On Being a Pastor and Pregnant (and Why I Can’t Carry Your Weight)

I found out I was pregnant at the happiest place on earth. It was Mother’s Day and I was on vacation at Disney World. Go figure. I noticed my normally regular period hadn’t come which is usually no biggie. I would chalk it up to stress. Except now, thanks to acupuncture, I was used to it coming like clockwork. It’s only day one I told myself. It’ll come tomorrow. And it did, but only stopped by for a brief visit before disappearing into the abyss. I waited for her to come back. She never did.

The next day, I did what any normal sane woman would do. Scoured the resort for pregnancy tests like a madwoman. I went to every store on my resort AND the sister resort. Not a test in sight. No not one. How is this the happiest place on earth and you not expect people to get pregnant or need a pregnancy test? How do you have the mind to have a chip at the bottom of my cup that electronically determines how many more refills I have at the soda machine, but not sell an EPT Pregnancy Test? Or at least a Disney knock-off brand. I wasn’t giving up. I went to the front desk. They always have extra shoelaces, cans of beans or whatever you need. Maybe just maybe they had a pregnancy test. Nope, but the lady at the front did discreetly let me know there was an offsite pharmacy that would deliver these “sorts of things” to the resort for a fee. She slipped me the card like she was passing me a bag of weed and k2.

IMG_20160510_164020.jpg
Real talk that yellow line was connected to my band and calculated how many refills I had left. But they couldn’t figure out someone would need a pregnancy test??

Was I really this desperate? You know I was. I placed the order and waited for a test to confirm what I already knew.

giphy.gif

I was pregnant. My immediate reaction was shock. This was not planned. Yes, I know it’s a potential consequence of having sex, but not one readily expected. With the exception of living a pretty much celibate lifestyle in my twenties I had been having sex on and off since I was 15 and had never been pregnant. In fact, I assumed when I was ready it would be very hard for me to conceive. Boy did I miscalculate that.

After the initial shock was joy. Yet, underneath something else was lingering. Anger? No. Disappointment? No. It was pure and utter dread. Not at being pregnant. Not at whether or not I would be a good mother. What had my stomach turning, other than nausea, was me being pregnant AND a pastor. Let’s face it. The church has not had a good track record of accepting unmarried women who got pregnant. If you’ve been in church for any period of time you’ve heard or witnessed the aftermath. Shunning, slut shaming, being sat down from your position, having to go up in front of the church and confess your sin, etc. etc. No one can be naïve enough to say this type of stuff doesn’t happen in church. An ugly truth is people in church leadership have sex outside of marriage, affairs, do drugs, drink, so on and so forth. Generally, these are not considered acceptable acts. BUT I have seen many churches turn a blind eye to this behavior, because it can be hidden. Don’t ask. Don’t tell. To be pregnant is a very visible indication of a private act and for some reason provides people with more of a need to respond.

scarlet letter.png

You may as well Scarlet Letter it up and place a big ole S on your chest for sex Hester Prynne style. “The church” is already harsher on women for their “crimes,” but being a pastor also meant that both me and my fiancé were going to go through this publicly. I didn’t know what that meant, how it would affect my job and if I was prepared to deal with it.

Pregnancy already inherently diminishes some anonymity as people feel it their right to invade your personal space, offer up unsolicited advice and ask you private questions. Pastorship inherently makes some feel your personal life is their public business as you lose some sense of individuality for the sake of belonging to the church. As a pretty private person I had always struggled with the latter. Adding pregnancy seemed like my worse nightmare.

It was not as if I had a blueprint for this in my church. My pastors had been very open about having their first child while unmarried in college. That was more than 20 years ago. They were young. None of us were there. They were not pastors then. It was in the past enough to be hazy memory and turn into a testimony. Many of us know the struggles we have had in the past. For many, it’s what brought us to church. Yet, as soon as we get far enough away from our struggles to label them “redeemable” or for them not to be in the forefront of our minds it becomes much easier to give someone else the side eye for behavior we don’t agree with. It is often easier to NOT afford others the grace we were so freely offered. I had experienced people judge everything from my clothing to social media posts fully aware that if it had been another pastor they would’ve gotten a pass. My apprehension was not unwarranted and although privately excited I was concerned about public persona. I did a lot of wrestling that week. I came to grips with the reality that part of the monster in my head was created by me. My past. My upbringing. What I was taught about the bible.

baggage.png

I realized I had some baggage and I wanted to deal with this pregnancy on my own terms regardless of how people felt or responded. In those first few months I decided I couldn’t carry the weight of others’ opinions and judgments including my own. I also had to confront the ways in which I judged others based on their decisions and actions. I decided I was going to walk with my head held high, because I was proud and excited to be pregnant. Often, when people think you’ve done something wrong or have sinned they want you to walk around with your head low in guilt. Otherwise, how would THEY know you were sorry? Well, I wasn’t sorry or ashamed. Shame and happiness cannot reside in the same place. I decided to only surround myself with those who had positive energy. I knew there would be rough days, but I also knew the good would outweigh the bad. So when the first comment was made about my pregnancy being an abomination I wasn’t bothered, because it wasn’t MY truth. Plus who uses abomination anyway? Can we say antiquated?

