Dear Esther :: May 30, 2016

Dear Esther,

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Last week I found out I am pregnant with my second child with the same man. We are not married but were engaged and living together to raise our son in a family setting.

I took my relationship as if I were married to him the whole time. I know this was not the way God wanted us to live but I could not push him into marrying me sooner and I didn’t have the financial means to leave the house.

Back to last week: After I found out that I am pregnant, my fiancé told me that he has been cheating on me for a while now and this other girl is supposedly-pregnant as well. (He told me the exact same story when I was pregnant the first time and that girl was not pregnant so I am unsure if this girl really is.) He put me through so much pain throughout that pregnancy but I forgave him and allowed him time to try to make things right.

He told me he thinks he loves this girl even though he was telling me the same thing. He seems to feel more sorry for her, even though she knew he was engaged to me and we had a family and she CHOSE to pursue him.

Here I thought I had a family with this man and we were in the works of making in right in God’s eyes, just to find out I was being betrayed the whole time. He gave me the “first option” to work things out with him but I chose to pack my belongings and my son’s stuff and leave his home.

There was no trust to begin with, and obviously there never will be. I do not have the financial means to get my own place right now, but given the circumstances, my family is allowing my son and I to stay with them until I can save up my money.

I am ashamed I ever let myself get in this situation again. I love God very much but I was living a life that was not right by Him. I have repented of my sins but I still feel very empty and hurt by all of this.

I am afraid of having another child on my own and spending another pregnancy completely alone. I know I have been through this once already and everything turned out okay but this time feels so much worse.

Now I have a 3-year old little boy asking me questions about why mommy and daddy wanted him and it breaks my heart. I forgave his daddy the first time because I wanted a family for my son and this is what happened. I’m afraid he will come back and I’ll forgive him again because now I’ll have two children with him.

My parents are allowing us to stay with them as long as we need to. It’s just hard for me because my mom is under enough stress already and I feel like I’m only adding to it. Plus I’m 27 years old and I thought my life was finally falling into place—a wedding, family, etc. Things changed so fast and I’m having a hard time with that. My mother is a very religious woman. She actually wrote to you a few times. I was brought-up Pentecostal by her. My stepfather is Lutheran. Both love God very much.

They are both very understanding of the situation … more so than I am, I think. I’m trying very hard to trust in the Lord but I’m have a difficult time hearing what He’s telling me. I want nothing more than to do right by God. I’ve done things my own way for too long now and it’s gotten me nowhere. Your advice means a lot to me.

Please help me see what God is doing here. I know I left for a reason (mainly guilt for not being married) but I have no idea what to do now. I have been praying and praying but I don’t know what God wants me to do. I’m having a hard time dealing with this and could really use your input.

Thank You,

Heather

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Dear Heather,

Thank you for writing. Please don’t beat yourself up over all of this. Consider this time a new beginning. Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Easier said than done, right? But you can stop reliving and replaying your regrets in your mind—with God’s strength. When we are weak we are made strong through Him (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

This will probably be a major turning point in your life, and all for the better.

Please stay with your parents as long as possible. They sound very kind. It is good that you left that situation. It was a godless, destructive relationship.

Please understand that when we truly love our children, having them nearby is a blessing and not a burden. Your mom would rather have you with her than see you in a very unhealthy relationship. You can do things to help your mom and love her. And your son needs his grandparents. They will be a stabilizing force for him.

Granddads have taken the place of many irresponsible fathers throughout all of history. I thank God that you have your parents and that they are willing to stand with you. Ideally of course, we would all like to have that perfect relationship where we can trust our partner but so many people are not in that situation.

You will get through this and along the way I believe you will grow much closer to the Lord. Whatever you do, do not make any major decisions out of fear. Fear is never from God. Sometimes when we are kind and understanding people will take advantage of us. But what the devil means for harm the Lord always turns to good. It is natural to feel alone, overwhelmed and emotionally abandoned by the father of your children.

He certainly has proven to be a huge disappointment. If he has admitted as much as he has with his lying and cheating you can be sure there is much more. This separation may be the best thing that ever happened to you as far as he is concerned.

If your partner has been this much of a cold-hearted self-serving creep, already, over just a short period of years, a future with this man sounds downright scary. Is this the type of man you want to be a role model to your children?

If he does come to you and asks for forgiveness, you can forgive him but that does not mean you move back in and live with him — unless he genuinely fully-repents, gets saved and you become husband and wife.

Unless God does the changing people generally don’t change. Your son’s father has proven himself to be unfaithful, untrustworthy and cruel. It will take an act of God to change him. But it does happen sometimes.

Your situation is tough. If he truly repents and gets saved, that is one thing. Considering all the details you have shared, in no way should you move back in with him unless he is willing to first take full responsibility for you by marrying you.

A wedding has to take place first, and then you can all live under the same roof. But before any of that could happen he would have to prove that he is truly a changed man and totally devoted to God, and to you and your children. And that would take time.

So no matter what, plan on living with your parents for a good length of time. Of course you wish things were different, but your attitude must work for you and not against you. Your situation is difficult but with a positive attitude believing that the Lord will carry you through this, and to a better future—must be how you to move forward now. Especially for the sake of you son and little baby.

