Needing some scriptural advice. I got a girl pregnant, or so she claims. I know that was a sin and have sought forgiveness with God. My confusion is here: I don't feel like she's the best Christian woman for me, actually, she and I fight often. I have a life long friend who I absolutely love and would love to marry. The pregnant girl lives in a different state than I do. Do I need to marry the pregnant girl? Am I wrong to marry this other woman? The pregnant girl thinks maybe if I sign my rights away and just disappear it will be best for the child. What would you advise I do, and how should this be handled? If I were your son how would you advise?
The reason God gave us laws is to protect us from making a mess out of our lives. As you are only beginning to realize, breaking God's laws generally has life-long consequences.
I know questions tend to be short and everything that could be said is not said, but you sound very cavalier in regards to your sin. I'm hoping you realize that the sin isn't that you got a girl pregnant, the sin is that you are having sex with people with whom you are not married. Even worse, you're having sex with people you don't even particularly like. "Or don't you know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don't be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor extortioners, will inherit the Kingdom of God" (I Corinthians 6:9-10).
You call the woman you got pregnant a Christian woman, but neither one of you are acting like Christians. To be a Christian is to follow Christ and both of you are smearing mud on Christ's name and disobeying his commands. This only appears to be a poor attempt to make yourself feel better about your sinful life.
But now that you have chosen to break God's commands, you have to accept responsibility for what you have done. That is a part of changing your life for the better. "For behold, this same thing, that you were made sorry in a godly way, what earnest care it worked in you. Yes, what defense, indignation, fear, longing, zeal, and vengeance! In everything you demonstrated yourselves to be pure in the matter" (II Corinthians 7:11).
Under the Old Law, a man caught having sex with an unmarried woman could be forced to marry that woman. "If a man finds a young woman who is a virgin, who is not betrothed, and he seizes her and lies with her, and they are found out, then the man who lay with her shall give to the young woman's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife because he has humbled her; he shall not be permitted to divorce her all his days" (Deuteronomy 22:28-29). The fifty shekels of silver, about what an unskilled laborer could earn in about two and a half months, was the standard gift given for the privilege of marrying a virgin woman. Since a woman who has had sex would have more difficulty finding a man to marry her, the man who had sex with her was made responsible for her. In addition, because he chose to break God's law by having sex with the woman without being married, he forfeited his right to ever divorce the woman.
However, the girl's father had the right to overrule. "If a man entices a virgin who is not betrothed, and lies with her, he shall surely pay the bride-price for her to be his wife. If her father utterly refuses to give her to him, he shall pay money according to the bride-price of virgins" (Exodus 22:16-17). In other words, the girl's father can say, "There is no way I'm going to have my daughter married to that bum!" The man still owes the fifty shekels of silver, but because the father refused the marriage, he doesn't have to marry the woman.
Neither of these cases necessarily involve a pregnancy. If you were living under the Old Law, any one of the girls you put your penis into could go to the authorities and force you to marry her and you would have been stuck with her for the rest of your life.
Now, we don't live under that Law anymore and there is no regulation in Christ's law that forces a marriage, but it doesn't mean you're off the hook. You created this situation and you have responsibilities.
First, you should find out whether the baby is actually yours since you have your doubts. A DNA test can be done, even before the child is born to determine if you are the father. It costs about $200 to $500 dollars and obviously the mother must be willing to have the test done.
When the child is born, there is a form that you will be urged to sign, whether you have the DNA test done or not. It goes by various names, but it is usually called an acknowledgment of paternity. Once you sign that form, you are granting the government the right to collect child support payments from you -- whether you later prove to be the father or not. Worse, the form does not give you any legal rights in regards to the child. It doesn't give you visitation rights or custody rights -- those would have to be set in a court, which again costs money.
If the child is yours, I would urge you to own up to your responsibilities. Find out what the woman's pregnancy is costing her (beyond what her insurance pays) and help pay some of that cost. Sign the acknowledgment of paternity. You can sign away your rights to be involved in the child's life, but generally, in the process of doing so, you end up admitting paternity and will be paying child support regardless. Don't sign papers without having a lawyer explaining what those papers mean. Make sure you and the mother are signing up for what both of you agree is best for the child.
