Choosing the Best for You and Your Baby
It’s a jarring shift for a woman to go from processing a relationship that has become sexual to trying to figure out what to do about a newly conceived life. Even if you’ve always believed that life is precious and that babies deserve the chance to live, experiencing an unplanned pregnancy yourself can be overwhelming. You find that it’s more complex than just a yes or no decision. All the things that are at stake, added to the hormones that are likely affecting your emotions, can leave you feeling confused and afraid. What should you consider as you try to decide the best options for both you and this new life? Be with believers – but not too much
CONSIDERATION 1: The gift of life
Every human life has value regardless of the circumstances. That goes for you and your baby. You were both created in the image of God and were fearfully and wonderfully made. All of your days were written in God’s book before one of them came to be (Psalm 139:13-16). Even though you don’t know your future or the future of this baby’s life, your decisions affect both. Pray that God will help you make choices that preserve His best for both of you—to allow you both to experience the full life He offers. As Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). There is no question. God’s will for you and your baby is that you both live lives that honor Him.
CONSIDERATION 2: Repentance
We live in a culture that no longer recognizes the seriousness of sin or it’s consequences. Yet, sin is what Christ died to forgive us for.
While we unequivocally affirm and celebrate life. We must also acknowledge places in our lives that sin exists—sexual or otherwise—and ask for God’s forgiveness. God’s word is clear that if we are repentant, He is a God who is willing to forgive. We simply need to confess our sins and turn from them. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
CONSIDERATION 3: The responsibilities ahead
If you’ve chosen to give birth to your baby, you have already taken the right step, and a heroic step. But that’s just the beginning. Now you must decide who will raise this child. There is great responsibility involved in caring for a child in both the short- and long-term. Being a parent means learning to lay down your life as a servant for your child (Philippians 2:3-7). Many mothers choose to take on this responsibility alone. Single mothers usually find, however, that the responsibilities are greater than they ever imagined and that despite the sacrifices they make, their children are left with great disadvantages.
If you hope to raise this child yourself, you should pray about where the child’s father fits in. A father can make all the difference in a child’s life—for better or worse. Often, an unplanned pregnancy can uncover a man’s true character and make it clear whether or not he has the courage and discipline to be a good husband or father. There are times, however, when a man who has been irresponsible about sex outside of marriage can still become the man that God is calling him to be. With a lot of work and Biblical counsel, it’s possible to make even an unplanned family work.
CONSIDERATION 4: The hope of redemption
God is more than capable of turning situations that feel like a mess into “happily ever after” stories. If he is able and willing, having your child’s father commit to the long-term responsibilities of marriage and parenting can provide a hopeful story of redemption. When that’s not the case, however, the best hope for your child may be adoption by parents who are prepared for the responsibilities ahead. There can be great heartache in holding your new baby and then handing it over to someone else, but it could the best choice you can make for your child’s future. It also can be an answer to prayer for the couple who hopes to adopt children.
No matter the case, God redeems. He redeems individuals who call on His name in faith. He redeems situations that seem hopeless. He is able. He is willing. He is present. See Luke 5:12-13.
Recommended Books -Available from the Faith @ Home Center
I’m Pregnant-Now What? (by Ruth Graham, daughter of evangelist Billy Graham) speaking from her experience helping two daughters through teen pregnancies. Co-author Sara Dormon, Ph.D., brings a broad range of insights to help women come up with an informed, workable plan for getting through an unplanned pregnancy.
Going Further – Church Support
Life Group Ministry: Authentic Christian community and mentoring is available through Riverview’s Life Group ministry. Contact our Life Groups pastor Michael Beene at Michael@rbclake.org for more info.
Pastoral Counseling: Pastors are available to counsel those who would like more Godly wisdom on this issue. Please call the church office for more info: 573-348-3515