“A small Christian school in western Maryland is not backing down from its decision to ban a pregnant senior from walking at graduation next week” (Washington Post, Christian school: Teen banned from graduation ‘not because she is pregnant but because she was immoral’, May 24, 2017.)
I was on the elder board of one of the most conservative churches in our town when a similar situation happened in the family of a fellow member of the board. His teenage daughter and her teenage boyfriend were expecting a child. This short post today isn’t about what the school in Maryland did, but about how we handled it at our church.
We did not accept the proffered resignation from the elder board member but instead the church rallied around both families and came alongside the young couple. As coincidences sometimes happen, that young couple was pregnant with their first at the same time as me and my wife as well as our best friends (who happened to be the youth pastor and his wife).
We decided to all sign up for the same child birth classes and went together every week, plus going out for frozen yogurt afterward. When the babies were born, we all hung out together and brought the three kids up in the same church nursery, going to the same Sunday School classes. There were birthday parties, pool parties, barbecue picnics, and more. Never did we tell the young couple they couldn’t take part in anything because of the pregnancy.
That’s how we handled it.
Afterword: This was not the only opportunity the church had to come alongside a teen mother, and do it well.