Has Anyone Ever Seen an Unwed Mother Attending a Christian School?

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seoulsearch

OutWrite Trouble
May 23, 2009
12,976
3,202
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#1
Hello,

When I was a kid, my parents sent me to Lutheran schools from kindergarten until the day I graduated. I have often read about people who wished they would have gone to Christian schools, as they believed it would have been a wonderful, loving, Christ-centered atmosphere that would be sheltered from the ways of the world.

It might be that way for some people, but this was not my own experience.

After reading a thread here about a young single mother's journey, it had me reflecting on a part of my own personal history.

I was adopted before I could remember, and I have often wondered how my birth mother would have been treated within the church, schools, and Christian community I grew up with (I have no knowledge of my background or parents before my adoption.)

It was an unspoken fact at my Lutheran high school that if a girl became pregnant, she was quietly asked to leave and never come back. My high school was small -- about 125 students in the entire school -- not just one class, but all 4 grades combined, and during my time there, I knew of at least 3 girls who became pregnant out of wedlock.

One skipped school with her boyfriend to have an abortion. The other two were no longer allowed to attend the school.

I understand that when a high school advertises a good Christian education, it's not exactly a good look to have unmarried girls walking down the halls.

Now, I truly am grateful for the pastors and teachers there who genuinely cared about us and were deeply invested in our spiritual growth.

But I always found it hard knowing that I was taught about God's love, grace, and forgiveness daily (even several times a day,) yet I knew very well that my own birth mother would have been banned from that school for the very reason that I existed (assuming she was not married to whomever my father was.) And even if she had married him, that still would not have been good enough, seeing as one of the young ladies did marry the father of her child, but was still not allowed to come back to the school.

This case was of special interest to me, because this girl was the daughter of one of our leaders in the congregation, and many were calling for his resignation (which he willingly offered to do, but the board of elders voted that he could keep his position.)

To make matters even more ironic, when I was a kid, the church had asked my parents if they could use my picture for one of their drives against abortion. The local churches within the synod ran a pregnancy crisis center, and made a big poster that said, "ADOPTION, NOT ABORTION!" I remember seeing my picture on this poster, along with 2 other children in the congregation who were adopted.

You can't imagine how ironic I find it that the church saw me as being good enough as a literal poster child against abortion (which of course I fully support,) but AT THE VERY SAME TIME, they would have kicked my birth mother out from the school that I myself attended for carrying me!!!

This is the type of irony I've seen again and again within the churches I've been part of, and it always troubles me. It just seems to send a message of, "You're good enough when we want to use you for a public campaign, but for the love of God, we would have punished your horrible sinful mother (parents) for having you out of wedlock and having her sin -- your existence -- showing!!!"

I am certainly not saying that sin should not be dealt with or punished. But at the same time, I find it hard to be taught love, grace, and forgiveness, while at the same time, seeing that those whose sins are visible are removed from the population.

I am wondering if any of you know of Christian schools that may have handled these situations differently.

* Do any of you have any experiences with or observations of Christian schools?

* If so, what were these institutions policies regarding teen pregnancies?

* Were the students allowed to stay in school? Did the school give a reason as to why or why not, and what was it?

* For the parents of children whom they adopted: How would you feel about the church asking for a picture of your child to feature on a Pro-Life poster, after forbidding your child's mother from going to their schools while she was pregnant with your child?

* If you were/are the adopted child in this scenario, how would you feel about this?

Thanks very much in advance for your answers.

I am eager to learn what other Christian schools have done.
 

seoulsearch

OutWrite Trouble
May 23, 2009
12,976
3,202
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#2
P.S. Does the "No One Pregnant Out of Wedlock" rule also apply to Christian colleges?

I have no personal knowledge of this, as our synod's collective college was in another state and only for those who were training to be pastors and teachers within that particular synod.

If someone conceives or participates in the conception of a child at a Christian college, are they asked to leave?

To make the matter even more imbalanced... I am trying to remember whether or not the father/husband of the particular girl I mentioned in the first post was allowed to stay in school. I think, but I could be wrong, but I believe he was already a senior when she became pregnant, and I do think he was allowed to finish out the year (but she was not.) Don't quote me on that, however, as I could be wrong.

In the case of the couple who got the abortion, both were students at the school and while they were allowed to finish out their senior years, they had to write a letter of apology to the student body (which I found odd, as I thought to myself, "Why? That's between them and God -- they didn't sin against me,") and were not allowed to walk at the graduation ceremony.

