This photo has been shared 2500 times on Facebook.
It’s a young woman with her four children, and the caption reads:
I think it’s funny when people use the fact that I have 4 kids at 27-years-old as an insult, like it’s supposed to hurt my feelings or discredit me as a person.
Don’t they know they are actually complimenting me…
I mean heck yes…4 beautiful kids that are all mine and I’m only 27.
And to answer the questions I get on the
Nope I’m not married.
Yes I am divorced.
Yes I know what causes [pregnancy].
And nope they are not all from the same Dad.
Does that make me a bad person… ?
Nah, it’s called life happens..It’s being human…”
That’s beautiful, isn’t it?
There’s nothing like an I-Don’t-Care attitude to inspire me to tears.
But, don’t stop there! If you read through the comments, you can see hundreds more photos, with women announcing the number of children they had without husbands.
Some are even proud that their own children are following in their footsteps… (“I was 15 when I had my baby. And she was 15 when she had hers.”)
You go, girls!
But I don’t want to talk about those ladies right now.
I’d rather talk about a couple of beautiful women that I know.
They won’t post their own stories and toot their own horns on Facebook, and that’s part of what I love about them.
One is my 19-year-old sister.
She recently got engaged to her boyfriend of 3 years–and they’re planning their wedding for next spring so they don’t have to wait anymore.
You know what I’m talking about when I say “wait,” right? 😉
It’s tough to decide whether you want to save up for a huge, expensive celebration… or to have a quick, simple ceremony in order to stay sexually pure.
It’s tough listening to people exclaim, “You’re just babies! Why are you rushing?!” when you know pretty much nobody would care if you just lived together and played house for a few years.
It’s tough when you log onto Facebook and see all the people praising girls who haven’t shown self-control–while you’re working hard to deny your sexual impulses, for the sake of the family and the babies you don’t even have yet.
But I want my sister to know that I think her self-control is beautiful.
I see the sacrifices she has made, and I know it hasn’t been easy.
I know most people won’t even recognize how hard she has worked to invest in her own future instead of letting “life happen” to her. But I, for one, have noticed.
I’m proud that she never needed the Tough Big Sister to lecture her for stupid sexual choices.
And I’m also proud that–even if she made a mistake, and if that mistake resulted in an out-of-wedlock baby–she wouldn’t continue the same behavior while making excuses like “I’m just human.”
My sister’s integrity and humility are beautiful. And, though you’ll never hear her bragging about what a great job she’s doing at loving her children, that’s exactly what’s happening.
She’s loving her children already.
And they haven’t even been born yet.
My sister loves her future children too much to sleep around.
Another special lady I know is raising her son by herself.
EVERYTHING is different since he came into her life. She traded her spontaneous, traveling spirit for a routine with homework, dinners, and baths. She went from quiet nights as a single, to arguing with a 7-year-old about bedtime.
She has to worry about feeding TWO people and paying the bills for TWO people now. Not to mention trying to bring glory to Jesus while she doubts herself (as all parents do) and struggles to shepherd this little boy’s heart.
But what’s particularly amazing about this lady’s sacrifice is that she didn’t give birth to her son.
She didn’t “make a mistake” one night with a boyfriend who forgot to wear a condom.
She took on the work load and brought this boy into her life when two other people irresponsibly had sex and created a baby they couldn’t handle.
I don’t think single mothers automatically are “heroes,” if they’re just trying to control the damage from their own bad choices. But someone IS a hero when they offer to give up their own comfort for another person.
That’s why my friend is a hero to me.
There was no reason for her to turn her world upside down and make room in her life for this boy, except that she loves him with a Christlike love.
And–most amazingly–you’ll never hear her brag about that decision.
Like my sister, she’s not going to talk about how awesome she is on social media.
I’m honored for the chance to speak for them. (As the Bible says, “Let others praise you, and not your own lips.”)
These two ladies are AWESOME–because there’s nothing more inspiring than a humble, responsible, and self-denying woman…
What bothers me about the Single Mother rant that I shared in the first paragraph is how much it takes away from the sexually pure women I’ve met.
I shared the stories of two of them. But I know dozens of other girls, who’ve also made deliberate choices not to be sexually active outside of marriage, knowing it would harm both themselves and their (not-yet-born) children.
I’ve also known men/women who have given in to temptation–and even had a baby out of wedlock.
…and then repented…
…as in, they STOPPED having unmarried sex (or, in some cases, got married immediately), in order to honor God with their bodies.
But the repentant attitude is completely different from the attitude of someone who shrugs and says, “life happens.”
Repentant hearts don’t use words like “proud.”
What are we saying to the people who do the hard work of waiting?
If it DOESN’T “discredit you” or “make you a bad person” to get pregnant every couple of years, with whoever your boyfriend is, then why is my sister bothering to wait at all?
I’m afraid most single moms don’t really believe they’ve made mistakes.
If kids are blessings…
…and if having four of them as an unmarried 27-year-old is a “compliment”…
then what’s stopping ALL of us from having as many sexual partners as possible?
Of course, I strongly believe that children with a mom and dad in a committed marriage have a huge advantage.
I made the intentional choice to be a virgin when I got married (and I continue to be faithful to my husband) because seeing their dad every other week is NOT “all that matters” to a child.
They also need parents with the maturity to practice self-control and commitment.
Picture a 16-year-old boy, sharing a photo of himself with four or five kids, with the caption, “Don’t judge me! I’m PROUD of my being a young parent! I’d be blessed to have 50-60 kids before I’m 30!”
Admit it: you’d judge.
You would feel bad for those kids, because their dad is obviously confused and self-absorbed.
So, if you wouldn’t praise HIM for sleeping around, then don’t praise his girlfriends either. Promiscuity hurts families.
It hurts them.
It’s not something to brag about on Facebook.