This week on MPB (MS public broadcasting), there's been a mini-series from Southern Remedy - which is usually a call-in radio show - called Premature Parenting.
It's been focusing on why Mississippi has such a high rate of teen pregnancy, and how the babies born to these teens tend to have more complications and lower birth weights. It's been interesting, sort of. But a little infuriating too. They've obviously put a lot of effort into getting this program together and gathering all the statistics to prove their points, but - in my opinion - they're doing it wrong.
I think they should look rather at the mother's marital status rather than age alone. If these teenagers were married before they got pregnant, I would presume that the outcomes would be vastly different.
If these teens had a strong moral center; if they had a mother and daddy in the home who taught them right from wrong; if they weren't sleeping around, but saving themselves for marriage; and even if they were married very young....I bet the outcomes would be different. If our young girls found young men who were moral and upstanding, who would be their provider and protector, who were Committed to marriage and its sanctity, I don't think the babies from such situations would be in nearly the same position as those born to unwed mothers of the same age. I think they would much healthier from the mother not being over-stressed about the pregnancy and from having a steady income and thus steady nutrition for the baby and mother.
Up until the last hundred years, girls were married in their teen years. They had babies and took care of their families while they were still quite young (by our standards today). And they were much more responsible than most teens are these days.
Being a teenager doesn't automatically result in having a baby with a low birth-weight. Being an unwed mother and a teenager puts greater stress both, and the baby would be more apt to have complications at birth.
Of course, the program is looking at the situation realistically. And I'm not blaming them, but I so wish the parents would 'teach their children in the way that they should go' because our society depends on the mothers and daddies teaching their children what's right and wrong, and teaching by example. I'm afraid few in the coming generation will know who their daddy is, and what he's supposed to do as a daddy, and it's crippling our nation. There isn't any teaching going on at home and much less going on in the schools....and if I didn't trust in the sovereignty of God, I would be very very nervous about our leaders of tomorrow.