Living in the West Indies and having little experience internationally, this may be a West Indies issue. Nonetheless, on West Indies social media an issue has arisen as to whether or not people should accept children outside of their marriage.
To be honest, it has always been a topic that I thought about carefully before jumping to give my opinion on, as it can be a very emotional topic. This time around however, I reached out to some friends and family to get the discussion out of my head and also to get a sense of how young people around me are thinking and it was quite interesting.
Would I accept a child outside of marriage? I am not speaking about second marriages where both parties have children. Rather a more specific issue. What if, for example, my husband had a child outside our marriage. In my view, it depends! The bible describe such action as adultery:
“Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery,
And he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.”
(Luke chapter 16 verse 18)
There are under two (2) circumstances as to why I said it depends, here are my reasons against but in the same breath for the matter at hand
1. Denying truth
If by any means I found out my husband has another child outside of our union and I confront him about it and he denies when the truth is that he went outside and had intercourse with another woman and happens to produce a child then that is a very hard pill to swallow and as a result, I would find it hard to accept.
2. Biblically wrong
I know must people shy away from topics like these as many might say their first response is no because it is biblically wrong as stated in the 10 commandments:
“You shalt not commit adultery.”
(Exodus 20 verse 14)
Whilst, I do not support infidelity, unfortunately, it is the reality of many West Indian and Jamaican households and families.
1. Sticking to vows
Firstly, we made a vow to God on the wedding day, that we would be faithful to each other in both good and bad seasons. Now, I know you’re probably saying but ‘he wasn’t faithful, because if he was, then such a situation would not have occured. While I agree, upon on reflection, the book of Luke instructed us:
“But, to you that hear:
Love your enemies,
Do good to them that hate you.
Bless them that curse you,
And pray for them that despitefully use you.”
(Luke chapter 6 verses 26-27)
In my view, the scripture quoted above is simply asking us as humans to be an example. Therefore, in the scenario given where another woman is bearing a child for my husband I would accept and care for the child in an effort to display to him that, even though he stepped out and was unfaithful to our union, I love and respect him enough to help him deal with the issue. Furthermore, the child is innocent. It is just that he/she came into the world due to his unfaithfulness.
2. Cannot produce
Secondly, my reason for saying ‘yes’ to the acceptance of an outside child or my ‘step-child’ if you prefer, is if the chances of me producing god-forbid a child(ren) will be life-threatening. However, communication about this approaches I would very much be appreciated
In conclusion, the decision about accepting a child outside of your marital union who came into existence while together for any number of years, should be carefully considered.
Some will respond with the love of Christ and bring that child into a warm and loving home. Others might be warned off from a religious standpoint. In Jamaican terms, ‘come hell or eye-water,’ sticking to wedding vows. Another question might relate to the child having a disability or a life threatening illness. Attending counseling, speaking to your Christian trusted friends, and your Minister need to be part of the issue.
Richelle Henry is a blogger and writer, residing in beautiful Jamaica and through her experiences living with Cerebral Palsy has been using her gift of writing to encourage and inspire others as well as to advocate for persons with disabilities. Visit blog at https://richellethenry.wordpress.com/