Illegitimate Children

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Theoretical

Puritan Board Professor
How should we as a people interact with and address the scores of illegitimate children within our communities?

How should we best condemn illegitimacy societally while loving the illegitmately-born in our midst?

NOTE: This was re-worded VERY deliberately because it asked a question I didn't wish to ask. See posts 2 and 3.
 
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SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Snowflake
It is not the child's fault he/she was conceived and born out of wedlock. They should be loved, taught, encouraged, and treated the way you'd treat any of the kids in your area. If anything, you should go the extra mile to be a good male figure in their life.

And if their parent becomes a Christian, the child should be treated like any other covenant child.
 
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Theoretical

Puritan Board Professor
Thank you for the rebuke, sir, as obvious bad questions need obvious answers. I certianly did not wish to advocate injustice but was trying to express how to discourage illegitimacy while not stigmatizing the illegitimate.
 

MMasztal

Puritan Board Sophomore
:agree:

That's an odd question coming coming from anyone outside the legalist/Pharisee camp.

We should also encourage and try to guide the many single mothers out there. Our church has been ministering to a young unwed mother for a few years now and the Lord has blessed her abundantly. Even more mportantly, her daughter is growing up to love the Lord and his people.
 

SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Snowflake
I'd posit a 3-pronged plan of action:

1. Have a clearly and consistently articulated theology of human sexuality.

2. Consistently live out that theology within the church (that is: stop having sex out of wedlock... and when someone gets pregnant we discipline them until they express repentance).

3. We start being more proactive about adopting unwanted children of illegitimacy.
 

he beholds

Puritan Board Doctor
Maybe not throwing showers (or attending them) for unmarried pregnant women, but later giving her some needed hand-me-downs. It is not a celebration or a game, but the baby will have needs.
 

LawrenceU

Puritan Board Doctor
I think Jessica has hit on something. We almost lost a family from our church a few year ago when we had to discipline an unwed mother and the women in the church refused to throw or attend showers for her. The family we almost lost was not the family of the young woman. They were solidly behind the church leadership. The young lady was repentant from the first 'confrontation'.
 

Tripel

Puritan Board Senior
Maybe not throwing showers (or attending them) for unmarried pregnant women, but later giving her some needed hand-me-downs. It is not a celebration or a game, but the baby will have needs.
I agree...sort of. A distinction is called for when it's an illegitimate pregnancy, but I wouldn't go so far to say it "is not a celebration". A shower might not be appropriate, but I think it's very appropriate to give hand-me-downs AND new gifts.
 

Mindaboo

Puritan Board Graduate
I am the product of a one night stand and I have to tell you being an unwanted child is enough pressure for any kid to take, especially when you are told constantly that you were not wanted.

Having had my first daughter out of wedlock I had moments that were awkward with people. (I should have been made uneasy) It wasn't easy feeling the weight of what people were thinking, but I was already pregnant, what could I do? Abortion wasn't an option. The one thing that I look back on almost 16 years later is that some Christians kept coming into where I worked and they would say, "This is not unforgivable, God's grace can overcome this." I didn't understand it at the time, but when I was finally converted three years later, those words rang loud and clear. I believe those were seeds being planted by the Lord and it gave me great comfort knowing I was not condemned for my bad choices when I became a Christian.

We have a little boy in our neighborhood that comes to our home everyday that he is with his dad and we see him as a ministry. We try to show him the love of Christ. He spends the night with us every weekend, goes almost everywhere my family goes and loves my children as his siblings. He is suffering the consequences of his parents sin in a very real way. I love that little boy like he is one of my own and if his father ever wanted to give him to me, I would take him, no questions asked.

I think the biblical response is to love them. They more than likely have enough to deal with. The parents are a different story.
 

he beholds

Puritan Board Doctor
Maybe not throwing showers (or attending them) for unmarried pregnant women, but later giving her some needed hand-me-downs. It is not a celebration or a game, but the baby will have needs.
I agree...sort of. A distinction is called for when it's an illegitimate pregnancy, but I wouldn't go so far to say it "is not a celebration". A shower might not be appropriate, but I think it's very appropriate to give hand-me-downs AND new gifts.
Well, I hesitated writing that. But I think if you are to give new gifts, perhaps don't wrap them.
I guess I'm thinking of how it would be best done in the church. I have given baby gifts before to an unwed mother.

I sort of see it like this: I wouldn't bring presents to a housewarming party for a couple who were not married, but if they needed to borrow my blender someday, I'd lend it to them.
 