I had a choice on how to define my own happy and write my own story. I thought about the women who were belittled in their churches for being pregnant. The women who felt abortion was a better option than humiliation. The girl or young women of a pastor forced into abortion, because the family couldn’t handle the shame. The woman who left the church permanently because the members couldn’t accept her child. The woman who watched the same people who loved her each Sunday avoid her like a plague. The woman who would give up everything to be pregnant regardless of the circumstances and still finds her womb bare. So many women who may have made a different choice if they understood the power they had. If someone had told them, it was ok to make the best choice for them ignoring the outside voices. It would get better. They could outlive this. I understood what some people thought, what some scriptures said, but also the validity of my own experience.

At three months I revealed my pregnancy to the staff at my church. It wasn’t planned. It was at our annual staff retreat. If you could see inside my mind you would have seen the warring back and forth. It kind of looked like this:

talkyourself.png

“Do it now.”

“What? Are you crazy? This is not the time.”

“It may not be your timing, but it IS the perfect time.”

“Can’t I wait? Or tell them one by one?”

“Well if you wanted to wait you shouldn’t have worn that dress. Come on. It will be like pulling off a Band-Aid. Have this conversation once and you won’t have to have it again.”

“I’m nervous.”

“You’ll be fine. The outcome will be better than expected.”

The words kind of fell out of my mouth in front of everyone. I explained my joy and the importance this did not undo and diminish all the work and dedication I had put in for six years. I felt empowered. I shared what I wanted to share, how I wanted to share, own my own terms. I wasn’t responding to anyone or defending myself. I was standing in my truth. In a moment I will never forget, our executive pastor had  the staff encircle around me and they begin to pray. A noise that can only be described as a wail left my mouth and I broke. To the point of needing a chair to sit in. I broke in the most beautiful way possible. In the breaking I was free. That ugly Jesus cry released every anxiety, fear and worry holding me down. They promised to protect me and support me. In that moment I saw God. It was a moment that transcended boundaries or judgment. It was pure love. I felt free.

One of my favorite lines from The Scarlet Letter is: “She had not known the weight until she felt the freedom.” I was carrying a lot of weight and baggage. The weight of what if. The weight of my upbringing. The weight of others’ opinions. The weight of judgment. It was heavy and I did the hard work of dropping that weight. I have no plans of picking it back up.

So no, I cannot carry your weight about MY situation. Whoever you are. I have my own beautiful, amazing and miraculous weight to carry for the next few months and a lifetime.

pregnant.png

 

Photos found here and here. Preaching photo from September 2016 taken by Eddie Sparkman. I was 5 1/2 months pregnant. I have preached throughout my pregnancy and will do so until I can no longer waddle on the stage.

135 Comments

  1. PD says:

    This is a very interesting article. However, in my opinion, Pregnant and a Pastor is not the issue here it is Fornication and a Pastor. This has nothing to do with the children being born. If anyone makes it about the children, she has every right to ignore them and stand her ground. I agree you can’t be ashamed of your child; we feel shame for our sins, we feel guilt for our sins we feel exposed to God’s wrath as a result of our sins. This is what Jesus came to deal with to remove shame, guilt and wrath! Last time I check being pregnant is not a sin, but committing fornication is. Once Ms. Allen (or any of us that are caught in sin) goes to God with a repentant attitude, she will find forgiveness, and who am I to withhold this from her? Simply put, I can’t, furthermore I rejoice with her in finding forgiveness for sin, if she went before God and genuinely repented! Where my concern lies is the attitude towards sin reflected in this article. I got the notion that sinning is okay since everyone is doing it, the trick is don’t get caught! I may be wrong but I came away questioning whether she was truly repentant, yet that is between Ms. Allen, God and the Church leaders that she confided in. I can’t hold that against her and am optimistic that she was genuine. She also raised another issue whether correcting a Pastor should be punitive or restorative? I lead towards the latter but believe time away from the pulpit can help as we focus on getting help to overcome our weaknesses. If Ms. Allen is not helped, it could hurt her ministry in the future. On the other hand, she raises a few question?
    Is the Church harder on women compared to men who are caught in sin?
    How should the Church deal with leaders caught in sin? Restorative or punitive?
    What is God’s perspective on sin?
    Whose standard should I be living by? God or what I see in Church or the one that makes me happy?
    Side note: I was wondering what was the goal of this article? Why did Ms. Allen write it and what was she hoping to get across to her audience?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ttoi says:

      I agree with you that the sin is the fornication and not the result of it. You also brought up the question about which gender is society the hardest on. The bible strictly speaks on who we should be trying to please, God. God defines the role of a Shepherd (pastor) as the HUSBAND of one wife. It is society who places women in positioning to sin against God by preaching in church. I am not at all insinuating that women aren’t capable but 1 Timothy 2:12 explains what i have just stated regarding women preachers.
      Now, there may be some who want to FEEL like God is okay with women preachers but is it really worth gambling your soul to see if they were right on Judgement Day? Remember, Judgement Day is too late to ask for forgiveness if you were wrong. That person may have good intentions in wanting to help people get to heaven but just read in Matt 7:21 what God will tell those good-hearted people on that LAST DAY!!!!!

