Have you pondered the news that was released last Wednesday by the U.S. Census Bureau? The agency released a report that offers insight into current values and attitudes through it’s statistical analysis of behavioral trends. The report, Social and Economic Characteristics of Currently Unmarried Women with a Recent Birth: 2011, tells us that as of 2011, 62 percent of women ages 20 to 24 who gave birth in the previous 12 months were unmarried. We also know that 23 percent of all unmarried births are to teenagers.
|From New York City’s Teen Pregnancy Campaign|
Changing understandings, values, and attitudes are evidenced in behavior. Our views on marriage, sexuality, family, child-rearing, and parenthood are shifting. Overall, the well-being of children is at stake. . . a not-so surprising outcome when God’s order and design is jettisoned, forgotten, and even seen as archaic. An article in our local paper here in Lancaster puts faces and names to these changes.
Here at CPYU, we promote a three-fold response to cultural realities. First, as followers of Christ we are called to be prophetic. We are to know, understand, live, and teach God’s order and design in every square inch of life. This prophetic presence will salt and illuminate a world struggling with advancing decay and darkness. Second, as followers of Christ we are called to be preventive. We must deliberately endeavor to instruct our children in ways that will equip them to steer clear of dangerous choices while speeding towards following God’s will and God’s way for their lives. Finally, as followers of Christ we are called to be redemptive. Not a day will go by when we encounter those within the church and without the church who mess up. This includes our very selves. How will we work to restore individuals, to bring hope and healing to difficult situations, or to bring positive outcomes consequences of poor decisions?
If you’re a youth worker or parent, take some time to read the report. Then do some strategizing. . . prophetic, preventive, and redemptive.