ZackF

Puritan Board Graduate
Maybe not throwing showers (or attending them) for unmarried pregnant women, but later giving her some needed hand-me-downs. It is not a celebration or a game, but the baby will have needs.

Yeah that is a tough one. I just gave total contrary advice to Fiancee'. LOL Maybe I need to think this through more. I told her don't worry about the "shower" part of it. Think of it as celebrating a life to come rather than her sin in the past. The girl in question is an unbeliever.
 

SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Snowflake
In many cases "baby showers" are thrown while the mother is still pregnant, and the shower becomes a celebration of her pregnancy and her upcoming motherhood.

I'm unequivocally opposed to sending this type of message.

However, once the baby is born if you want to have a "shower" in which the baby is celebated and gifts are given... that may be a way of showing support.

Or just forego the "shower" concept alltogether and simply give gifts to address needs as they arise.
 

raekwon

Puritan Board Junior
Maybe not throwing showers (or attending them) for unmarried pregnant women, but later giving her some needed hand-me-downs. It is not a celebration or a game, but the baby will have needs.
Seriously? Are children not a blessing (worthy of celebration), regardless of the circumstances of their conception?
 

LadyFlynt

Puritan Board Doctor
Maybe not throwing showers (or attending them) for unmarried pregnant women, but later giving her some needed hand-me-downs. It is not a celebration or a game, but the baby will have needs.
Seriously? Are children not a blessing (worthy of celebration), regardless of the circumstances of their conception?
When you have unwed mothers that think that this is their "right" and they haven't even come to terms with their responsibility, etc...yeah, no need to party. Help provide for needs, but don't make her sin acceptable by celebrating that she is pregnant.
 

QueenEsther

Puritan Board Sophomore
Maybe not throwing showers (or attending them) for unmarried pregnant women, but later giving her some needed hand-me-downs. It is not a celebration or a game, but the baby will have needs.
Seriously? Are children not a blessing (worthy of celebration), regardless of the circumstances of their conception?
I agree, I would say that there is a different way to go about the whole disciplining thing.
 

SemperEruditio

Puritan Board Junior
How should we as a people interact with and address the scores of illegitimate children within our communities?

How should we best condemn illegitimacy societally while loving the illegitmately-born in our midst?
We should interact with them as the children they are. How to address them? By name I imagine.

Preach the Gospel. Live the Gospel. Address the societal concerns during the prayer, small groups, and one-on-one discipleship. Have the youth leaders bringing up issues that the parents are deficient. Have the elders address the deficiencies of the parents to the parents. Make efforts to bombard them with as much of the Gospel and how it is to be lived out as possible.

Our youth are not blind nor stupid. They see no difference between us and the rest of the world. The only difference is we have some place to go dressed up on Sunday while they get to sleep in...otherwise we are identical.
 

he beholds

Puritan Board Doctor
Maybe not throwing showers (or attending them) for unmarried pregnant women, but later giving her some needed hand-me-downs. It is not a celebration or a game, but the baby will have needs.
Seriously? Are children not a blessing (worthy of celebration), regardless of the circumstances of their conception?
Maybe not throwing showers (or attending them) for unmarried pregnant women, but later giving her some needed hand-me-downs. It is not a celebration or a game, but the baby will have needs.
Seriously? Are children not a blessing (worthy of celebration), regardless of the circumstances of their conception?
I agree, I would say that there is a different way to go about the whole disciplining thing.
What is another way?

Raekwon, babies aren't actually at baby showers, so we aren't denying them anything. Baby showers are actually for the moms. I say, don't treat the mom as a guest of honor at a party, while still providing for the needs of the child. It is not unloving to not throw a shower. Showers are not some mandatory act of love.
 

raekwon

Puritan Board Junior
Maybe not throwing showers (or attending them) for unmarried pregnant women, but later giving her some needed hand-me-downs. It is not a celebration or a game, but the baby will have needs.
Seriously? Are children not a blessing (worthy of celebration), regardless of the circumstances of their conception?
When you have unwed mothers that think that this is their "right" and they haven't even come to terms with their responsibility, etc...yeah, no need to party. Help provide for needs, but don't make her sin acceptable by celebrating that she is pregnant.
Pregnancy is something to celebrate. Pregnancy isn't the sin. Sex outside of wedlock is. Sometimes people sin (a bad thing), and they get a baby (a good thing)! Wow! If anything, the fact that she decided to keep the baby is cause for celebration in itself. I don't believe that having a shower necessarily communicates that her sin is acceptable.

