Two years ago I began a relationship with a guy from my school. My parents did not approve of him, but I continued seeing him secretly. In this last year, he has been angry a lot and he takes his anger out on me…. Two and a half months ago, I found out that I am pregnant. When I told my boyfriend, he became very angry and said he didn’t want me to give birth to the baby….

My parents now know about my situation and they are supportive. My boyfriend wants to marry me, but I feel very wary of marrying him because of the way he treats me. At times I feel that he is abusing me psychologically…. I also feel that I have betrayed my parents, and I don’t know if God can forgive all these horrible mistakes that I’ve made. There is a large weight on my shoulders, but I want the best for my child.

What should I do: marry him, or live with my parents? Please, help me!

Dear Friend,

We know you are in a difficult situation and that you need to make some decisions quickly. However, do not let the situation force you into a decision that you will regret the rest of your life.

Generally, it is best for a child to have a mother and a father in the home. But when one of the two is emotionally unstable, as you have described your boyfriend, it is infinitely better that you and your baby not become prisoners of his angry outbursts and the potential violence which could come as his anger escalates.

When you love someone, the easiest path is to follow your heart, especially when that person tells you that he will change and that the love you two have for one another is enough to make a marriage work. Unfortunately, this is completely untrue. Love is not enough to build the foundation of a good marriage.

Your heart tells you one thing, but your brain tells you something different. Your heart says you love him, but your brain understands how his fits of anger affect you and affect the relationship, and whispers that any life with him would be full of rage and potential violence. This is not what you want for your little one, or for yourself either.

You are very blessed to have parents who are willing and able to help you. Even though you chose to disregard their advice, they have put that behind them and are only concerned for your welfare and the welfare of their future grandchild. This is the kind of forgiveness that God also offers.

God has given us guidelines for our own good which can be found in the Bible. But we often disregard those guidelines, just as you disregarded your parents’ distrust of your boyfriend. Now you can easily see that they were right all along, and that you should have listened to them. It is the same way with God. Often, it is when we have already made wrong choices and are suffering undesirable consequences that we are finally willing to take advantage of His help. Thankfully, God is just as willing to forgive and support you as your parents have been.

Since we know how difficult it is for a single mother to raise a child alone (even with the help of her parents), we would also like to encourage you to at least consider putting your baby up for adoption. As adoptive parents ourselves, we are very conscious of the fact that there are thousands of childless couples who have strong, stable marriages and could therefore give your baby a happy and secure life. We get messages every week from those couples, asking us how to deal with their broken hearts at the prospect of never becoming parents. Your difficult situation could become the answer to their prayers.

May God guide you and protect you,

Linda and Charles