There is a glaring hole in serving families with unexpected pregnancies. It is found in our churches among the quiet pre-service whispers as she walks by. It is heard at Sunday dinner as her name bounces back and forth across the table among interjections like, “But she comes from such a good family!” It is seen in the averted eyes and not-so-subtle head wags. “Wait you haven’t heard? She’s pregnant!”
If you’ve experienced an unwed pregnancy in your church, your family, or your circle of acquaintances—who hasn’t?—you know the typical reaction. It’s a mixture of disappointment, condemnation, and pity. But there are places across the country where this is not the response to the girl who shamefully mumbles, “I think I’m pregnant.” They are called pregnancy resource centers. The women and men who serve in these safe-havens have comprehended something our churches haven’t yet: unwed pregnancy is not a sin.
When a young woman walks into a local PRC, and she makes the painful admission that she’s pregnant by her boyfriend, and she’s afraid what her family will say, and she’s pretty sure her dad is going to kick her out of the house, and she’s worried her college dreams are shot, the response she finds from her counselor is surprising. It’s Christian love, understanding, and joy. Perhaps for the first time since she missed her period, she’s found someone who actually celebrates her pregnancy as a gift from God and does not judge her for carrying a tiny baby inside.
It seems so obvious once it’s stated this way, but the Bible never condemns unwed pregnancies. In fact, the lineage of our Savior has several. Some of his ancestors were conceived through prostitution, incest, and adultery (cf. Gen. 38, Gen. 19:30-38, 2 Sam. 11:1-12:25).