Our society is attempting to glorify and normalize lifestyles that only 20 or 30 years ago would have been stigmatized or labeled abhorrent. The attack on the best way to raise a family is multi-faceted:
- Same-Sex Marriage
- Single Motherhood
Each of these is damaging in its own way. Statistically, a married family that stays together produces the best opportunities for their children to succeed. So, why aren’t we promoting postponing childbearing (and the cause of it) until marriage? Because we’re afraid of being judgmental.
Past research indicates that the bulk of unwed births are to young women, typically in their 20s, who are not college-educated and are not prospering. There’s also a mountain of evidence to suggest that children raised by such single mothers are at an increased risk for virtually every social problem you can think of–poverty, crime, drug use, etc.–including single parenthood. (WSJ)
The problem is, we have elevated to the highest degree not being judgmental when the cold hard facts are that we are condemning the single mother to a life of poverty– not as fulfilling or glamorous as some of the more modern Hollywood examples.
You see, children do require a lot from you. They give a lot in return. Dear Abby was asked to come up with a list for those looking at parenthood:
ARE YOU READY FOR PARENTHOOD?
(1) Can you support the child financially? Children are expensive. I always urge people to complete their education and delay parenthood until they are self-supporting, in case they should find themselves in the role of sole provider.
(2) Can you support the child emotionally? Babies are cute, but they are also completely helpless and emotionally needy. While some young women say they want a baby so they’ll have someone to love them, the reality is it’s the parent’s responsibility to love and sacrifice for the child. In plain English, this means the end of a normal teenage social life because babies are extremely time-consuming.
(3) Are you prepared to be a consistent parent? Children learn by example — both good and bad. Are you prepared to be a role model for the behaviors you want your child to mimic? Because mimic they do. They learn more from what they observe than what they’re told.
(4) Have you read up on child development? Are your expectations of what a child should be able to accomplish as he or she reaches various chronological milestones realistic? Ditto for your partner, whether or not he or she is the child’s biological parent.
(5) Are you prepared to put someone else’s needs before your own for the next 18 to 21 years? Remember, babies can’t be returned to the manufacturer for a refund if you’re not 100 percent satisfied. Sometimes they come with serious challenges. Can you cope with those realities?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, I strongly advise postponing parenthood.
Now, I don’t agree totally with Abby, but I think she makes good arguments here against being a single parent. Girls and women need to think about the fact that their actions have consequences– getting in bed with a guy because you like him and think you are in love is wrong on multiple levels, but when you add another life to the mix it just makes it all the harder.
Obviously, I’m not supporting adoption– I’m supporting abstinence. Ladies, you have no business being in bed (or anywhere else) with a man without a ring on your finger, vows stated, and a commitment in your heart. You owe it to yourself, your family, and your children to not put you all at a disadvantage for a “night of fun.”
Should you find yourself in this situation– take heart! There are people to help: family, friends, and churches. They will be there and help you through the tough times– though it’s better never to get into them in the first place.