I am not married / engaged and I have a baby with my boyfriend. He does not want to get married till we have enough money. Does God understand?

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Carla - posted on 03/22/2012

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My dears--you have all given valid reasons why you feel you shouldn't be married, and I am sure they sound logical. But your reasons have nothing to do with you and your significant other going before God and asking His blessing on your union. Living together without the benefit of the responsibility your vows give you is depriving you of the blessings God gives to married couples. Now, before you say anything, my husband and I lived together before we got married, so I understand all the excuses and reasons, because we used them ourselves ;)



We had our share of ups and downs, maybe more than others, and we struggled for the first 30 years of our marriage. Some of the time we were living for the Lord, sometimes not, but I KNEW God had brought him to me (brought him right to my front door!) so I knew He would fix our marriage. But NO ONE was teaching about the Covenant of Marriage, so we went into it blind. Once God FINALLY got through to me about what exactly marriage was, we blossomed!



First of all, God says do it. If He thinks marriage is good, that's good enough for me ;) Secondly, we stand before God and VOW (look up what God says about vowing) we will honor and protect each other until we drop dead. Looking at the divorce statistics, even among believers, we are not honoring that part of our vows. We are to each honor our respective spouse over our own wants and needs. If each of us is serving each other, there shouldn't be any reason to want a divorce! I don't know how it works, but it does, when we honor our vows and honor God, He blesses our marriage and brings knowledge (of how we're supposed to live with someone SOOO different than us) and wisdom and peace.



You guys are young, and I am old--I can tell you what I have experienced first-hand, and what I have seen. We spend thousands of dollars on fancy weddings, making it the fairy-tale day we all had envisioned in our heads from the time we were little. But the next day, all the festivities are over, and it's back to cleaning the bathroom and picking up his stinky socks out of the living room. All that money we spent on the fabulous wedding isn't going to help us one lick. In fact, I was still paying for my daughter's wedding when they divorced :( And as for wanting a career before you get married, is there a reason you can't be married AND have the career you want?



Being a Christian means we handle our lives differently than the world. The accumulation of the most toys and a fairy tale wedding all your friends will envy does not guarantee happiness. Rings that blind a body will not guarantee happiness. Only living our lives according to God's standards will.



And Denise, IF your fiance is making a distinction between 'his' stuff and 'your' stuff, I would run. Paul made it very clear that a man's role is to provide and care for his wife above his own wants and needs. Anything less than that, you are settling.



Sweethearts, I am not trying to condemn anyone, or make anyone feel sinful. I am just sharing what I have learned, and if we do things God's way, HE provides what we need.



God bless, all

Carla - posted on 03/26/2012

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Most people, if asked, will confess that they accepted Jesus when they figured out they couldn't manage their lives alone and needed Help. And you know what? That is EXACTLY why Jesus came--for people who have realized they can't make it on their own. I came to a FULL commitment and understanding of my total inability to handle my own affairs when I was at my absolute lowest time of my life!



Having a relationship with Jesus means we CAN ask Him to save our loved ones. Praying for salvation for our loved ones is a most noble thing. Christina wants a marriage and a family built on a Godly foundation, and I applaud her for that. She could have chosen to walk away and find someone who is already a Christian and she wouldn't have to put all the hard work into him. She is choosing to try to make a right out of the wrong she made of her life. Having faith in Jesus DOES mean that God can swoop into this relationship and change this man 100%! He did it for me, He can do it for Christina.



IMHO, entering a marriage with the idea of separate bank accounts, and marketable skills just in case the marriage doesn't work out, is kind of setting yourself up to fail. Christian couples should trust each other implicitly. Our marriages, at least according to our vows, says 'til death do us part'. They don't say 'until something unforeseen happens'. DOES the unforeseen happen sometimes? Yes, but here again, we have the Lord. If we have lived up to our part of the vow, God will back us up.



I would advise anything contemplating Christian marriage to get extensive pre-marital counseling with a counselor from their denomination. We get stars in our eyes and think this is the one--only to find out after a whirlwind courtship and wedding that we aren't compatible at all. We need to know each other inside and outside (not sexually speaking, spiritually and emotionally speaking) before we commit with a vow to God, to live with this person for the rest of our lives.



God bless, all

Joanne - posted on 04/02/2012

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There are always excuses not to get married. God has called us to be celebate until we are married. Sex is to be between a husband and wife only. Now God loves you and the baby anyway. He doesn't condone sin, and sex outside of marriage is sin. Living together/ being enganged doesn't make you married. Get some sound Biblical pre-marriage counseling, and I think that God will show you the plans that He has for you.

Rebekah - posted on 03/21/2012

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Well, according to the Bible you are already married - the woman at the well, Jesus said "she had many husbands" - not that she took vows or got a ring or a dowery or anything... but because she had sex with many men.



But let's look at this more closely - vows are extremely important for a married couple, it binds you together and you must commit to them.



So here is the question - it's not about if God understands... this is about are you 100% comfortable with not getting married right now? Do you believe in your heart that this is the person that you want to be with for the rest of your life? If so, then why should money matter for marriage?!?!