      Like

  2. tink says:

    Are only requirement is to love you, love those babies and love God..
    That is our job as the bride..
    Your job is to have a pure heart and clean hands.. So if you do this out of love and honor and respect for you father in Heaven and he said go for it.. have at it..
    As long as you are not digging you heals in because of pride, Go for it..
    No ones to judge.. thats Gods job..
    Mine is to love..
    I will not be standing in your shoes when i have to be on account for every idle word and action…
    Pride can keep you out but love honor, respect, will not!!
    May peace, and joy flow to you
    And may you hear jesus speak like never,before, but the whispers of pride and works of flesh may the leave speaking in jesus name

    Like

  3. K says:

    It seems like the vast majority, if not all, of you supporting her position as an active pastor are not comprehending or maybe intentionally ignoring the points from the other side. I have yet to heart anything on why she is currently fit to be a pastor. Just because someone has been forgiven by God does not make that person fit to be a pastor. All Christians have been forgiven, very few should be pastors. They are still loved and can still be part of the body and serve, just not as pastors. The fact that there are many unfit pastors currently serving is not a valid point. Will stepping down cause undue unhappiness? The bible does not promise happiness. The pursuit of happiness is an American ideal, not a Christian ideal. Simply put, she is unfit to lead because she is a bad example for the portion of her congregation who struggle with sexual temptation. That is probably anyone ages 10 to 70.

    I am not trying to spread rumors here, only present a philosophical issue: What if the father of her child is a married man in her congregation? Would all of you who say she should continue to lead still support her? I would say, if you support her now, you should support her if that was the case. There is no mention of him in her article, so his identity is not material to her happiness nor her decision to continue to lead. And clearly, God can forgive that sin as easily as any other. Yet I doubt there would be anyone here to say she should still be pastor if indeed the father of her child was married to another woman in her church. Would you still support her as your pastor if the baby was your husband’s baby? If not, then you may want to reconsider the scope of the matter and the truly devastating nature of sexual sin.

    Like

    1. L says:

      I’m not sure if you read the article…but she definitely mentioned her fiance, who I am taking an educated guess and saying that he is the father of the baby.

      Like

  4. Ttoi says:

    Most people are reminding us all about God’s grace. Does His authority mean anything to anyone? Where in the scriptures does it authorizes a woman to eldership? Isn’t the definition of a bishop and deacon in the bible? It defines these roles as THE HUSBAND OF ONE’S WIFE!!!!!!! The bible also states that God gives reason why a woman should not teach or have authority over a man in 1 Tim. 2:13-15. Listen, I’m not saying that women aren’t smart enough, that has nothing to do with it. We all supposed to be living to the authority of Jesus Christ, right? By who’s authority is a woman allowed to teach a man in church? MAN!!!!!!!!!!!! Now, please don’t get confused with the word ‘teaching’, the context concludes that God is talking about teaching in worship service. Also, God blesses marriages as is stated in Her. 13:4, “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” Now at the end of this verse, the Hebrew writer states that God will judge those who defile the bed without marriage. I ask, what will He judged them by, something new, or will they have to wait until judgement day? Of course not, they will be judged by the same word that was given by the prophets and aspostles. Even Jesus Christ himself came to save the lost when He died on the cross for all sins. So, if Jesus died for all sin, why should one worry about sin? He gave us a way to be forgiven and not for Jesus to die on the cross continuous, it’s called repentance. Now that means that a person has to turn away from the sin that is being committed to be forgiven. What is the sin? Having authority over a man in worship service, repent and step down from a duty that was never given to women. Fornication, repent and don’t defile your bed with a man but be married and your bed is no longer defiled. Now marriage is not for everyone but the Apostle Paul gives us encouragement for those who burn up with passion in 1 Cor. 7. In 1 Cor chapter 7 is not talking about one being unmarried and still having sex. But he gives us a warning if we cannot sustain from sex, we are to get MARRIED. I seen a comment comparing what Ms. Dez. did and Mary, the mother of Jesus. The person stated that sex before marriage is not a sin because Mary was pregnant and wasn’t married. Did she have sex while unmarried? NO, Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and Mary was the vessel used to deliver Him.

    Like

  5. Alan says:

    This is a very interesting situation! It makes sad reading though. This takes us back to the bible times when a woman was caught in adultery and was brought to Christ. Our Pastor has been caught in adultery or fornication here. What caught the woman in the bible times were people but, what has caught our dear sister (Pastor) is her pregnancy which is undeniably visible for everyone to see. Who knows what happened, maybe it was just a first encounter and conception took place or it could have been multiple encounters of this lifestyle in secret and the Lord was sick of it and allowed it to come to the fore. Who knows? Only the Lord knows! The two situations, however, have something in common. Sin and God’s mercy! Our responsibility and God’s sovereignity, in our lives. We thank God that He does not condemn us when we sin but draws us close to Himself, forgives us if we repent genuinely and restores us back to Himslef if we had a relationship with Him in the first place. If not, repentance brings about a new relationship with Him. What I wish to bring out as learning points to be drawn from the woman caught in adultery, in the bible times, are the following:
    1. God’s love is unconditional.
    2. God’s mercy is abundant and endures forever.
    3. God’s forgiveness is available to all who ask God for it.
    4. Jesus said to the woman, go and sin no more.

    Now, the third point is powerful and timeless. ‘Go and sin no more.’ I am sure the Lord did not mean that she should go and be perfect. What I see the Lord saying is that He is telling the woman to go and make every effort to flee from every form of evil; to strive for righteousness; to strive for holiness and not to entertain sin in any shape or form.

