I'm 18 and pregnant. What should we do?

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I'm 18 and pregnant. What should we do?

Jul 31, 2006 |John Thomas
Question

I have been dating my girlfriend for four years, we are both Christians, and we love each other. We found out that she was pregnant, and we think we should get married even though we are both 18. My girlfriend's parents say that we are too young and will not allow us to get married. We live in a state that requires parent permission to get married under the age of 21. What should we do?

Answer

Without knowing more information, I have to default to your girlfriend's parents. They understand that marriage, and especially parenting, require a level of maturity that is rarely found among today's 18-year-olds.

Now, you two might be the exception, but given that you were having sex when you knew it was wrong and didn't consider the consequences, or chose to ignore them, shows a level of maturity that brings into question your ability to handle marriage and parenting right now, not to mention being on your own and providing a living for yourselves.

I commend you for wanting to do the right thing by being responsible for your actions and of course for choosing life over abortion. And just because her parents aren't for marriage now doesn't mean they'll always feel that way. I suggest you discuss with her parents exactly what they would like to see happen before the two of you marry, and move toward that. Find out what are their concerns (lack of education? age? income?), and begin an ongoing discussion on how you might eliminate those concerns.

Although you and your girlfriend (and now child) face tough odds, they're not insurmountable by any means. Be encouraged that none of this has caught God by surprise. He can receive glory, even from this tough situation. You can make this work, but you'll have to rise to a level of maturity beyond your years.

* * *

I overlooked an obvious piece of advice in my answer to this question a couple of weeks ago.

Ideally you would continue in dialogue with your girlfriend's parents and overcome their concerns about the two of you getting married, rise to a level of maturity beyond your years and tackle with courage the incredible challenges of marriage and parenting at such a young age.

I should have also suggested that if marriage is not an option, then the two of you, along with both sets of parents, should at least give some consideration to putting the baby up for Christian adoption. First and foremost in your minds should be what is best for the baby. A Christian home with two married, loving parents would greatly reduce the risk of negative outcomes for the child compared to being raised by a single, teen mom. There are several reputable Christian adoption agencies with long lists of married couples hoping to adopt.

Give it some thought and prayer. I know God will give you direction. And thanks to Boundless Answers: Women author Candice Watters for the reminder.

Blessings,
JOHN THOMAS

Copyright 2006 John Thomas. All rights reserved.

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