It was one of those pleading emails that said very little, but left no doubt that urgency mattered. So we met later that day at our usual coffee shop—and thankfully no one was sitting on our favorite couch tucked far away in the back.
My large mug warmed my fingers, and I breathed in the scent of freshly ground Hawaiian roast. My friend was ignoring her coffee as it steamed away by itself on the nearby table. We both had raised kids and often shared the high and low points along the way. I could already tell this was another low point.
“I just can’t believe she’d do this. She’s not even ready and doesn’t have any idea what’s she’s facing.”
I nodded my understanding without prodding her to explain the obvious. Her twenty-five-year-old daughter was pregnant, sans a serious boyfriend (at least in my friend’s mind). She had a low-paying job, and no prospects for further education to change that. And now this. It was like pregnancy was a life-sentence. Which it is, in so many ways.
Anger, mixed with sincere grief, enveloped my soon-to-be grandmother friend. Oh, the challenge to be encouraging in the face of stark disappointment. If kids only knew how much their parents wanted them to have the kind of life they’d dreamed about. And when they make choices that take them in a different direction, it’s just plain hard.
The father (she spat the word, as if it wasn’t a title he deserved) has no real interest in this child. He’s busy wasting his money on old cars and sharing stories in the bar when he’s not at the mill. He’s nothing but a sperm donor. He doesn’t want a child. He just wanted sex.
My friend needed to vent, but I sensed what she said was true enough. Women raising kids independent of men is more prevalent than at anytime in our nation’s history. Is it wise? Is it healthy?
That depends on the woman and who gathers around her to help. Parenting is a fulltime job and someone has to do it—so as single moms go to work to support their child, the childrearing is left to someone else.
With biological clocks ticking, women seek the fulfillment that they are hard-wired for, yet many end up with men who are still boys at heart—“nothing but a sperm donor.” They won’t be the husband who will share in diaper changes, midnight feedings, schoolwork, coaching, sickness, finances, and most critical, inspiring the child’s faith in God.
Parenting styles in the last thirty years have altered who we are today. Now with half of all births attributed to single moms, what will our future look like? Raising kids hasn’t changed. They still require continual care, discipline, instruction, much love, and instilling the love for God in them as they grow.
When this amazingly complex job, is foisted onto daycare workers, school teachers, and a hodge-podge of parental figures, we begin to understand the confusion in our nation’s children. They deserve better than this. And it begins with repeating that childhood rhyme, “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes junior in a baby carriage.” Getting things out of order just makes life tougher—and the results aren’t God’s best for us.
As my friend and I sat together, nothing could be changed, except her attitude. And that would take prayer and time. Pregnancy deserves to be a welcome delight. It is the beginning of a new life—and each life deserves to have a home that can be the foundation to build a sturdy life.
The future has always depended on strong homes—and those come from strong marriages. We can do better than this America. It begins by speaking out to preserve what God created—marriage between a man and a woman. If we don’t, the generation that is being raised today won’t care in the least—because they never knew any better. And that is scary indeed.