Every week I get emails and notes from parents who discover their daughters are pregnant. It’s a shock to say the least, especially for parents who raised their children in Christian homes and taught them God’s good plans for marriage and children.
The parents who are most distraught are those whose daughters seemed to know better, but then strayed. After choosing to have sex outside of marriage, the daughter then claims that there is no problem with the choices she made. It’s enough to break a parent’s heart!
Maybe you’re the parent, and maybe your daughter thinks her choices are her choices, and now she wants you to celebrate this new life. Take a deep breath, Mom and Dad, and remember that even more important than winning this battle is staying connected with your daughter’s heart. Here are two ways to do just that:
Offer Lots of Love & Grace
Realize that your daughter does know that what she did (having sex outside of marriage) is a sin. She knows that it’s not God’s perfect way–even when she says otherwise. I guarantee that she has her defenses up. Even if she’s trying to push your buttons, her heart knows the truth. I know. I was that young woman.
The women from my mom’s church reached out to me when I was a pregnant teen, and I was VERY defensive. They tried to talk to me, and I turned my back on them. Instead of getting caught up in the issue of whether or not having sex outside of marriage was a sin (because deep down they know), offer a lot of love and a lot of grace. Your daughter needs that most.
Some things you can say:
- All of us make mistakes, but God loves us.
- We are thankful that you are choosing life–a child is a gift.
- And if you have younger children, here are wise words, too: We want to support you and our grandchild, but we also want our other children to understand that the best decision is to choose a godly spouse and wait to have children after marriage. (If she tries to argue, simply say, “When you show me in the Bible that God’s best way is to have sex–and children–outside of marriage, then we can talk.)
- Also, if you have younger children, sit down with all them and be very open and upfront about the choices your daughter made. Talk about what God’s Word says and why His way is a better way. Also, pray together for their sister and this baby.
The pregnancy and your daughter’s initial defenses will be the hardest part! Things tend to smooth out after a sweet baby joins your family. Just do what you can to offer love and grace until then.
Read Through Books Together
I also recommend two books for you to share with your pregnant daughter. Both are available on Amazon.com. As a parent, you could benefit from reading these books, too … they might help you understand your daughter’s thoughts and feelings and know how to answer her better.
Teen Mom: You’re Stronger Than You Think
Everything changes the day you discover you’re going to be a mom. It’s not just yourself that you think about―you have a child to care for, too. While you wouldn’t trade your child for the world, some days are just hard. Baby-daddy drama, dealing with your parents, and worries about school, work, and your future slam you. Your friends can’t relate to your little family, and you wonder if God has turned His back on you, too.
Tricia Goyer understands. A mom at age 17, Tricia remembers what it felt like to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. She’s also been the coordinator of a teen mom support group for over twelve years, and she’s cheered on many young moms―from all walks of life―through their journey.
In Teen Mom, Tricia pours out her heart and shares advice for the hard things you face. She also longs to provide encouragement, reminding you that you can be the mom your child deserves―not in your own strength, but in the strength God provides.
Praying for Your Future Husband
Have you ever thought about praying for your future husband?
Will it make a difference?
There’s only one way to find out…
From when we were small girls, most of us dream of “The One,” our future husband. We think about what it would be like to be a bride. We wonder who that special guy is and when we’ll find him. The great news is that what you do now can make a difference in your life and the life of your future husband!
Authors and good friends Robin Jones Gunn (Christy Miller series) and Tricia Goyer (author and former teen mom) believe God answers women’s prayers for husbands—even husbands they may not meet for years. They invite young women to pray boldly for their future mate … while also asking God to prepare their own hearts.
In Praying for Your Future Husband, Robin and Tricia share their two vastly different experiences, including the things they did right and the mistakes they made on the path to meeting and marrying their husbands. Each chapter includes helpful Bible verses, prayers, and practical application, along with true stories of women who prayed for a husband and how God answered in remarkable ways.
God has a beautiful romance prepared for you. Prayer is the key to unlocking the love story … with your future husband and with God, the lover of your soul.
For more posts on teen moms, check out my teen mom landing page.
Are you new here? You might want to subscribe to my email updates, or follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, or Instagram.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
I remember when this happened to us. Our daughter was 17, and pregnant. She was a “special” child, our youngest. And we didn’t know who the father was. The child is now 6, and lives with us. His mother has another child, and is married to a man we don’t approve of. I remember when the first pregnancy was going on, A Christian sister told me not to “steal our daughter’s joy”. I didn’t have a clue what she was talking about. I knew we would get through it all, but it was not something to be happy about or celebrate at that time. At least to me. Another sister asked why we weren’t having them “get married”. They didn’t know we were unsure of the father. I told them I would rather have an illegitimate grandchild that an unscriptural divorce. And in the midst of it all, our daughter’s boyfriend went to prison for felony drug charges. It was a blessing he wasn’t around for the birth. It is still a hard time to think about.
