I didn’t really plan to write about this story–I could care less about tabloid gossip. But I’ve been asked about it during some of this week’s speaking engagements, so maybe it’s time for me to say something.
Just in case you haven’t heard, pictured here is Alfie Patten, the so called “13-year-old” father. The young mother is his 15-year-old girlfriend, Chantelle Steadman. These aren’t the world’s first (or youngest) teenage parents, but Alfie’s extremely young appearance has turned this baby’s birth into a media frenzy.
So here’s my reaction: I’m skeptical and sad.
First and foremost, I’m skeptical—very skeptical. This young man looks prepubescent, meaning it appears he has not yet gone through puberty. Am I the only one who has noticed this?
I was also a “late bloomer.” I still looked like a boy while some of my classmates were already starting to looking like young men. If my memory serves me correctly, I was about 14 before the major transformation was really underway. Simply put, I wasn’t physically capable of getting someone pregnant when I was 12 (I won’t go into further detail, but I think you understand what I’m saying).
Here’s my point–a prepubescent boy simply cannot father a child, regardless of his biological age. I’m amazed that so many seem to be overlooking the obvious.
This is the main reason I haven’t mentioned this story in any of my purity presentations–I simply don’t believe it (not to mention the fact that I already have a collection of stories regarding the consequences of impurity).
Could I be wrong? Of course! I’m not this kid’s doctor. Even if I am wrong, I’m still surprised that so few are asking if he is biologically able to be a father.
But I’m also deeply saddened by this story.
I’m saddened to hear of another teenage pregnancy. Another girl becomes a parent about a decade too soon. Another boy (whoever it turns out to be) is a father before he even knows what it is to be a man.
I’m saddened that a teenage boy is getting labelled by the media when they aren’t even sure of all the facts.
I’m saddened because those who should be protecting these children are instead milking the publicity for every dollar (or pound, as the case may be).
To all of my fellow pastors/youth pastors–please think twice before you use this picture as a handy sermon illustration. Let’s have more integrity than the tabloids. We’ve already had enough of urband legends (such as the biochips that were supposedly going to fulfill prophecies in Revelation).
That’s what I think.
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