    With the current situation with our dear sister (Pastor), I seem to see some deep rooted form of pride being at the centre of this whole saga. She has found it hard to humble herself and move out of the limelight to seek an audience with God, take stock of her life and begin afresh later. Instead she has flipped the whole thing with her twisted logic. Our sister’s arguement sounds quite logical but it’s devoid of spiritual substance. It convinces the mind but does not align with the truth in God’s word. You can never twist the word of God because the word of God is not twistable. Whoever knows the right thing to do and they do not do it, to them it is sin. Our sister knows the right thing to do. What does scripture say concerning her case? If you commit adultery or fornication, you have not only sinned against your body but, you have also sinned against the body of Christ, the believers that you gather with. By this act, you have cause many to stumble. The sad part is, instead of admitting and withrawing to show penitence our sister is continuing to cause many more innocent lives to stumble by insisting to remain in leadership. Now, the church leaders must warn our sister that much as they love her, have forgiven her and have accepted her, which is fine, that’s what our response should be as believers, the Lord will not suffer His name to be put to shame by our sisters behaviour. This is a cancer which must be rooted out otherwise it will spread and the end result is that the church will suffer loss.

    Refusing to step down but still pregnant with no husband in view sends a very wrong message to those within church and to the world. What are we teaching our children by these actions? These young ones in our midst are the ones the Lord is very concerned about. That’s why He says, in His word, if anyone causes these young ones to sin, it would have been better to tie a heavy stone around the neck of the one causing them to sin and throw such a one into the sea. Now, that is grave! So if our dear sister (Pastor) continues to insist on being in leadership while pregnant, I am afraid, the Lord might just step in and deal with the situation and probably not in a nice way. I have seen cases like this one before. I am not wishing my dear sister (Pastor) ill but, a warning is a warning. There’s no other way to put it. Pride goes before a fall. God will not suffer His name to be dragged in the mud. Imagine the things none believers are saying about God and the church concerning this situation. Terrible things! Do you think God will just stand by and just watch? I doubt it! Consider David’s case. Even after he repented. God forgave him but, he still took away David’s son. Why? For His name’s sake! I wish to encourage my dear sister (Pastor), to step aside, withraw and go hide herself under the shadow of the almighty and let this storm pass. She can serve again at a later stage with a clear conscience, if she still has the conviction of the Lord’s call upon her life. By withdrawing from leadership at this stage, our sister (Pastor) will touch and build more lives than she will ever know, through her humble action. God bless!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Nikki says:

      I had to agree and disagree on your points yet I can’t help but ask the question who are we to make judgements on others? God clearly states He is the ultimate judge. We all sin and often times we forget that there is no
      better sin so to speak. The bible states that there is not one that is righteous as we all fall short. The only issue I have with this is once you go in repentance then it shouldn’t be a continuous act. Yes we all sin in different ways and some more publicly obvious than others but it isn’t ok to continue and that is the correction I expected.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Tara says:

    reading most of these comments makes me sad to know that we as “christians” don’t extend grace and mercy that we need ourselves daily.

    Like

  7. Nadia says:

    I am an Elder of a Pentecostal Church. I believe strongly that her conscious if nothing else should’ve called her to sit down. Sin is sin. But as a leader in ministry we are an example and we are accountable to God and our church body for the choices we make. In her blog she stated that She has a fiance. Why hasn’t he married her?
    We can’t change the word of God and we can change the principals of the church. how hard would it be to repent and acknowledge your wrong publicly or sit down for the year.
    Even David repented of his sin. What makes modern day Christians any different. Every church is different and love is the greatest commandment of them all. But a Pastor is chosen by God to carry his word. If he/she fails to stay holy and the sign is there which is pregnancy both parents should sit until after the child is born. Because the blessing is the child not the act itself.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Paul Baggett says:

    You seem to be a strong and confident woman. God forgives, you go and be the best mother you can and never be dissuaded by any naysayers. Being human means you have needs, which, as you said, these things happen. You may not be ready to commit yourself to a partner for life yet, it will come and if it doesn’t it isn’t about that, its about the child. God Bless!

    Like

    1. Ttoi says:

      I beg to differ, no one is speaking negative on the part of the baby but on the act of trying to teach that it’s ok to fornicate as long as you are preaching God’s word.

      Like

      1. Yolanda says:

        My concern is that is she is a pastor who knows the Word and has submitted but failed in her submission, she would know what to do. Unfortunately the Adversary has blinded her to the degree that she is glorying in her shame. We have a responsibility to allow the Holy Spirit free reign in our lives which cannot be done in our own strength. As the late Rev. E. V. Hill would say “Well I think…God stops?” It is not easy but if we want to be kept God, will keep us. She should count the cost and step down. With that being said, I do not believe any of us should judge her because it could be anyone of us that yield to the dictate of the flesh and not the Word. With true repentance and prayer maybe God will open the doors for her that is His will. Also, she did say Fiance’ which may mean the person does not want to get married and has made it difficult for her because she may really love him and he is just offering her crumbs. My prayer is for her encouragement and complete surrender. God is not a liar however He is a strong deliverer.

        Like

      2. Ttoi says:

        I agree with your assessment but the bible tells us to judge (John 7:24)according to His word. His word said fornication (Eph. 5:5) and leading a church (1 Tim 2:12-15) is a sin and that is not man’s word but God’s word. So, I too am judged by this so I’m not being hypocritical of these sins.

