I am a single mother. My daughter’s father died twelve years ago…. I have provided for my daughter what she needed to get ahead. She is now eighteen years old, and a few days ago she told me that she is pregnant. My world is falling apart! I had dreamed of her being a professional someday. The boy is the same age as she is, and is unemployed. She has been a very good girl. I am supporting her even though our financial situation is difficult.

I am so depressed! I don’t talk to her about it. I don’t want this child, who is totally blameless, to suffer. I think I haven’t been a good mother. What should I do?

Dear Friend,

You feel very alone right now and believe that no one else can possibly know what you are going through. The truth is that almost every family has a relative who has been in this same situation, though many times it is hidden from outsiders.

When our Heavenly Father created Adam and Eve, He gave them the ability to choose between right and wrong. He only gave them one simple rule to follow, and they had the choice of obeying the rule or breaking it. And they broke the rule. Does that make God a bad father?

No, God is a perfect father. When Adam and Eve broke the rule and brought sin into the world, God still loved them. And when we, as His children, break his rules and sin, He still loves us too. In fact, He loves us so much that He gave His Son, Jesus Christ, to forgive our sin.

You may have been a wonderful example to your daughter. You may have taught her right and wrong. And you may have explained that God intends sexual relations to take place only within marriage. But your eighteen-year-old daughter is an adult, and adults make their own decisions.

So what should you do? The answer is to keep doing what you have been doing. To forgive your daughter is to follow the example of God, who forgives us when we ask Him to. However, just as God allows us to face the natural consequences of our actions, you must allow your daughter to face the natural consequences of what she has done. She will need to work to provide for her child, even if that means that she cannot continue her education.

If your daughter and the young man do not love each other and do not get married, I encourage you to pursue whatever legal options are available in your country to make sure that he also pays his fair share to support his child. Too many young men believe that they should have the benefit of sexual relations without any of the responsibility or consequences. That is why many countries have laws to motivate young parents to do the right thing even when they are reluctant.

I commend you for understanding that none of what has happened is the fault of the precious child who will be born. May he or she be born into a home of love and security!

I wish you well,