Why You Should Think about Helping Teen Moms
- Susan B. Mead susanbmead.com
- Published Jun 10, 2016
May I introduce you to a friend of mine? Her name is Mary, she’s from a good family, raised to revere the Lord, yet as a teenager, she finds herself pregnant.
“How can this be?” we exclaim. She’s been raised right, taught right, lived right, yet…
The statistics are staggering. In 2014 in the United States alone, there were 249,078 births to adolescent females between the ages of 15-19 and 89% of these births were outside of marriage according to US Department of Health and Human Services.
Regardless of age, racial or ethnic group or region of the country, the stark reality is babies are being born to young women who should or could be enjoying their youth – going to high school, vocational school, college or starting their first jobs.
Yet they now have a child and new titles that will last their lifetime – parent, mom.
Just like my friend Mary. You may know her too. She’s the mother of One many of us hold dear to our hearts, Jesus. Yes, she found herself pregnant as a teen and bore the scorn and potential rejection of her fiancé as she carried The Child that changed the world.
No, please understand, I am not saying any current day teenage mom is bearing Jesus, as we know that is not how He will return.
Yet, can you even imagine the reaction of her community? Do we want to respond with condemnation or consideration?
According to the word of God…
16 You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
17 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
They cannot be numbered!
18 I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
you are still with me!
Psalm 139:16-18 (NLT)
We too encounter opportunities to have precious thoughts about these teen moms and their babies. Let’s commit to be the arms and heart of Jesus as we help young women who become teen moms. God knew each infant before a single day passed. That’s beautiful!
But how, you ask, do we help?
Great question! Many times we don’t see or consider opportunities until someone points them out to us. So let’s make a short list – there will be so many other ways to help too. Please feel free to comment if you have experience or expertise in this area, as we all learn from each other. The need is real – and big.
Truth: Teen moms need the same help any and every new mom needs.
They need someone to help lighten the load from time to time and to let them know they are loved, wanted, treasured, and valuable members of the family or community.
Offer to simply hold her child while she eats a meal. You may see a mom juggling her little one on one leg as she tries to cut meat with one hand. Offer a helping hand!
Or offer an hour or two of childcare every week – or month – while she does her homework, looks for a job, goes to the grocery store, cleans her living quarters, whatever will give her a brief break so she can breathe a little easier again.
You may want to consider starting a Bible Study for 1 or 2 teen moms at your church or your home.
Or start a Young Life group specifically for teen moms.
Or you could find existing teen mom support groups in your area and connect them for a larger local support network.
Do you know someone with experience in this area? CONNECT them to the teen mom you know.
Are there resources available you are aware of in your area? Point them to the teen mom. Nobody else may have taken the time to do this one little act of kindness, as everyone assumes everybody knows what we know. That is not always so!
Teach her how to be a mom. Just because a female becomes a mom does not mean she knows how to be a mother to her little one.
Have you considered using your life experiences to positively influence others? Being a strong voice in the life of another is a gift. Use it well. It will return to you many times over.
28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. -Romans 8:28 (NLT)
Everything. Each and every life matters. We are called to live life to its fullest, treasure it, and to teach others who need and want the knowledge we have. That too is a gift that will keep on giving – for a lifetime.
Yep, that means that teen mom you know and her child too. Help her pull her life together. It’s for the good of those who love God. Are you called to this purpose?
Susan B. Mead, author, survivor, and an individual who has dealt with multiple losses, is an empathetic, powerful, sought-after speaker with real answers to life’s tough questions. Susan is a Senior Ordained Chaplain, Certified by the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation, for individuals and groups suffering trauma. Susan’s best-selling book Dance with Jesus: From Grief to Grace, is available on Amazon.
Publication date: June 13, 2016