Christian Living Ethics

A.S.K 45 – Help – My Girlfriend’s Pregnant

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BIBLE READING: John 8:1-15

TEXT: Jesus straightened up and asked her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ ‘No one, sir,’ she said. ‘Then neither do I condemn you,’ Jesus declared. ‘Go now and leave your life of sin’ (John 8:10-11).

Both these situations are a mess. And there is no quick fix or simple solution. Whatever happens there is going to be pain and trouble. But there is no need to despair because Christ came to deliver us from our sins and he is there to help – just as he was to help the woman who was caught in adultery and was about to be punished.

There are several ways that people try to deal with this kind of situation. Some attempt to cover it up – that is really difficult and would be a mistake to even attempt. Others want to make light of the situation and treat it as a bit of a joke – which as I am sure you are aware it is anything but. Then there are those who attempt the quick fix.

standing-woman-holding-her-belly-1765353Let me tell you about one young man who came to me a number of years ago. He was deeply concerned because his teenage girlfriend was pregnant. He was not a Christian, but his girlfriend had, as you put it, ‘strict Christian parents’. She was too scared to tell them and as a result was going to have an abortion. We went and spoke to her. She was terrified about what they would think and was also ashamed that she had let them down. What could be done?

The answer of the social worker was to have an abortion. But we know, and she knew, that abortion is the taking of a human life. So we went with her parent’s minister to speak to them. Rather than the condemnation she expected – instead they loved and supported her. Of course they were not happy about the situation, but neither were they going to abandon their daughter. Their response was very much the Christian one.

Perhaps not every parent will behave like that but whatever the case we have no right to take the life of the unborn child. The only real option each person has is to face up to the facts as they are, to come to terms with them and to make the best out of a bad situation. That will involve confession and repentance to God and to all who are involved. There will be hurt but there can also be healing.

If you are a Christian then clearly you have not been walking with the Lord. His teaching about sex before marriage is very clear and you have gone against that. But this is not the unforgivable sin. Don’t excuse it but don’t despair either. You will now have responsibility for another precious human life. You will need help and support – seek it from your family, church, school and other agencies.

If you are not a Christian then the most important thing is that you become one. Not only do you need forgiveness but also you need the support and help of Christ to face the life ahead. Like the woman in our text, if you are to go and ‘leave your life of sin’, you will need him to be with you.

I don’t know you, but even as I write I am praying for you … that you will know the Lord’s peace, forgiveness, healing and guidance as you face the future. God is able to turn even this ugly mess into something beautiful.

CONSIDER: What are the best ways to prevent us getting into these types of situations? How would you help a friend who was facing similar circumstances? Why do you think that people think abortion is a simple solution? What is wrong with abortion?

RECOMMENDED FURTHER READING: Life Interrupted: The Scoop on Being a Young Mom – Tricia Goyer

PRAYER: Father in heaven, I confess that I have sinned. I can see my life is in such a mess, and because of that other people’s lives are messed up as well. I come to you seeking your forgiveness and asking you to renew me. To create a clean heart within me, and to grant me pure hands. Help me to serve and honour you as I face up to the reality of what I have done and grant that you would bring great good out of the mess I have created, in your name. Amen.

A.S.K 44 – Backsliding

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11 comments

  1. This is a difficult situation indeed. I imagine it would have been frightening with “strict patents” for the girlfriend you talk of and that she will have been consume with shame out of feeling she had let her parents down. Not unlike the story of the prodigal son with his wild living and ending up destitute with the shame he felt in letting his father down, returning to his father and regarding himself no longer worthy to be called his son, asking instead that he be hired as a servant.

    Could I ask also David, if you have had experience of pastoral ministry with someone who no fault of their own are feeling shamed and carrying guilt, terrified for nothing other than being an authentic follower of Jesus within their family and being lied to and treated with respect?

    It’s easy to say “blessed are you… for great is your reward in the kingdom” but living this out is more than a sound bite?

    I’m just interested in your experience and if you have any message of hope to anyone who might be reading this and going through family difficulty through no fault of their own?

    Thanks.

    1. Yes – I have come across that situation a couple of times….its hard going and there are no easy answers. I would suggest that reading the Bible shows us that such a person is not alone…..I would look to prayer and above all to Christ – who was rejected by his family and mocked by his people. But I would need to know more of the particular circumstances.

      1. Well, there is someone who I am thinking of who came to Christ and their relationship with the rest of their family seemed to be OK according to them before that. Tensions had built to the point of being ordered to leave during a meal by parents in the midst of a confrontation, resulting in distancing in the relationship. Their siblings meeting and deciding to support their parent’s position.

        Their church experience had been that in a conservative evangelical church where the pastoral guidance had been to prefer Christians to their own family. And encouraged to think that their family would all come to Christ. This empowered this person to “evangelise” to their family with the kind of approach taught in the church which only served to make things more difficult with their family. He as a result almost left church and almost gave up on Christianity.

        Until their father took ill with a stroke. He was unable to speak but in his vulnerability his animosity to this person reduced, and in the last few months of his life, there was a peace and a closeness between them.

        The distancing is still there with the rest of the family.

        And this person I mention, is me David.

        And thanks for your recommendation for prayer, and looking to Christ, who was rejected by his family and mocked by his people. He did say, didn’t he that a prophet is without honour only among his own people.

        Sometimes all we can do is give things over to God – tough as that might be?

      2. Churches, like people are not perfect. We know what instruction Christ gave to his disciples if they weren’t welcomed somewhere, and what he did when people in a synagogue tried to throw him off a cliff.

        Once we figure out what it is that is going on we can, with support from God, be able to heal and grow in wisdom.

        Then we can figure out how to treat people the way we would like to be treated for when we are less than perfect.

        Grace is costly, otherwise it is not grace?

  2. Having re read the post, I question why this young man – who was NOT a Christian would come to someone like you?
    If he was not a Christian then the very last person he would seek out for advice would be a moralizing, judgmental minister. In fact, he would probably have been better off asking for advice from the local barman at the Kings Head.
    I must be honest, there are times when I wonder just how factual are many of your seemingly anecdotal tales.

    1. Thats your problem Ark – you can’t conceive of anything out of your own fundamentalist world….so you have to resort to insult and accusations of lying…how sad it must be to live such a bitter existence.

  3. Beautifully written. Compassionate, caring and so positive. What a source of hope and comfort and encouragement for those who find themselves in this situation. It needs to be read widely — what an excellent and really helpful comment!

  4. I see Ark is still snapping at your heels, David . You must be doing something right !

    Ok, I’m repeating myself but I think that this is relevant . Before I was born a late aunt found herself in such a delicate situation. She found herself at home with her intended at sea . I was raised to believe that within that community the church was all powerful and that the Minister and Elders made judgments and pronouncements over members and communicants alike within the parish. ” The Minister was like God, and revered and feared as such”, I was told .

    On coming to faith in Christ early in my years I determined to avoid that church and what I saw as its judgmental and condemnatory attitudes. After forty or so years while meeting and speaking to the product of their eventual union, she said that had been left a letter from her late mother and asked , “Would you like to read it?” The letter was addressed to her late parents from the Minister on behalf of the Session and more gracious words of concern and advice could not be given. No harsh words of condemnation , no judgement or pronouncement , just the opposite , the offer of help and guidance.

    What you have here is a pertinent question and answer for any time and age . If a parent or Minister is linked to Christ he /she can only offer what Christ offers . His word’s His comfort , His guidance and His example . By the way, “A.S.K.” is a crackin’ little book !

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