I was thinking about the Nativity story today and the impact that it had in that time. From Mary's side, how does a young girl (likely no older than 16) handle the backlash of what being single and pregnant would have been. Joseph would have been completely within the law to stone her to death. I can't even imagine if Joseph had not been the man of faith that he was and had gone through with the stoning, killing the mother of the Son of God. Obviously God would not have allowed that to happen, but it is interesting to think about.
It was not like it is now, when young girls end up pregnant for so many reasons every day. The virgin Mary did not end up pregnant because her high school's sex ed program didn't stress abstinence over safe sex enough, or because she was pressured by the guy she was dating (Joseph?) to prove her love for him, or even because the form of birth control that they were using failed. The Bible says that she had not "known" a man. That means that she was a virgin, through and through. She never asked how far was too far in order to still be considered "pure". No, she pleased the Lord to the point that he entrusted her to carry and care for His Son while on earth.
Our culture today does not understand this. Young girls are trying to please the boys around them, instead of learning to please their Heavenly Father.
Imagine with me here: A young girl in her teens walks into a doctor's office for a check up. She hops up onto the exam table and waits. When the doctor comes in, he asks, "So what are you here for today?" She says, "I'm pregnant!" with a big smile on her face, no trace of shame, "God told me, in a dream, that I would carry His Son and give birth to the Messiah that we have been waiting for." That doctor would not even hesitate before making a phone call and shipping that little girl off to the nearest psych ward.
We don't see miracles like this today, but that doesn't mean that it is not true.