Second, you need to decide how involved you want to be in the raising of your child. The best thing would be for the mother to give the child up for adoption, but that doesn't always happen. You need to sit down with the mother and talk about the future of the child. What does she plan to do? Is she planning to marry someone else? Will there be a father figure in the child's life? Understand that in most places, the mother has greater control over how involved you will be in the child's life. I can't tell you what is best if she decides to keep the child since I don't know either of you. But these issues must be discussed and hopefully settled.
Third, you need to sit down with the woman you are thinking about marrying and tell her that you have been having sex and have at least one child. She will have to decide whether she wants to marry a man who has demonstrated a lack of restraint in his life. She will have to decide if she will like being married to a man who is going to lose a good chunk of his paycheck to some other woman for the next 18 to 23 years. She will have to decide if she is willing to share responsibility for a child with another woman. You see, this isn't just a matter between you and the woman you knocked up. The woman you marry is going to be saddled with some of the consequences of your sins. The only fair thing is to let her know what she getting into in advance.
And finally, don't make your life any more complicated. Until you get married, keep your pants on.
There are so many things you and I need to discuss at length. Things like your concept of love which allows you to claim to have a life-long love for one woman while you are having sex with other women. But there is only so much that can be written at a time.
Your words, although harsh, are appreciated. Would adoption be the wrong option? If she wanted to marry someone else and asked me to sign away my rights, would that be a sin?
"On some have compassion, making a distinction, and some save, snatching them out of the fire with fear, hating even the clothing stained by the flesh" (Jude 22-23). Sugarcoating sin doesn't solve the problem. I'm being blunt because I see a young man going the wrong way, and I want you to reach heaven. Eternity in hell is not worth a few quickie sexual flings. It is not even worth what it can cost you in this life. Think about it, because you spent several minutes with your penis in a girl, you have positioned yourself into potentially paying out one-third to one-half of your salary for the next 18 to 23 years. Was the sex that valuable? Is it ever?
Adoption would be the best alternative at the moment. A child needs a loving mother and father to grow up well. The most you can offer at the moment is a single mom who sleeps around and a dad who is in another state and really doesn't want to be in the picture. Is that the home life you want for your child?
If she does marry someone else, then yes, let the man she marries adopt your child. At least then the child will have a father in his life. By the way, if you are not careful, she could manage to marry someone else and still have you pay child support.
But the reality at the moment is that it is her call, but your responsibility. It has been your responsibility from the moment you first chose to drop your pants to have sex with a girl. Isn't it about time you left the world of sin?
I have left that sin behind, make no mistake. Child support and money aren't my biggest concerns if she needs or wants money she's welcome to it, whatever is necessary. I'm willing to humble myself and marry this girl if it's God's desire. She claims she will marry someone else, but I feel like if I let someone else adopt my child then I'm absolving myself from responsibility, will God see it that way? I'm just interested in restoration before God and what needs to be done to achieve that. I'm not going to commit the sin anymore. What next?
Until the time she does marry and the adoption takes place, give her whatever support she needs to so she can deliver your child and raise him to be healthy. It will mean more than just mailing money. It will mean frequent visits to check on the situation. Your responsibility is to see that the child you produced has a good home with a mom and a dad. You can't directly provide that. You already stated that you don't get along with the child's mother. How are two people, constantly arguing, and blaming the other for forcing them to marry someone other than the one they really wanted to marry going to provide a good home for a child?
You made a mess, you're taking responsibility for cleaning it up. That is what God expects from you. If you can get the child into a loving home, then you did your best to turn a bad situation into something better. Don't think that you have to punish yourself by marrying a woman you don't love to gain God's regard. With that frame of mind, you are trying to earn your salvation.
As to what is next, I must ask you a few questions. I don't know your background. I know you think of yourself as a Christian, but so do a lot of people who have not done what God asked of them. "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will tell me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, didn't we prophesy in your name, in your name cast out demons, and in your name do many mighty works?' Then I will tell them, 'I never knew you. Depart from me, you who work iniquity'" (Matthew 7:21-23). So tell me, what have you done to put on Christ and be his follower? When were they done (roughly)? Why were they done? Based on your answers, I'll list out verses for you to consider in regards to your own salvation.
