I hope that you are listening to your grandparents.
In this letter, I want to talk with you about something that many people do not like to discuss with young black men, but that needs to be addressed—that is the subject of children before marriage. If you are not married, do not engage in the activity that causes children to come before marriage. If, however, you already have children outside of marriage, may I say a word to you regarding that:
First, people sometimes call the child born out of wedlock, illegitimate. In my opinion, it is not the child who is illegitimate; the parents are the ones who are illegitimate. If you had a child out of wedlock, you ought not to be proud of it; rather, you ought to confess your sin before God, get things right with Him, and do right by the mother and the child.
Second, if you love the young lady and feel that she is to be your wife, then you ought to make plans to marry her. (I didn’t say marry her immediately, for that may be impossible or impractical at this point; I said make earnest plans to marry her.) Please do not rush and marry her to cover up your guilt or to try to cover up what you both did. If you both know that you are not right for one another as far as marriage goes, then do not get married because life will be nothing but hell and misery for both of you and the child.
Third, whatever you both decide, sit down at some point, and speak frankly and honestly with the young lady’s parents about your intentions. Apologize to them, but don’t let them talk you into marrying their daughter if you know beyond any shadow of a doubt that she is not the one for you.
Fourth, do not consent to an abortion. You will regret it the rest of your life. (You may not have control over her decision, but you do not have to be a partaker in her wrong doing.) Remember, friend, you may have control over the sexual act, but you do not have control over life. You do not give life, only God does!
Fifth, do whatever it takes to take care of the child. You may not be able to support the child fully as you would like. Get yourself a job, if you do not already have one, and be a financial support each month.
Sixth, if the young lady you had the baby with becomes seriously involved with another man, or gets engaged or married, you need to respect that man as the stepfather of your child and do unto him as you would like for a man to do unto you if you were in the same situation. In other words, if he wants to take care of that young lady and the child, and he does not want you to support or come around because he feels that it would cause problems, then respect the man of that house and leave them alone until they give you permission to see the child. Before you get all upset, remember that you didn’t marry her, so she really does not have to answer to you in any way, shape, form, or fashion.
Seventh, whether your child is with you or not, pray daily for him or her.
Eighth, if you can spend time with the child, then spend as much time as you can with him or her.
Ninth, if you are at a distance from your child, write him or her monthly. It will be a great encouragement to him or her during this difficult time in his or her life. As he or she grows older, he or she will never forget those letters.
Tenth, tell your children that you love them often.
Eleventh, admit your sin and mistake and encourage and teach your sons not to do the same thing.
Twelfth, if you get married to another woman, make your child feel as though they are part of the family, for he or she is a part of the family.
Take Care of all Your Children,
P.T. (Power Thoughts):
Carl Sandburg said, “A baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on.”
Socrates said, “Could I climb to the highest place in Athens, I would lift my voice and proclaim—fellow citizens, why do you turn and scrape every stone to gather wealth, and take so little care of your children, to whom one day you must relinquish it all?”
Marilyn French said, “To nourish children and raise them against odds is in any time, any place, more valuable than to fix bolts in cars or design nuclear weapons.”
William Shakespeare said, “It is a wise father that knows his own child.”