No baby showing? No problem, apparently. (Roll of eyes.)

As for the third girl, I didn't know her personally but just knew someone who was her friend, and I don't believe the father was a student at our school.
 

TheIndianGirl

Well-known member
Nov 22, 2019
1,147
803
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#3
I went to a large public high school (about 2200 students I believe) and a lot of girls got pregnant every year. However, my school district has another school where pregnant girls/young mothers can go, and the curriculum is tailored for them and their new schedules. I think it would be okay if Christian schools had another option for pregnant girls/young mothers, whether within the school or another school. However, kicking them out because of embarrassment or fear about school image, without giving them an option, doesn't seem like the right thing to do. This is just adding even more trauma for the girl, who is already stressed with the pregnancy and also from her own family.
 

Platosgal

Active member
Mar 17, 2020
277
177
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#4
A little leven is all that is needed to leven the whole loaf.

Why should a Christian institution hold ANY standards? Because we are called to be Different then the world. Making an "Unwed mother" OK is co-signing the sin. Whats next? What other compromise is acceptable?
There are plenty of places " Christian Specific" places that support, teach and aid "Unwed" mothers. ( Harvest Home comes to mind) They should not be with other teens who are being taught Christian standards because
A little leven ...
 

seoulsearch

OutWrite Trouble
May 23, 2009
12,976
3,202
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#5
A little leven is all that is needed to leven the whole loaf.

Why should a Christian institution hold ANY standards? Because we are called to be Different then the world. Making an "Unwed mother" OK is co-signing the sin. Whats next? What other compromise is acceptable?
There are plenty of places " Christian Specific" places that support, teach and aid "Unwed" mothers. ( Harvest Home comes to mind) They should not be with other teens who are being taught Christian standards because
A little leven ...
I understand what you are saying, as this is what that majority of Christians I grew up around believe as well.

What troubles me is, the standards are set only when the sin is visible.

For instance, in our school, the two students who had an abortion? They could come back to school. But not a girl who was visibly pregnant. As long as it didn't show, they could be there.

So how all the teens who are engaging in sexual behaviors or full-on sex, but just haven't gotten caught because there wasn't a pregnancy? I'm thinking of an instance at my former school in which a teacher intercepted a note from one student to the other describing their planned weekend rendezvous.

Or the teenage boy (though to be fair, it could be a boy OR a girl) participating in various behaviors while watching porn on their phone or computer? How about the teens who are sexting back and forth?


Being taught Christian standards is one thing.

Living them out is another.

How do we decide which who become the scapegoats and public examples, and who do not?

Because then the message becomes, "As long as you don't get caught or show any public signs of sinning, you are acceptable within the student body."
 

seoulsearch

OutWrite Trouble
May 23, 2009
12,976
3,202
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#6
This also begs the question...

* How many members here on this site were born to unwed mothers?

* How would you have wanted your mother to have been treated by the church or a Christian school while they were carrying you?

* What do you believe would be the Christian solution?


I'm certainly not saying that feelings or "what we think" should in any way come before following God.

However, what I AM saying is that the judgment calls are very often made by those who have not been through the experience, and also often have little grace or understanding to extend.

This is just me speaking for only myself, but if I would never want a church wanting to use my picture in an "Adoption, Not Abortion" campaign, while at the same time, banning my biological mother from their school.

As far as I would be concerned, they just couldn't have it both ways.
 

Platosgal

Active member
Mar 17, 2020
277
177
43
#7
Good point. I am not a parent anymore
And when I was, "a foster parent , It was very hard to keep the world ways away from my kids. In fact I failed too many times to count. My kid is in the world now, unsafe, unrepentant and all I can do is pray for him. At the end of the day. We all fail and repentance and individual intersession may be all we can do to relieve the imbalance.

By the way- My mother was an unwed mother, way before it was popular. Long story short- in spite of human error- God Completed the work in her and I have no doubt she is with him now
 

seoulsearch

OutWrite Trouble
May 23, 2009
12,976
3,202
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#8
Good point. I am not a parent anymore
And when I was, "a foster parent , It was very hard to keep the world ways away from my kids. In fact I failed too many times to count. My kid is in the world now, unsafe, unrepentant and all I can do is pray for him. At the end of the day. We all fail and repentance and individual intersession may be all we can do to relieve the imbalance.
God bless you for opening your life and home to a child in need.

The obvious love and care with which you speak about your foster child is enough to move one to tears. I'm sure you did the very best that you could amidst challenges I can't even begin to imagine.

