Every once in a while I receive a negative comment from someone because I work with teenage mothers. I got one of these in my inbox today. I’m keeping the person anonymous, but I believe his/her comment and my answer is important to share.
Email I received: (note to me has been edited and condensed – here is the gist of what * said)
I saw your status for teen moms getting CPR certified and that’s great…maybe. I’m a little confused with you as you are a Christian but yet you ”support” teens who have had sex?! I mean in your experience, don’t you think you should share with them what you’ve gone through — knowing now that sex before marriage is against God, sharing your experience as a teen mom, how hard it is, etc — so that teens won’t go out and think since you did it, they can have sex and get the “special treatment”. I’m confused with what you’re ‘promoting’ here. Lord, forgive me for my quick judgement! I read your book Praying for Your Future Husband. Guess I’m not too sure about who you are…
Here is my personal testimony: http://www.womentoday.org/interviews/triciagoyer.html
I came to know Jesus Christ because women in my mother’s Bible Study group loved me and reached out to me despite my sin of being sexually active as a teenager.
No teenager will become pregnant to receive special treatment–to attend a CPR class or to learn about nutrition in our teen mom support groups. But during their pregnancy, and after they have their babies, their hearts are more open to the Good News of Jesus. They are often at odds with their parents, lose their boyfriends, and are disconnected with their friends. When someone steps forward, shows them the love of Jesus, and helps these young women become a better mom…it makes an impact. I’ve seen many young women come to know Jesus during this time in their lives. Some of them are reaching out to other young moms–just as I’m doing now.
Here is one of those young women: http://www.kaystoltz.blogspot.com/
Here is a quote from Kayleigh’s blog:
“If you’re trying to help someone, don’t just go all in and start telling him or her what to do or how to “fix” things. Instead take time and get to know the person and what their exact situations are.
If Tricia would have just said, “Why are you living together? Don’t smoke its bad for you. Can you be nice to the other moms?” etc, I would have just pushed her away, but she spoke a little at a time and LOVED me for me first. Soon I was able to have space to Breathe!
“Being a person who is available, welcoming, nonjudgmental, and authentic stands out like a familiar face in a crowd of strangers,” writes Nicole Bromley.
I don’t know how many times I would call Tricia day or night with questions or problems that were tearing at my heart. And NOT ONCE did she say, “Can I call you back?” Not only that, Tricia’s husband John had open arms for us as well. He is the male influence that has helped my husband be the man he is today. They NEVER judged and ALWAYS had time, and trust me IT TOOK TIME for us to let them in! “
I hope it makes more sense why I reach out to, love, support and bring guidance to teenage mothers.
I’m so thankful for God’s grace in my life, and I want to share it!
It’s a blessing that God has inspired you and blessed you with the gift to give these ladies a hope for a future bonded with Christ Tricia! The best example and testimony we can give is not to be judgmental, but to share His love, forgiveness, and grace.
Blessings and hugs 🙂
Wendy Newcomb says
Jesus said, “Hate the sin, love the sinner.”
The sinners are the ones that need the Christian’s to show them the way to Jesus. I admire you for doing the work you do, not everyone can do those things. Where would we be if Jesus turned his back on us?
Angie Adair says
Bless you for doing what you do Tricia!
Tricia Goyer says
Thank you for all your kinds comments! I’m so thankful for the grace of Christ!
Thank you for being there to speak into young girls’ lives! What if Christ had only “supported” those who weren’t sinners? I’m glad that’s not the case. I was 19, not a Christian and unmarried when my son was born (but his dad & I are married now!). It would have been incredibly discouraging if I’d been shunned for that reason, but the women in my church have been very gracious and welcoming.
Catherine Campbell says
“Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” 1 Cor 10:12 Grace and love is always the best way to go… keep up the good work Tricia.
Thank you for what you do! I was a teen mom too. I am still married to my high school sweetheart. We’ve been together 18 1/2 years and have four children now. I have a good friend who became my mentor while I was pg. She’s 9 years older than me and 16 years later we are still friends. They never treated us like we were stupid teens, even when we weren’t walking with the Lord and my husband had NO interest in Christ – that has since changed 10 years ago now.
It’s not our place to judge others lives. But if we don’t love on them, how will they ever see Christ in us? Teen moms need more support than most! Would Jesus snub his nose at a teen mom? NO! So how is it okay for Christians to do it?
Please feel free to stop by: Trailing After God
I support a local ministry to young (teenage and early twenties) mums in our area. They don’t need to be told about the choices they’ve made that have been unwise, but they deserve credit for standing up to their responsibilities and in many cases turning their lives around for the sake of their babies. Most of these young mums end up making great parents.
Many blessings, and keep up your good work.