Expert Answer Forum

feeling awkward QUESTION from Ed May 11, 1999 Our 19 year old unmarried niece is about to give birth. Do you have any advice on how we should respond to the situation?
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius on May 12, 1999 Dear Ed:
It is a glorious thing to have a grandchild or a grand-niece, though unfortunate that the birth was under the circumstances you describe.
I know personally about this sort of situation. My oldest daughter had a child out of wedlock when she was 20. I don't even know who the father is. But the child is my granddaughter and she is a wonderful child.
You ask how to respond? With love, affection, support, encouragement, and PRAYER.
My daughter knows my beliefs and thus she knows that, at least according to my beliefs, she has sinned. There is no purpose in beating her up on that point.
What is needed now is to take the situation from this moment FORWARD. Is she still in need of a relationship with God? If the answer to that is yes, then you encouragement of her, done quietly and lovingly, to seek a reslationship with God needs to continue. The fact that she had a child changes nothing on that point.
As for the child, the child is not at fault for anything, of course. Love and accept that child as your grand-niece without qualification or hesitation.
As for the niece as mother, she is probably scared. Accept her as she is, not her sin, but her. She needs your encouragement and support and love. With that love, instead of preaching about a past sin, maybe she will be influenced to get her life back with God.
This does not mean that you back away from the truth about sin. But it does mean that you accept and love the sinner.
We will be in prayer for you and for her.
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