Now back to normal programming...
Thankfully, God changed my heart and theology on this subject, using Sharon Miller's article surrounding Jessica Simpson's controversial Elle cover to do so. God's work in my heart was not pointless, as a few months ago, a dear friend came to me to tell me she was pregnant, which really solidified my thoughts on the subject:
Premarital sex is sinful.
No surprises here. The Bible is clear that premarital sex is not okay. It's not some random law that God decided to lay down because he wanted to torture mankind. It's a wise warning from a loving Father.
Admittedly, this is a difficult statute to keep to. In recent decades, the church has attempted to nullify culture's widespread acceptance of premarital sex by ignoring sexuality and portraying sex as gross and disgusting, telling teenagers to save sex for someone you really love in a marital covenant. Ummm worst logic ever. Luckily, in the past few years, the church has started to open up about the subject and be realistic and honest. Sex, in marriage, is not gross, but is a gift.
God is a Redeemer.
Out of sin, God restores and redeems. This is the gospel pattern that is written all over creation. God took our mangled, sinful lives and brought life out of them through Jesus' death and resurrection. The Bible says that sin leads to death and Jesus conquered both of those things on our behalf. God delights in bringing glory to himself through redeeming things that seem completely devastating and broken. In the realm of unwed pregnancy, a devastating and broken act can breed redemption. A baby is definitely a gift; its unfortunate that many throughout the world, not just in America, do not value such a beautiful reflection of an ultimate Redeemer.
So how are Christians called to handle unwed pregnancy?
Show Christ's love.
Displaying Christ's love is multifaceted:
Don't sugar coat it.
First, Christians cannot and should not sugar coat on the sin that brought about the pregnancy. To overlook such a thing would be unloving. I think exploring John 8:1-11 is an excellent way to open up this conversation. In this parable, Jesus shows that sex outside of marriage is definitely a sin, but also highlights the sinfulness of mankind as a whole ("Let him who is without sin... be the first to throw a stone"). So often we categorize sins in Christianity. Things like pride and controlling tendencies can easily be finagled to seem good, while tangible sins such as sex or alcoholism are hyperbolized and deemed as worse than other things. Jesus tells the adulterous woman "Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more." He doesn't say he rejects her because of sin, but rather he accepts her, which drives her to follow him.
As stated, God delights in redeeming parts of creation, which is only a dim reflection of the final redemption that will come. Pregnancy is a part of that earthly redemption and is worthy of great excitement and celebration, regardless of the circumstances which brought it about. I mean, seriously, who doesn't love buying a good pair of baby shoes and patting a pregnant lady's bulging belly?! Loving sisters in this way is easy!