I'm sorry, but if you walked into my office and both of you sat down in front of me and said "we won't get married because of finances" - I would have looked at both of you and said that's a sorry excuse for waiting. 1 - you are in sin, because you are not legally binded by a vow; 2 - because of sin, you may never experience the blessings of God for your finances.... so, my question to your partner would be "what is the real issue with wanting to wait for marriage?"

Carla - posted on 11/29/2012

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It sounds to me, and I may be wrong, but he's still tied to his ex. If he just lives with a woman, he isn't being unfaithful to her, per se, but if he marries you, it will truly be over for them.



I would STRONGLY suggest you spend a little time on your knees and ask the Lord to give you wisdom on this.



God bless, honey

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Angela - posted on 11/29/2012

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Well Trish, I assume his ex already knows the 2 of you share a home - the kids won't have withheld that little nugget of information! So why should his ex think anything negative about the 2 of you getting married?



Or will she give him a hard time that the 2 of you being married might infringe on her own children's inheritance rights? Could she withhold access to the kids?



In the UK, the amount of child support a man pays for children of his that no longer live with him is based on several things including his earnings, his expenses, whether he has other children living with him to support (i.e. step children or a new family with a new partner) etc ... New children on the scene (like your daughter) may well reduce the amount of child support he is required to pay out to his wife. She would possibly be quite annoyed about this. However, in the UK, stuff like this applies whether the couple are legally married or just living together. And the reduction in payments doesn't just "happen". It has to be applied for.



Why don't you take the bull by the horns and ask exactly what it is his ex-wife would object to. If you can't get a satisfactory answer, ask the former wife yourself! Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Trish - posted on 11/29/2012

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Hi,

Jhb is Johannesburg, South Africa.. am guessing you are too far away now! lol



Yes, I am in a similar boat as you...

I have a 13 yrs old of my own and since getting divorced a few years ago, I met a wonderful man (he comes with 2 nightmare teenagers) and we have been together over 4 years now.. I wanbt marriage, as myl first marriage was a disarster...but he won't commit.. he too concerned what his ex will think!

I need and want the security and as we have moved in together now.. we are like a married couple... what is wrong with these men who won't committ???

Carla - posted on 11/29/2012

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Okay, Trish, you're going to have to translate for me--what is Jhb? And as for getting together for coffee, we have girls on here from all over the world. I am from Lansing, Mi, and there are a lot from the States, but Angela is from the UK, Ursula is from South Africa, so, I guess, you're going to just have to stick around a little while and get to know the different ones ;)



As for having a lot to say, just go through our topic list and start talking! If you don't find a topic that pertains to you right now, start one! On the topic page, click on start a thread, and start typing. Sometimes we all have something the Lord has given us, so we'll just put it out there for comments. Sometimes we are going through real trauma. I think you will find whatever you need here.



God bless, sweetheart.

Trish - posted on 11/28/2012

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Hi,



Are you based in Jhb and if so, what area?

Do these moms part of this group get together for coffee?



Just joined this group and have so much to say, but no one to say it to!



Please advise,

Thanks

Trish

Sandra - posted on 09/10/2012

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god has no problem understanding...but I am sure He wants you to understand you are living in sin. If money is issue than get married in a very private cermony, than plan a bigger one when you do have the monies, but do it God's.....it's always best

Angela - posted on 09/10/2012

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Don't think it's broadcast in the UK Carla!



I married my first husband in a Register Office - we'd already had our first child. My mother was annoyed that I'd bought a white wedding dress - it wasn't right to marry in white, she said, when we had a child .... So I bought a cream one. She still wasn't happy although she said earlier that my wearing a cream dress would be much better. I suddenly "knew" what her problem was .... It wasn't the fact that it was cream/ivory rather than white - it was the fact it was a proper wedding dress! If you've already had a baby, my mother felt that you didn't wear white or look like a proper Bride - not like a Church Bride anyway .....



She acted as though she was embarrassed that I should dress up when it was "only" a Register Office. But she'd enthused a lot over the Church wedding of the daughter of her friend .... And how she would have loved to pay for such a wedding for me, if I'd not let the side down by having a baby first! Apparently looking like a proper, traditional Bride was only for those marrying in Church. And you only married in Church if you deserved it! I couldn't marry in Church as I wasn't my former husband's first wife. They had divorced some years earlier.



Generally my mother believed that Register Office weddings were supposed to be low key. A lot of people believed the same thing back in those days. Some people still do.



When my second husband and I decided to get married, all four of my children were adults. We were 50. I was rather well-overweight. And this time I was a divorced person myself - as was the person I was marrying. But we are both Christians and our local minister was happy to marry us in our local Church. I had my long, ivory, satin, wedding gown & veil & flowers. I had bridesmaids and lots of the usual stuff that is associated with a traditional wedding - the kind of wedding that's usually quite expensive. I was determined to have it all. And I put in a lot of hard work to ensure I got it. I made the wedding cake myself, plus the invitations, all the flowers, various other bits and pieces and also was lucky to be in the right place at the right time (more than once) to get some bargains.



