I’d have a misunderstanding: I’m in a rather troubled relationship, which has resulted in a child, a little girl that we both take care of, because we live together for now. I didn’t back down from anything when it came to our little girl, because I love her very much and feel she is something unique to me, even if my relationship with her mother is not a very good one. We had plans to get married, but things have taken a completely different turn. Our little girl is almost two years old and until this age we have done everything that we had to do for her in terms of Romanian tradition: baptism, namesake days. I forgot to mention that we live in Germany, where we found a Romanian church, where we also baptized our little girl. Recently, due to disagreements between her mother and me, her mother decided to change her religion as well as our daughter’s, even though she is registered as an Orthodox Christian and was baptized in the spirit of that religion. Besides, she did not ask me for my consent, and what is even worse, in my view, I think it is the choice of the child at a certain age to choose what she wants. Until then, I think we as parents have a moral duty not to force our children to do what we want them to do just to gain some advantage from that religious community where they would affiliate, in my case, the mother and her daughter. I find what she is doing immoral and I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to prevent this, because I think our little girl is not yet discerning at her age and then she can be easily manipulated to the point that she will practically lose her identity. I consider this gesture as a crime when you, as a Christian mother, force your child to something he does not even know if it is right or not and, moreover, a mother who only takes advantage of the fact that she has a vital but not a moral right over her child, a mother who only hunts some advantages coming from her own child, a mother without fear of God, because once born in a certain community, it must be respected. In doing so, it’s like giving up one’s own person, a kind of begging at the hands of God. I don’t know what to do, where to go and to whom? Please help me. Thank you.
Is it ok to live in cohabitation?
To begin with I must tell you that your relationship with the girl’s mother is worse than “troubled,” it is cohabitation as a concubine, that is, it is fornication and it is sin before God. The seventh of the Ten Commandments says:
You shall not commit adultery. (Exodus 20:14 NASB)
In the Epistle to the Hebrews it is written:
Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterers. (Hebrews 13:4 NASB)
By having sexual relations with this woman, both of you have sinned and seriously violated God’s clear commandment. True Christians do not do such things and live their lives in this way. True faith works together with deeds, and if it does not, then it is dead by itself and is of no use. You can’t inherit eternal life that way. Moreover, it is written several times in the Bible so that no one is deceived by thinking that they can live in immorality and inherit the Kingdom of God. Here is one such text that says:
For this you know with certainty, that no sexually immoral or impure or greedy person, which amounts to an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. (Ephesians 5:5 NASB)
Your problems are much bigger than the one you see with this woman. You need to repent wholeheartedly before God for the sin of fornication you have lived in and, I assume, are still living in. Choose to become a true disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ and live in all things according to His teaching as written on the pages of the New Testament.
What to do about the little girl?
Since you are not officially married, I am afraid you cannot legally claim any rights to the girl. But even if you were legally married, you must also respect your wife’s right to educate her child, just as she must respect your right. You say that the child does not know right from wrong and must be allowed to grow up to choose. But it is precisely the duty of parents to teach their children to know right from wrong. Your wife will teach her daughter what she now thinks is right, and so should you. Take the time to teach the girl from the Holy Scriptures, and be careful to set a worthy example of faith, for the way you have given birth to this girl is quite contrary to your claim to be a Christian. In this way, the girl will also listen to her mother’s teaching, listen to her father’s teaching and, in matters of faith, make the choice when she grows up. And one more thing, be careful not to speak ill of her mother in front of the girl and undermine her authority, for in this way you will harm the girl in the first place, who may grow up disobedient and rebellious.
On the faith into which you were born
It is very important to follow the truth of the Holy Scriptures, and if the faith into which you were born and which your parents followed is in accordance with the Holy Bible, then it is a great sin to leave it. But if you belong to a religion or denomination that is foreign or has departed from what is written in the Word of God, you must leave it as soon as possible and become a true disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, following His teaching as it is written in the pages of the New Testament. May God help you.
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Translated by Liza Birladeanu