Wednesday, February 25, 2009
What's the Real Problem?
I was recently in a high school cafeteria for an event. I was looking around remembering what it was like to be in high school, when I saw two posters on the wall that interested me. One of them was a picture of a high school girl holding a beautiful newborn baby. The caption read, "It's like an 18 year jail sentence." Hanging next to it was another picture, this one of a high school boy in a football uniform holding a newborn baby like one would hold a football. Its caption stated, "Seven pounds can keep you off the football team." My first thought was, "I'm glad they are warning students about having a child in high school", but as I thought more about it, it began to bother me. A jail sentence is not what I anticipated when I held my newborn nor is it what I am experiencing. And holding life in your hands should be so much more significant than a piece of leather!
I agree that it is not good for high school students to be parents. They are not ready for that responsibility. However, the message the posters were sending was that children are the problem and that children are to be avoided at all costs.
Yes, what a cost! Abortions are robbing girls of much more than a baby. Hormonal birth control is handed out like candy, threatening the birth of future children to that high school student. The intimate relationships in which these allow minors to participate are far more harmful than the innocent little child born because of those unions. Since high school students are not ready for a committed, monogamous relationship, they often do not confine these relationships to one person; therefore sexually transmitted diseases are rampant.
Oh, but we have that taken care of! We pass out "protection" to our children and smile and tell them that we know they will "experiment"--that this is normal--just do it safely. That is as ridiculous as passing out bullet-proof vests in schools because we know that "kids will be kids" and someone will probably be bringing a gun.
And what happens later....later when these high school students are out of college and are ready "to settle down"? They have been so consistently trained that children are the problem and an impediment to freedom and real success in life, that they avoid having children altogether. Or, they give birth to a child just so they can have the experience of being a parent, but invest little time in them. At the same time, the behaviors which were ignored by the high school counselors and pharmaceutical companies--uncommitted sexual relationships, an unrealistic view of love and disposing of anything or anyone that might be a hindrance to freedom--could (and do) continue unchecked throughout adulthood.
I know I paint a bleak portrait and that not all high school students are promiscuous and turn into undisciplined adults. Yet, just think of the improvements that could be made if we called the problem what it really is and encouraged abstinence until the time of a committed, married relationship. Old fashioned idea? Maybe. But wouldn't it be worth trading in many infertility problems, sexually transmitted diseases, and emotional scars from failed relationships and embrace the ability to enjoy one's children as the blessings that they are? Let's put the blame where it really is---undisciplined behavior and sin---and leave the children that can't speak for themselves alone.