We had our reception in the Church Hall and brought in some very good friends to cater for us. We had a super day and everyone enjoyed it. Especially my mother! She was talking about it for months.



And we didn't spend a fortune - I made sure of that. But we made our day special. I didn't care that I was 50 and rather overweight with 4 adult children - I looked great in my photos! So did my Groom.



I got lots of ideas from here:



http://www.create-a-christian-wedding.co...



I have a friend who has 2 children now and isn't married. She and her man want to marry but she won't marry as she can't afford to have her wedding reception in a pleasant local venue where all her friends had their own receptions. She doesn't want anyone to look down on her or feel sorry for her. To be honest, it's not even an especially expensive place - compared to some reception venues! But she's adamant that's what she wants. I feel quite sad for her.



Annother friend said her guy was keen to marry her but "he can't afford to marry me, the dress I want costs over £1,000.



Life is a contest apparently and a non-stop effort to impress and outdo other people.



Some friends of mine who married about 35 or 36 years ago, when I was a teenager (they were just a little older, in their early 20's) had a very low-key wedding. They didn't have much money at all. But they got legally wed. My own parents and my grandfather were not impressed when I described this wedding to them. My Granddad, a Christian, who had been proud to pay for the weddings of his daughters which were traditional and expensive, said it didn't sound like a proper wedding at all. That couple are still happily married and have a couple of grown-up sons!



It's not just about girls being "Bridezillas" and wanting the best of everything for a stunning wedding - it's often the older generation having something to prove as well.

It's all a lot of pressure.

Carla - posted on 09/10/2012

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Have any of you ever seen Bridezillas? If anything in the world is telling us these big fancy weddings are INSANE, it's this show.



I would seriously pray on this, Christina.



God bless

Angela - posted on 09/10/2012

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Phyllis, you ask: "if you dont have enough money to get married, how can you afford to have kids?"



The answer is that a PLANNED wedding, designed to impress others usually costs a lot of money. Children cost a lot of money - but a great many children exist that weren't planned - and this applies to MARRIED parents as much as unmarried parents.



Lots of young parents want to marry but having the kind of wedding that will make a splash, impress their friends and generally make a statement to the rest of the world doesn't come cheap. And when the couple already have a child (or perhaps more than one child) to look after, it takes a very long time to save and amass that kind of money.



We all know that the commitment of marriage doesn't necessarily mean a flashy, showy wedding - it simply means a loving couple who are giving themselves to one another and their declaration of love, their vows and making it all legal can take place at any humble venue that's approved/licensed for marriage.



Unfortunately, there is pride involved. Several people have a "stake" in a wedding - not least the couple themselves. Many people can't wait to see them married in the most humble, cost-effective way possible so they can say "Ha! That's what happens when you rush into starting a family before you're legally wed! You have to settle for a bargain basement wedding! They should've waited and their parents would have paid for a nice, respectable & impressive wedding ...." Couples of course, don't want to do it with any less pomp & circumstance than their friends - whose weddings they may have attended. They don't want the "pity" of friends who've had grander, more expensive weddings.



Parents, who often pay for their child's wedding are often less keen to do so when there has already been a child born. And of course, even when there hasn't already been a baby born of the union, some parents simply can't afford to pay for their daughter's or their son's wedding.



It's become something of a status symbol to have a flash, impressive wedding. And sadly, the older generation (not ALL of them) feel that a basic, civil ceremony in a Register Office - isn't a "proper" wedding. There was a feeling, years ago, in the UK, that Register Office weddings were strictly for those who had been married before (divorced OR widowed) or had already had a child out of wedlock. If you were both marrying for the first time and hadn't already had a child but were marrying in a Register Office, people felt a bit sorry for you! They thought you were taking second best when you were entitled to something better. Back in those days, the only way of getting married was the short civil ceremony in a Register Office OR getting married in Church.



That's why couples have to save up to get married whether or not they already have a child. It takes a good, long while to save up. There are appearances to keep up - sad but true.

Carla - posted on 09/10/2012

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Christina, I had a nice church wedding the first time, it lasted 6 years. The second one we went to a nice church overlooking the water, my brother, my fiancee's ex fiancee as witnesses, my two kids and us. We are celebrating #40 this year. Big weddings don't mean squat. It's the commitment of you two that matters.



Prayer is needed here so you two can be on the same page.



God bless, hon

Phyllis - posted on 09/10/2012

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You seem like you are sensitive to God's heart, because you know and understand that God said marriage is honorable and the bed undefiled. God is the one doing the work on the inside of us, not us, but if you dont have enough money to get married, how can you afford to have kids?

Carla - posted on 09/06/2012

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Hi, Sheila. I am very sorry, honey, for your situation. Unfortunately, this is not unusual. It's all fun and games until a pregnancy occurs, then the guy is off to greener pastures.



Are you a Christian? The church would be the first place I would go. You're going to need help, physically, financially and spiritually. They may not be able to help financially, but they can at least give you some information about how to go about getting help.



Have you prayed about what to do about the child? Do you feel you can keep her/him or do you think he/she would be better off being adopted by a loving couple? I was pregnant at 15, so I know the problems involved. I wanted to keep my baby, and did, but my daughter couldn't have a child, so she and her husband adopted two very beautiful children who are the apples of our eye. I mean no offense, just reminding you of the options out there. Pray hard for answers. God is there.



