The Council Speaks
Last updated 11/28/2022 at 11:35am
QUESTION: I have a husband who is a Christian, but he is not Indigenous. I have children from an earlier marriage living with us. Their relatives want to see them, but they aren't Christians. Should I let them? My kids need to know their background, but I am afraid of the non-Christian influence.
ANSWER: I would like to say a word about the first part of your letter, though it isn't the main part of your question. The part I refer to is "but he is not Indigenous." If there is an attitude at all about him being of another race, your children "from an earlier marriage," will pick up on this and may not respond to his teaching and authority as they should.
I see no reason why relatives should not be able to see the children to visit with them, etc. I don't think it should be for any extended periods of time. You and you husband should think about and try to find out how they are being influenced.
If your children have been taught to obey their parents in the Lord (Ephesians 6:1), will not be confused. It would help to talk to the children about their relatives' spiritual needs and get them to pray for their relatives.
The next part of your letter says, "Should I let them?" I hope you are not making decisions by yourself, especially if it has to do with the family. "We" instead of "I" in this family matter would be better. First Corinthians 11:3 applies in this case. Pray together, make decisions together. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart . . . Agree with Him in all your ways, and He will make your paths straight" (Proverbs 3:5–6).
-Bill Jackson, Cree, is a pastor/missionary and lives in Goodfish Lake, Alberta.
ANSWER: The children should be allowed to visit their relatives from the first marriage because they are culturally and physically a part of them. It is very important for them to know their identity, but it must be done under certain conditions.
1. Your husband needs to be in agreement with this.
2. You should be there with them to make sure you are in control of conversations and to answer any of their questions and comments.
3. It should be a learning experience so your children will know their birth father and his family.
4. Pray much about it. Ask God to use this opportunity to share the gospel and how it has become a new way of life for you and your family. Read Proverbs 16:20.
-LaDonna Smith and her husband, Craig, are the founders of the evangelistic organization Tribal Rescue Ministries. They are Christian ministers from the Ojibwe and Navajo tribes.
This is from The Council Speaks. To get your copy of this book published by Indian Life Ministries, see https://www.indianlife.org/store/