I'm not exactly sure what you are asking. I accepted the Lord when I was 16 through the waters of baptism. My dad and grandfather both served as elders in the church, and I've lived my life on the narrow path as best as I could. Fornication is not something I practiced, this was a one time deal (honestly) but I got caught as you might say. I know many people who have committed this sin hundreds of times and nobody knows because a pregnancy didn't develop. People in my congregation were hoping I'd get married before long so I could have children and be an officer in the church. That may all be ruined now.
I hope you understand that I get questions from all over the world and the vast majority are from people who are not members of the church. I worded my questions about your salvation vaguely simply because I had no idea if you were a Christian or just called yourself one.
In regards to pregnancy happening on the one and only time: you can commiserate with King David. The odds of pregnancy occurring after an act of sex is not insignificant, especially when you factor in that women are most interested in sex when they are most likely to conceive. I even knew a teenager years ago who got a girl pregnant from just one time, and he withdrew before ejaculating. I won't be at all surprised to learn that God might sometimes make sure that these things happen just to let people know that sin can't be hidden (Numbers 32:23).
In regards to knowing others who managed to get away with fornication: If you knew then it wasn't so hidden as you might suppose.
As far as your ability to serve in the church; yes, you took a big hit and damaged your reputation. But consider the difference between Saul and David when they sinned. It isn't the fact that they sinned because all people do (Romans 3:23). Nor is it the type of sin committed because every sin you may name is common to men (I Corinthians 10:13). The difference is in their response to sin. Saul became arrogant, but David became humbled. Everyone has sinned -- multiple times. But what makes a man valuable in the service of God is not the fact that he sinned, but how he responded to his sins.
As I stated before, do your best for the child who is innocent in this matter. Marrying a woman you do not love and who does not love you will not reverse the fact that you sinned. You don't fix a wrong by committing more wrongs. If you told me that you liked the woman and was interested in marrying her anyways, I would urge you to do so. But since that is not the case, marrying someone you don't like is going to make the situation worse -- and give the poor child a miserable home life.
So what is this woman planning to do and what would she like for you to do? I know she said she plans to marry someone else, but is that just talk to get you out of her life, or is it real? How real is your desire to marry this life-long friend? Is she a Christian? Does she know what happened?
Another thing we need to eventually talk about is how you let this happen to you and what steps you need to take to make sure it is not likely to happen again in the future.
She claims I left my family. Truth is we broke up before she told me she was pregnant. She says now that she knows I didn't want to be with her so that's that. She says I can sign my rights away or we can go through a custody battle in court.
Money isn't my motive, she can have all she wants it's God's will I seek. Fornication will not occur again because I'm not going to place myself in those situations or around people who feel it's okay.
My desire for this other girl is real. She knows and supports whatever I do, whether that's being with her or not. She's a real asset to my life. Yes, she is a Christian as well.
Let me guess, you dated this girl for a while. She saw that the relationship was souring, so she thought she could cement it by getting you into bed with her. She might have even timed it in hopes of getting pregnant and giving you more reason to stay, but you broke up with her before she was certain she was pregnant. (Would my guess be right that disgust (guilt) over what you had done sped up the break-up -- perhaps coupled with her pressure to make you stay -- was the source of your disagreements and it made you run?) Now that she realizes she lost the play, she has gone to the other extreme and doesn't want you involved anymore and blames you for everything that has gone wrong.
I would recommend that you get a lawyer to help you with the paperwork. You need him to make sure you get what you are aiming for, not to get out of responsibility for what you had done. There are far too many legal traps in these situations and you need someone who understands the law.
Next, I would like you to have a heart-to-heart talk with the woman you desire to marry. Tell her that you are interested in her, but that you made some serious mistakes that she needs to know about. Tell her that you don't want to give her false hopes that will be crushed later. If she still loves you after knowing what happened, then find another, more romantic time to ask "the Question."
Meanwhile, you need to talk to the woman you got pregnant and find out for sure whether she wants to place the child up for adoption, or if she has plans to marry someone. In either case, tell her that you want to help with the costs of the child, knowing that you are responsible. If for some reason she marries someone before the child is born, the man automatically becomes the child's father regardless that the sperm came from you. You should aim to provide support up until the child is adopted, either by another couple or by the man she decides to marry.