An example: an unmarried woman in her mid-20s who is a member of my church had a baby just a couple of weeks ago. She is cognizant and repentant of her sin and has been for months. The ladies of the church organized a shower for her before she gave birth and have been very supportive of her the whole time. Were they wrong for this? I'm gonna say "no".

Also, it seemed to me that we're talking generally about moms-to-be who've conceived out of wedlock . . . not specifically those who haven't come to terms with their responsibility. There are certainly unmarried moms-to-be who need to wake up and get a grip on what's going on, but there are certainly others who are already there. Either way, what kind of message does this attitude send to these women? We may think that it sends a "we're serious about sin" message, but it's more likely going to be received as "we think that you and your child are second-class" (especially if her non-Christian friends DO throw her a shower, as they should).
 

he beholds

Puritan Board Doctor
How should we as a people interact with and address the scores of illegitimate children within our communities?

How should we best condemn illegitimacy societally while loving the illegitmately-born in our midst?
We should interact with them as the children they are. How to address them? By name I imagine.

Preach the Gospel. Live the Gospel. Address the societal concerns during the prayer, small groups, and one-on-one discipleship. Have the youth leaders bringing up issues that the parents are deficient. Have the elders address the deficiencies of the parents to the parents. Make efforts to bombard them with as much of the Gospel and how it is to be lived out as possible.

Our youth are not blind nor stupid. They see no difference between us and the rest of the world. The only difference is we have some place to go dressed up on Sunday while they get to sleep in...otherwise we are identical.
I'm guessing you mean that "to them, the only difference is..." right?
 

raekwon

Puritan Board Junior
Maybe not throwing showers (or attending them) for unmarried pregnant women, but later giving her some needed hand-me-downs. It is not a celebration or a game, but the baby will have needs.
Seriously? Are children not a blessing (worthy of celebration), regardless of the circumstances of their conception?
Seriously? Are children not a blessing (worthy of celebration), regardless of the circumstances of their conception?
I agree, I would say that there is a different way to go about the whole disciplining thing.
What is another way?

Raekwon, babies aren't actually at baby showers, so we aren't denying them anything. Baby showers are actually for the moms. I say, don't treat the mom as a guest of honor at a party, while still providing for the needs of the child. It is not unloving to not throw a shower. Showers are not some mandatory act of love.
I have no problem with honoring an unwed mom-to-be, especially if she's repentant.
 

ChristianTrader

Puritan Board Graduate
Seriously? Are children not a blessing (worthy of celebration), regardless of the circumstances of their conception?
I agree, I would say that there is a different way to go about the whole disciplining thing.
What is another way?

Raekwon, babies aren't actually at baby showers, so we aren't denying them anything. Baby showers are actually for the moms. I say, don't treat the mom as a guest of honor at a party, while still providing for the needs of the child. It is not unloving to not throw a shower. Showers are not some mandatory act of love.
I have no problem with honoring an unwed mom-to-be, especially if she's repentant.
Honoring her for what? Secondly, there is the question of repentant vs. non repentant?

CT
 

raekwon

Puritan Board Junior
What is another way?

Raekwon, babies aren't actually at baby showers, so we aren't denying them anything. Baby showers are actually for the moms. I say, don't treat the mom as a guest of honor at a party, while still providing for the needs of the child. It is not unloving to not throw a shower. Showers are not some mandatory act of love.
I have no problem with honoring an unwed mom-to-be, especially if she's repentant.
Honoring her for what? Secondly, there is the question of repentant vs. non repentant?

CT
Regardless of the circumstances of a child's conception, motherhood is an honorable thing. Now, this honor doesn't have to come in the form of a baby shower, but the blanket "no showers" prohibition that's being expressed here makes no sense to me.

Now, if a (supposedly Christian) woman is unrepentant/rebellious/etc, then maybe a shower isn't the best idea, but this thread seems to assume that EVERY unwed mom fits into this category.
 

Grace Alone

Puritan Board Senior
We recently had a baby shower at school for a single unwed mother. I determined that showing love to her might open the door one day for me to share my faith. Whereas if I acted "holier than thou" and shunned her, I'd likely never have the chance to witness to her. Same with the teacher who lives with her fiance. Until they know Jesus, the sin aspect isn't even going to register.
 

