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I am 21  years old and I have a 4 year old son out of wedlock. I have a relationship with God for about a year, but I am confused. His father wants to be in our lives .We want to get married and move in together, but he is not a Christian. I love him so much. We have been together five years. We do not live together now and we had a rough start in our relationship. We would always fight but not anymore. I know I have to pray on it. Should I get married to him if he is not a Christian? I am willing to wait for him. I want my family to work out, but he does things that I just don't agree on. But who am I to cast the first stone? We have broken up for 5 months and always get back together. I hope the Lord will help my family and hear my cry to save him?


I cannot answer the question of whether you should marry this man or not. I know neither you or him. However, I can tell you several things that you need to consider.

There is nothing in the Scriptures which states that you are limited to only marrying a Christian. Marrying a Christian is not a guarantee of having a successful marriage, though it does increase the odds greatly.

It sounds as if you have done quite a bit of maturing in the last year or so. I gather you realize that having sex outside of marriage at sixteen was not good. But I take it that the man involved doesn't share this attitude. Let's assume that this doesn't change in the years ahead. How will you be able to convince your son when he is sixteen that having sex before marriage is wrong if your husband is patting on the back congratulating him at the same time?

If you don't see eye-to-eye on religion, what religion will your son learn as he is growing up? Will you be able to teach him about Christ and take him to services or will his father be undermining your efforts and arranging events which just happen to conflict with attending worship?

But what really bothers me is that you admit that he does things with which you disagree. That is a very open ended remark and a very dangerous one to overlook. What sort of things? Robbing banks? Gambling? Drugs? Having sex with other women? You should be selecting a husband who will be your companion for the rest of your lives. While you won't agree on everything, you don't want major disagreements at the very start. His actions and choices will influence you and your son as much, or perhaps even more so, than you influence him. You need someone you can respect and honor (Ephesians 5:33). Remember at this point in life he is trying to impress you will his best example. Once you are married, he is likely to stop trying so hard. If you don't like his best now, how will that change after marriage?

I know you feel that since you have sinned as well that you have no right to condemn his sin as well, but you are misusing Jesus' statement. "Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, "Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?"" (John 8:3-5). There are several major problems: First, if they caught her in the very act, then where is the man? The Law required that both the man and the woman be stoned. Why was only the woman brought and the man left free? Second, since they obviously knew the law, why did they bring the woman to Jesus and not a judge in accordance with the law? Why were they willing to break the law in one matter to reach condemnation in another, or was it really the case that they didn't care all that much about the law? Third, why were they inviting Jesus to judge the law and not the woman?

When Jesus stated, "He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first" (John 8:7), not one of the accusers could do so. They knew they had broken the law. Jesus' statement points out their sins; not all their pasts sins, but the sins they had committed in bringing the woman to him.

They all shortly left, leaving only Jesus and the woman present. Under the Law, a person could only be stoned to death if the judgment was based on two or more accusers. Thus, when Jesus asked, "Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?" (John 8:10). The point is not that woman had not sinned, but that, by Law, the charge could no longer stand. Though Jesus is God and thus knew of her sins and had the right to judge her guilty, he chose to grant mercy by following the Law's dictates. Jesus, in a sense, was a witness of one, thus he stated, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more" (John 8:11). But notice carefully that Jesus said she sinned and he charged her not to continue in sin.

The point of John 8 is not that since we all sin, sin can be excused. The point is that sin cannot be rectified by committing additional sins. Our laws are similar today. Convictions are tossed out if it is shown that the evidence presented was gained illegally. You cannot fix one wrong by committing wrong.

Thus, when you are determining if your boy's father is marriagable material, you must be more objective. Is he doing evil things that as a Christian you cannot condone or join in? Is he able to support you, your son, and any future children you might have? Is he dependable and reliable? Will he make a good father for your children? Will you enjoy spending the next sixty years living with this man with all his quirks, as he is and not as you hope to change him?


See also:

Questions and Answers regarding Marriage