Saturday, February 24, 2007

Teenage Pregnancy in the UK

I had every intention this morning to post about something not news related. But, when I got on FOX news and saw the link to this article, I felt inclined to write about it, primarily for my own benefit, but also because it directly related to my previous post on the new MTV show (and to share with my friend Samuel something that is going on right on his own doorstep, kind of). I will post on my original intent later this weekend.

The Daily Mail in the United Kingdom came out with an article; on Friday, discussing the rise in teen pregnancy and the apparent “cool” factor that being pregnant seems to bring for these 14 year old girls. This is devastating on multiple levels, but primarily because the Labour party in Britain now has to rethink their sex education program. In their eyes something is seriously wrong, and it shows in the statistics of girls under the age of sixteen who are becoming pregnant.

According to one pregnant teen, the reason why so many girls want to have a baby is because “teenage girls think babies are cute, but they forget the physical side of being pregnant, then having to give up your own childhood to look after a baby.” And now parents, as a result of their children getting pregnant, are wondering what they did wrong. Many parents feel that their teaching on sex education, or even abstinence, is sufficient. As one parent said in the article, “the fact that Kizzy (the pregnant 14 year old) had to help four pregnant girls just goes to show we’re all failing somewhere.”

Now, I am not an expert on the education system in the United Kingdom (maybe Samuel can help me with that), or on the United States for that matter, though I do feel that a situation of this magnitude will require something far greater than simply the Labour Party deciding to teach more abstinence, or better education on safe sex. If we treat abstaining and not abstaining as mere lifestyle choices that we can pick from then we will continue to have children having children. Abstinence without the Gospel will not keep our young girls childless for very long. A heart that has been called out of darkness into light awakens in us a desire to abstain because Christ is now our treasure, and because God commanded it. There is much more at stake then simply changing the teenage pregnancy rate. If we continue to legislate change, instead of the Church proclaiming Christ crucified, then we will not see a change in our moral problem, because the chains of sin will still be wrapped around the hearts of our young people. Souls in bondage to sin cannot do what God commands, because even if they do abstain, they are doing it in their own strength and not the strength that God supplies, which inevitably leads to empty moralism and pride.

These young girls are in my prayers today, and so is the church in the United Kingdom. May the Gospel go forward in the hearts of these children, and their parents, and may they see the power of the Cross to awaken our dead hearts, and free us from sin. I close with my favorite line from my favorite hymn:

“My chains fell off, my soul was free. I rose, went forth, and followed thee. Amazing love, how can it be, that Thou my God should die for me?”

Until this truth is proclaimed, there can be no true abstinence.

2 comments:

stellerblue32 said...

how do they teach sex education? is it much different than in th US? it makes me so sad to think about those young girls (14 is really really young!) who's lives are going to be filled with the consequences of their actions. but also my heart goes out to all those babies who are going to grow up in a very hard home. teenage pregnancy isnt happening just in the UK tho. at my high school i could probably name 15 girls that got pregnant under the age 16. there are so many people that need Jesus!! He is the only true cure to these issues.

cdt said...

Katie,

I am not sure how they teach sex education in the UK. I also am not sure how they do it in the US either because I grew up in the South and it hadn't made its way down there yet when I was in school. I don't know how it is now though.

Unfortunately we are seeing the results of a culture that does not have any moral compass, and my heart too goes out to these little ones who will grow up in a disillusioned world. This is not something that we should simply pass over. It should make us weep and cry out to God to be merciful to us and most importantly that He would grant salvation to these young mothers and their infants.

I appreciate your willingness to enter the discussion. You are a joy!