        Like

  9. Sharon says:

    The Bible says who are we to condemn you. But for the sake of the church for the sake of your congregation Pastor you should sit down and let someone preach. The non Christians have something to hold on to why they cant come to church. We all err and fall short of the glory of God so we accept rebuke to be able to grow again in Christ as we continue to go to Church and hear the Word of God we are perfected. What does God say to you about this issue? When you prayed and listened to the inner voice what did it tell you to do? At times we put our pain and hurt aside to be able to hear from God. We love you and feel for you as a woman but just do the right thing and step down for now. God will put you back again.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Margot Baker says:

    I have a question,if sin results in the separation of the Creator,then how do you maintain a relationship with him?this is what everyone says,I HAVE A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with HIM,How so cause no one living is sinfree?So if you keep sining is he to continue to forgive and be pleased?i am just asking…

    Like

    1. Ttoi says:

      There’s no scripture in the bible that states ‘personal savior’. The scripture states that one should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior as stated in Rom. 10:9-10. Now, that is not all one has to do to be saved by the blood of Jesus, Mark 16:16 states another part of salvation; Acts 2:38 is another part; and then there’s the washing that was done in Acts 8:38.

      Like

  11. Pastor Moore says:

    The Word of God’s says be “Holy for I AM Holy”. I am glad to see some of the comments that show the church is still holding up the standard of Holiness. Your behavior makes me wonder if you have ever receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. It is the Spirit of God dwelling in us that gives us the power to say no to sin. If there is no Holy Ghost you are serving God in a carnal manner and that is why you feel no need to have a seat. If you need the Holy Ghost please go to Acts 2:38 and do what the scripture say to do. I would also advise you to repent of the act to God, only God can grant repentance and I would also advise you to marry your fiancé now.

    Like

  12. Gurl says:

    Wow, people here sure are judgey. This is what drives many away from the church. I believe the bible speaks about repenting and if she repented she can preach for as long as she wants. I believe she made mention of the fast that her penance may not look like what you expect it to be. We are not to force people to do any walk of shame for OUR benefit. Her issues are between God and herself, just those two. She is not to placate any of us. Walk in your light and your own truth. Keep preaching, Live your life by SHOWING people how to get up after something knocks them down. You haven’t heard her sermons. She’s probably brought more to Christianity by being honest than many people judging her have by being so self-righteous. Moses messed up and kept preaching but was denied entry into the promised land. Don’t try to assume you know what’s happening between her and God. I support you random lady!!!! (if only because I am literally tired of these judgey a** people telling you what you should and shouldn’t do when in reality, it’s nobody’s business but yours and God).

    Like

    1. Ttoi says:

      Most of these judgements are according to God’s word and not man’s opinion. So, the truth will set you free and what these judgements are trying to set her free.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. No one in particular says:

    Do you realize how people got married in bible times? They slept together. Period. End of story. Common law marriage was the ONLY marriage, this whole thing of a marriage license, etc., etc., ….bleh.

    Congratulations. You and the father are married in God’s eyes, and have been since your first ‘time’. Remember..ignorance is loud.

    Like

  14. Karen says:

    1 Corinthians 5:1-5 (KJV)
    1 Corinthians 5
    [5:1] It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife. [2] And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. [3] For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, [4] In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, [5] To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

    Like

  15. A. L. Stevens says:

    Could someone point out where it says that sex before marriage is a sin in scripture? The word the we have translated as “fornication” in the Greek and in the Hebrew can mean many different things. I’m not sure that sex before marriage is actually the best definition. I think “abusive sex” is a better translation, but what do I know, I just have two different degrees in this… Sex before marriage became a problem because of succession lines and inheritance. Have a “pure” wife became what was desired because men would then know that the children they had were his and he would feel confident in leaving his household to them upon his death. In my opinion, the only kind of sex that is sinful is sex where one or both partners is being harmed, physically, emotionally, spiritually, or otherwise. God created sex. Sex isn’t bad. We have turned it into a taboo. This taboo is most often used to control women. Y’all know a lot of male pastors who have children when they aren’t married to the child’s mother. Why do so many of them get a pass, but this woman in a stable loving relationship had sex with her partner and just because they haven’t put rings on their fingers it is a sin? No. God doesn’t start blessing a relationship when a couple gets married. A wedding is the community recognizing the work that God has already done in a couple’s relationship. If a relationship is full of love, grace, mercy, faith, and justice, that is all a good sign to me that God has blessed it. The wedding is for us, not for God. Stop judging this woman and her family. Worry about your own sin, and do some more research before you start deciding that you know how God feels about a situation. You know, the mother of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ got pregnant before she was married too. God seems to love, bless, and ordain unmarried women just as much as the rest of us.

    Thank you for sharing you story and for your honesty Pastor. May your family be blessed.

    Like

    1. K says:

      Wow, gotta say you clearly are wrong on key points: 1. Mary was not pregnant from having sex with a dude. 2. A Christian wedding is indeed a covenant between the bride, groom and God. 3. Fornication is sex outside marriage according to Merriam Webster. It clearly isn’t sex inside marriage, no matter the source or culture. 4. Sex outside marriage, even consensual, can and is incredibly damaging emotionally and mentally. Just think about one-night stands, hook-up culture, baby-parent drama, prostitution. And of course, we all know cohabitation correlates to increased divorce rates according to vast government data.