God bless, honey. Stuff happens in life that throw us for a loop. But that's why we have God!

Shella - posted on 09/05/2012

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hello im shella i joined here bcoz i know they had some one can advice me about my situation . im pregnant this men his australian men i trust him im allready engaged to him but after that he cheat me and find other .. what i do ? my belly is going to 8 months ..im just scared he not help me .

User - posted on 08/25/2012

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Of course he does, is my opinion. You are acting for the good of your baby & yourselves, & aren't acting with evil intent. You guys have to be sensible & responsible, & that is what you are being! I'm sure God understands that your intentions are coming from a good place.. Good luck.

Proud - posted on 07/30/2012

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There are always excuses not to get married. God has called us to be celebate until we are married. Sex is to be between a husband and wife only. Now God loves you and the baby anyway. He doesn't condone sin, and sex outside of marriage is sin. Living together/ being enganged doesn't make you married. Get some sound Biblical pre-marriage counseling, and I think that God will show you the plans that He has for you.


AMEN

A wedding doesn't have to be expensive. Go to the court house and get married. You can have a bigger wedding later if you choose to.

Simphiwe - posted on 07/30/2012

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Wow! Thank you Christian for asking this question. I just joined this group today and I am in the same situation as you. Thanx to every1 for responding, everything you are saying is SO true. Truth hurts sometimes but the truth sets us free.

Blossom - posted on 07/12/2012

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Hi Christina, are you still there? I don't know what your staus is now, but I was in a similar place years ago when I got pregnant out of wedlock, so I sympathize with you. To answer your question, God understands we have needs and desires and sometimes we try to take care of things on our own and not depend on God and that does not please God. By" depend on God I mean rely upon His Word by trusting what He has said and obeying those things He has told us to do! Because when we try to handle things on our own, we as humans have a tendency to make things worse. I don't know if you and your boyfriend are Christians or not (yes I know this is a Christian forum, but I won't assume anything), but if you want to raise your child in a Christian home then you have to follow Christian principles given to us in the Bible. Your boyfriend has a legitimate concern, its expensive to raise children, but its a liitle too late to worry about it now..you're already pregnant. So whether you get married or not, the baby is coming you both have to provide for it and you both need to decide if you want to raise your child as husband and wife or baby mama and baby daddy. I believe God created and designed you to be a mother and wife, not a "baby mama". I hope everything works out for you!!

Leanne - posted on 07/10/2012

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It is my personal belief from reading the word of God that sex before marriage is fornication and is a sin in Gods eyes. Marriage should happen before sex and should be for life. Children threrefore should only happen after marriage. God understnads that we still have a sinnful nature in us that we sometimes allow to overcome the holy spirt. If you repent of your sin and do not continue in it your relationship with God is restored. However if you continue in sin the blessings in your life will be put on hold untill the sin in your life is dealt with.

Angela - posted on 05/23/2012

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To quote your original opening post:

"I am not married / engaged and I have a baby with my boyfriend. He does not want to get married till we have enough money. Does God understand?"

Actually, you ARE engaged. An engagement is an agreement between 2 people that they will marry each other at some future point. When you say "He does not want to get married till we have enough money." this suggests he DOES see you getting married one day. Now an engagement isn't an event where you have a party, make a newspaper announcement or buy a diamond ring. It's a private agreement between 2 people. So you are definitely engaged.

Good luck!

Leekeisha - posted on 05/23/2012

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First i want to ask are you pressuring him for a big wedding or justice of peace because, other than the blessings the only thing changed with my husband and I was a certificate. We must remember that god blesses marriages and he is the ultimate provider. My boyfriend thought the same thing and I just kept asking god to deliver me out of fornication. The bible tells us not to let anyone fool us because fornicators have no inheritance in the kingdom of god. My god is a deliverer and a provider. We went from not having enough money, getting married, and now moving into our brand new home. God is awesome and if this is the man god put on earth for you ask him to deliver you and watch how god works.

[deleted account]

Does God understand? I think He does understand, but I don't thing He is happy with your choices.... or your excuses...

More money, better job,bigger house, there will always be excuses NOT to get married.



Denise, I don't understand why you'r uncomfortable with getting married because you don't have a career or anything of your own??! If you are married you and your husband is ONE! Then there are no mine and yours... You say that you don't have anything of your own (everything you have is his) what is the problem with that? I don't see that as a valid excuse.

Maybe you are a bit selfish, ask God to show you His way!!



To Christina and Denise, you say that you've prayed about this and still waiting for the answer, maybe God has been giving you answers, but because you don't like the answers you don't want to see/hear them!!

We don't always get the answers we hope for. God knows whats best for both of you.

Angela - posted on 04/11/2012

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Marriage is about team work. If you're not in agreement about whether to even get married - where's the teamwork?

Adriana - posted on 04/08/2012

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You will never have enough money and never be ready enough. He needs to man up and you need to hold him accountable. If he loves you enough to live with you and get you pregnant, he should love you enough to marry you. This is like saying I will diet when I get skinnier. It just doesn't work that way.

