When I found out that my husband had a son with another woman, it made me sick, but I asked God to help me to forgive him…. My daughters and my family all say that I am wrong, that by accepting the child I am glossing over the sin; but I don’t see it like that…. For three months the child, who is now eight years old, even came to live with us. He had been doing poorly in school, and he did better during the time that he was with us…. I made sure he did his homework, that he ate well, and that his clothes were clean. But one day his mother came for him and took him, and his grades have gone back down and he even had to repeat the school year….

I’m worried that his mother won’t pay enough attention to his needs and that this year the same thing will happen again, because she has now decided that she won’t allow him to come and see us anymore…. It’s not the boy’s fault that my husband committed adultery, nor did the child decide to come into the world under those circumstances…. Even though he is not my biological child, I love him as if he were; but up until now everyone tells me that I am wrong. I know that it’s also hard on my husband to not be able to see his son, and I don’t know what to do.

Dear Friend,

Never let anyone tell you that you are wrong to forgive or that you are wrong to love! You were following the example of God the Father when you forgave your husband, in spite of how he had hurt you. And you have been following God’s example by loving the child.

Many people confuse forgiveness with trust. They believe that you shouldn’t forgive someone, because that means that you will have to trust them to never hurt you again. No. You can forgive first, and then give the person a second chance to gain your trust. This is how God responds when we ask Him to forgive our sins. He forgives first, and then he gives us a chance to live differently and to avoid the same mistakes in the future.

Many people also blame the wrong person for the bad circumstances in their lives. You have been wise enough to understand that the sin of your husband is not the fault of the child who was born as a result of that sin. The child is innocent, but he will have to live his lifetime facing many of the consequences of his biological parents’ actions. How we commend you for loving the child in spite of all of that!

Every country has its own laws regarding child visitation and support, so you will have to research the law in your country. However, normally when a biological mother refuses to allow a child to visit his father, it is because she wants or needs money for the child’s expenses, and she unwisely uses the child as a kind of bargaining chip. In such cases, we recommend that the biological mother take advantage of the legal system, if necessary, to get support for the child, but that she never keep him from seeing his father on a regular basis. And we also recommend that the father use every legal recourse to require the biological mother to facilitate visitation.

We wish you well,

Linda and Charles