The Children of One's Youth

by Bryan Matthew Dockens

The name Jamie Lynn Spears was unknown to me until the sixteen-year-old actress and younger sister of Britney Spears recently announced that she is expecting a child. This news has predictably brought increased attention to the issue of teen pregnancy. Allow me to submit for your consideration, however, that the problem in this case is not teen pregnancy, per se.

By God's word, a young person with child is blessed. "Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed, but shall speak with their enemies in the gate" (Psalm 127:3-5). Of course, the foregoing blessing is predicated on the assumption that the "children of one's youth" are the product of the marriage of one's youth. A youthful marriage also receives God's blessing, as it is written, "Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of your youth" (Proverbs 5:18).

Teenage pregnancy is not the problem; fornication is. Fornication is included among the "works of the flesh," the practice of which precludes entrance into God's kingdom (Galatians 5:19-21). Young and old alike are under command not only to abstain from it (1st Thessalonians 4:3), but even to flee fornication (I Corinthians 6:18). Thus, teen pregnancy is not at issue, but unwed pregnancy, which is inappropriate regardless of age.