Amy - posted on 04/02/2012

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I am a stay at home mom (currently)...like you I have a college education. I have a Masters of Education and half of the coursework completed on my Doctorate in Education. I stay home because I want to spend these few years with my kids. Every town has careers. Even tiny ones. I am from a town that had approximately 1600 people when I left to go to college. Now they have almost 3000...still no big city by any stretch of the imagination. Marriage is freedom. God completely understands sin. He is really the only one that does. This also means that He understands how sin affects people and their relationships. What people don't understand is that when God says something it is always right....not usually or mostly, or for some people. By deciding that we know more or better than God, we are relegating ourselves to second best. God's plan is not great...its not good...it is perfect!!! I have been married nearly 14 years now and I have never felt more secure in who I am or in our relationship with each other or God.



We always used to keep a single joint account, even when I was working full-time (first in the Air Force and later as a teacher)...now we have everything going into a joint account and then we each get a stipend (call it a spending allowance, it's fine) to a personal account because we don't want to let each other know when we buy the other a gift...or in my case I have developed a shoe habit that having my own personal money keeps me from overspending household money on my shopping....for the most part he makes all of the money, but he knows how much I do around here and he doesn't take that for granted very often.



The reality is that until we accept and follow God's plan for our lives, we are effectively saying "I know better than God for my life"...but it simply is not true. He is a loving God that provides a perfect way...but we have to pay the price for our own sins...UNTIL WE GIVE THEM UP AND TURN AWAY FROM THEM...then He covers the cost and lavishes His immeasurable blessings on our lives.

Angela - posted on 03/26/2012

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Carla, I truly hope that Christina can have the outcome she's praying for in her relationship, please don't get me wrong. I just wish I could've had someone outside of my immediate family to tell me these things when I was her age. (we never listen to parents, do we?)



I never had a joint account with anyone in my life until I married my second husband. We opened our joint account so we could both pay money in from our own individual accounts towards joint household expenses. That's absolutely fine. However, he advised me that I should use the same bank as him. Our joint account, his personal current account, his savings account and my savings account were with the same bank ("his" bank). My own current account was with another bank and that was where I was getting my wages paid in. So I opened a new current account with his bank. Whilst I was waiting for it to be up & running, I switched my salary credits to our joint account. He did the same, had his salary paid into our joint account instead of his own individual current account. So now all our money is going into the same account.



I don't feel comfortable - not because I expect or even imagine he would cheat me - just I'd like to be able to buy him a gift without wondering if he actually paid for it himself! The same goes for personal purchases for myself. He earns more than I do.



All I have to do of course is switch my salary credits to the new individual current account I opened for myself. I've discussed this with him and he says OK, we can both arrange for our earnings to be paid into our own individual accounts - I'm a bit lazy in getting around to it though! Once we've both done this we can go back to placing money in our joint account to pay for household expenses as we did before. I must admit, that with him earning more than I do there is probably more scope for me cheating HIM than the other way around!



Even now, nearly 23 years after I split with my first husband (plus he died anyway, nearly 3 years ago) my blood runs cold at the thought of ever having had a joint account with him, LOL!! As for marketable employment skills, these are just as important for self-esteem as for practicality. A considerate spouse will respect this and value their partner for their wisdom & consideration.



Before any of you think I'm bitter about my ex-husband let me tell you that he married again and he & his wife had 10 years of real happiness. I do not begrudge either of them that comfort, security and contentment. And yes, I even felt that way before I met my second husband with whom I've had a lot of happiness and joy.



An unhappy or uncertain history would make anyone wary. But I don't want to take the gloss off anyone else's potential happiness or interfere with the sense of anticipation that gives them hope for their future plans.

Angela - posted on 03/24/2012

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Ask yourself why you have come to the Lord first of all. This is a very valid question. Forgive me if I’ve got this wrong but this is the impression I have …



You’re in this relationship with this man. You love him and you believe he loves you. He’s made it clear he doesn’t want to get married. Then you get pregnant - this doesn’t inspire him into marriage. Even once the child is born, he is still against marriage although he loves his child (and you) very much. You join a Christian Church and also join the Christian community on here. Because God prefers that children are born into the security of marriage and you want marriage very much, being a Christian may be helpful in you achieving your objective – to be legally married to your man. You can pray hard and ask for the collective prayers of the Christian community and fellowship you now associate with. Your number one goal is getting married to your partner who is your child’s father …. And this is the main reason you have come to the Lord? Not especially for personal salvation, not to get to know Him, have a unique and personal relationship with Jesus, to learn and read the Bible or fellowship with other Christians. But so Almighty God in His omnipotence will wave His magic wand and your man will suddenly want to marry you, be a 100% loving and committed partner to you and father to your child, support you in developing your own independent career, be a first rate son-in-law to your parents and everyone’s going to live happily ever after?



