Taking Responsibility

Click any of the topics below for a more detailed article.  We’re sure the wisdom evident in this carefully thought out material will encourage you.  We’ll provide additional articles as appropriate.

 

Abstinence

Why Wait?

You’ve heard it a million times before, ”Just use a condom when you have sex and you will be ‘safe’.” Is that really true? If not, what is it that makes sex “unsafe”? Do condoms make sex “safe” enough? Don’t be uninformed!

W8 FOR THE FACTS

S.T.I’s (Sexually Transmitted Infections)

  • About 19 million new STIs occur each year.
  • Half are between the ages of 15-24
  • 80% of people infected with an STI do not develop initial symptoms.
  • STIs are the most common diseases in America next to the common cold and flu.
  • STIs are contagious even though no initial symptoms may exist.
  • Some STIs are incurable, life long infections. Some can lead to life-threating diseases and even death.

Condoms

  • Even with 100% use (which is uncommon), condoms at best only reduce the risk of some STI’s
  • Less than half of 15 to19 year-old males report using a condom consistently over the past year.
  • Even if used consistently and correctly, condoms slip off or break from 1.5 percent to 3.5 percent of the time.
  • Latex condoms have a teenager failure rate of 20%.
  • If used 100% of the time, condoms reduce the risk of Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and HPV infection by about half.

For Resources and More information please check out www.medinstitute.org or www.niaid.nih.gov/dmid/stds/condomreport.pdf

Pregnancy — Am I ready to be a parent??

Guess what?

  • If you are sexually active you are at risk of getting pregnant.
  • A woman can get pregnant even if it’s her first time ever having sexual intercourse.
  • A woman can get pregnant during her period and she can get pregnant even if the guy “pulls out”.
  • Birth control pills are never 100% effective, and must be taken as your doctor tells you in order to be effective at all.
  • Condoms can leak or break accidentally.
  • The only 100% effective birth control is abstinence.

Thoughts to ponder… 

It’s Friday night, your friends are having a party and they are all going out dancing. You would love to go, but who is going to watch Samuel?

You have a term paper due in 12 hours, but Samuel isn’t feeling well and needs all of your attention. 6 hours later you still haven’t started the paper and Samuel is still crying.

You have to wake up at 6 a.m. to get ready for work but Samuel keeps waking up screaming every hour on the hour. Why won’t he just go to sleep?

Or

You decide to have an abortion. It is your secret. Your mom doesn’t even know.

You carry it around with you until one day you have your own child and wonder what would have happened if you had made a different choice.

Or…

You decide to give the baby up for adoption. Every year on his birthday you wonder what he is doing.

You are convinced you have given your baby a better life, but there is still a side of you that wonders if he looks like you.

None of these decisions are easy to make. The only way you can prevent the heartache now is choosing to wait till your wedding night to have sex.

YOU CAN HELP US TO HELP WOMEN EXPERIENCING AN UPLANNED PREGNANCY TO LEARN ABOUT MAKING THE  POSITIVE CHOICE OF ABSTINENCE FOR THE FUTURE. LOIS’ LODGE ENCOURAGES WOMEN TO SAVE SEX FOR MARRIAGE.

 

It's Never Too Late

Maybe he was the perfect guy. Maybe you felt out of control. Maybe they were telling you everyone’s doing it. Maybe you had too much to drink. Maybe you were just caught in the moment. There are a thousand reasons why you may have decided to have sex in the past. Maybe you wanted to, maybe not. Either way, you may be thinking,” Since I’ve had sex, it doesn’t matter what I do anymore.” It is never too late to change. All it takes is deciding you are worth waiting for.

Secondary Abstinence Equals Freedom

  • Freedom from sexually transmitted infections. (Go get tested NOW in case you contracted an infection while you were sexually active!)
  • Freedom from the emotional consequences of having sex including guilt, disappointment, worry, shame, and rejection.
  • Freedom from an unplanned pregnancy.
  • Freedom from feeling used.
  • Freedom to eventually form a strong marriage without excess baggage.
  • Freedom to pursue goals and not have any unnecessary barriers from a sexually active lifestyle.
  • Freedom from added pain of break up in sexually active relationship.
  • Freedom to have a great relationship NOW!
  • Freedom to break up without the mess.

Only you can make the decision to change your life. Make a commitment to yourself, your future, and your future spouse. Choosing secondary abstinence will make a profound difference in the life you choose to live.