      Like

  16. Porter S. Brown says:

    For years I have found it interesting how wrong we get what the Bible teaches about sin, grace, forgiveness, and restoration. God’s love is always available to all of us no matter what form our sin takes. I am coming to the close of pastoring a church for 36 years. I take the incident with Jesus and the “woman taken in the very act of adultery” seriously. While those who condemned her were ready to stone her, they also ignored their own sin. At the same time Jesus refused to condemn her (she already knew she was wrong) but He also instructed her to go and “sin no more” and that shows us the power of restoration in the grace of God! While the church cannot and should not condone sin, the same church cannot and should not cast out, shun or shame the one who has committed sin. All of us have sinned and all of us need grace, love, kindness, forgiveness, and acceptance where we are in order to help us move forward into a better place. However it is sometimes pride that undergirds the shame of sin and causes us to hide our wrong or fear the attitude of others. If we focus on God, immediately, openly and honestly take our sin to Him in repentance, He promises us immediate grace, mercy, and restoration. David is a prime example of this as he penned Psalms 51 – his contrite tortured prayer of repentance. In it King David takes full responsibility for his own actions (notice he does not even mention Bathsheba with whom he committed adultery) and his focus is on the fact that he has sinned before God! Once we receive the forgiveness and mercy of God, the true Godly action of the church should also be one of grace, mercy, and forgiveness. Lastly, care must be taken so that the church on one hand does not condone or diminish the wrongfulness of sin BUT just as importantly, the church must treat those who have sinned the way we would want to be treated if we were in that same or similar predicament. It is called being gracious, forgiving, kind, and loving toward others in light of the fact that God has been and continues to be gracious, forgiving, kind, and loving toward us!

    Like

  17. Sherry Hightower says:

    My own pastor told our congregation many years ago, “When God forgives you, no man can call you guilty!”

    God has forgiven you. He has given you a blessing. He does not create mistakes and all children are a gift from God so… You have been forgiven, blessed and reassured by Him.

    Sherry in Texas

    Like

  18. Tawana says:

    I’m blessed and moved by your story.

    Like

  19. Ottoniel says:

    It seems to me that this pastor is living in sin. The problem here is not being pregnant. The problem here is sin. How can a “christian pastor” be living in sin and not feel any remorse or disgust for sin? Others people sin does not justify it either. Dez, God does not want you to live in defeat or shame but He does want you to live in holiness. I congratulate you on your pregnancy and wish you the best, however you must for the good of your soul deal with the sin in your life. I am a human being like you and have sinned many times. Im not condemming you but your words sound more about selfjustification and justifying the sin in your life than about repenting and turning from it.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. D says:

    As a woman who abstained from having sex for 14 years to follow God’s Word concerning premaritial sex at the level of a “Christian believer” not as one in leadership…I am disappointed that this pastor does not feel like she should “voluntarily” sit down until after becoming pregnant. Sitting down is not “shaming.” It merely reflects an attitude of responsibility and accountability to the very Word that pastors are entrusted to preach. The very decision to have sex knowing what Gods ‘Word says about it, is to reject God’ s Word as being the basis upon which you live your life. If a pastor rejects God’s Word as the basis for life decisions…how can that pastor instruct others to obey God’s Word? All of us fall short in one area or another in life. Many sins are kept secret. But, it is not about what others are doing? It is about your life before others. If the fiancee is in the church, he should step down too. I waited to have sex until I got married; even though I had had sex before I became a Christian. . I know that is rare and rarely praticed. I am now a pastor’s wife in a church. Everyone may not be able to do that. If they cannot, why take on a leadership role? This is not about shame or a double standard. Forgiveness should be given freely. However, to become a symbol of a willful choice to disobey God’s Word and in pride not sit down after making it is another. No doubt your ministry is intact because gifts and callings are given without repentance. This is about dying to self. It is about not letting your “self issue” become a stumbling block for other young women in the church. This decision is entirely rooted in selfishness with no consideration for those who are following after you. True pastors are called to be a light. Sitting down doesn’t bring condemnation. It just says that I didnt follow God’s Word in this matter…so I am going to take the spotlight off “me” so that I am not used as a reason for others to not see God and the truth of doing things His way. You are loved. The baby is loved. But, there is a standard to walk on leadership in God’s house. This pastor should do the selfless thing and not place the spotlight on herself in an area where she has obviously fallen short.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. colbyers says:

      Why does the public or her congregation need to watch her wallow in sadness over her sin in order for it to have happened? Is sin and reconciliation no longer between her and God?

      Like

  21. Tristine Harris says:

    Hello Dez,

    Thank you for posting this. As a single female in the church, I have chosen to abstain from sex all together. However I struggle with the issue of no one speaking about it openly. There is a tension in me over your statements and i am hoping some honest dialogue with you might help me and so many others. I believe WHOLLY in your premise that you cannot carry anyone’s judgement. I stand with you when you say that shame and guilt are not your portion. I would have been one of those embracing you had I been there and prayed over you and been (and am) excited to welcome new life. There is another part of me that would acknowledge you missed the mark… and I want to ask how do we deal with that latter part. Do we consider sex outside of marriage sin and how do we reconcile our behavior when we miss the mark on it without walking in paralyzing fear, judgement, guilt, shame…

    I still struggle with this because when I fail.. in anything I feel so disqualified… I feel I don’t know how to repent because I also allow peoples opinions to shape what my repentance should look like.. I struggle to embrace my own forgiveness and Isolate myself from the lover of my soul.. and I want to know what is the place in between… what was that place for you?