This is very much the impression I’m getting and I’m sorry if I’ve got it wrong. But I’ve been there, done that and got the T-shirt. I was already married actually but I wanted a marriage where my husband actually valued me and our children and not a marriage of convenience where it suited him to have someone to live with, have sex with, do his laundry, manage money and feed him. I never did achieve my aim. Years and years later after a lot of soul-searching, divorce etc … I met and married my second husband, a Christian. And I found my happiness with the Lord and with my husband. I don’t take any of it for granted – I suffered for many years beforehand.



Of course God understands – but God understanding isn’t the same as God approving! Firstly I agree with Rebekah’s suggestion. Continue as a couple and raise your child together with devotion and dedication BUT put your sex life on hold until you’re married. There are 3 results to this:



1. It’s a testimony to others (both Christians and non-believers) that you’re putting God first.



2. It gives you both OTHER things to think about – like raising the money for the wedding you want! And developing that career that means so much to you.



3. It means you’re not going to get pregnant again before you’re married which will make further demands on your money and push your wedding further and further away!



More broadly speaking – I know that life isn’t simple when it comes to relationships, marriage and parenthood. I’m seeing this problem from ALL sides. We’re now in a culture that gives us all of the following mixed messages – any wonder we don’t know which one to believe!



1. Fewer people are getting married these days – the divorce rate has fallen simply because the marriage rate has fallen as well!



2. If a couple live together and/or have children but are not married it’s because the man won’t marry the woman. It’s hardly ever because the woman won’t marry the man. (this is what is popularly believed – but I don’t think this is true – it can often be the choice of the woman rather than the man!).



3. Because the marriage rate has fallen, it’s now more expensive to get married – whether you go for a simple wedding or a big, fancy wedding. When fewer people are marrying, the wedding supplies vendors have to hike up their prices. This applies to everything from the Registrar’s fees to the person who bakes wedding cakes. Even a low-key, simple wedding is far more expensive than it was a few years ago.



4. Many couples – especially young couples – feel they have something to live up to if they’ve been to a couple of their friends’ weddings which have been “grand” to any degree. But this is very difficult to replicate for any young couple – no-one is especially secure financially when young. If you have children before marriage you’re even less secure financially. Many young couples have parents that pay for their wedding – but not everyone has parents, or parents that can afford this. Many couples prefer the autonomy of paying for it all themselves – even if it means waiting longer.



5. It’s not such a bad thing to want a “grand” wedding. We all enter marriage hoping and expecting it to last for life. Marriage is more important than a wedding (which is just one day) but it’s reasonable to want that one day to be special – it’s the day that launches your future life together.



6. You really MUST enter into marriage on “equal terms”. Nothing wrong with a joint bank account but always have a separate one for yourself as well. Have qualifications and employable, marketable skills – even if you don’t have a paid job. Skills and a “trade” mean you have something to fall back on. Abusive marriages nearly always develop because one partner had the control, the money & the power and the other person was “dependent”. That’s not going to happen in every marriage where there’s an uneven balance of power – but why gamble? Start as you mean to go on!



So there are lots of things to think about. You CAN get married and have the wedding you want but there are important considerations that you need to bear in mind.



1. Is your partner as willing as you to commit in marriage? If not, why not? He/she should never be browbeaten into going through with a wedding ceremony in order to please you, or your family or his/her own family.



2. Have you discussed what it means to be married? How you will orchestrate your lives together (and those of any children you have)? Do you both have responsible attitudes towards money? Also, do you both have responsible attitudes towards time?



3. Can you speak freely to one another, communicate well without fear of the other person not listening, disagreeing on principle or laughing at you?



4. Are you a couple where both have the same religious convictions? And can you worship together, raise your children in your faith and share your relationship with God? Or does one partner merely “tolerate” the other person’s religion for a quiet life without taking any of it too seriously?



Only when you’ve thrashed out these questions and considerations together seriously can you proceed with marriage. Being able to afford a designer wedding gown, glittering wedding & engagement rings, a wonderful ceremony, a fantastic party for your loved ones and a gorgeous honeymoon isn’t what it’s about – not by any means.



If the other person doesn’t want to examine himself, his life, his motives and your relationship together too closely, then he’s not marriage material – even if he’s willing to marry you.



I learned the hard way. Don’t let that be you. Good luck. You’re in my prayers - not that your man will suddenly want to marry you but that he (and you) will both look deeply into your hearts and make the right decision.

Christina - posted on 03/23/2012

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Hi Rebekah.....I do want to get married and I dont know what Is holding him back. If you read my previous comment before you replied, I think God has to work in his heart to let go of whatever is holding him back. Im waiting and praying annd see that I have some support and I TRUST GOD WILL BRING HIM TO HIS SENSES TO MARRY

