Main Entry: il·le·git·i·mate
1 : not recognized as lawful offspring; specifically : born of parents not married to each other
2 : not rightly deduced or inferred
3 : departing from the regular
Society has for far too long labeled human kind born in adverse circumstances. Back in the day, children born out of wedlock were labeled ‘illegitimate‘ (I was one of them); and children born whose father abandoned the mother or wanted nothing to do with becoming a parent were labeled ‘bastards‘. How unfair to the child. . . I and children like me, were considered less than those who had both parents. Many families turned their backs on their daughters, put them out and shamed them while the men walked freely without much ridicule – they were ‘being a man’. I have a saying: times change but human nature does not.
The new term ‘illegitimate parents’ does not mean a man and woman are bad parents. When you reverse the term “illegitimate child” and “illegitimate parent” it means the parents have gotten the order of things wrong. They became parents before becoming spouses. . .God’s order is marriage, then children. While there are women/men/couples who intentionally have children without the covenant of marriage, I believe there are many who got caught up in “lust” and the passion of the moment whose end result was pregnancy. For those who chose to keep the child rather than abort, the private sin between two people became very public.
Children are precious in God’s sight regardless of the timing of their appearance. I thank God that even when we get things out of order, because of His permissive will, we are still able to receive His mercy and grace in our times of need.
Does that mean that God abandons us when we get the order wrong? No. . .especially not when we are broken, we’ve confessed our sin and dis-order before Him, and make that 180 degree turn. God requires all parents to raise their children up with reverential fear and love for Him. He says to teach His laws and precepts to our children at all times and to not forbid children to come to Him.
There are many couples who were ‘pregnant’ before they were married, but because they ‘rushed’ to the altar it was perceived as acceptable – but we all can do the math. There are many couples who got under the radar of the church because they were ‘not in church’ when they were in their foolishness; thus, no one knew nor could condemn. I’m in no way condoning the pre-marital sexual actions of men and women; but we must look through the loving lenses of our heavenly Father if those actions result in the birth of a living soul. Don’t walk away from the church, but lean in to it. God offers forgiveness, mercy and grace.
We all have sins and past actions that we are not proud of. Many of them are hidden from the masses. We must protect what is precious in God’s sight by building our children up, instilling confidence, strength, love, compassion and faith.
What are your thoughts on this?