Our church is wonderful and loving. Christ centered with a Godly pastor. Within the past two years we have had several baby showers for unwed mothers. All of their parents are actively involved in our church but not all of the girls. Are we right in honoring these unwed mothers with baby showers within the church setting? I want to help them but what message is this sending to the young people in our church?
I fully understand your conundrum. This question became intensely personal in our family when a beloved niece became an unwed mother. Her Christ-following mother, distraught over her daughter’s sexual sin and ashamed by what she perceived to be the implications of her own mothering, had a very memorable conversation with God soon after her daughter confessed she was pregnant.
“What am I supposed to do with this, Lord?” she complained. “I suppose you want me to give her a shower??!!!??”
Then, in her spirit, she heard words of unexpected compassion: “Every child should be welcomed and valued.”
Whoa. Suddenly, she realized that the Lord’s heart was to celebrate the baby, the circumstances of whose conception were not her fault. She and some dear friends from church held a baby shower, and this young unwed mother experienced her first up-close-and-personal taste of God’s grace. Jesus’ church provided everything the baby needed, despite how the baby came to be in the first place.
The welcomed, celebrated, and well-loved baby has grown into a little girl who has never once wondered if she is loved. She swims in an ocean of family love. And her grandmother pours truth into her through song and story about Jesus’ love for her.
This young woman became a great mother, married a wonderful young man, has had two more childen, and guess what? In part because of her experience of church as a source of grace and compassion, the family is starting to attend one nearby.
I’m so glad you asked, so I can tell you this great story with such a happy ending.
© 2009 Probe Ministries
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Sue Bohlin is an associate speaker/writer and webmistress for Probe Ministries. She attended the University of Illinois, and has been a Bible teacher and conference speaker for over 40 years. She is a frequent speaker for MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) and Stonecroft Ministries (Christian Women's Connections), and serves on the board of Living Hope Ministries, a Christ-centered outreach to those dealing with unwanted homosexuality. Sue is on the Bible.org Women's Leadership Team and is a regular contributor to Bible.org's Engage Blog. In addition to being a professional calligrapher, she is the wife of Probe's Dr. Ray Bohlin and the mother of their two grown sons. Her personal website is suebohlin.com.
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