YOU CAN HELP US TO HELP WOMEN EXPERIENCING AN UPLANNED PREGNANCY TO LEARN ABOUT MAKING THE  POSITIVE CHOICE OF ABSTINENCE FOR THE FUTURE. LOIS’ LODGE ENCOURAGES WOMEN TO SAVE SEX FOR MARRIAGE.

Adoption

“Why would God give me a baby I can’t possible take care of?” the petite brunette questioned as she sat across from Julie, the counselor at the adoption agency.  Leanne came for counseling that morning only because her aunt had insisted.  Earlier the 17 year old had made 2 appointments to have an abortion, which she did not keep, but three months into the pregnancy she still felt abortion was her only option.  A baby did not fit her plans.

Gently reminding Leanne that God is the creator of life, Julie suggested that part of God’s plan for the baby might be to bless a couple unable to have a child. As Leanne listened attentively, Julie told her that, contrary to common belief, she could hold the baby in the hospital, pick the parents for the child, meet them if she wished, and later receive pictures and letters.  When Leanne left, she was still uncertain, but 2 weeks later decided to place the child for adoption.

A typical story?  Definitely not. In fact, of the approximate 2 million pregnancies that occur among unmarried women each year, only 1 percent choose adoption, while 49 percent abort the child and 50 percent choose to parent.

Despite dramatic changes in adoption over the past 10 to 15 years, a shadow still hangs over the adoption process. For most, thoughts of adoption remain mired in images of the past when babies were whisked away before their mothers had a chance to see them.  (Those are the stories that you can watch on the Lifetime channel). For others, recent stories of fully open adoptions and high-profile court cases where children were removed from adoptive families have laced adoption with frightening uncertainties.

The truth is far from these extremes.  Most adoption agencies offer a loving supportive process for the woman who chooses to place her baby with another family.  As a result, many women are learning how to turn their crisis into a blessing.

So why, then, does only one woman out of 100 choose adoption.  … “There’s a tremendous peer pressure from peers, family and the culture that implies that adoption is an unloving, rejecting, awful thing to do.  And, it comes through in the question- ‘How can you give up your own flesh and blood?’ ”

Indeed, to understand the heart of a birthmother is to understand a love that says, “I’m willing to set aside my own feelings for nine months so my baby can have a good life”.

Why not adoption? by Linda Rooks.  Focus on the Family Magazine 2/06

Lois’ Lodge will assist you in exploring the option of adoption without any obligation or judgement.  You will be able to take your time during the course of your pregnancy to get the information that you need, make the choice that is right for you and your child, and begin to plan and prepare for the future and for the care of your child.

Adoption is much different than it used to be in the past.  A birthmom can be involved in selecting a loving couple to provide a home for her child, and in setting up a plan to receive periodic photos and updates about the child’s growth and development.  An adoption plan can be developed during pregnancy but cannot be finalized until after the baby’s birth.

Lois’ Lodge can provide you with the emotional support, educational assistance and resources you will need to thoroughly examine the option of adoption and make the decision that feels right to you.  Adoption, although never easy, can be a loving choice for your child and a door to hope for you and your future.  Birthmothers can look back on their decision to place their child with a loving, married couple as a decision that gives life twice: to the baby and to a couple that longs for a child. Adoption is not for everyone but it can be a very positive option for some.

YOU CAN HELP US TO HELP WOMEN EXPERIENCING AN UPLANNED PREGNANCY TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE POSITIVE CHOICE OF ADOOPTION

God's Plan for Marriage

marriage2Whatever decision you make regarding marriage at this time will be a major factor in shaping your future and your child’s.  Make a smart decision.  Don’t tell yourself that the facts don’t matter in your case.  Relationships without a marriage vow end much more frequently.  Plus, many women have found that you simply can’t expect as much from your boyfriend if you’re not married. This makes it even harder for you when the baby comes.  Having a child together makes you both parents and gives you both the responsibility to love and care for your son or daughter into adulthood.

The very fact that you and your boyfriend are sexually active shows that you desire the closeness and togetherness that is made complete in marriage.  Marriage will fulfill these desires and your child’s needs will be met in a more consistent, dependable way.  This is crucial for your child.

How can you know if you’re ready for marriage?  This is an important question.  You should both ask yourselves: Am I ready to love you until you die? Am I willing to be sexually intimate with only you?  Can I promise to be loving and faithful to you even when I don’t feel like it?  You need to think about the seriousness of this commitment before you decide to marry.  If you are not ready for marriage, research shows that it is better for your child to live with only one parent than to have two parents living together unmarried.  If you are serious about your commitment, marriage is the best place for you, your boyfriend and your child.

