1 Peter 4:8
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
Loving deeply isn’t just a catchphrase. Real love requires sacrifice. It requires stepping past my own insecurities, fears, and agenda. As it says in 1 Peter 4:8, love covers. Love shields and protects. And even though we can’t forgive the sins of others, we can point them to the One who can–Jesus. We can use our love to cover the wounds of others through grace instead of shaming them.
For instance, what if instead of instead of trying to shame a teen mom, what if you, me, we . . . supported her?
What if we became a group of men and women who educated her, inspired her, and offered her hope?
That’s what happened to me. A group of older women came alongside me and taught me about being a mom. They made me feel as if I had value. They saw my child as a gift. Instead of saying my life was ruined, they painted a bright future. Because of them, my confidence as a mom grew. My confidence as a woman grew. I married, and I birthed two more children. Where are those kids now? My oldest son is a college graduate with a great job and a beautiful family and my daughter is a married missionary teaching English in Europe. My younger son is in college and getting straight A’s. Not only that, but my husband and I have also adopted seven children and I also mentor teen mothers, just as those women mentored me.
I could have been a statistic, but instead, a group of women offered to impart hope into my heart.
Now I impart hope into others, not only through mentoring but through books. I’ve written over 75 books. I impart hope through parenting books and even through my novels. In fact, my book, Teen Mom: You’re Strong Than You Think, challenges young moms to discover herself, the reason for her life, and be more than just a statistic.
Someday, you might have a young woman come to you for advice after she discovers she’s pregnant. Don’t point out the mistake she’s made. Don’t shame her. Offer her the hope that Jesus has for all of us.
Here are a few ways you can help:
Remain calm and loving.
Your young friend most likely feels alone, frightened, and extremely sensitive about her pregnancy. The most important thing you can offer is your continued friendship.
Show God’s love and forgiveness.
Your young friend was looking for love by giving herself intimately to a guy. Now she might feel ashamed and unworthy of love at all. Point her to God, who loves her unconditionally.
She may consider this baby a “mistake”—a barrier between her and “normal” life. Lovingly remind her that no matter how the baby was conceived, he or she is a gift from God.
Be available to share . . . and to listen.
Your young friend has many big decisions to make, and although you can’t make those decisions for her, you can be available to help her consider her options. Share information you’ve discovered on fetal development and on the physical and emotional trauma of abortion. Most of all, be willing to listen to her deepest concerns.
Your young friend is most likely in need of more answers than you can give. Visit a local crisis pregnancy center with your friend, or call CareNet for help at 1-800-395-HELP. Encourage her to tell her parents and to seek the counsel of a pastor or youth pastor.
Yes, the young woman and her baby in your life will face a hard road ahead. But with your help, encouragement, and gift of hope, you can help her to also blow the teen pregnancy statistics out of the water. Let your love cover.
Download the 1 Peter 4:8 coloring page HERE!
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You are love. Thank you for showing me what true love really means, for sending your only son to take our place on the cross. Love isn’t about warm, fuzzy feelings or chocolate or candy. Love is a decision and it takes sacrifice. The only reason I can show love to others is because you first loved me. Help me spread your perfect and endless love to my family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, and everyone I meet. Only through accepting your gift can we be saved!