Now that I have your attention, does God plan for us to sin? Does God cause His people or His creation to transgress His Word? Does God force people to do things that are harmful to themselves or hurtful to others? Does God desire pain, disappointment, or poverty for His children?
I find just the opposite in Scripture:
“The Lord . . . is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)
“This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:3-4)
God wants what is best for us.
God wants what is best for us. His desire is for us to live life in Christ. He desires the very best for you. Problems arise when we decide we know what is best. That human desire to do what we think is best began with Adam and Eve. We see it in Abram, Sara, and Hagar. We see it in Moses. We see it in Saul, David, Solomon, and in every other character in the biblical record. When God’s people do things their own way, we get ourselves into quite the mess. “. . . the way of a man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.” (Jeremiah 10:23). “There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end is the way to death.” (Proverbs 14:12; 16:25).
We have been warned!
There is one specific area (one of many others) where we, as a society and as Christians, struggle with directing our own steps and calling the consequences part of God’s plan. I hear people say when a child is expected by unmarried parents, “I don’t believe in accidents,“ “God doesn’t make mistakes,“ “There is no such thing as unplanned,” or other similar statements. I think we mean well. I think we are trying to comfort the soon to be parents. Yet, do we really think that sexual immorality leads to a baby planned by God?
Please understand, the baby is not at fault. The baby should not be punished or shunned. The baby is not the mistake. The mistake (the sin) is the action that created baby. God may not make mistakes, but we do. If we say that God planned for that baby, we are saying that He planned for or caused these two expecting parents to commit fornication (sexual immorality) that God’s own word says is sin. Are we saying that God caused them to sin so He could create a child? Are we saying God is acting in conflict with Himself?
God did create a biological process for married couples to bring children into the world. In marriage sexual intimacy is not sinful but is a blessing of the intimacy of being one. Any resulting birth is not a miracle. Birth is a natural biological process. A baby is not a miracle, she is the result of the laws of sexual reproduction – a process created by God to be enjoyed by married couples.
Now before I am called callous, uncompassionate, or uncaring, I have suggestions for those who find themselves expecting a child outside of marriage.
- First, although you sinned, it is not the end of you. Seek forgiveness from God. Seek the prayers and encouragement from your forever family – the church.
- Do not add sin to sin and kill the unborn child.
- If you cannot care for the child, there are couples who cannot have children of their own who would love to have a child to raise. There are families who have large hearts for children and would adopt and add to their family. Consider adoption for your child.
- Do not rush to marry the other parent-to-be. Bring the child into the world and work together (I am not saying cohabitate or live together but stay involved in the child’s life) giving yourself time to see if marriage is right for you both or if you need to go your separate ways. Moving on is better that creating a harsh home life for you and the new life you created.
To families and churches of these couples:
- Do not hang scarlet letters around their necks but do not condone the sinful actions.
- Love them and help them grow. This means letting them know what they did was wrong and helping them cope with the consequences.
- Be there for the newborn child.
- Support them if they keep the child or if they choose adoption.
- Support them if they choose to marry, “adopt” them as family and help them through the stress of a new marriage and new baby.