Tricia Goyer says
That sounds like a very hard time. I’m so thankful that God is there through those times.
As a woman who had a child at 18, I can relate to this so well. My mother was so supportive and in spite of her broken heart, she still loved me unconditionally. My father, on the other hand, was not so understanding. True, his heart was also broken and as with any parent, found it difficult to deal with. Still, I remember when he said he wouldn’t go to church with me anymore (and he didn’t); I remember how ashamed he was of me – his indifference toward me. I had not only hurt him, but I had embarrassed them. Do I understand, yes, I do, because now I’m a parent and I know how hard it is when your children make poor choices, but I don’t think he will ever know just how much he hurt me and made me feel shame and rejection. Was he cruel, no, but what he did and didn’t say hurt just as deeply. I’m not as hurt about it now as I used to be. When you’re 46 and have 3 children of your own, your understanding of family problems changes, but I do remember. It was a poor choice on my part, but after all was said and done, I couldn’t take it back or change anything, only move forward and find some comfort in the little boy that was given to me. Parents, please take a moment to breathe before you react and in spite of the pain it understandably causes, remember that your daughter has a heart and how you support her does matter – you’re in a position to make her or break her. I know it hurts and you’re so disappointed, but let God heal and strengthen your family through it (because He will) and please just love her and support her. And when it all comes down to it, that’s your grandbaby, no matter how or with whom it happened.
Tricia Goyer says
Thank you so much for sharing, Chanda. Sometimes it is too easy to consider ourselves–our emotions and disappointments–before others. It’s important to take a deep breath and ask God for help for our responses. Thank you so much for sharing from your heart!
My 20 unwed daughter is 8 weeks pregnant, thinks she wants an abortion, doesn’t want to be involved with the father, doesn’t want to consider adoption, has an underlying medical condition (cystic fibrosis) that complicates this pregnancy. She feels as if I am making her have this baby. I am trying to support her but her emotions are running high and she is very angry at her situation. I have bought her some books to help her cope and understand that God is going to guide her through this. I myself worry how this pregnancy can complicate or jeopardize her health. I appreciate advice and your guidance.
Tricia Goyer says
I hope your daughter found God’s strength in this situation.
One thing that I feel is greatly missing in the our churches today is how as a church do we respond to the young woman who finds themselves in this situation. We took in a single mother years ago and found ourselves in the same situation with our own daughter 22 years later. It was wonderful to see how God had prepared us for that time with our own daughter, but what we weren’t prepared for was the response of the father and his parents in response to our daughter’s pregnancy. People often talk about the young woman who is pregnant outside of marriage, but rarely do you hear about the young man that is also a part of the pregnancy and should share in the responsibility of the situation that she finds herself in. As parents we need to show grace to our daughters should they find themselves pregnant outside of marriage, but we also need to teach our sons to be men of honor and integrity should they find themselves facing parenthood outside of marriage themselves. Having been down this road with two women, what I do know is that it is a very isolating experience. It comes with a lot of shame and guilt. The easy solution is just a clinic away and as a church we need to be willing to offer our love and support of the women (and men) who find themselves in this situation. We cannot allow the “idol” of the perfect family interfere with loving and caring for our children when they find themselves facing a crisis pregnancy.
Tricia Goyer says
I agree with you 100%!! Yes, as parents we need to teach our sins to be honorable and to step up and care for their responsibility. If more young men did this more young women would choose life instead of abortion.
I loved reading this article – very insightful. I became pregnant with my daughter when I was 17 and in my final year of school. I had hidden my relationship with her Dad from my parents because I knew they would not approve. My parents were (and still are) Pastors of a Pentecostal church and I was a very good student who had always done the right thing, so they were shocked when I had to go home from school one day and tell them that I was pregnant.
Thankfully, despite being upset, they were brilliant and they took care of both my daughter and I. It’s because of my parents that I was able to go on to university the following year and become a school teacher. I could not have done that without family support. Although they were hugely supportive, they did have this talk with me where we agreed that there would not be a repeat of what had happened and that in the future, sex was only for marriage.
Fast forward 24 years, I am now married with another child and my daughter (who is married) is about to have her first baby.
Tricia Goyer says
That is a beautiful story, Belinda! Thank you for sharing!