Yesterday I heard of a teen pregnancy that is within our extended circle of friends. It doesn't surprise me, not because of the person or their character, or because of the acceptance in our society, but because I know what it is like to possess a sinful nature. My first reaction because of the age of the couple was that this is something, a very permanent thing that they may have to deal with the rest of their lives. I see the possibility of things like finishing high school, going to college, and growing up and maturing before making the decision to commit yourself to a relationship permanently slipping away from them.
I know that regardless of the obstacles faced, God can still redeem the situation. I shared a bit of my personal testimony here, and I still say that my oldest daughter, born before her dad and I were married is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. In so saying, I am not condoning the sin - but recognizing her life as precious to Father God, and never a mistake in His heart. He redeemed her life - and she lives and breathes for Him which is just how Father works. He is amazing.
I woke up this morning with this young expectant couple on my heart. I was thinking about the challenges they face, and some other teen couples were on my heart, to pray for them that they can hold to the commitments they have made to remaining pure until their wedding night. If they can't or don't, I personally won't love them any less, but I will be sad in the way I would be if they traded in diamonds and gold for a cheap bubble gum ring out of a vending machine. I want them to reap the blessings of waiting for God's best.
A few years ago as I was exploring this subject with the youth group, we were discussing purity. A lot of emphasis is placed now on even waiting to share your first kiss at the altar, or not even holding hands - and while I think this is precious, I am not sure that it is Biblical. (I don't think it is un-Biblical either, I am just not sure it can be backed up scripturally - feel free to show me otherwise) However, when we were discussing these things, I know that the Lord showed me this example to share with them. We had a door in the corner of the room, and I had one of the kids shut the door completely. I then instructed them to take their hand and push on the center of the door to see if it could be opened that way - and it could not. Then we opened the door just a crack, using the door knob which represented a choice to open the door. It wasn't opened enough for a person to walk through, and in fact not really even cracked enough to let light pass through. I then instructed them to push on the center of the door that was cracked open. One firm push, and the door flew all the way open. The point is that each of these steps is cracking open a door that once you pass through, you cannot enter again.
I have also had discussions with teenagers that thought anything aside from actual intercourse (can I say that in the bloggy world?) was acceptable. I won't go into detail making a list here - but while I don't think the simple affections of hand holding or innocent kisses are necessarily wrong, I will say for the record that anything you can't do in front of others, that has to be done in secret or darkness should be clearly recognized as sin. "The list" as I said isn't mine to make. The truth of the matter is that purity starts in the heart and mind.
For some young people, the door has been wide open for a long time. God can still redeem and use their lives. As believers, can we stand in the gap for these young people - and hold up a standard of purity, help those that are caught in the consequences of their own sin so that fewer babies will be aborted, and help redeem those Christ loves and bought with a price as precious, and of whom He says, though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow.