Illegitimate or Legitimate?
Last night, I told my life story at our Day 7 service at Harvest Christian Fellowship.
It’s a story that hopefully will bring hope to those who feel the deck is stacked against them. I talked about how my mom was married and divorced seven times and I, conceived between marriages, was illegitimate. I did not find this out until much later in life.
It’s rather disconcerting to find out that you are illegitimate. You find yourself asking, “Was I ever meant to be? Was my life an accident?” I became an angry young man.
For the most part, I never had a father to guide me, so I rebelled. My rebellion expressed itself in predictable ways, including getting in trouble with authority figures, drinking, partying and, in my case, drug use.
My older cousin Wayne, a psychologist, performed some tests on me when I was a teen and later reported, “There was a lot of anger in Greg and a lot of rebellion, although I don’t know if it was pathological or the normal family genes manifesting themselves. But all of us were a bit worried about the way this young man was going.” They had good reason to be.
Experts say that if you are a FATHERLESS CHILD, you are:
- 5 times more likely to commit suicide
- 32 times more likely to run away
- 20 times more likely to have behavioral disorders
- 9 times more likely to drop out of school
- 10 times more likely to abuse chemical substances
- 9 times more likely to end up in a state operated institution
- 20 times more likely to END UP IN PRISON.
Fatherless children have a dramatically greater risk of drug and alcohol abuse, mental illness, suicide, poor educational performance, teen pregnancy, and criminal behavior. Not exactly a promising future.
But people’s destinies don’t have to be determined by their genes or their environment. Your future doesn’t have to be dependent on your past. There are no foregone conclusions.
We cannot change our past, but we don’t have to live in it either. The apostle Paul, formally the murderous Saul, had a lot to be ashamed for. Yet he wrote, “No, dear friends, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven” (Philippians 3:13-14 NLT).
Perhaps you were born out of wedlock, or your parents never had time for you. Know this — there are no illegitimate children in the eyes of God. Every one of us is LOVED! Even if you did not have a “hands-on” earthly Father, know that you have a Father in heaven who cares for you. God had a plan for my life, in spite of my inauspicious beginnings, and He has a plan for you.
You have His Word on it.