If an unmarried Christian girl becomes pregnant, what can the church do?
But some Christian leaders consider the presence of a pregnant teenager in a church service to be an indication of moral weakness within the church body. Seeking to avoid the appearance of evil, and hoping to protect their younger members from corrupt influences, these leaders stand boldly against unwed pregnancy.
Sadly, many Christian girls who become pregnant in such circumstances feel that their only option is to abort the child, because they want to protect their family and church from shame.
Others refuse to sacrifice their innocent children, and endure the contempt they receive from their church and family.
But unplanned pregnancy is not a sin!
God chose to send His Son into the world through an unmarried girl. If unwed pregnancy is unrighteous, why didn’t God wait until Mary was married to send Jesus?
Pregnancy is never a sin; it may be the result of sexual sin. If we are not careful to distinguish between the sin and its consequences, we may play a tragic role in the death of an innocent child.
"Shall I give my firstborn
for my transgression,
The fruit of my body
for the sin of my soul?
He has shown you, O man,
what is good;
And what does the Lord
require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with
God does not want us to sacrifice our children for our sin. He wants us to do justly: to treat others with integrity, especially those who are weaker than ourselves (such as a helpless baby, or the baby’s imperfect mother).
He wants us to love mercy: the pregnant girl needs compassion for her innocent child, and the church needs compassion for the pregnant girl.
He wants us to walk humbly with Him: a girl who has sinned ought to refuse to cover up her sin, but humbly admit her guilt. The church that is seeking to protect the sanctity of marriage should humbly accept the failings of their immature sister in Christ, applying generous portions of God’s grace to the girl’s plight.
The church need not resign itself to moral decline: it is possible to protect the sanctity of marriage without sacrificing our children.
The solution is public confession.
I recall vividly the day when a young couple stood in front of a church I attended. “We have sinned,” the boy said, “and now she is pregnant.” The confession brought pain to the entire congregation, but the church was made stronger by going through this experience. Many young people (including myself) were provided with a compelling warning regarding the consequences of sexual sin.
Once the sin has been confessed, the congregation should welcome the girl back into fellowship, forgetting her sin and focusing on her future (and the future of her child).
Our God who has promised to work everything together for good for those who love him (Romans 8:28) will use this experience to encourage holiness in the church, to promote mercy, and to save the lives of precious children.
- Unwed Pregnancy is Not a Sin pamphlet from LifeSavers Ministries