Pastor Kevin Sanders

"He must increase, but I must decrease." -John 3:30

"13 Year Old Father": My Reaction

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 skepticalvery 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.

9 Comments

  1. Thanks for posting this. I was just pondering about this the other day. I feel the same way Kevin. Sadly, this is reflection of a broken culture, a culture that is progressively secular and doesnt believe in personal responsibility or placing judgements on personal behavior. This is just one example of a consequence when a society moves away from traditonal and Biblical values.

  2. seriously, the boy looks like 9-10 years old and the girl looks about 17-18. how could this two have a relationship much less create a human being?

  3. Fantastic blog!

    Premarital Sex should be banned from church

    Here’s a brief view shared from my blog at
    http://beythelofgod.blogspot.com:

    Role model Pro-family born again worship banning unmarried couples practicing pro-fornication worship as bad examples. Beyth-‘el (House of God) is “Safe for the whole family.”

  4. When i first saw the pic. I thought the boy was like 8-9 and the girl is his mother and the baby is a brother or sister.

    I don’t know but I’m skeptic too if it’s true. If it is, that’s just sad, the boy is 13 and the girl is 15, they’re still children.

  5. Beyth’el

    Not sure if I understand your point, but thanks for stopping by.

  6. Ugh, same first reaction. It was also disappointing to read further details of the story, how the parents did nothing to protect their children. The girl was also sleeping with at least 5 other kids!

    How incredibly sad.

  7. I agree with you that their photos should not be used for points or illustrations.

    They should be protected and guided. Good call.

  8. The teenage “guy” is a boy. Where were his parents when it happened?
    Very early parenthood or is it very late parental guidance? -w

  9. have a good day!

    I feel sad in this tabloid.
    Actually I was really shock the first time I heard this news from my sister in law ‘cos she had seen this already in the television.
    I’m just worried about their future and the future of their baby.
    because the fact they are still young to have a big responsibility and they don’t look like just 13th and 15th years old and at their young age we knew it they’re still not ready for these…I’m just wondering ,why their parents let all this happened? all I’d just know there is a lot of things they want to experience to their self and with their life.And there is a lot more things they want to enjoy
    and to do because the reality is they are still a child.

    thanks..

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