The Bible is full of useful principles that can help you set standards for your life and your marriage.  Look up these verses either by yourself or with your mate, and discover God’s plan for marriage.

  • Marriage is God’s idea   Genesis 2:18-24
  • Sex in marriage is God’s idea.   I Corinthians 7:3-5
  • Once a couple marries, they symbolically become one, and no one should cause them to break up.   Matthew 19: 5-6
  • Unfaithfulness breaks the bond of marriage.    Matthew 5:32
  • Ideally, only death should dissolve a marriage.  Romans 7: 2-3
  • A loyal marriage relationship is the best place to raise children.  Malachi 3:15-16
  • A marriage between two Christians is the best place to raise godly children.  1 Corinthians 7:14
  • Marriage is to be a picture of the way Christ loves the church.  Ephesians 5:32
  • Men are commanded to love their wives, and women are commanded to respect their husbands, because God knew that those were our greatest needs in relationships.  Ephesians 5:33
  • Not every one should get married, but if you can’t control your sexual passions you should definitely get married.   1 Corinthians 7:7-9

Beyond the practical benefits of marriage, there is the mystery of God’s plan for relationships.  Sex and marriage are His ideas!  Because God loves you so much, He wants the absolute best for you.  That’s why he gave instructions to marry and to save sexual intimacy for marriage.  He knew that the best way for your deepest needs to be met was in the security of marriage.  When you obey the instructions He has given, He promises to bless you.  Marriage is simply the right thing to do when you love someone.

God wants you to find fulfillment in marriage, but not one person can meet all of your needs.  You need a relationship with God.  Even in the most healthy marriage, you will have a place in your heart that will feel unsettled or unsatisfied.  This spot has been described as a God shaped void that only God can fill.  God’s plan for you can only be known as you get to know him.  If you would like to know more about God, please contact us.  We would love to tell you how much God loves you and wants to have a personal relationship with you and your mate.

From “Making an informed decision about marriage”, Frontlines Publishing. 700 36th Street SE  Suite 108/ Grand Rapids, MI 49548-2332  (616)248-4300   order@frontlines.org


marriage1More good stuff on marriage….. Dr. James Dobson’s book Complete Marriage and Family Home Reference Guide. Used with permission of Tyndale House Publishers.

Q.  I need some practical suggestions for the selection of a husband.  I want to get it right.  What are the factors I should consider before saying “I do”?

A.   Let me list a few things you might want to consider:

1.  A Sunday school teacher gave me advice when I was 13 that I never forgot.  He said, “Don’t marry the person you think you can live with.  Marry the one that you can’t live without.”  Marriage can be difficult, even when two people are passionately in love with one another.  It is murder when they don’t have the foundation of love to build on. 2.  Don’t marry someone who has characteristics you feel are intolerable.  You may plan to change him or her in the future, but that probably won’t happen. 3.  Do not marry impulsively!  I can think of not better way to mess up your life than to leap into this critical decision without careful thought and prayer.  It takes time to get acquainted and to walk through the early stages of the bonding process. 4.  If you are a committed Christian, do not allow yourself to become “unequally yoked” with an unbeliever.  You may expect to win your spouse to the Lord in the future, and that does happen on occasion.  But to count on it is risky at best, foolhardy at worst. 5.  Do not move in with a person before marriage.  To do so is a bad idea, for many reasons. First, it is immoral and a violation of God’s law.  Second, it undermines a relationship and often leads to divorce. 6.  Don’t get married too young.  Making it as a family requires some characteristics that come with maturity, such as selflessness, stability and self-control. 7.  Finally, the ultimate secret of lifelong love is a byproduct of an iron-willed determination to make it work.  If you choose to marry, enter that covenant with the resolve to remain committed to each other for life.  Never threaten during angry moments to leave your mate.  Calling it quits must not become an option for those who want to go the distance!

YOU CAN HELP US TO HELP WOMEN EXPERIENCING AN UPLANNED PREGNANCY TO LEARN ABOUT GOD’S PLAN FOR SEX AND MARRIAGE

Living Together

;movinginLiving together — Trial marriage? Or just a lack of commitment?

Instead of marriage, many couples today look at living together as a “trial alternative”. Their hope is that in the end it will protect them from entering into a marriage doomed for divorce. Unfortunately, far from increasing the likelihood of marital success; cohabitation is linked to significantly higher divorce rates and lower levels of health. Commitment is more than just sharing a living space. It is a deep bond that says,” Through thick or thin, I am 100% committed to staying by your side.” If you truly are committed to each other why wouldn’t you wait until it was “official”? Is your partner worth the wait? Are you?

