Walking with Unwed Mothers
How does one show Christ’s love to unwed mothers, fathers, and their parents?
“What do you mean our daughter is pregnant? She’s not even married! She’s too young to be a mother. What will people at the church say about us when they see her?”
You may think that unwed mothers of any age goes against the cultural norm in which you were raised or in which you raised your children. However, in the 21st century, you find a culture with ideas and ways of behaving that were virtually unheard of decades ago.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that in 2015, of the 3,9777,745 babies born in the United States, 1,600,208 or 40.2 percent were born to unmarried mothers. This statistic gives Christians great opportunities to minister to the unwed mothers, fathers, and to their parents. Jesus doesn’t rank sins by degrees. Sin is sin. However, unwed mothers’ sin is more obvious than some other people’s sins.
When the teachers of the law and Pharisees brought the woman caught in adultery to Jesus, expecting Him to condemn her, Jesus told them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her” (John 8:7).
How should we respond? First John 4:19 reads, “We love because He first loved us.” Love for one another, no matter their age or situation, is in obedience to Jesus’ teaching. It is not an option for Christians. In John 13:35, Jesus said, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
One young, unwed pregnant woman didn’t feel comfortable attending her home church where her very active Christian parents were members. While pregnant, she began attending a small church in a nearby community. The women in her Sunday School class accepted her, loved her, and welcomed her into their fellowship. Some Sundays when she came to class, a box of diapers would be waiting in the chair where she usually sat. The women also invited her to sit with them in worship, ensuring she never had to sit alone. Before her baby was born, these loving and caring women organized a baby shower for her, which provided many much-needed items for her soon-to-be-born baby girl. They lovingly practiced 1 John 3:18, “Our love should not just be words and talk; it must be true love which shows itself in action.”
You can respond to unwed mothers and their parents in these ways:
- Ask God to open your eyes to an unwed mother or father or their parents who needs a Christian friend.
- Host a grandmother shower for the mother of the unwed mother or father.
- Research a pro-life resource center in your community or a residential care facility for unwed mothers. Contact them about material needs for the new moms or the babies. Maybe they need a grandmother to come and rock the babies while the moms attend classes.
The words in a familiar song, penned in 1960 by Peter Scholtes, summarizes the role of Christians in meeting the needs of unwed mothers, fathers, or their parents. The words read, “They’ll know we are Christians by our love.”
Reprinted from the March, 2018, issue of Missions Mosaic, Woman’s Missionary Union, Birmingham, Alabama. Used by permission. To receive this issue, or subscribe to Missions Mosaic, call 1-800-968-7301.