EMAIL ADVICE: Should I marry and risk losing my child support?
This is an "Email Advice" post...
I often receive emails that ask for my advice. When it feels that the things the Lord gives me to say in response to these requests could be helpful for others, I post the question (anonymously) and my responses here. May God use them for His glory and the equipping of His people.
I’ve been listening to your podcast for almost two years now. I look forward to it every day and thank you so much. I’m struggling with something and would like your input.
I was married to my ex husband for 25 yrs. We had a Christian home and two children. The last 10 yrs of our marriage he had affairs on at least two occasions, we went to Christian counseling, but he really didn’t want to work things out. So we got a divorce.
I struggled because I wanted to keep our family together, I prayed constantly and nothing changed. I became angry at God and for about four years strayed from Gods ways.
I met a man and he asked me to marry him and I moved in with him a year ago. This is where I struggle.
I stayed at home with my children and have no retirement etc. My ex husband has to pay me alimony for 8 yrs and that is what I’m saving for my retirement. If I get married I lose that. I will lose about $60,000 at this point. I’m hearing opinions from everyone, even some Christians.
They say things like, “It’s just a piece of paper, you both have made a commitment to one another, just wait for the remaining 4 yrs to end and then get married.”
I’ve been praying about this and feel I’ve not been given an answer. Could you give me your biblically based thoughts on this situation?
Hi, and thanks for writing. I hope I can shed some light on your situation from a biblical perspective.
I honestly think there are two issues at play here, both which require you to assess your devotion to Jesus.
First, are you willing to do what YOU think is best or are you willing to submit to what Jesus says is right?
That’s a valid question and really the only one that matters at the outset. Once you settle that, lots of other things become clear.
For example: Scripture makes it clear that you should not be living with a man like you are, outside of marriage. It doesn’t matter if you intend to marry, it’s immoral and dishonoring to Christ.
So, knowing that, will you fix the situation immediately? Will you do what is needed to honor Christ above everything else? If so, you’ll either move out, or get married immediately.
That decision and choice needs to be made first.
The child support is the secondary issue.
The only way to honor Jesus in the situation AND collect the child support is to live apart from the man you’re currently living with. You need to stop the immoral living situation out of obedience and honor of Jesus.
If you decide you don’t want to do that, then marriage is the best alternative. If it costs you the child support, that’s the price of obedience in this situation.
I recognize that there are ripple effects of all of these decisions. You’ll have to figure some things out and make some sacrifices in order to be obedient to Jesus, no doubt. But those are the things that reveal where your devotion truly is.
I hope that’s helpful.
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