Planning for parenthood happens by developing one’s own character, work ethic, spiritual foundation and health to become an excellent mom or dad. It also makes one more likely to discern those qualities in the person of the opposite gender who will provide the counterpart in parenting a child.
Sexual test drives are NOT the answer to good parenting, and abortion in the event of an “accident” (such an inaccurate word, when it’s clear that the sexual act is meant to result in a baby) destroys the character and emotional well-being of the people involved, as well as the life of a child. Doesn’t it follow, even to the simplest mind, that it will be a long road back to a healthy relationship in both the couple and family after such trauma? Pregnancy is not a disease to be eliminated, but a natural biological event welcoming a new human to the earth, no matter the circumstances.
Sex, pregnancy and parenting are also major responsibilities, so planning for parenthood is vital to success as a family. But the secret to building this great family is planning for purity before parenting even comes to mind.
Purity isn’t sexual abstinence alone and should not imply a need to wear a full-body prophylactic in the sexualized marinade of our culture. Purity is more accurately defined as a condition of the heart. The right heart can navigate a culture that is horribly twisted and even bring back order through powerful love.
A heart and mind that chooses to act out self-gratification, especially at the expense of others (including casual sex partners and innocent children in the womb) needs an overhaul. This transformation comes not from a surgical procedure or a simple decision to “do better,” but a shift in the way we see ourselves. A selfish heart cannot be legislated or outlawed. It is a human condition that can be cured only through brokenness, a confession that our lives are not manageable on our own, and a desperate calling out for something more to be revealed to us. It requires an abyssal humbling.
That spiritual “heart transplant” is the best plan for parenthood. As we consider that our intimacies will result in the creation of a new life, completely dependent upon us for food, clothing, shelter and nurture, we will need an unselfish heart to give up our personal conveniences—for years. We will need the self-control to admit that sex is far from pleasurable alone, to back away from circumstances in which we may be tempted to gratify and run. Sex requires a commitment to one other to be truly “safe,” physically and emotionally, and to build a home environment that is secure as well.
This is not rocket science. It is profound common sense. If we came from a broken family, we know the pain and confusion of that clip, splice and tangle all too well. Certainly we want better for ourselves. If we lived in a healthy family, we are eager to repeat the experience. We long for children and a loving, faithful spouse.
Planning for parenting is much more vital than any organization’s attractive name. And living with a pure heart is the path to building a strong, healthy home with a mom and dad who will live lives of honor and not leave a child at any cost.
Missteps? Oh, yes, there will be plenty, because that is how we learn. It’s part of the plan. But there is opportunity for a fresh start as long as we’re living, for those with the courage to persevere. That is the beauty of real and graphic life, and authentic grace.
Plan for purity—and parenthood—for you and your family. Counseling, conference, book or a raw break-off and new beginning--whatever it takes, do it. You are worth it. Your family is worth it. And so are the children and families to come.
There are new beginnings for us all.