Amanda tilted her head in the direction of her former babysitter. "Mom, she looks like she’s pregnant! I thought you had to be married to have a baby. Is she married?"

"No, she’s not married," I said. Her former babysitter stood across the church welcome centre from us. I should have told Amanda about the pregnancy before now, but I couldn’t decide how to approach it. "And yes, she’s going to have a baby."

Amanda’s face showed confusion. "Why would she do that? Why would anyone get pregnant without being married?"

A thoughtful approach

Although we’d discussed sex, my tween-age daughter didn’t understand the emotions involved. "God designed men and women to be attracted to each other," I began as we walked to the car.

"If you’re not experiencing those feelings, it’s hard to understand. God intends for sex to be experienced by a husband and wife. That’s His best plan. Sometimes people don’t think beyond the moment," I explained and then let the topic drop.

Shortly after, I learned that the teenage sister of one of Amanda’s friends was pregnant. "Amanda, I need to tell you something," I said.

"Yeah, I know. I’ve heard rumours at school. It’s not like no one else knows. How could she do that? Doesn’t she know better? She’s from a good Christian family!"

"Even Christians sin. Think of a time when you didn’t obey God. When we confess and repent, God forgives, even though the consequences are still there."

"What will happen to the baby? Abortion is killing. Will she have the baby? Will she let someone adopt it?"

God's power over sin

Because Amanda’s brother is adopted and his birth parents were unwed teens, our discussion veered in the direction of adoption. She was able to see that God is gracious. He is able to bring good things from our disobedience. Her brother is dearly loved, and none of us wants to consider what our lives would be like without him in our family.

Although Amanda’s nature is cautious, seeing the consequences of sex outside of marriage for these two young women and others has shaped her view of dating. Now that she is older, she is content to interact socially with a group of friends rather than dating just one person.

She realizes that even Christians can get into overwhelming situations, and she understands the potential consequences of disobeying God’s plan for her life.

From Focus on Your Child’s Tween Ages, January 2007. Published by Focus on the Family. © 2007 Focus on the Family. All rights reserved. International copyright secured. Used by permission.

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