Summary: Second in a series exploring life crisis, based on the promotional materials provided by Outreach in their "Who Cares" campaign. This message explores unplanned pregnancy.
(This message extensively based on the sermon starters provided in the "Who Cares" package materials from Outreach.)
Launched teaching time with Kenny Chesney Video - There Goes My Life.
Kenny Chesney Video – 20 years in 5 minutes & a happy ending
Unfortunately, that is not always the case for an unplanned pregnancy. Especially, a teen-age unplanned pregnancy. Listen to these startling statistics –
- Over eight hundred thousand teens become pregnant each year.
- One out of every 10 women aged 15-19 become pregnant each year.
- One out of every three women get pregnant at least once before the age of 20.
- 78% of those, or almost 8 out of ten, are unplanned.
- 13% of all U.S. births are to teens.
- 25% of teen moms have another child within two years of their first.
- Nearly 40% of teen pregnancies end in abortion.
That’s just teen pregnancies. Of course, that does not cover the entire gamut of unplanned pregnancies. There are older single women who find themselves unexpectedly pregnant. There are women of all ages and married that find themselves pregnant without ever having planned on the life changes that are about to occur.
Fortunately, whether teen or not, you don’t have to know the Bible all that well, or be all that familiar with the stories found within it to know that teenage, unplanned pregnancies are not a new thing created by this generation.
Turn in your Bibles to the book of Luke. Luke chapter one. The first chapter describing the life of Jesus as described by, of all things, a doctor. And look at how it all begins. Luke 1:26 (read through verse 38).
Now, I know in a crowd of loving, Godly, educated people like yourself, the following thought would never cross your mind. But there are places where in the congregation’s minds at about this point, someone would be thinking, “Whoa! Now you just hold on a second there pastor. Surely, you are not equating the virgin Mary. The mother of Christ. This woman, blessed by God. To some 16 year old who can’t control her earthly urges. Surely you are not going to attempt and utilize this sacred story as a backdrop of comparison to hedonistic young people in today’s society who just can’t seem to own up to the consequences of their behavior.”
Well, I’m glad no one in this group would ever think anything like that, because that is exactly what I am about to do. But before I do it, I want to make a point that not only addresses that type of a mindset or attitude, but also addresses countless other mindsets and attitudes that people encounter in the church as they face many of the struggles in life we are going to be looking at over the next few months.
Here it is. This is the trap we can fall into when we encounter someone facing an unplanned pregnancy, or an addiction, or an overwhelming financial debt. We can fall into the trap of asking the big question. The big, bad, guilt filled, shame ridden question. This is what happens. We encounter the crisis experiencing person face-to-face, in this case with the reality of a baby growing and developing inside of them, and we look them in the eye, and we ask, “What happened?”
And you know what? With the possible exception of Allie or some other very young person in this room, we all know what happened. Right? At some basic level, we know what pregnancies are the result of.
We might have to boil it down to the least common denominator, but stay with me, and think about the list of struggles we are going to examine. At the most basic level, people go in debt because they spend more than they make. At the simplistic core, people struggle with pornography because they take that first look at it. As a starting point, people become overwhelmed by stress because they don’t properly handle stressors. And, when it gets right down to it, people get pregnant because. . .well, you know.
At some simple, least common denominator level, we can pretty much discern, with a pretty good degree of accuracy, why people are in the situation they are in. And what my experience in life has been is that the question, “What happened?” is not really what people are asking. What they are really asking. What they really want to know. What they simply can’t come right out and say is, “Hey, what are all the juicy details behind this mess?” Not always. Not everyone. But far too often, and for far too many of us.
Let’s face it. And I don’t want to shock you here. But out there, we, the church of America, are not exactly considered to be a place of high confidentiality. We are known for gossip. We are known for judgmentalism. We are known for being in the business of being in everyone else’s business. I know you might like to hear me just come out and say it like that, but after more than 35 years in all kinds of churches, I know it is true.