Are you married and pregnant at what seems to be an inconvenient time? Are you unmarried and pregnant? Have you experienced the trauma of rape or incest and discovered that you are pregnant as a result?
The term “unplanned pregnancy” is today’s reigning euphemism for an inconvenient pregnancy or a pregnancy begun under immoral or illegal circumstances. The term implies that there are higher priorities in life than creating new life. Most of our modern life is the relentless pursuit of whatever satisfies man’s desires. However, scripturally there is no higher priority than loving God, creating new life, and raising the children to sustain a God-loving culture, from generation to generation. Any other priorities lead to a decaying culture that ultimately self-destructs.
It is doubtful that people in Biblical times ever considered a pregnancy to be unplanned. Married couples likely lived their life embracing every pregnancy that naturally occurred, praising God for the blessing of each new life. Perhaps that is why barrenness was considered such a curse. Of course, a pregnancy outside of marriage was typically followed by an “unplanned marriage.”
Child bearing is God’s special gift to women even when a conception occurs in immoral circumstances. Radical feminism, in the 1960s, turned God’s blessing upside down, proclaiming childbearing to be a curse unfairly imposed on women by evolution.
But what is a woman to do when a pregnancy results from a forced activity such as rape or incest which is immoral and illegal? Abortion is wrong. It crushes the life out of God’s precious gift. The details have been often discussed elsewhere.
The typical Judeo-Christian believer’s fallback is to advise the pregnant girl that if she senses that she is incapable of raising the child she consider placing it for adoption. That is a plausible intellectual choice for the do-gooders giving the advice. But it is an incredibly painful, emotional and spiritual decision for the girl.
With perhaps rare exceptions, a young woman cannot experience an abortion or give a child up for adoption without a lifetime of unconquerable regret and other negative consequences ranging from an unquenchable anxiety to serious guilt and a broad range of physical health issues triggered by the anxiety or guilt. In addition, the aftereffects of abortion or giving a baby up for adoption can elicit future issues with interpersonal relationships, especially with men.
For a discussion of the negative effects refer to http://www.firstmotherforum.com/2013/02/how-giving-up-child-affects-you-in-long.html. Lorraine Dusky is a blogger who cites several studies that explored and documented the long-term, virtually permanent, emotional and spiritual pain experienced by mothers who have given a baby up for adoption.
Often the baby destined for adoption is whisked away immediately after birth. It is considered best to separate the baby from the mother before they have had a chance to bond. However, she has already bonded for nine months. Bonding begins from the moment of conception, even when it occurs immorally or illegally.
Bonding continues as the mother experiences the early hormonal changes associated with pregnancy. The bonding continues later when she feels the baby’s movements and again when she experiences the hormonal changes preparing her for childbirth. The childbirth process itself is not merely biological. The mother bonds with the baby during the process. She experiences the triumph of nine months of bonding when the baby draws its first breath. She has clearly bonded with her baby not an alleged nonhuman fetus. The bonding is a beauty that only God could have created.
When the pregnancy was initiated by rape or incest, the initial trauma may well subside before the baby is born. An early decision to place the baby up for adoption will be revisited again and again, many times before the birth of the baby. Despite the adoption decision, the mother cannot help but daydream about what to name the baby and future experiences with the baby as an infant and throughout its growing years. For nine long months, she irresistibly fantasizes about her baby’s future, even after making the adoption decision.
There are perhaps a rare few for which adoption is appropriate. Examples may include a mother with severe mental illness or very long-term drug abuse. Aside from those exceptions, a mother should never be separated from her baby. The situation is bad enough if the father is in prison or wasted on drugs. The baby is already deprived of one parent. The solution is not to deprive the baby of the other parent. Most mothers will rise to the occasion, some surprisingly so, despite the unplanned nature of the pregnancy.
Outside of extreme circumstances, such as rape or incest, the father must also rise to the occasion. He is far more than a mere source of funds. Collectively, mom and dad have a huge responsibility to the God-given miracle they call their baby. That responsibility likely includes getting married, if they are not married already.
Among Judeo-Christian believers, the extended family must be available to help the teen mother or an older mother, single by circumstances beyond her control. The grandparents are not built-in, taken-for-granted babysitters. There is no substitute for the mother shouldering her own responsibilities. However, members of the extended family are or should be able to provide physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual support far beyond what is available through so called support groups. While adoption may be a consideration, it should absolutely be a very last resort. God’s family sticks together!
What does it take to wake up the body of believers?
What does it take to wake up the clergy?