According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the rate of pregnancy among teens is rising for the first time since 1991. Does this make you want to run to your office and write a few sermons on saying no to premarital sex?
Think again. While the rate of teen pregnancy is up, the percentage of teens having sex has remained stable for the past few years at 46 percent, according to the report.
Perhaps it’s not about sex, but about commodity.
A commodity is something that meets a need. If you’re mowing the lawn in 90 degree heat, a swig of Gatorade hits the spot. Gatorade is the commodity.
If you are a teen girl and you are cynical about relationships—whether with the opposite sex, family, or even God—then perhaps the love you can give and receive from a child will meet the need. The baby becomes the commodity.
Television programs like The Baby Borrowers are working with the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy to send a “clear message” for adolescents not to get pregnant. It’s a great effort by the media, but does it address the underlying heart issues?
Seventeen girls who live in a small Massachusetts town recently made a pact to get pregnant, and it hit national news. When interviewed, Amanda Ireland, a teen and new mother, said, “They’re so excited to finally have someone to love them unconditionally. I try to explain it’s hard to feel loved when an infant is screaming to be fed at 3 a.m.”
Instead of responding to this trend with another sermon on modesty or purity, perhaps we can address the deeper questions: Why do these girls want to be mommies so badly? What happens when a child isn’t able to fill the hole in a young mother’s heart?
And what does Christ offer to a teenaged girl looking for unconditional love?
Helpful Resource: Seduced by Sex: Saved By Love by Jan Kern, Standard Publishing, ISBN 9780784721582, released in 2008.
July 11, 2008 Foxnews.com Teen Pregnancy Rate Hits 15-Year High
NEW NBC Reality Show National Campaign to Deter Teens from Getting Pregnant
Pregnancy Boom at Gloucester High, June 18, 2008 – Time.com
Originally run in Enrichment Journal UTHTRX 2009