Question:

Hello,

I am a 21 year old college student, and currently about five months pregnant. I am not married to the father, but we are engaged and have been together a little under two years. My parents know (I still live with them) and although my mother is not a Christian, my father, my brothers and I are. At least I try to be. Fornication has always been a big issue for me, even when I was dating someone in my own church. I thought I was "in love" and that God wanted us to be together. Since becoming pregnant I've decided to remain celibate until I am married, and my partner is OK with that (of course not excited). He is the only other person I have had sex with. So far I've stuck to that decision.

Now, I know that in many cases, especially in the eyes of a church (like mine) the couple would be expected to get married as soon as possible, and before the baby is born. My father expects us to get married, though he never said anything about it being now. My boyfriend and I had talked about marriage even before I became pregnant. My question is: Is that the best route to take? Getting married before the child is born?

I'm in school, about to graduate with an Associates degree. Then I'm into a program that will take another two years to complete. If I get married, it will affect my financial aid and medical insurance status in a way that I won't be able to handle. He is also in school now. Right now, neither of us is financially ready for that big a change.

I feel like getting married right now isn't for the best. We will be marrying eventually, but not just yet. I am unsure about the timing and what to do in general. The father believes in God, but he doesn't claim to be a typical Christian, because he doesn't really belong to any church here. We do love each other, and are happy about the baby. But I'm still not sure on what to do here.


Answer:

"But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am; but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion" (I Corinthians 7:8-9).

The problem isn't the fact that you are about to have a child. The problem is that you've been pretending to be a Christian while violating God's law. "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). Yes, it is easy to give up the sex while you are pregnant and don't really feel like having sex at the moment. But you are setting yourself up for future temptations because you want things to be convenient for you despite the fact that you've sinned.

The time to have thought about the impact having sex would have on your life was before you started. Now that you chose that route, you have to shoulder the responsibilities that come along with your choice. I'm sorry, but to claim that money is a reason to delay doing what is right is a really poor argument. Perhaps you can go another two to three years without sex, but I suspect that your boyfriend will find it much harder, especially since he doesn't have moral commitment to God that you do.

If you are certain this is the man you want as a husband, then get married so that the temptation for further sin is removed from both of you. Yes, it may bring some additional struggles, but that is what marriage is about -- having someone to work through the difficult times together. One of you might have to put your career on hold for a bit or slow down your schooling. Someone is going to have to watch and raise this child. You might have to do without some luxuries for a while. He might have to work and go to school at the same time. But if you two really love each other, it won't matter because you'll find a way to make it work.

I understand where you are coming from. However, though I know it really makes no difference to you, I did not decide to stop having sex out of convenience and not all pregnant women completely lose their desire to have sex. I do feel like it, who doesn't? But I know God doesn't want that. Being pregnant already does not change the fact that having sex would still be immoral. That is a given.

Even if I don't end up marrying my boyfriend, my decision remains. I'm also well aware that I have violated God's laws, just as we all do every day (yourself included). That is a fact, but it doesn't mean I am pretending. We all sin. The fact that we go to God for forgiveness, that we have a relationship with Him and that we love others as He loves us is what makes a person a Christian. I feel like you imply otherwise in your response.

Its true that we do need to abide by his laws, that is a part of being a christian, but it is not the center. If it was then we would have been saved by works alone and not by grace and God's love.

I also wanted to point out that I'm not making money an excuse, but I'm thinking of how this child's life will be affected by a lack of financial stability.

You replied to another person that marrying the mother of his child would not be a good idea because they don't get along and their fighting would be harmful to the child's life. I'm sorry, but that is definitely a poor excuse for two people not to get married after having sex and getting pregnant. Two adults would put aside their anger and work it out, right? At least that's what they should do. Well I want what's best for the child. I'm not trying to figure out the most convenient route for myself. I'm worried about what happens to my child.

Whatever happened in the past I cannot change. But I can make better decisions for the future. Timing is part of those decisions. That's what my question was to begin with. Do I head off to city hall tomorrow morning and sign the papers before the child is born, as so many are advised to do in the church in an attempt to make it look like the child was not born out of wedlock? Or do I wait till we are ready and able to create a true home for this child? That was my question. You seem to have missed the mark.

I know you don't believe in sugar coating, just as I don't believe its OK to make assumptions about someone who has come to you for loving, godly advice, not judgment.

I do thank you for your time. No further response is needed.

I'm glad this young woman has decided to stop fornication because it is wrong. But I find it sad that she doesn't want to hear the advice she asked for. Notice that she states:

  • Everyone sins. While the Bible states that all sin (Romans 3:23) and that to say we are without sin is a lie (I John 1:8, 10), God does not state that people sin every day. The potential for sin remains an ever present threat that we sometimes succumb to.
  • People can maintain a relationship with God, even though they sin. "If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth" (I John 1:6). Yes, God welcomes the repentant sinner back into his fold (I John 1:9), but that doesn't mitigate sin or excuse the fact that we did sin.
  • It isn't about the money. But she originally stated that the reason for not marrying was "it will affect my financial aid and medical insurance status" and "Right now, neither of us is financially ready for that big a change." The contradiction shows she isn't being honest regarding her own motivations.
  • She thinks my advice is poor because she believes two people marrying for the child's sake even though they don't like each other is best for the child. Really? It is good for a child to grow up in an environment hearing his parents argue all the time? Sure, difficulties and problems should be worked out, but the time to work out the problems is before marriage, not hoping it will happen after they say, "I do." Her reaction leaves me wondering if she and her boyfriend get along.
  • She is being told the important thing is to make it appear that fornication did not take place. Perhaps there was a time that there was a stigma on children born out of wedlock, but that is not true in our current society where over half of all children are born out of wedlock. This is about a group wanting to keep up appearances.
  • She wants advice without judgment. I shook my head at this one. Few people give all the necessary facts, so assumptions have to be made and I'm willing to hear when I missed a guess derived from reading between the lines. But without judgment there cannot be advice and change does not take place without rebuke.

"Wisdom calls aloud outside; she raises her voice in the open squares. She cries out in the chief concourses, at the openings of the gates in the city she speaks her words: "How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? For scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge. Turn at my rebuke; surely I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you. Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded, because you disdained all my counsel, and would have none of my rebuke, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes, when your terror comes like a storm, and your destruction comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you. Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently, but they will not find me. Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD, they would have none of my counsel and despised my every rebuke. Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, and be filled to the full with their own fancies. For the turning away of the simple will slay them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; but whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil." (Proverbs 1:20-33).