We’ve gone about this all wrong
Two weeks ago there was a news story that came out of Memphis that had to do with teenage pregnancy. In it, the report says that investigators “recently discovered 90 girls who attend [this high school] are now pregnant or have already had a baby this school year.” When broken down even more, roughly 20% of the female population of the school is experiencing parenthood.
At the end of the article there is a quote that I think is absolutely fascinating:
“‘They need a class where they can teach the girls before they get pregnant to use protection and stuff,’ Sutton said. ‘And don’t try to get pregnant.'”
Are they really saying that 16-17 year old girls are trying to get pregnant?
Unfortunately, that’s the truth in some instances. We’ve glorified teenage pregnancy through tv shows and movies that to some people, it’s the “cool” thing to do. On top of that, society has broken down to the point that the traditional sequence of “date, get engaged, get married, have a kid” is no longer consider the “normal” way of doing things. Don’t believe me? Take a minute to think about or look through Facebook and see how many people you know who got pregnant and then got engaged or got engaged, then pregnant, and then married. It’s a high number.
But Jonathan, people mess up. They make mistakes. Or maybe they’re not even Christians so your “rules” don’t apply to them.
Don’t get me wrong, I agree with all of that. I’m definitely not in a position to judge or look down upon those people. I would never expect a non-Christian to act, behave, or think in the same way as a Christian.
So what’s the big deal then?
The big deal is that over 50% (and I think it’s closer to 60%) of Christians who are between the ages of high school and college admit to having sex before marriage. Once again, I’m not in a position to judge or look down upon the people within that bracket. I’m not even trying to trash them with what I’m saying here. I think there’s a much, much more important way of looking at this rather than simply judging or condemning and that is through the asking of one simple question:
Why are more and more Christians involved in premarital sex?
Why are more and more non-Christians having kids outside of marriage?
Why have our morals and values shifted?
Why do young girls actually want to have a kid before they even graduate high school?
The easy answer to that question is to blame the media. Blame MTV. Blame the liberal organizations impacting schools.
And I think that’s a cop out.
I say we blame ourselves.
From the time that I first knew what sex is, all I’ve been taught in church is that sex is bad. That’s all. It’s bad. Stay away from it. Be like Joseph and flee from it.
And just like anything else, when my generation heard that it was bad and we shouldn’t do it, we of course wanted to see what all the fuss was about. You tell us that we can’t do something and then we’re going to do anything we can to actually do that something. It’s the way we’re wired.
Instead of just slapping a giant “sin” sticker on sex in general, I think we owe it to the next generation to fully explain to them everything that goes along with sex. We don’t need to teach abstinence for the sake of abstinence. We need to let them know that sex is this great thing that God gave us and wants us to enjoy but, like anything else in life, it has to have rules around it and we can’t just abuse that gift.
When I was told that I couldn’t drive my car until I was 16 and got my license I said okay. I knew that one day I would get to drive and that there had been a set of rules put into place about when that would happen. Knowing that, at the end of the day, I would get to drive, I was able to accept the rules and the waiting.
There’s a problem today among Christian teenagers and 20-somethings. For a long time, we’ve been trying to teach the same thing over and over while hoping that we would get different results. Unfortunately we have gotten different results, but they’ve gotten more negative.
If we expect change, we must change the way that we approach things. We must change the way we teach. We must change the way we go about raising up the next generation.
It’s time we got real.
It’s time we stopped trying to sugar coat things or make them seem easy and prepackaged.
It’s then and only then that we can start to change the way that people view things.
And it’s then and only then that we can start to change the world.