ChristianTrader

Puritan Board Graduate
We recently had a baby shower at school for a single unwed mother. I determined that showing love to her might open the door one day for me to share my faith. Whereas if I acted "holier than thou" and shunned her, I'd likely never have the chance to witness to her. Same with the teacher who lives with her fiance. Until they know Jesus, the sin aspect isn't even going to register.
But if the sin aspect does not register then why do they need to come to Christ?

CT
 

QueenEsther

Puritan Board Sophomore
Maybe not throwing showers (or attending them) for unmarried pregnant women, but later giving her some needed hand-me-downs. It is not a celebration or a game, but the baby will have needs.
Seriously? Are children not a blessing (worthy of celebration), regardless of the circumstances of their conception?
Seriously? Are children not a blessing (worthy of celebration), regardless of the circumstances of their conception?
I agree, I would say that there is a different way to go about the whole disciplining thing.
What is another way?

Raekwon, babies aren't actually at baby showers, so we aren't denying them anything. Baby showers are actually for the moms. I say, don't treat the mom as a guest of honor at a party, while still providing for the needs of the child. It is not unloving to not throw a shower. Showers are not some mandatory act of love.
I could be wrong in assuming this but the pregnancy isn't the sin and the sin isn't being dealt with by not giving a baby shower. God planned for that baby before time, it was God who opened her womb. The sex outside of marriage should be dealt with. I'm guessing that is should be dealt with the same way that many other sins are dealt with in the church. The couple or mother should get counseling from people within the church. Then if she is repentant they could set her up with a mentor, an older lady to disciple her.
 

ChristianTrader

Puritan Board Graduate
I have no problem with honoring an unwed mom-to-be, especially if she's repentant.
Honoring her for what? Secondly, there is the question of repentant vs. non repentant?

CT
Regardless of the circumstances of a child's conception, motherhood is an honorable thing. Now, this honor doesn't have to come in the form of a baby shower, but the blanket "no showers" prohibition that's being expressed here makes no sense to me.

Now, if a (supposedly Christian) woman is unrepentant/rebellious/etc, then maybe a shower isn't the best idea, but this thread seems to assume that EVERY unwed mom fits into this category.
Does this not reduce down to honoring her for not murdering her child?

CT
 

Grace Alone

Puritan Board Senior
We recently had a baby shower at school for a single unwed mother. I determined that showing love to her might open the door one day for me to share my faith. Whereas if I acted "holier than thou" and shunned her, I'd likely never have the chance to witness to her. Same with the teacher who lives with her fiance. Until they know Jesus, the sin aspect isn't even going to register.
But if the sin aspect does not register then why do they need to come to Christ?

CT
Until the Lord does the work in their hearts, they do not see what they are doing as sin.

-----Added 3/18/2009 at 07:10:39 EST-----

Honoring her for what? Secondly, there is the question of repentant vs. non repentant?

CT
Regardless of the circumstances of a child's conception, motherhood is an honorable thing. Now, this honor doesn't have to come in the form of a baby shower, but the blanket "no showers" prohibition that's being expressed here makes no sense to me.

Now, if a (supposedly Christian) woman is unrepentant/rebellious/etc, then maybe a shower isn't the best idea, but this thread seems to assume that EVERY unwed mom fits into this category.
Does this not reduce down to honoring her for not murdering her child?

CT
Actually, that is something to celebrate these days.
 

ChristianTrader

Puritan Board Graduate
We recently had a baby shower at school for a single unwed mother. I determined that showing love to her might open the door one day for me to share my faith. Whereas if I acted "holier than thou" and shunned her, I'd likely never have the chance to witness to her. Same with the teacher who lives with her fiance. Until they know Jesus, the sin aspect isn't even going to register.
But if the sin aspect does not register then why do they need to come to Christ?

CT
Until the Lord does the work in their hearts, they do not see what they are doing as sin.
So then a person is not a responsible for their sin until they become a Christian? So what does a person go to Hell for doing/not doing?

-----Added 3/18/2009 at 07:10:39 EST-----

Regardless of the circumstances of a child's conception, motherhood is an honorable thing. Now, this honor doesn't have to come in the form of a baby shower, but the blanket "no showers" prohibition that's being expressed here makes no sense to me.

Now, if a (supposedly Christian) woman is unrepentant/rebellious/etc, then maybe a shower isn't the best idea, but this thread seems to assume that EVERY unwed mom fits into this category.
Does this not reduce down to honoring her for not murdering her child?

CT
Actually, that is something to celebrate these days.
As the legendary Chris Rock skit goes: You do not brag about stuff that you are supposed to do. Honoring someone for not killing their child is like honoring someone for not raping and pillaging.

CT
 
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