Am I being selfish and covetous marrying a woman who had a child by another man?



I met my fiancée last year and we became friends. We go to the same church. Later we decided to pray and ask God if we should get married and we did get confirmations. So we went to our pastor and told him of our decision. We are planning to get married next year.

We have not been so pure and have committed sexual sins. We acknowledge them as sin before God and we are seeking total deliverance and trusting God for purity until we get married.

There is, however, a problem that I had ignored, but it is starting to concern me. My fiancée had a child about several years ago with her prior boyfriend. He was not born again and neither was she. During her pregnancy he did not support her. Instead, he took to drinking and even did not tell his parents about the child until the child was born. My fiancée's parents never met the father of their grandchild. While they were in a relationship, he abused her and would beat her, so she decided to break the relationship with him.

Later she got born again after going through whatever she went through. She started attending my church early last year and that is where we met. When I proposed to her she had totally ended the relationship with her ex-boyfriend and father to her son. Now, after months of silence, he has realized that she has moved on and that she is on her way to get married to me. He started calling her and sending her messages begging that she take him back. He says he is sorry and was childish for what he did. He claims to have changed and that he vowed to God that he would marry her or remain single. He is still not yet born again.

My fiancée told him that she has moved on and that he should respect her new relationship. I have been so patient with him and his actions because he is the father to the little child I intend to adopt and raise. She has no desire to go back, and I love her with everything in me. I am planning and preparing to marry her.

Do you think by marrying her I am committing adultery against God? Am I stealing another man's wife? Am I being selfish and covetous? How do I handle this the right way? Will my marrying her mean I have sinned against God? Does her ex have a right to call her his wife simply because they were in a relationship and had sex that led to a child being conceived? I love my girl so much and she loves me too.

Please help me do the right thing before God. Thanks.


Sex does not create a marriage. A marriage results from the covenant vows made before God. "Because the LORD has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, with whom you have dealt treacherously; yet she is your companion and your wife by covenant" (Malachi 2:14). See:

The ex-boyfriend has no claims on your fiancée. The most he could claim is shared right to his child, but to claim that, he would have to commit to paying child support until the child reaches his majority. My guess is that he will not be willing to do this. If he gives you difficulty about adopting the child, just mention this fact and he will likely be willing to sign over his rights.

Still, you have things backwards. He is the one who is both selfish and covetous. He had sex with a girl and wanted no obligations. He is the one who wants the woman who is engaged to another man.

Encourage him to become a true Christian, but in this matter he gave up his chance as a consequence of his sins.

I'm glad you and your fiancée realized you had also sinned when you two also committed fornication. If you find it too hard to stay away from sex before your marriage, then move up the date of your wedding. "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).

Thank you so much, Jeffrey. This is the most stress relieving email I have received. I thank God for what you have just shared. Please continue to pray for us.