Question:

Hello,

I came across your website recently and I found the articles I read very helpful. I used to be a Christian, but in the last year or so I walked away from it. Honestly I'm not sure how to start back in the situation I'm in. People are aware that I'm not involved in anything to do with the church anymore. They would think I'm trying to come back because of the situation I'm in, even though I've been wanting to for a while now, this has just pushed me too.

I've done incredibly sinful things since I left Christianity, from sex outside of wedlock to drug use to worse. A friend of mine, who was also a Christian abandoned her faith because I did. I always preached to her, and when she saw I stopped believing, she did too.

I have been in a relationship with a citizen of a different country for about four years now. We've been planning to marry for a long time, but all the visa requirements are very bureaucratic and we hadn't managed to so far. We visit each other whenever we can, but I found out I was pregnant after my last visit there. I've been very worried and unsure of what to do, abortion is illegal where I live, but I can't say it didn't cross my mind. He has been fine with it, he plans on coming over here in two months to marry me (much easier to do so where I live). We hadn't done it before because it could potentially harm future visa applications, but we feel like in this case, it's the best option, or we won't be able to be together to raise the baby. Then I would move there for the first years until we can afford to live in my country.

When I told my sister about it, she freaked out. I was expecting she would say something difficult to hear, but she actually made me incredibly anxious and a bit depressed. She said I have to have the baby here, not in his country, because if we eventually split up, he could take the child from me, and force me to live there on my own just to be around my kid. If it was born there, that would definitely make it much easier for him to.

We always planned on living here, but with the unexpected pregnancy and the fact that he isn't fluent in my language, it makes it difficult for him to come here and get a job. I think his level of fluency isn't too bad at all, he could probably work with that, but he disagrees. He doesn't want to give his career up; instead, he wants me to move there as soon as possible and have the baby there. Then eventually when we're more financially stable, we'd move to my country. If the child is born in my country, he could live here by law and get my nationality after a year, since he'd have a child from here. To me, that would be great. He thinks my family is being selfish -- no one in his family said anything about me taking his child away. He's trying to get a raise, so I can go live there, and trying to sort out all the documents we need to marry here. He says even if we did split up, he would live here, so I could be close to our kid and my family. He wouldn't force me to live there. But people change. He'd be alone in a foreign country and his whole family on the other side of the world. I don't know if he'd stick to it.

I agreed to have the baby there, as we have no other choice to stay together, and I don't want to be selfish. But I got pregnant in the first place because I didn't listen to my family. I don't want to repeat the mistake. What is the Christian approach to this?


Answer:

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble" (Matthew 6:34).

The worries all focus on what might happen when there is no certainty that these things will happen. Let's focus on what needs to be done.

You sinned by having sex without being married. "Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge" (Hebrews 13:4). The first task is getting back into a proper relationship with God. You are going to need God's help in the years to come. Since I don't know your background, I would like you to read What Must I Do to be Saved? and see if there are things that God requires that you have not done. If there are things you need to do, then get busy correcting the situation. If you have properly became a Christian, then you need to ask God for forgiveness. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9). It has to a sincere prayer, asked with full faith that God keeps His word. "But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways" (James 1:6-8).

Then the question is about your boyfriend's faith. Is he too willing to live as a Christian so that the two of you can raise your child in the faith?

It sounds like you are positive that you want to marry this man. The decision should not be based on the fact that you have gotten pregnant by him. You are committing the remainder of your life to this man and he to you. Read through Love is ... and see if that describes your view of him and his view of you. If you are certain you want this man to be your husband, then there is no reason to delay the marriage. Do what is necessary the requirements in either country.

Where you two live as husband and wife is up to the two of you. The only thing I would urge is that you two live together (Deuteronomy 24:5), so pick whichever place allows you to accomplish that. Whether you live in your country or his, understand that you are likely to be there longer than you might expect. Things change as you settle into a married life.

The problem with your sister is that she is assuming your marriage is going to fail. This is completely the wrong attitude to have when marrying. Marriage is a lifetime commitment (Matthew 19:4-6; Romans 7:2-3). If both you and your boyfriend don't approach this union as being permanent, it won't have the stability it needs to last.

