Teenage pregnancy is an issue that must be confronted within the homes of Christian families as well as with Christian churches. Just as churches must be educated to minister to the pregnant, so must parents who hear the tough news — either that their daughter is pregnant or their son has impregnated his girlfriend.
Paula Odom, director of the Crisis Pregnancy Center ministry of First Baptist Church, Euless, Texas, said that parents need to remember, even in the tough times, that they are called to reflect Christ to their children.
"Be consistent with them, but be careful what you say. Don't ever tell them, 'Don't you dare come home pregnant!' That message is devastatingly frightening to them. Watch who your children run with, too. Always communicate with your children," she said.
Odom added, "Love your children unconditionally. Don't abandon them just because they have made this mistake. Tell them that you forgive them because Christ forgives them. Help them make the best plans for this baby, your grandchild."
Odom also noted that fathers have vitally important roles in raising their children to have proper attitudes regarding sex. "Fathers need to remember to continue to care for their daughters, showing appropriate love and affection for them all the time. Many young women seek that love and affection in their boyfriends when the father pulls away emotionally as his daughter matures."
Men need to teach their sons important lessons, as well, Odom said. "Young men need to learn their role as man to the woman they love, which is to respect and protect her. They need to understand what it means to be the father. Dads need to share with their sons the biblical concept of how precious their seed is and how pre-marital sex is an activity that shows they are being uncaring about the safety of their future child."