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Miranda Writes: The Price of Love, Part 1




by Omar Miranda



I read this sad story on January 19, 2012, for the first time. I cried. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) published the findings from a study in which they questioned a bunch of teenage mothers about what they did to accidentally get pregnant. I’d like to share several of the findings, and then speak with you about why I think so many girls get pregnant when they never planned to. Finally, next week, we’ll look at a story in the Bible that illustrates this point and see what we can learn from it to make our lives better.

The title of the story I read is “CDC: Many Teen Moms Didn’t Think They Could Get Pregnant.” If you’re interested, you can read it for yourself at www.usatoday.com/news/health/wellness/teen-ya/story/2012-01-19/CDC-Many-teens-moms-didnt-think-they-would-get-pregnant/52673760/1.
Here are the sad and surprising highlights (I promise, I’m not making any of these up):

• “In a survey of thousands of teenage mothers who had unintended pregnancies, about a third said they didn’t use birth control because they didn’t believe they could [get] pregnant.”

• “But other researchers have talked to teen moms who believed they couldn’t get pregnant the first time they had sex, didn’t think they could get pregnant at that time of the month or thought they were sterile.”

• “About half of the girls in the survey said they were not using any birth control when they got pregnant. That’s higher than surveys of teens in general, which have found that fewer than 20 percent said they didn’t use contraception the last time they had sex.”

• “Another finding: Nearly a quarter of the teen moms said they did not use contraception because their partner did not want them to. That suggests that sex education must include not only information about anatomy and birth control, but also about how to deal with situations in which a girl feels pressured to do something she doesn’t want to.”

That last point was particularly astonishing to me. A child was brought into the world and another teen became a parent simply because somebody didn’t learn to say the word “No!” Could it really have been this simple? What I would suggest is that there is another reason so many teens are getting pregnant.

God put into each one of us a desire to love and be loved—by others, and most strongly by Him! Don’t get me wrong—I’m not discounting things such as rapes and sexual abuse/molestation as reasons for some pregnancies, but from what I’ve seen, the majority of the cases aren’t due to these issues. No, with most teen pregnancies, when you start talking to parents, teens, teachers, and friends, you find out a simple truth: people were made to be loved.

I have spoken to countless teens—guys and girls—who, after the fact, have told me horrific stories of abuse, neglect, and trauma by the very parents whom God gave them to protect and nurture them. On the other hand, I’ve seen teens who were raised in a two-parent family whose parents didn’t beat, hurt, neglect, or abuse them—the parents just weren’t there emotionally for them. What do I mean by that? Simply put: when a parent doesn’t do what they’re supposed to do, needy kids grow up to be needy teens.

Since teens aren’t kids and they’re not adults, they can make some but not all decisions about their lives. They want to take increasingly more control over their lives, and this is normal. Many times they choose to assert their authority with their relationships. They are quickly and strongly attracted to whoever will give them love, attention, belonging, and significance. Sometimes it’s that “bad boy”; or the healthy and loving parental relationship that another friend has; or it’s the mistaken assumption that if that teen gets married and out of their parents’ house, their spouse-to-be can give them what they’re hungering and thirsting for. But more times than not, it’s the ultimate act of having sex with another person that they have high hopes will bring them the love they’re craving. The problem is that without being married and mature, they’ll likely never find that love. Remember: guys give love to get sex, and girls give sex to get love.

As scary as it sounds, I’ve even had teens who have told me that they long to be a mother—not later in life, but now, when they’re teens! Some teens romanticize this and reason, “You know what? If I can’t get love, belonging, and attention from my parent(s), then my child will be able to give it to me.” One thing is very clear: having a child with the clear motivation to receive love, attention, and belonging from it will never work. It will fail every time, simply because this is not what God intended for parenthood. People have children principally to love them, not so they can be loved by them. A teen parent who does this will quickly find that children require 24-7 care, and they’re in for a big disappointment.

Research shows that single or married teen parents likely will end up despising their children simply because of all the love, care, and sacrifice those children require, and will therefore not be good parents at all. And they, in the end, will continue the pattern of unhealthy and dysfunctional parenting that they received as children. They’ll likely raise children who, like themselves, will grow up with a love-and-belonging hole in their heart. Teen parents don’t mean to do that—at least not consciously. A teen isn’t mature enough to be a responsible parent. They’re still figuring out who they’re going to become and cannot give another human being the mature love, focus, sacrifice, consistency, and identity that a child not only craves but requires in order to be healthy, happy, and well-adjusted.

If getting love from sex and children isn’t healthy and what God wants them to do, what’s a teen to do? God made them to be loved, right? How do they get the love they want?

Next week we’ll answer that important question by looking at a true and interesting story in the Bible that unfortunately illustrates this point all too well.

Until next time, remember, God’s way is always the best way. Life is full of decisions, so make yours good ones. Put God first in your life, and you can’t go wrong.

Feel free to contact me: you can e-mail me at omarmiranda@earthlink.net; or you can keep up with me on Facebook; or you can read more of my stuff on Miranda Writes, at www.insightmagazine.org; or you can check me out or send me a message at my Web site, thriveatlife.org; or you can reach me via snail mail (slow!) at the address printed below.

Omar Miranda, certified Christian counselor
Abundant Life Ministries
155 Earl Street
Plainville, GA 30733
Phone: 1-770-354-2912

Omar Miranda is a Christian counselor with 20 years’ experience working with youth in public and private middle and high schools. He’s married and has two kids. He enjoys teaching the youth at his church, reading, writing, gardening, and camping. He’s a recovering knucklehead who spent a lot of time in the past doing stupid stuff away from God. He’s been back with God for years now and is eager to share what he’s learned from his experiences by answering any questions you may have about life, the Christian life, Jesus, spiritual matters, and relationships in his column, Miranda Writes.





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