What Is the Answer to Teen Pregnancies?

Written by Drew on January 8th, 2009

A new report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that teen pregnancies have risen for the first time in about 15 years. Overall our nation’s teen birth numbers rose three percent from 2005 to 2006. Significant increases in teen birth rates were noted in 26 states, with Mississippi topping the list at 68 births for every 1,000 women. The national birth rate was about 42 per 1,000. None of these numbers, of course, take into account the number of pregnancies that were ended by abortion.

One thing that everyone agrees on is that this is not good for our country. A baby is a big responsibility, one that is too big for today’s teenagers to handle, especially unmarried teenage girls who, if they keep their babies, will have to raise the child without the assistance of a father.

Experts disagree, however, over what has caused the spike in teen pregnancies. Some criticize abstinence-only programs that do not teach teenagers how to use contraception, but many conservative organizations argue that the most common form of sex education focuses on contraceptives and that the new numbers serve as evidence that it is failing.

Another report out of Johns Hopkins University lends credence to the claims of critics of abstinence-only programs, announcing that there is not much difference between teens who take a pledge of virginity until marriage and those who don’t: whether or not they took the pledge, the study said, most do not stay sexually pure until marriage.

Much thanks goes to William McGurn of the Wall Street Journal for pointing out that this fatalistic study is flawed. As it turns out, the author of the study, Janet Elise Rosenbaum, reached these results by comparing teens who take a virginity pledge with a very small subset of other teens: those who are just as religious and conservative as the pledge-takers. It appears that this is another in a long line of studies published by trusted sources that takes aim at Christian virtues by reporting the results of less-than-honest research.

The Bible’s position on premarital sex is clear. In 1 Corinthians 6:18, Paul writes, “Flee from sexual immorality.” The word that he uses, also translated “fornication,” is rendered from the Greek porneia, which refers to every form of sexual intercourse outside of marriage. This definition includes homosexuality, adultery, and premarital sex. Using the same word in another passage, Paul listed sexual immorality among sins committed by the unrighteous who will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:9-11; cf. Gal. 5:19-21).

The Bible teaches that a sexual relationship is something that is good and important in a marriage relationship (Prov. 5:15-20; 1 Cor. 7:5; Heb. 13:4). Sex in itself is not evil, but sex is prohibited outside of the marriage relationship. One of the reasons God has made this prohibition is because a sexual relationship is a big responsibility. Teenagers are not ready for this kind of intimacy, let alone the burdens of childrearing. Children deserve better, and God’s word promotes the best environment for them: a home with a father and a mother.

The truth is that when teenagers are brought up under biblical standards, they are less likely to engage in risky sexual behavior, pregnancies are less frequent, and many do wait until marriage before having sex. Sure, many Christian teens make mistakes, but even many of these come back to the Lord and renew their commitment to purity afterwards. God’s word has the answer to problems like teen pregnancy. The world may not be sharing it, and that is disappointing, but the saddest fact is that the church is not sharing it, and that is a shame.

 

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