Dear Bro Fuston,
I am in a fix as I write this letter. I need your help urgently, there are many questions begging for answers. A dear friend who would not want me to make mistakes suggested that I should write to you because according to her you answer people’s questions on your column from an unbiased point of view and the same advice sometimes are taken from the Holy Bible which is an acceptable guide to us, Christians.
Jeff has been my boy friend of five years. Our relationship began during our university days. While I was studying at Abia State University, he was studying at Imo State University. A native of Uturu Okigwe, we met in a bus while I was traveling back to school and he was going home for an emergency at his home. We got talking and sealed our relationship.
January this year, he made a promise to marry me and I did not think twice before accepting the offer.
He is a nice guy, intelligent, handsome and kind, but he is one person that hardly changes his mind once he takes a decision. He got a new job at Abuja that same month he made the promise to me and the job is a good one. By March he has commenced the process of marriage that involved his people and my people and by the third week of May we have completed the traditional marriage rites.
I followed him to Abuja where he lives now and stayed with him for three weeks, I went back to Abuja July and there I became sick and was taken to the hospital and the doctor after running some tests discovered I was pregnant, I broke the news to Jeff and together we were very happy.
He has earlier agreed on a date for our wedding with his church in Abuja to be conducted on September 21, 2013 and because I was visiting from the East there was no proper meeting with the church leadership, and we have gone ahead with the wedding plans including printing and sharing of invitation cards.
To my dismay, my husband called me early this month and told me to go for an abortion and when I asked why, he said his church told him to bring me to Abuja for a pregnancy test and he told them that I am already pregnant and the woman who owns the church insisted that I should remove the baby or forget coming to wed in her church, and that none of their members will attend our wedding if we dare do it elsewhere and that my man will be excommunicated if he refuses to listen to their instruction.
My man is supporting his church for me to go for an abortion. According to them, we committed fornication because we have not been pronounced man and wife by God, and until such is done we are not scripturally married. I am confused. When could marriage be said to have taken place?
Do I obey them and abort the pregnancy for me to wed? Do I sever my relationship with Jeff? If I do and finally gives birth to the baby what will be his/her fate? Will it not be a wrong way to start if I disobey the man I love by not aborting the pregnancy?
Please help me.
Laura in Owerri
It is unfortunate that you find yourself in this type of predicament.
This is an issue that requires proper understanding of the scriptures. The issue of marriage especially in our country is controversial, but anyone who reads and understands the scriptures through the help of the Holy Spirit will know the mind of God concerning marriage.
Let me point out here that it is not totally true for anyone to say that marriage is considered scriptural only when it is conducted in the church. I understand not being pronounced man and wife by God in your context to mean not being married in the church.
We are aware that God is everywhere and there is no specific scriptural injunction that says marriage must be in the church. Those that got married before the coming of the church also had God’s blessings.
The Bible says he that finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favour from God. In Deut 22:13-16, we understand that the father of the bride has the right to give his daughter out in marriage, it can be anywhere. In attempting your first question which I believe if answered will help in addressing the rest, a marriage is said to have taken place when a man and a woman (not children) agree to marry and also receives the blessings of both parents. God endorses such marriage consummation and there is no law barring them from enjoying the intimate relationship reserved for a man and his wife.
The church angle is only a ceremony meant to tell people that the couple is married. It is also essential to admonish you that abortion unless when it is inevitable is abominable unto God and it will be wrong for anyone to hide under the scriptures to commit a heinous crime before God. So don’t think of that option no matter the pressure, doing so will make you a murderer and I am sure you wouldn’t want to be seen as one.
In this situation you need not break communication with your husband, dialogue with him, make him understand that you are pregnant not by his powers or anyone’s powers but by the power of God who freely gives. Tell him that the baby in your womb is a blessing from God and you should not cast forth your young.
You maybe considering the money so far spent for the would-be wedding and the embarrassment that comes with rearrangement of the date and venue. This is normal, but you should also bear in mind that the gift of a baby and the blessings thereto far out-weigh the pleasures of a wedding ceremony.
Your man should re-examine his stay in that church in line with the Bible, the picture you painted in your story shows he is new in that church, if he cannot go to another church that will accept your position and condition, then you can go to a marriage registry if you must get involved in this ceremony.
This is my candid advice. It is better to please God than to please one’s pastor or leader.
I wish you the best and a safe delivery when the time is due. God bless you.