May God bless you for serving this young person, and I will definitely keep the two of you in my prayers.

Thank you very much for sharing!
 

Adstar

Senior Member
Jul 24, 2016
6,545
2,980
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#9
Well since you where adopted and you did not know your mothers actual circumstance then you cannot say the school would have banned your mother because you do not know if she was married or not..

I would support a Christian policy of responding to repentance with love and acceptance.. If a girl gets pregnant out of marriage and she acknowledges that she has sinned in the matter then a Christian school should keep her in the school and give her all the support they can give.. If the girl refuses to acknowledge her sin then yes she should be removed from a Christian school because she is in rebellion against the teachings of God..

Now it seems as though your school simply banned the girls no matter what.. This is a very un-Christian policy more to do with being focused on their Image to the world rather then being focused on the Gospel of the LORD Jesus Christ..
 

seoulsearch

OutWrite Trouble
May 23, 2009
12,976
3,202
113
#10
Well since you where adopted and you did not know your mothers actual circumstance then you cannot say the school would have banned your mother because you do not know if she was married or not..

I would support a Christian policy of responding to repentance with love and acceptance.. If a girl gets pregnant out of marriage and she acknowledges that she has sinned in the matter then a Christian school should keep her in the school and give her all the support they can give.. If the girl refuses to acknowledge her sin then yes she should be removed from a Christian school because she is in rebellion against the teachings of God..

Now it seems as though your school simply banned the girls no matter what.. This is a very un-Christian policy more to do with being focused on their Image to the world rather then being focused on the Gospel of the LORD Jesus Christ..
You are right in that all I can do is speculate about the circumstances surrounding my own conception and birth. I do know however that if my birth mother did fit those parameters (teenager and pregnant before marriage,) she would not have been allowed to attend my high school.

Thank you for saying that you believe that an unwed mother who sincerely repents -- as with any of our sins -- should still be given a chance to stay at the same school and responded to with love and support.

I always thought this as well... that wouldn't this be an amazing opportunity to show the love, grace, and forgiveness of God by treating a young mother's pregnancy as a blessing (born out of repentance) that her teachers and classmates could celebrate with her?

I also agree that a refusal to repent should result in not being allowed back, just as in a church congregation.

Thank you for your post, Adstar. I found this to be very uplifting, as it's the one of the most encouraging outlooks I have ever read about the subject.
 

GiveThanks

God Will Make A Way
Dec 6, 2020
238
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#11
This also begs the question...

* How many members here on this site were born to unwed mothers?

* How would you have wanted your mother to have been treated by the church or a Christian school while they were carrying you?

* What do you believe would be the Christian solution?


I'm certainly not saying that feelings or "what we think" should in any way come before following God.

However, what I AM saying is that the judgment calls are very often made by those who have not been through the experience, and also often have little grace or understanding to extend.

This is just me speaking for only myself, but if I would never want a church wanting to use my picture in an "Adoption, Not Abortion" campaign, while at the same time, banning my biological mother from their school.

As far as I would be concerned, they just couldn't have it both ways.
The persons who have never been in that sutuation are full of judgement. You are right you cant have things both ways.

The people who have good jobs and are able to take care of their kids, they criticize the ones who are on welfare like "why these people keep having kids they cant afford?" And at the same time they also condemn the ones who have the abortion inorder not to bring kids into the world they cant afford. So what's it going to be?

Its wrong for people to get pregnant outside of marriage, or to have sex and not want to deal with the consequences. But it does happen, so what really is the solution? I personally don't know what the solution is 🤷🏾‍♀️
 

GiveThanks

God Will Make A Way
Dec 6, 2020
238
186
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#12
It is often felt like showing forgiveness when young girls become pregnant is a sure recipe for them to continue down the same path. But really, i dont know what punisment can be given in such situations.

I heard that in some churches, unwed pregnant women would sit at the back of the church for a period of time as punishment, a form of excommunication. Not sure if that still happens.
 
L

Live4Him

Guest
#13
I would support a Christian policy of responding to repentance with love and acceptance.. If a girl gets pregnant out of marriage and she acknowledges that she has sinned in the matter then a Christian school should keep her in the school and give her all the support they can give.. If the girl refuses to acknowledge her sin then yes she should be removed from a Christian school because she is in rebellion against the teachings of God..

Now it seems as though your school simply banned the girls no matter what.. This is a very un-Christian policy more to do with being focused on their Image to the world rather then being focused on the Gospel of the LORD Jesus Christ..
I would have to agree with your assessment.

