How Do I Deal with Conflicting Emotions?

By Wayne Jackson

I am a single Christian mother. I made a serious mistake and conceived a baby out of wedlock. I love my little girl very much. I struggle with what I’ve done, but I can’t bring myself to be sorry that I have this child. She is the joy of my life. Can you give me advice you feel would help me?

The key to finding peace of mind is to separate the components of your situation. Allow me, if I might, to make several observations.

First, you are obviously a very sincere and caring person. For that you are to be admired and commended. However, as you acknowledge, you sinned in having a sexual relationship outside the covenant of marriage (Hebrews 13:4). Your action was a transgression against God, against the man with whom you were involved, against yourself, against your child, and against your kinsmen in Christ. One must face the responsibility for his sins, and you obviously have done so.

If you have sought pardon according to the New Testament pattern (Acts 2:38 or 8:22—depending upon your circumstances), our loving Creator has forgiven you, and you must attempt to accept his pardon—though this may be hard to do at times. We know, intellectually speaking, that, as children of God, we are cleansed from our sin when we truly repent and seek his pardon. But at times we have a difficult time coping with the situation emotionally. We must strive to accept God at his word, be refreshed, and then rebuild our lives.

Second, you are to be congratulated for not seeking an abortion after discovering that you were pregnant. So many women these days have accepted the irresponsible ideology of the feminist world—that a woman “has the right to choose.” What choice? The choice to murder the child within her body—who is not responsible for being there? What a travesty!

Spiritual people will praise you for not caving in to the pressures of a godless society. I personally thank you for your high regard for the sacredness of human life.

Third, quite possibly it was good that you did not rush into a marriage—to cover the mistake—which might have proved disastrous. Marriage is such a serious and permanent union; it ought not to be entered except with the gravest and best of motives and with the ultimate goal of glorifying God. Perhaps you will find a good Christian man who will love you and your child. Maybe you should pray and work to this end. Every youngster, ideally, needs both a mother and a father. This is the Creator’s plan for the greatest human happiness and achievement. However, do not be impulsive. It may be better for your baby to have one dedicated, Christian parent than one good one and another that is not so good.

Fourth, I must tenderly make this point—with no desire at all to wound your feelings: You brought a child into this world who most likely will be at a spiritual disadvantage. If you choose not to marry, she will never know a daddy’s love; she will never be exposed to the qualities that a man uniquely can contribute to the home environment—traits that bring balance to the domestic sphere. You will have the obligation, therefore, to go even the “second mile” to see that your daughter is provided a rich, spiritual education. You must be dedicated to the Lord with a passion that surpasses most. This may be extremely difficult, because you likely are having to be a wage-earner as well as an attentive mom. But you owe your daughter all you have to give.

In this connection, let me mention this. As your little girl grows older she will become aware of the nature of her conception. This will afford you the opportunity to explain that you are but a frail human being, and that you once made a tragic mistake with a man—with which the Lord was not pleased. But you must, at the same time, assure her that such in no way lessens your love for her. Nor does it suggest that she is somehow illegitimate. There are no illegitimate children; only illegitimate relationships!

Attempt, therefore, to develop within your daughter a strong sense of self-esteem. All souls are worthwhile because they are creations of a loving God, are made in his very image, and because his Son died so that they might embrace eternal life—if they are disposed to accept his gift.

Finally, let me emphasize that it is not wrong for you to love your baby with your whole heart. She is a product of a divinely designed law of reproduction. She is not responsible for the circumstances of her conception. She is a precious human being with whom God has entrusted a soul. Love her, be proud of her; she is a treasure for her own worth.

May you find the peace for which your heart longs.

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About the Author

Wayne Jackson has written for and edited the Christian Courier since its inception in 1965. He has also written several books on a variety of biblical topics including The Bible and Science, Creation, Evolution, and the Age of the Earth, The Bible on Trial, and a number of commentaries. He lives in Stockton, California with his dear wife, and life-long partner, Betty.