Megan - posted on 03/22/2012

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This reminds me of my situation 8 years ago. I was 19 and pregnant, not married and no plans to get married. I wasn't from a christian home, but my husband was but wasn't walking with the Lord at that time. We didn't want to get married because of financial reasons as well. All of my friends were having these big fancy weddings and I wanted one too! Every girl dreams of that right? Well, I guess it must of been the prayers from his parents because we decided to get married before the baby was born.....such a small simple wedding, right to the point but looking back now, it was so beautiful. We moved into his parents basement(also wasn't ever planning to do that!) and we gave our hearts to the Lord and he has provided for us ever since! My husband runs his own very successful business, I get to stay at home with our now 3 girls! And we have a beautiful home built next door to his parents now. I believe with my whole heart the God has blessed us because we humbled ourselves and obeyed what his word says. And as for your boyfriend Christina.....I believe prayer is the key! God understands that this is a situation where he has to do some work in him....just pray pray pray!! We are proven fact that prayer works!! The prayers from my husbands family certainly were answered.....we were dead set against getting married until maybe a few years later....and then all of a sudden we were like " hey, I think I DO want to get married now"...lol.....God is so good and he is so faithful!! I will add your situation to my prayer list!! God Bless! :o)

Rebekah - posted on 03/22/2012

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@Christina - you never answered the question, instead you gave me a list of reasons of why you love this man. Finances isn't an excuse to wait for marriage - if you know in your heart this man is for you, my question would still be to your partner - "what is holding him back?"



I'm not trying to offend you. You know that your living situation is a sin. It's like the relationship Judas and Jesus had - Judas wanted the intimacy without the commitment and covenant. All that leads to is betrayal, heartbreak, and in Judas' case huge regret. God never designed your living situation to be the best for people, He has greater in store for you. If you'd just take the plunge, money or not for a marriage, and if money is truly the issue for a "wedding" - then ask God for the finances for the "wedding" - He will provide that.



But if you continue the lifestyle your in, you will prevent the blessings of God in your life. The Bible is clear that if you know the truth and STILL choose to sin we face HUGE judgement and fiery trials. That is NOT something you want to come your way at all.



If you are going to wait for a marriage and still live together, I'd suggest that you both refrain from sex while you save money for your wedding. It's a test of loyalty to each other and it's an act of obedience to God's Word.





@Denise - No "real career" jobs in your small town - what about a city that is nearby?? So, you have to drive some time away. Who knows, God could open doors for you in a career (if that is your heart's desire) somewhere else and your partner finds a police job there too. That still shouldn't prevent you from getting married. I think if I was you, I'd pray and ask God for these answers (1) what is the career path for my life and (2) is this man in my life the man you have destined for me to marry. If you do not know the answer to the second, then why are you living with him?

Carla - posted on 03/22/2012

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Wow, we got so many things going on here at once!



Father, we bring Christina and her man to You. You know his heart, and know the reasons he is hesitant to marry. We know You have ordained marriage, and that living within Your laws brings us blessings. We ask, in the Name of Jesus, that You speak to his heart and impress on him the need to bring blessing and security to this couple plus one. We thank You in advance, that when two or three are gathered together in Your Name, as we are here, that You are in the midst. That gives us such a feeling of being loved and peace! Bless Christina, as she strives to live according to You and answer the cries of her heart. Amen



Now, to Denise--I understand your feeling uncomfortable being dependent on him. You have no legal standing, and your life could be turned upside down with a single argument. You are hesitant to leave this man, because of being raised by a single parent, but, truthfully, sweetheart, and trust me, I watched my father and mother through their stormy relationship, and sometimes I think it would have been better for Dad to leave her than to live in the madness of their marriage. I don't know if your relationship is good or not, it sounds like maybe it isn't what you think it should be, but to get married, knowing your fears, might not be the wise thing to do. I pray, Father, that You give Denise the answers she needs. She is confused and doesn't know what to do, but You know what is the absolute best thing for her. I pray You give her clear understanding of their situation, and give her strength to maybe do the hard thing. I ask for protection over her and her child, and wisdom and peace. In Jesus' Name, amen.



And Kaitlin--Hebrew 10:26-27 says 'For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation..' This should scare the heck out of us! When we repented, we were forgiven, BUT, if we know what is right and say 'God understands', and we continue to sin, we are in danger of being cut off. I don't think I'd want to take a chance on anything I do, doing it wilfully, or knowingly, and think I'm gonna be okay.



God IS love, however, He DOES expect us to shape up. Will we stumble and fall down from time to time? Sure! Does my mouth get carried away in the heat of anger or hurt? Yes. However, if I think about saying something, and get that little prick in my heart, telling me I shouldn't say it, I am deliberately and wilfully disobeying the Holy Spirit when I say it anyway. We have to be very careful to guard our hearts and salvation.



God bless, my dears, I am praying for you!

Kaitlin - posted on 03/22/2012

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Does God understand? What, that we are all sinful and mess up? Totally.



Most Christians believe that premarital sex is a sin. But, hey, guess what? Everybody sins. So i guess, yes, God understands that we sin. Does it make it right, does it make it okay? No. But people still sin, whether it's premarital sex, lies, stealing, judgement, anger, etc etc etc. It's what you do with it, and how you respond to it, and how you repent. I guess God knowing that we sin doesn't mean it's okay that we knowingly sin and continue to do so, it just makes him extra awesome for forgiving us. ;)

Denise - posted on 03/22/2012

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Being so dependant on him is stressful for me........ I will never be able to find a career out here and he made it clear he doesnt want to move. But we have a 4 yr old and I dnt want to tear his family apart. I grew up in a single parent home and even though I always said I never wanted children, I have one and it is so important to me that he has both his parents, together!

