I never thought my article “Pregnancy Before Marriage Isn’t A Sin” would go viral. As I write this follow-up, it has been shared over 70,000 times with over 500,000 views. I think the reasons for that are:
- Pregnancy before marriage is a subject the Church doesn’t address or doesn’t address well.
- Stating that pregnancy before marriage isn’t a sin challenged the way people thought about the topic.
Overall the response has been overwhelmingly positive. I’ve read countless comments and emails from men and women who have gone through this life challenge and wished their peers and the Church had responded differently to their situation. Others are currently going through this or recently went through this and have found hope and encouragement not to get stuck in the cycle of shame due to their actions.
There were many objections to the article. I understand how those who fall in this category are responding to their belief or their church culture. Other objections were expressed before reading the entire article because they were offended by the title alone.
I hope these 5 clarifications can address all objections and bring unity to the topic.
1. Pregnancy is “sin agnostic.”
Let me explain this a little bit. Pregnancy doesn’t care if you’re married or not. Pregnancy is not a sin. Ever. It’s a biological process your body goes through as a result of a fertilized egg.
2. Those who read “Why Pregnancy Before Marriage Isn’t A Sin” and were offended, actually saw “Sex Before Marriage Isn’t A Sin.”
You don’t like my title. I get it. Especially after explaining above that sin is independent from pregnancy. And maybe “sin” and “pregnancy” shouldn’t be in the same sentence. So why is it relevant? Because that’s exactly how people see these women. The see “unwed pregnant girl” and think sinner. People have fused two concepts that are not to be fused.
3. This article is about pregnancy, not premarital sex.
All my illustrations were about babies being unplanned, not unwanted. I wrote about how babies are knit in the womb and made in God’s image to point at pregnancy and how to approach someone in this situation. Because our concept of this is so warped (see point 2), I had to re-iterate that pre-marital sex is a sin. In everyday life, pregnancy and premarital sex would be two separate conversations.
4. You didn’t read the whole article.
The vast majority of people who didn’t like the article just didn’t fully read it. As I read the comments, I saw several times how people read a paragraph or two, drew a conclusion, and stopped reading. Their objection was always answered in the proceeding paragraphs they didn’t read or decided to discount.
I also know this because some of you thought a girl wrote the article (I’m a dude as shown and stated in my bio at the bottom).
5. You think single parenting is a consequence of sin.
I received several e-mails and comments asking why I didn’t write more about the consequences of sin that come from pregnancy before marriage. The feedback ranged from facing the struggles on a single income to being looked down upon as a single parent.
These kinds of statements didn’t just make me sad, they made me angry. After all that Jesus did on the cross people were stuck on what had already been paid for through His sacrifice.
The ultimate-and severest-consequence of sin is death. The Bible says in Romans 6:23 that “the wages of sin is death.” I want to help bring people to repentance and turn away from their sin (Acts 3:19) and produce fruit (Matthew 3:8). That’s where life will ultimately be — not living in fear of consequences from their actions. If you want people to have a life completely void of Christ, you talk about punishment and consequences. If you want people to have a relationship with Christ, you talk about grace through repentance. If you’re committed to Christ, you’re committed to everything that comes with being a Christ-follower: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (e.g., purity).
Will single mothers have challenges? Yes. But we will all have challenges. John 16:33 tells us that. In that same verse it says that, “In Me you’ll have peace.” So the real question is: During these times of tribulation, are we with God? Are we seeking Him for comfort? Are we pointing people to Him? What’s done is done, so we need to move forward and produce fruit.
So my number one concern for those in this situation isn’t if they will have challenges, but how is her relationship with God? And that should be yours too. If restoration is needed, remember to restore gently (Galatians 6:1).
“Hmm, guess we never thought of it this way,” is one of my favorite comments to my article. It shows that their view on the matter was challenged. Maybe these ladies will now see hope instead of condemnation. Hope from shame. Hope from guilt. Hope to keep the child. Hope to use their testimony for the good. Hope to draw them closer to Christ.