It is a blessing that the Lord has made a way out for you so you no longer have to compromise your values and your faith.

You are in a much better position than you may realize. You have people who love you and will help take care of you. That is a huge blessing. You don’t have to live with the man who has badly mistreated you.

Imagine if you did not have your parents, how much worse all of this would be. It is challenging to pray for someone when we have been so brutally hurt, but prayer is the very thing that could change all of this. Pray that the father of your children will truly get saved and repent. Unless he becomes a new creation in Christ any chances for a real, honest, trustworthy relationship together is very slim.

When your son asks about his father, you will have to decide how to handle it. Talk it over with your parents and be consistent in what you all tell him. It is always possible that his father will get a serious wake-up call, repent and get saved.

If that were to happen, then a future together as a family is still possible. I have seen many happy endings where “blended” families come together and are blessed by God (when both birth parents) of the children are not together. You, yourself have a stepfather and it sounds like he is a very good one.

As far as trying to figure out what God is trying to do here, that may not be the best approach. His Word—the Bible—is clear on His principles for living and I know you already know what they are.

The question should be more: “What am I going to do for God?” He wants us to place Him first in our lives. And be sure you are truly born-again by the Spirit of God (John 3:3-7; Romans 10:9-10).

It is one thing to say we love God but it is our actual commitment and personal relationship with Him that gives us new life in Christ. A truly saved individual is a new creation in Christ, indwelt by the Holy Spirit andwants to live for Christ. A person who deliberately continues to live in sin with no regard for pleasing the Lord has not made a repentant change.

In your case I think you pushed God to the back corner. You didn’t want to live the way you were, but you felt stuck. It sounds like you are now ready to put your faith and confidence in the Lord.

Sometimes it takes some hard knocks to get to the point of truly surrendering our lives to Him. Making a confession of faith is only as good as the follow-up. Did we mean it or was it a half-hearted attempt?

Salvation is or it isn’t. There is no in between. We are either saved or we are not.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

You say you are ready to do things God’s way and that alone is a huge breakthrough. Whenever we try to do things our way, we will surely mess it up somehow at some point. And you know how painful that can be!

Heather, you cannot go back in time to undo what has transpired up until now. But you can move forward with tremendous resolve and vow not to get entangled in any relationship that is not based on godly principles.

This is the time for you to get deep into your Bible and spend time studying it. The Word of God is life giving to your soul and this will also be good for your state of mind and your emotions during these special months ahead as your baby grows inside you.

Our Lord is mighty and merciful. He loves you more than anyone else ever could and wants what is best for you. You are still very young. Your life will straighten out as long as you are serious about living for the Lord. You might not feel young right now, but you are. God does have a plan for your life.

A wedding may not be in your immediate future but any number of great and wonderful things can happen, yet. So much so that one day you will look back and you will be so glad that you took a stand not to live outside of God’s marriage covenant and that you walked away from a life with a pathetic liar and philanderer. It all hurts so much right now, but please believe me, your life will get better.

I have seen many women and some men get into relationships with non-Christians thinking that at some point they will come around get saved. More often than not, the opposite happens and the believing partner’s faith is weakened and compromised. It is imperative to only engage in relationships with other believers who are truly and obviously dedicated to the Lord.

If God has a special man in mind for you, you will not have to go out and search for him. God will bring him to you when the time is right. Your job now is to stay in prayer, grow in your understanding of the Scriptures, develop your personal relationship with the Lord, and look after your son and get him excited about the new addition to the family.

I strongly suggest that you don’t place any expectations on your past relationship or the situation as it is now. When we are faced with overwhelming circumstances it is usually an opportunity for God to show us how much He loves us.

He is right there with you and He will stand by you. Be grateful that you do not have to live in the same house as someone who lies and mistreats you. Your young son will be fine. As I said before, God has a way of making things work out for our good even when the enemy wants to turn our world upside down.

Now take good care of yourself for the sake of your baby and little boy. You can tell your son how great it will be to have a brother or sister. In the old days entire families lived together under one roof, generation after generation.

Since your parents are so understanding consider that a gift from God. You can get through this with His help and theirs. Lean on them and all others whom you know are your true friends. In this way you are not alone. You will have brighter and happier days in the future. I am sure of it.

And don’t let the devil put a damper on this pregnancy. That little baby needs you to have joy in your heart. You are not alone, Heather. So many people love you. The fact that the baby’s father is self-centered and has no integrity does not make it so for you and your children.

Trust that the Lord has a way to make this all right for you. You should be feeling some relief just being away from a man who does not respect you or anyone else.

You sound like a precious young woman, Heather, who trusted too much in the wrong person. You can totally trust God. He will not let you down. We have all made mistakes and no one should judge you for yours. Rest assured, the Lord has many blessings ahead for you. I will pray that the entire situation comes together all to His glory.

Give all of this over to Him. Stay in close fellowship with Him through prayer and Bible study. He is the ultimate “Go to” Person. He has promised to take upon Himself all our burdens and make things right. God is the Great Healer and although your situation seems overwhelming, He will not forsake you.

Please keep in touch with me so I can give you moral support during this challenging time.

In God’s love,

Esther

“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8).