Of my four children, three are teenagers. I serve as a Client Advocate at a crisis pregnancy center where ladies of varied ages, colors, and creeds come to verify pregnancies. These pregnancies are most often unplanned and I sit across from women filled with fear and despair as they physically wring their hands and weep. They assess their complicated life circumstances, discuss pressures, and weigh options to make a life-changing decision.
This is the case whether they choose life or abortion.
Becoming a parent, placing one’s baby for adoption, or ending the life of a baby growing in one’s womb is life changing. Abortion is often seen as a quick fix that brings immediate relief and solves a dire “problem,” yet I have learned through countless accounts that abortion is frequently the start of serious, long-term troubles and causes inner turmoil and regret. I have a lot to share about all of that, but for now I wish to take a step back in the hope that you will take a moment to contemplate my perspective.
Your Bright Future
College is on the horizon for many bright, talented, ambitious young people. The hook-up culture, binge drinking, and drug use will be present in abundance no matter the university, just like in high school. Here is what I know. I want you to enjoy college and earn a degree. I want you to fall in love with someone with whom you share mutual respect and common values. I don’t want your big plans and life goals derailed by pregnancy before you are ready for that responsibility. Becoming a mother has been the single greatest joy of my life and down the road, I want you to rejoice when you discover you are about to become a parent! Life is a gift!
Every time two people engage in sexual intercourse, there is the possibility of pregnancy. From the moment of conception, the “cluster of cells” growing within is a very tiny, new and unique human organism possessing all of the genetic information necessary to grow and develop into a fully formed person.
Embryology supports this basic definition of life.
Sex is Beautiful By Design
Sexuality is a natural part of humanity that perpetuates our species. My four children were not immaculately conceived and the incredible pull of sexual attraction is not a foreign experience. I understand the biological intensity with which hormones drive sexual behavior and I think sex is wonderful.
First Things First
I also know that a “No Sex Before Marriage” approach will prevent a whole lot of heartache and protect one’s body, soul and psyche. When people stray from God’s right order, things often get complicated fast. One’s purity is a precious gift to a future spouse. I recognize this concept as uncommon and countercultural to everything that is conveyed through media. I don’t care. It is right. It is true.
Scientifically speaking, there is fascinating brain chemistry research on the effect of premarital sex in the book Hooked: The Brain Science on How Casual Sex Affects Human Development by McIlhaney and McKissic Bush. Casual sex has negative implications psychologically and physically. Sexually transmitted diseases are pervasive in young, sexually active populations and may be asymptomatic, while silently harming reproductive health and potentially causing cancer. Some STDs are not curable.
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Hear Me Now
Please let this seed of truth be planted in your heart.
Plenty of Christians find themselves in circumstances that are outside the order they intended. You would be shocked by how many babies are aborted because their mothers are afraid to share news of the unexpected pregnancy with their parents whom they don’t wish to disappoint. If you ever find yourself in this difficult position, please know that there are pregnancy centers in every major city filled with skilled, loving people able to help women navigate rough waters during uncertain times. I am convinced love trumps everything. In the end, no matter the perceived “disappointment,” love for a future grandchild will prevail.
Placing a baby for adoption is another courageous way to choose life when a young woman is not able to parent after lovingly carrying her baby to term. Acting against an innate maternal instinct and one’s conscience will have a profound impact, and fathers of aborted babies face their own complex emotions.
Points to Ponder
Unless you are currently prepared to bring a child into the world with a particular person, don’t have sex.
Obviously, alcohol decreases inhibitions and may lead to actions one would normally avoid if sober.
Communicate your boundaries and avoid situations where you are alone and must rely on sheer will power to stop the natural progression of intimacy that occurs in relationships. I don’t believe you will regret not having sex before marriage, but I’m convinced the opposite is often true.
If you are a virgin, take pride in that reality. Stay the course.
If you have already had sex, that doesn’t mean you have to remain on the current road. You are the driver. Be strong and virtuous.
What advice would you give to young people navigating the hook up culture today?
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Written by Julie Overlease. Find out more about her here.