If those who confess and forsake their sin cannot find mercy (Prov. 28:13) in a Christian environment, then where are they supposed to find it?

In the secular world?

It's nuts, but, as you so rightly noted, there are many who are more concerned about how they look in the world's eyes than in God's eyes...and all "in the name of Christ".

It's one big jumbled mess.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
11,115
4,003
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#14
hmm maybe they only let unwed mothers in to those christian high schools if they can afford the sky high fees.

I am supposing that would be what it comes down to.

I dont work in a christian school but once applied to work in one (it was a girls one) and I think I would have been kicked out for being too poor. I mean $5000 a year isnt exactly free right.
 

seoulsearch

OutWrite Trouble
May 23, 2009
12,976
3,202
113
#15
The persons who have never been in that sutuation are full of judgement. You are right you cant have things both ways.

The people who have good jobs and are able to take care of their kids, they criticize the ones who are on welfare like "why these people keep having kids they cant afford?" And at the same time they also condemn the ones who have the abortion inorder not to bring kids into the world they cant afford. So what's it going to be?

Its wrong for people to get pregnant outside of marriage, or to have sex and not want to deal with the consequences. But it does happen, so what really is the solution? I personally don't know what the solution is 🤷🏾‍♀️

GiveThanks, you hit the nail on the head and ran it right home. Thank you very much for this post.

It's that, "We'll condemn you if you do, we'll condemn you if you don't, and we'll condemn you for every decision you make in between," that is just absolutely insane to me, and one of the reasons I walked away from my childhood denomination. (Though I am extremely thankful to the people there who worked hard to give kids like me a solid Scriptural foundation.)

The basic summary of my old denomination's attitude in the situations I described is this:

* Teenage girl gets pregnant.
* Church's Reaction: "Keep her away from us so that can show ourselves as being as far as possible from her sin!"

* Teenage girl gets pregnant and has abortion.
* Church's Reaction: "Well, your sin isn't going to publicly show anymore, so ok, we'll let you back in with the others."

* Teenage girl gets pregnant and carries to term, meaning she can't go back to her Christian school. Teenage girl has the baby, and either raises the baby herself or gives the baby up for adoption.
* Church's Reaction: " Hey, we want picture of that child that we can use to be able to use the child's image on our posters to show people THE EVILS of getting an abortion!"

It's nuts, but somehow, it makes perfect sense to many of the people I grew up around.

And in the meantime, nothing is said about the pastor with the 40-year porn addiction, and the teens at school who in the process of being the next ones who will be ensnared.

This is the struggle I've had my whole life. I told God, "If this is what it means to be a Christian, please help me, because this is not what I want to be."
 

seoulsearch

OutWrite Trouble
May 23, 2009
12,976
3,202
113
#16
If those who confess and forsake their sin cannot find mercy (Prov. 28:13) in a Christian environment, then where are they supposed to find it?

In the secular world?

This is an excellent point.

A long time ago, I saw a post here that couldn't be more true: "The church is the only army in the world that shoots its own wounded."

My lifetime spiritual goal has always been to try to find a church in which people could be honest about their problems and receive real help.
 
L

Live4Him

Guest
#17
This is an excellent point.

A long time ago, I saw a post here that couldn't be more true: "The church is the only army in the world that shoots its own wounded."

My lifetime spiritual goal has always been to try to find a church in which people could be honest about their problems and receive real help.
Worse still, many churches cause the wounds to begin with.
 
Dec 30, 2020
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#19
One has to remember that the true Church is not a building, nor a denomination. The true church consists of people chosen by God who trust in Jesus, and are filled with the same love shared by the Father and Son. If a person or group of people don't display that love, they are none of His. There are churches that display this love , you just need to do your homework and find them. They will welcome you and your child with open arms. God bless you in your search.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
11,115
4,003
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#20
those randy lutherans...honestly!

tut tut

Most teenage girls who are fall pregnant and are unmarred do their best through correspondence school or online, though it might take longer to get all the credits they need.
what usually happens is the (grand)parents may offer to support the child. Its only in those families that are super strict that will say NUP you are on ya own.
some families may convince the couple to marry even though they are young. No time for honeymoon period its straight into it for those new families.

if its a completely random pregancy eg dont even know who the father is...some families will actually convince their own daughters to abort. I dont think that many daughters would go so far as to LIE about their pregancy though they may try to abort on their own. But I think it costs to get an abortion so used to be th preserve of the wealthy.