    Like

  22. Bobby Tansey says:

    This is the reason the church is in shambles.

    Like

  23. LorMarie says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. Many people fornicate (without protection) and do not get pregnant. My point in mentioning that is because only God can give life and He decided to create one in your womb regardless of how he/she was conceived. Since God decided to give you a baby, I’m going to respect that. I’m also mature enough to separate the act from the pregnancy, knowing that celebrating life does NOT mean we are celebrating sin. On that alone I say congrats on your pregnancy.

    Like

  24. Tawnie Walker says:

    We should never measure ourselves in light of “other people in leadership” who are clearly missing the mark they press toward (by yielding their bodies as instruments of sin, doing drugs, etc.). Rather, we should measure ourselves in the light of Christ. He is our example.
    If our righteous living is only relative, within a sinful world, we are in trouble.
    Yes, many of us fail to keep ourselves from sin at times, but we should not glory in our sin. Perhaps I missed it, but where is the expression of a contrite heart? Of the awesome irresponsibility of a “shepherd” leading vulnerable sheep with a very poor example? I applaud the individual strength to overcome human judgment but as leaders, our call is higher and so much more than the our carnal individual identity. We do not represent ourselves, we represent Christ to others. Many who were not raised in the church don’t understand the separation of the individual & leader, therefore they see “you” as their example. I understand where you’re coming from as an individual but I believe that our errors are opportunities, not to defend ourselves as individuals… Our errors are opportunities to be spiritually minded, lay our egos down, humble ourselves & TEACH . Teach other young people not to be deceived in the same way. Not to yield to temptation, not to bring reproach to themselves & God’s house. To teach temperance & self-discipline.
    Being a leader in the body of Christ means IT’S NOT ABOUT US anymore. Being a leader is about being a servant. This article, while well intentioned, is all about YOU & serving yourself.

    Like

  25. DK says:

    I think you should own up and not hide behind us women. Carry your own cross dearie. Why would you still keep on preaching when you’re living in sin? Just be like the rest of us and stay out of leadership.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. ~M~ says:

    Congratulations!!! Motherhood is a divine calling, and is truly a blessing. Pregnancy, to me, is the greatest joy of womanhood.

    Sin is separation from God…and pregnancy and motherhood are, to me, the closest states one can get to God and embodying characteristics of His image from which you are created. There is nothing at all sinful about that; and you have not stepped away from God in order to step into this new role, and He for sure hasn’t stepped away from you–in fact, He saw fit to entrust you with this Gift. Your legal relationship status has nothing to do with His timing and His will (in my opinion).

    Also, in our country’s culture, it seems as if marriage is becoming more optional and less of a requirement as time goes on. There are many sociological reasons for this, but the reasons are not my point. The point that I would like to make here is that God, who knows my heart and is omniscient and all that, knows that I had ALWAYS wanted to be married, to have a partner, to have children with. I have many friends who have always had that same desire, and I know of COUNTLESS women who are several decades my senior who had also had that desire, and are STILL “waiting on the Lord” in their SIXTIES! SIXTIES!!!! (And some of them still profess to be virgins…I have no idea whether or not that is true, but I do know that they are childless women.) I, personally, am glad that I am not going to be leaving the earth without having had sex and without having experienced motherhood. I am not married, and at this point, likely never will be, and I am okay with that. I am SO at peace with my decision to not wait until marriage to have had sex…because I would STILL be waiting, and missing out on that part of the human experience. Especially the pregnancy and motherhood part.

    Last, but not least, I really side eye Paul. I’m not at all a Bible scholar, but from what I can tell, it seems like much of the scriptures cited against sex are thus sayeth Paul, rather than thus sayeth the Lord. Paul was a prude with some very strong opinions. I am sure that many people’s Christianity causes them to take these scriptures as law and as their blueprint for life, and that’s all well and good for those who choose that path, but I have always been of the belief that what God has told YOU to do and not to do isn’t necessarily His message to me. I believe that God may, in fact, have told Paul that he needs to abstain because sex is a distraction to Paul…but I’m not at all convinced that that message is supposed to apply to every other human being on earth. But that’s just the liberty I feel in MY walk with God. And if others haven’t been released in that manner and don’t feel that same type of freedom and liberty and reassurance, that’s okay too. We each have to see God for ourselves, individually.

    Sorry this was so long. And again, congratulations 🙂

    Like

  27. Sharal Penson McMillan says:

    When I began to read your article I wasn’t sure how this would end. I strongly believe that if God wanted you to “sit down” for a spell, He’d definitely make it know to you; just as He called you to preach. Church members, pastors, preachers, teachers sin… we all sin and fall short of His glory. Praise God for His mercy, that endures forever. Many people put spiritual leaders on a pedistal. Not me. We’re all the same in many ways and one by one we’ll stand before God and give an account.

