Everyone has a theory to explain the breakdown of the family: culture, government policy, the sexual revolution, poverty, racism, global trade, etc, etc. A few days back, I shared my theory: unresolved trauma from often horrific life experiences. I said I was going to write about what I think Christians have a moral obligation to do in response and that is what this post is about. Now, before you snort and click away, allow me to explain myself . . .
A few years ago, the ex told me about a woman he knew who lived in a high poverty area and had put her 14 year old daughter on birth control pills. The girl was an honor student, insisted that she wasn’t sexually active and didn’t intend to become sexually active, and didn’t really want to be on the pills but the mother insisted. I told my husband that I thought it was probably a good idea. Not necessarily because the pills themselves would keep her from getting pregnant, but because the discipline of having to remember to take one at the same time everyday would serve her well.
Many of us grew up in homes with bedtimes, we sat down for meals with our families, got handed a vitamin with breakfast by mom and could always find a quiet spot to do homework. Often we don’t appreciate the way these simple routines and disciplines shape and prepare us to manage our lives in the real world. Including using birth control methods effectively.
I was a poor single mom. I have known a lot of much more stereotypical poor single moms (ie not just the black sheep of an intact, well-educated, upper-middle class family). I can personally attest to the fact that is not hard to get condoms or birth control pills. People practically throw them at you when you’re a college student or a single mom. The problem is I have known more than one person who became a parent while a bag of condoms from the local clinic sat on a dresser across the room. Continue reading