Get the Facts

  • During the past 30 years a consistent 96% of the American public has expressed a personal desire for marriage.
  • Cohabitation increases young people’s acceptance of divorce. The longer people live together, the less likely they are to desire to get married.
  • Unmarried individuals who live together are three times more likely to be depressed than married persons.
  • Affairs are twice as common among couples who live together than for married couples.
  • Married couples have the lowest rates of domestic violence, while cohabiting couples have the highest, even higher than those who are divorced or separated.

A book by Mike and Harriet McManus, “Living Together: Myths, Risks & Answers” (Howard Books), tells us that between 50 and 60 percent of all marriages begin with the two partners co-habitating, and many of those couples no doubt believe they are making a wise move up front. But living together before marriage actually increases the chances of divorce in a first marriage — 67 percent of co-habitating couples who marry eventually divorce, compared to 45 percent of all first marriages.

Parenting

parenting1When you are faced with decisions involving an unplanned pregnancy, there are not easy choices.  Lois’ Lodge is committed to providing you with complete and accurate information on each of your options.  Parenting is a huge but rewarding responsibility.  To choose to parent is to choose to fully invest yourself in the life of another, for the sake of the other.  Most find parenting to be an even bigger blessing than they originally thought it would be, but they also find it to be more challenging than than they imagined it would be.  As with any life changing decision, you must ask yourself several questions.  A few of those questions are:

  • Do I have an adequate support system to raise this child?
  • Do I have the resources to support a child financially, physically, emotionally and spiritually?
  • Could I handle a child and a job and/or school at the same time?
  • What are my personal life goals and how would a child fit into that plan?
  • Am I willing to learn what it takes to be a good parent?

As a parent, your life is no longer yours or simply about you.  You have another human being who depends on your love and relies on your ability to provide for his every need.  You cannot live your life for yourself any longer.  Although you had nine months to prepare for the birth of your child, nothing will give you a reality check like being woken up to the cries of your child at 3 AM, being called home from work due to your child’s illness, or missing out on events because you have no one to watch your child.

From the paragraph above, one may think that once you decide to parent, life is downhill from there, or there is an impending doom.  However, that is not the case.  Life is only as difficult as you make it or want it to be.  If you decide in your mind that nothing is going to stop you from pursuing your dreams, then not even the reality of parenting should shake you. Determination is definitely something that moms experiencing an unplanned pregnancy need.  Motivation is key.  If you feel unmotivated and have been constantly told you cannot amount to much, use that as your fuel.  Do not let people underestimate you.  Even if they do, you can prove them wrong.

Do not allow yourself to get in a slump because you feel or believe that life has thrown you a hard ball you weren’t prepared for.  You need to take responsibility for your actions.  If you consented to sex and ended up pregnant, assume the responsibility for your actions without further complaint. Let this experience make and not break you.  Let it strengthen you.  If you had no passion or motivation in the past, let your child be your motivation.  If, in the past you had no desire to improve yourself, improve yourself for your child.  If you ever need help or have questions regarding parenting it is important that you find people you can ask. Lois’ Lodge is here to help.


parenting2Before I was a Mom….

Before I was a Mom

I slept as late as I wanted and never worried about how late I got into bed.  I brushed my hair and my teeth everyday.

Before I was a Mom

I cleaned my house each day. I never tripped over toys or forgot words to a lullaby. I didn’t worry whether or not my plants were poisonous. I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a Mom

I had never been puked on. Pooped on. Spit on. Chewed on. Peed on. I had complete control of my mind and my thoughts. I slept all night.

parenting3Before I was a Mom

I never held down a screaming child so that doctors could do tests. Or give shots.I never looked into teary eyes and cried. I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin. I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mom

I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn’t want to put it down. I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn’t stop the hurt. I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much.I never knew that I could love someone so much. I never knew I would love being a Mom.

parenting4Before I was a Mom

I didn’t know the feeling of having my heart outside my body. I didn’t know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby. I didn’t know that bond between a mother and her child. I didn’t know that something so small could make me feel so important and happy.

Before I was a Mom

I had never gotten up in the middle of the night every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay. I had never known the warmth, the joy, the love, the heartache, the wonderment or the satisfaction of being a Mom. I didn’t know I was capable of feeling so much before I was a Mom