    I’m glad you delt with your precious gift on your terms. It’s better coming from you, than from someone speculating about the circumstances. More pastors should be real about their own lives. I believe if they were, Christianity would be much more respected and accepted.

    Congratulations love. Motherhood rocks!!! So does being a grandmother, your parents are blessed too.

    Like

  28. Why were you having sex as an unmarried woman..and a pastor? What example are you setting?

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Aliscia says:

    I commend you for your transparency and your bravery to share your story which God does call us to do, confess. I was just interested that you never mentioned God’s feelings about your actions. It is sad how our Christian culture can be. Where we are more concerned about what people think and less concerned about what God thinks. As a pastor, I would want to hear you say that you wept before the Lord instead of your staff. Shame is an appropriate feeling for someone who represents God and willfully separates themselves from Him for any sin. I understand how you felt and how the church feels. But, where was God? How did He feel? Honestly, I believe He allowed you to become pregnant as a part of humbling you and bringing truth to light. Much like when those other pastors you mentioned got “caught with their pants down”. I just want to know where was the sorrow towards God for sinning against Him. Not saying that there was none but you did not express that in your blog. We heard your truth. What about His? Blessings!

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Ttoi says:

    Ms. Dez, I pray that all goes well with your pregnancy and you shared your feelings and expressed your faith in God. You acknowledged your knowledge of scripture when ABI shared some verses from the Bible. You stated that how you dealt with God on this issue but what does that mean? There were some people who felt like they were doing the work of God in Matthew 7:21-23 but what did Jesus say He will tell them on Judgement Day? Romans 12:16 tell us, “. . . Do not be wise in your own opinion.” Also, you gave no scriptures that gives you authority to continuing to do what you FEEL is right. I pray that you repent and not to lean on your own understanding but God’s understanding. The blueprint to build on that Chief Cornerstone and the Apostle’s teaching is in the scriptures and not what we feel. Thanks for allowing me to share my thoughts and God’s word of judgement.

    Like

  31. Jeremy says:

    Unfortunately, while there is no condemnation to those who abide in Christ and his word in them, the ministry of God must serve God’s purpose. Its nt about the messenger. And if any aspect of our conduct will conpromise out syitability to deliver that messagwe effectively, that is something we must truly and spiritually ponder and agonize about. I dont believe you are acting in the best interest of your congregation. Your decision is self-centered. You seek peace for yourself. Having found itself, consider the needs of the sheep and whether you remain the best shepherd to satisfy those needs. For if you cause them distraction, you have failed in the mission.

    Like

  32. Pregnancy is a gift from God. Not all woman will ever be pregnant. However, to be pregnant should be a responsible thing. A pastor is a person, with the same needs and wants as any others person, but that does not excuse the situation, you cannot “…Love God and Mannon” you have to be careful in the way you think and expect others to think. Mary, Jesus’ mother was with child and unwed, this was the work of the Holy Ghost. I am not casting anything on you , I am just saying, that we have to consider our positions in life and make decisions that are not contrary to what we profess.

    Like

  33. Oluchi says:

    Dearie.i like the courage & all.but to be honest,you should step aside from all your pastoral activities & go quiet with God.After you are properly wedded & baby is born.you can resume your calling.Am not judging you but this is the most reasonable & worthy thing to do.Sin should not be encouraged in any way.You dont give unwed christian folk leverage to give sin a chance.#saynotomodernchristianity
    #oldtimereligionrocks

    Liked by 3 people

  34. Ali says:

    I truly am happy for you. Many women desire and yearn for the courage and confidence to not only experience the freedom you’ve experienced through this turning point in your life. One of the greatest gifts is to be a mother, and many long for this gift but never receive it. May the Lord bless your delivery, your baby, your marriage and your family. I do wish you had shared with us more about your how this affected your relationship with God and what his response was and how as a pastor you plan on using this event to guide your young people towards maintaining their purity and ensuring they understand that your message to them is not that it’s ok to have sex out of marriage. You have found your truth and I’m happy for you but I just worry about the young minds that look for your guidance and leadership in the ways of the Lord.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Beverly Grate says:

    Having a supportive congregation is great. We all have/will sin. God is a forgiving God, and he sustains us. Continue your walk with God, and bring a beautiful healthy baby into this world. Be blessed. .

    Like

  36. Tracy says:

    Wow… You’re a pastor and fornicating…so do you skip over those passages of Scripture condemning fornication? Is your example to the flock of God that it’s alright to fornicate, be unwed and pregnant? The “unplanned” pregnancy was the exposure of your having unlawful sex as a person of authority and influence (just all out of order). The sin and the result that you couldn’t hide from. What though, what are you preaching… that its okay to be comfortable in sinning against God because the flesh is weak? No flesh shall glory in his presence, but you’re doing exactly that. The reproach you brought and you just brush it aside. Are you leading people to Christ or to sin? The arrogance you have to the parishioners you are responsible for and have influence over, to stay in the pulpit as a reminder of your disobedience and the result of your sin is astounding. No consideration that you may have caused someone to stumble over you and fall away from God because of church leadership and it’s inconsistency with the word. No humility or love for your followers to lead by example and step aside at least temporarily for the kingdom’s sake. The Bible is the standard yet you go by traditions of men. Antiquated?? God’s word doesn’t change , to whom much is given much is required. Service to God is sacrifice yet you’re serving yourself.

    Liked by 2 people

Comments are closed.