Christina - posted on 03/22/2012

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wow thanks Carla. That was encouraging. Im praying that God softens his heart and gets through to his head that we should be married. I know he wants to, but Im not sure all the reasons that are holding him back and pend it any further. God needs to work on his heart, and I ask that you pray for that. Cause i am more than ready to marry this man, small or big wedding. I want to be his alone and for God to bless us. We also have a baby to be a good example to. Thanks everyone for all your input

Christina - posted on 03/21/2012

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Look i love this man with everything that I am. I have known that he is the man im gonna marry since the day I met him 14 years ago in high school. Ive been thinking of my own question alot since yesterday, and when I look where we have come from and all that we have been through I think God is setting up our life to be together forever. I know he will ask me to marry him soon.



God has given us beautiful daughter that I nearly lost at 4 months when I was pregnant. I prayed for God to protect her, and He did and she is so clever, so gorgeous, so happy and always healthy and when she does get sick she recovers so quickly. She has saved our lives and made us better people and a better couple than we have ever been in 14 years. That is only God's work. We have moved from grummy dirty dangerous JHB to a beautiful clean and amazing Cape Town. Our flat we found, is so big and spacious and has a view of the ocean, a lagoon and a golf course with Table mountain. Only God's hand is in that one.



We have saved some money and im busy saving ina seperate box for my wedding and I know God's timing is perfect. And Chris will ask me, and I will have a gorgeous ring and I will be able to afford everything of my dreams, cause so far God has made everything else possible and we have only got the best. I will wait patiently on God and I know His blessing will run me down and over and even more so when we get married.

Christina - posted on 03/21/2012

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Look i love this man with everything that I am. I have known that he is the man im gonna marry since the day I met him 14 years ago in high school. Ive been thinking of my own question alot since yesterday, and when I look where we have come from and all that we have been through I think God is setting up our life to be together forever. I know he will ask me to marry him soon.



God has given us beautiful daughter that I nearly lost at 4 months when I was pregnant. I prayed for God to protect her, and He did and she is so clever, so gorgeous, so happy and always healthy and when she does get sick she recovers so quickly. She has saved our lives and made us better people and a better couple than we have ever been in 14 years. That is only God's work. We have moved from grummy dirty dangerous JHB to a beautiful clean and amazing Cape Town. Our flat we found, is so big and spacious and has a view of the ocean, a lagoon and a golf course with Table mountain. Only God's hand is in that one.



We have saved some money and im busy saving ina seperate box for my wedding and I know God's timing is perfect. And Chris will ask me, and I will have a gorgeous ring and I will be able to afford everything of my dreams, cause so far God has made everything else possible and we have only got the best. I will wait patiently on God and I know His blessing will run me down and over and even more so when we get married.

Christina - posted on 03/21/2012

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Look i love this man with everything that I am. I have known that he is the man im gonna marry since the day I met him 14 years ago in high school. Ive been thinking of my own question alot since yesterday, and when I look where we have come from and all that we have been through I think God is setting up our life to be together forever. I know he will ask me to marry him soon.



God has given us beautiful daughter that I nearly lost at 4 months when I was pregnant. I prayed for God to protect her, and He did and she is so clever, so gorgeous, so happy and always healthy and when she does get sick she recovers so quickly. She has saved our lives and made us better people and a better couple than we have ever been in 14 years. That is only God's work. We have moved from grummy dirty dangerous JHB to a beautiful clean and amazing Cape Town. Our flat we found, is so big and spacious and has a view of the ocean, a lagoon and a golf course with Table mountain. Only God's hand is in that one.



We have saved some money and im busy saving ina seperate box for my wedding and I know God's timing is perfect. And Chris will ask me, and I will have a gorgeous ring and I will be able to afford everything of my dreams, cause so far God has made everything else possible and we have only got the best. I will wait patiently on God and I know His blessing will run me down and over and even more so when we get married.

Denise - posted on 03/21/2012

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We live in a small town and there are no "career jobs" here. He is a police officer and he is happy with his job. I feel that getting married would tie me dwn to living in this small town and I will never have a career. I didnt go to college to be a SAHM (nothing against them). But I do question alot whether he and I are meant to be married. Sometimes I think we should sometimes I think we shouldnt. I pray aout it alot but I dnt know when and if God has answered me

Rebekah - posted on 03/21/2012

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@Denise - again, (1) you are sin because you are not legally bound by a vow; (2) you will never know the completeness of you until you experience marriage first hand.



Marriage isn't going to prevent you from "you" - in actuality, it makes you that much better. What are you afraid of?

Denise - posted on 03/21/2012

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I would like to know the answer to this question also. I have a 4 yr old with my bf and he is and has been ready to get married but Im not because Im not at a place in my life where I feel comfortable getting married and by that I mean, I dont have a career or anything of my own (everything we have is technically his). Its so important to me to have a career. I pretty much feel incomplete and I want to better myself before I take that next step. I feel like Im holding him back and in a, being selfish. Will God understand that I want to get my life together before I decide to get married?

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