a loving home. Your chances of divorce are high, given your age, but nothing is impossible with God. Without jobs, life will be difficult, but not impossible, and if you are both committed you’ll walk it through. Keeping God as the third strand in the cord that binds your marriage together, will be critical. Either way, this is a lasting effect on your life as well. Dreams will have to be altered and a new path made.
These moments of decisions are what I call, Where the Rubber Meets the Road moments. These moments tell us whether we believe the word of the Lord, and walk in faith, or we throw out what we know about God to feed our flesh. While your mother’s suggestion sounds good, the feelings you have are the prompting of the Holy Spirit. God will never force His will on you and yet, He awaits your decision. Do you and your family believe that God will never leave you or forsake you or is it a nice thought? Submission is only submission until we disagree.
Finally, as a woman who found herself in your shoes, in her youth, I understand your heartache. I wasn’t intimately acquainted with the Lord back then and I dragged my son through a series of youthful ignorant mishaps. I love this child more than breath itself and would lay my life down for him, if it is ever required, but he inappropriately bears the scars of my mistakes. There is no easy answer. Each decision will leave lasting impressions that you will have to live with. My hope is that you allow God to guide you through this process and that you are open to His will. My heart goes out to you and I will be praying for you.
3 thoughts on “When The Rubber Meets The Road”
I want to say more, but Susan laid it out pretty well.
Please say more! We need to hear your perspective!
The law makes it clear that anyone who gets pregnant before the marriage must marry the one who got them so…or in the case of the man, he must marry the one he made pregnant. For a long time I thought like most of the world that this was really unfair.
Then it hit me: God wasn’t being unfair, He set up an artificial consequence as a prevention method! Look at it this way, if we know we have to marry the first person we have sex with or who we get pregnant with, wouldn’t we be far more careful about sleeping around?
Here’s my question for the young lady: If you were planning to get married this guy anyway, why are you letting a pregnancy—especially a pregnancy—stop you? If God’s law (which, granted, has been nailed to the cross) claims this is the only solution for right thinking individuals, then why would you or your future spouse resent doing what you intended to do all along? Especially if God calls it the more righteous option…?
The truth is that the world’s views of righteousness have crept into our thinking so much we attribute to God these views. Aborting a life for the convenience of college seems to me like leaving a man beaten and robbed in an alleyway to die just because I’m late for my job. The priority here is lopsided.
My freedom from God is that I get to live, choose and do what I want. The price of that freedom is that I take on the consequences of how I choose to live, what I choose and what I do.
A man who plays in mudholes will get muddy.
If you put sperm near an unfertilized egg, a baby results, unless some form of prevention interrupts the flow of the natural cycle. To cop out on a baby and marriage just because life’s gonna’ get tough is to say I can have my cake and eat it too, which no one can.
Susan, you said it pretty clearly that no matter what the piper has to be paid. The young woman in question just needs to backbone up and face the fact that in her zeal to love her man, she produced a life who is not responsible for her mistake. Why should the innocent die for my career? Adoption might be an option, sure, but is it always the right option? I wouldn’t do anything without solid spiritual counsel and seeking God for a time…about 7 to 8 months tops.
I had a young man once tell me his girlfriend (whom he married later) got pregnant. “It was an accident!” He exclaimed. with full belief and intent on convincing me. I grinned at him and asked, “Did her pants come off accidentally? Did your manly parts somehow slip and meet her female parts and ‘Oops!’ here comes baby?”
The truth is this was no accident of nature or crazy unexplainable phenomena of parascience, but a pretty predictable outcome for an act of the will.
If this sounds like I’m being hard hearted, I assure you I’m not. I’ve had to live with the fact that I slept with women too while I claimed to represent Jesus. The more I think about who He is and who I am, the more I realize Jesus never sidestepped the hard stuff for the convenience of what was before Him.
No, girl, you need to grow up and take responsibility for your actions without denying your mistake, but in full view of the merciful, gracious, forgiving and loving Savior. Do what is right in the eyes of God and He will treat you like Bathsheeba and David who lost, for sure, but who were rewarded by becoming the great grandparents of the messiah, Jesus. Or Tamar who did the same. Don’t run from your consequence or it will haunt you.
Remember He promises “to bestow on them a crown of beauty for ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of dispair.” Isaiah 61:3b. Those who run from their consequences will find the consequences grow tougher and more harsh (see also Isaiah 30:15-18). Yet God longs to be gracious and show us mercy even in our current state, but we must obey His word in this or He cannot protect us or restore the heart as fully as He longs to do.
As a follower of Jesus, you have two options available, no more: Adoption or taking on the responsibility yourself. From what I’ve seen of the world, the latter is the better for the mother who looks her choices in the face and takes on what she produces. If she is not in a situation where she can take care of the child, then adoption is plan B. But that question must be weighed very carefully and unselfishly because the outcome of the choice will color everything she does for the rest of her life.
Sometimes our consequences are painful, but never as bad as disobedience. Take a lesson from David who faced his sin head on and lived to tell the tale of a God who delivers.
Lastly, trusting in man-made methods for spiritual solutions equals man-made solutions sans God.