A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. – John 13:34
In 2012, 40.7% of all births in the United States were to unwed mothers. I was shock to see this number. Everyone’s situation is different. We all make choices in life and sometimes those choices lead to unplanned events, such as a pregnancy. Some of the births will be to loving parents and the children will thrive, but what about the ones who are not as fortunate? Not everyone believes in marriage and not everyone believes in God or Ali or Buddha or any religion for that matter. For Americans, Hollywood has become our culture’s real religion. If all these so-called wonderful superstar role models can have babies out-of-wedlock then so can everyone in America. Here’s the problem with all that: Hollywood can afford these babies.
Recently, I was on a chat board for pregnant women. I was shocked at the multiple of out-of-wedlock pregnancies on there with relationship issues. I can’t believe what I was reading:
“My boyfriend broke up with me and now what’s nothing to do with our baby.”
“This is my third pregnancy and I have two other children from other relationships. I really hope my boyfriend sticks around and helps me cause we planned on this baby.”
“My mother is very upset with me. This is my third baby. I am divorced with two children from that marriage and my boyfriend is in basic training. She’s upset that she has to support us. Why? She’s my mom and I need help.” Guess what? She’s only 20!
This the comment that sent me over the edge: “I did not choose to get pregnant.” What? You chose to have sex. Even with protection, you take a chance at getting pregnant. How have we failed as a society to educate these women that sex can lead to a pregnancy?
The more I think about some of these situations, my blood starts to boil. What about the children of these parents? They have no stable home to thrive in. Children in a home with an absent parent are more likely to have emotional stress, aggression, feelings of hopelessness and more likely to become sexually active at a very young age (especially girls with an absent father). Plus when you grow up in this environment, it becomes your “norm” and the cycle can continue for generations. How do you break it?
I applaud these mothers who decide to keep their babies, even if they have to raise the child on their own. As a society, we need to help them! We need to be there for the mothers and the children. We need to provide a positive support system if they do not have one within their own family. Teachers, youth leaders, and social workers are on the front lines of this epidemic and we need to support them as well. Together we can make a difference in a mother’s life or a child’s life.
It will not be easy. There will be “repeat offenders” that just do not want to change. Keep trying. All you can do is keep trying. If the mother and/or father will not try to create a loving and nurturing environment at home, then we need to create one at school, at church, at the daycare and anywhere else the child or children will be. Single mothers may be at their wits ends and need help, will you help them? Children deserve at least that one person who will always be there for them, love them, and teach them. Are you that one person?
A prayer: Dear Father in Heaven, thank you for the mothers who decide to continue their unplanned pregnancies. Continue to give them courage to conquer their fears. Provide them an avenue for help if needed. Guide these mothers down a path of righteous and fill their heart with love for their children as you have for me. Please help me to look out for children and mothers who need someone to love them. Then give me strength and courage to do step out of my comfort zone and help families who need it. Please help our teachers, social workers, youth leaders and daycare providers give these children the unconditional love they deserve and the support these mothers need. Thank you Lord for the blessings and gifts you have given us. In your name, Amen.