Question:My girlfriend and I have been together for 3 1/2 years. We're both into our church, and we have grown up with religion as a big part of it. We aren't married, mostly because we don't have the money to get married, but we are truly in love with each other. Also, we have a now 1 year old daughter together. I know it's wrong to have sex before marriage. Are we and the baby truly in danger with God for having her before we got married? The baby has already been confirmed at our church, and when she is old enough she will be baptized on her own decision. Just give me some kind of advice about what we should do. We will get married, it's just a money thing right now.
I've always found the argument that a wedding is too costly particularly amusing because of my own situation. My wife and I were married 26 years ago. My wife's parents were very poor, so we decided that we would pay for our own wedding. The only thing her parents paid for were the flowers for the bride and bride's maids. My wife made her own wedding dress and the bride's maids made their own dresses. I bought a nice suit. We had our wedding in a very pretty state park, underneath a covered bridge, which was free. We had a potluck for a reception in the park; that is, we asked those coming to bring favorite dishes. One aunt grew roses and provided table settings. Friends provided acapella singing for our wedding music. My wife's brother provided music during the reception. Three other friends took LOTS of pictures. One of my wife's friends and my aunt worked together to make the wedding cake.
It even spilled over to our honeymoon. My aunt found a friend who had a cabin she let us borrow for a week up in the mountains. It turned out be modern instead of the rustic we were expecting. We camped on our way back home as well. I figured that the wedding and honeymoon cost us less than $500 total. And we have very treasured memories.
The truth is that you could have gotten married before you had sex. You could have gotten married at any time in the last three and a half years. For example, I do weddings for free if a couple has the right to be married (according to the Bible) and they are willing to study about marriage with me prior to the wedding. That means a couple can be married in my county for $15 (for the license). I don't know what the going charge for a marriage by a justice of the peace, but it is probably well less than $100. I know, it isn't the big affair, but it would have legitimize your situation.
My point is that following God's law was not prevented by the cost of getting married. The two of you chose to be fornicators. Do you realize how hypocritical the two of you have been? You claim to be Christians, yet you have been purposely breaking God's law concerning marriage, knowing all the while it was wrong. "Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father's who sent Me"" (John 14:23-24).
Your daughter is innocent of your sin. She did not chose to break God's law. But such isn't the case with you and your girlfriend. "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God" (I Corinthians 6:9-10).
So, what do you do about it? Keep making excuses? Keep claiming to love each other, but unwilling to make a covenant with the person you sleep with? Or face the fact that you were wrong, that you truly want this woman at your side the rest of your life. Go down to the courthouse, get a license, get married. Then get down on your knees and apologize to God for making a mockery of His righteous ordinances.