You haven't said whether you have concerns that this woman you got pregnant would be a fit mother. I'm assuming that the only problem was the moral issue. If you think she is unfit and will try to raise the child on her own, you can sue for custody, but realize that she will be a part of your life for the next 20 years or so. Unless the courts rule that she is unfit, she will end up sharing custody with you. Again, this is something the woman you hope to marry needs to knows about and to which she needs to agree because she will be involved as well in the raising of the child. Split custody is not a good situation for a child. The child ends up bouncing between homes and never feeling like he belongs to either one. I would advise avoiding this "solution" unless there seems to be no other option.
For additional information, see Paternity Information Page.
I can't speak to her motivations. It's possible that she set me up, but ultimately I committed the sin and have to answer for that. She's always been desperate to hang on to me, so I wouldn't rule anything out.
She says that adoption isn't on the table and that she is marrying someone else next weekend. If split custody isn't a good option, what is my best option, marrying her? I wouldn't say she's unfit. She and I just don't get along well. She's super emotional.
If she is marrying someone this weekend, then why is there a consideration that you might marry her? Is this her idea or yours? If it is your idea, then the situation has moved beyond your control. You should not get between a woman and her fiance. I feel sorry for her because such a quick marriage means she is doing it because of emotional rebound. I hope her future husband can handle it and I hope she actually found a decent man to marry. Meanwhile, by law, the child will be his child, not yours. Wish them the best of luck and pray the child grows up health -- physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
If it is her idea, then it sounds like she is still trying to rope you, in this case by having you make a rash decision. You don't want such a woman for a wife! Call her bluff by wishing her and her new husband well. Don't sign any papers. As I said, the new husband would automatically become the father anyway. Do let her know that if she for any reason doesn't want the child that you will take the child in because you want what is best for the child.
Now that I'm getting a better picture of this woman, how certain are you that she is pregnant? How many months along is she (i.e. is she to the point of showing)? There is a good possibility that she is trying to extort you into marrying her. Even if she is pregnant, I would strongly advise getting a DNA test before you sign anything that even hints that you are the father.
I'm not saying this because I think you should avoid responsibility -- quite the opposite. You are responsible for where you put your penis. But sins don't fix sins. I want you to find out how much damage you actually did cause before you go rushing in to fix things. Supposing that this is a sham and there is no child, you still have more than enough things to repair in your own life. There is a good reason that Paul said, "he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body" (I Corinthians 6:18).
Joint custody is by far the poorest option for the child. He will be better off with a poor set of parents than being bounced between parents and not belonging to either one. Like I have been saying, think about what is best for the child. I know you are guilt-ridden, but don't ease your guilt by making life difficult for a child.
I don't' know whose idea her marrying that guy is. I was asking about me marrying her in terms of doing the Christian thing for the child. She sent me an ultrasound via email, but I can't prove it was of her baby. Supposedly she became pregnant in mid-April.
I wasn't clear enough. I wanted to know whose idea it was that she would consider marrying you instead of marrying some other guy this weekend.
If the marriage has been arranged, then what right do you think you have to come between her and fiance? How is breaking up a marriage, even supposing you could, and marrying a woman you don't love out of obligation going to give the child a good home? Sure, you are convinced that you desire to be miserable because you sinned, but does that give you the right to make others miserable too?
If she is offering to dump the man she is about to marry for you, then something is very fishy about the arrangement.
The proper thing to do is to own up to your responsibilities created by your decisions, just as she must take responsibility for her decisions. You offered to support the child, she is choosing to marry another man -- that is her decision, not yours, that removes you from the picture. One of the facts of being an adult is understanding that we don't have control over many things in our life. You want to make things better your way, she has her own ideas. In this particular case, she wins.
Yes, you could go to court, and fight her for joint custody, but as I pointed out several times, it won't make the child have a better life. The child will have a worse life than if you simply stepped out of the picture -- as hard as it is to do.
If you would, please send me the ultrasound image. I might not be able to tell anything, but you never know.