I read your articles about baptism, to check if I wasn't mistaken about being a Christian. Although the church I was baptized in was wrong on many things, I did know what it meant to be baptized and what I was doing. Biblically I think my baptism was valid. I disagreed with a lot about the church, I just hadn't found a proper congregation yet. Would a prayer asking for forgiveness be valid or is there something I have to do other than that? I've already prayed, but I need to know if there's anything else.

I decided not to go. The "Love is ..." article made me realize neither of us was in a good position to marry.

He's incredibly impatient, and quick to anger and most of all proud, he never admitted a mistake.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, Is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, Thinks no evil; Does not rejoice in iniquity, But rejoices in the truth; Bears all things, Believes all things, Hopes all things, Endures all things. Love never fails - 1 Corinthians 13:4

He would spend most of his time with his friends smoking weed. When we weren't in the same country, I had to keep asking him to talk to me on Skype instead of Facebook. He usually had something to do first, then when we talked on Skype, it was very quick. He would only talk to me straight away if he thought there was a possibility of webcam sex. He thought that was just logical, when I brought it up.

When we were in the same country, he struggled to support us both and had to borrow money from his parents (he's nearly 30); or my parents would send me money, since I was on a tourist visa and wasn't allowed to work. How could he expect to support both of us and a child? He blamed me if he lost something, would become incredibly nasty and said I "moved stuff around," then he would find it in his jacket pocket, and not apologize. It just wasn't pleasant to be around him most of the time.

I'm not saying I love him either acording to the Bible. I became very stuburn (love is kind) and never really let go of my grudges when we stopped fighting (love keeps no record of wrongs). I became insensitive (endures all things)with time, and very defensive, so I was also quick to anger (is not provoked).

My dad has lung problems, and I'm not really sure how long he has left, could be ten years, could be one. My family asked me not to go live with him for three years for that reason, and because my parents don't trust him one bit. They think he'd be a bad husband, and I didn't have any arguments to defend him. The only reason I never left him was because I had feelings for him, that's all.

When I told him I needed to think, and make a decision if I would go or not, he said I would be selfish not to, and said I'd be a single mum because he would break up with me. Thus, not only I had my family asking me not to go, I had him making threats, which made me not trust him even more. I said I wasn't going, but I didn't break up. He did.

It's been nearly two weeks since the break up, and he keeps sending me tons of messages calling me a bad person, saying I destroyed his life (by not going) and that I lost a great guy. He hasn't bothered to pay for anything for the baby, and I won't ask him to -- the birth, the things the baby will need, etc. He hasn't even brought up the subject of when he'll come here to see the baby. All the responsibility is on me so far, or my parents. They are paying for everything and being supportive, but he just keeps telling me what a horrible person I am, and that he hopes our child takes after him more than me.

People keep telling me he's just trying to find a way to blame me to make the break up easier for him to deal with, but sometimes he gets to me, and I wonder if he's right and I am selfish. He doesn't speak my language fluently, but it's definitely not at a basic level either. He still had six months to improve it. Lots of people move to another country with a lesser knowledge than his. He didn't finish college, repeated two years in a row then dropped out because he didn't bother to finish his last two projects that he had over eight months to finish, so he thinks he wouldn't find a job easily. I think maybe not in his area, but he could work with anything else if being with me and the baby was the priority. He wanted his parents to have three years with the child before we moved to my country for good, but I had no guarantee he would, and, honestly, I didn't trust his word on that.

All I did was: I didn't want to marry him and live with him in his country for the three years he asked. We would end up living there for longer (like you said), and he wouldn't get used to living in my country after moving here (from what I know of him). Not to mention the marriage would be a mistake. He wouldn't be a good husband, or I a good wife.

I had decided to take his side and go, but after his threat to leave me pregnant, I stopped trusting him completely. It seemed that his job, his parents and his life were more important to him than anything. He'd rather break up and have a long distance child than give me a choice.

I just wanted to make the best decision, and I think I did. But sometimes I doubt it, and I don't know if I'm selfish or not. I need help organizing my thoughts, but my family will always choose me over him, and his family will believe anything he tells them.

I don't see where you are being selfish. You committed fornication with a man who is addicted to marijuana. His addiction has impacted his education and his job prospects. He appears to be deceptive and he is willing to use threats to get his way. Interestingly, the threats would make anyone not want to do as he wants. He also shows no interest in living a moral life.

I think you made the right decision. Focus on cleaning up your own life and getting closer to God through His Word. I hope you find a good man to marry -- one who treats you with respect and wants to follow the ways of Christ.