I lived with my children’s father for eight years, but we never got married…. One day he left us for another woman…. For the past two years he has been living with the other woman and me at the same time…. Three times he has come back and then left again. Now he wants to come back for the fourth and last time, and I don’t know what to do. I haven’t been able to get over him. I love him, and he says he loves me too, and that he wants to change…. I want to get married and do things right… because I have gotten closer to God. But I don’t know if believing him and starting over is the right thing to do. I am really confused.

Dear Friend,

We congratulate you for wanting to make the decision that will please God. You, and anyone else who cares about God’s opinion, should start by finding out what He is telling us through the letter that He has sent to us.

That letter is the Bible. It is God’s message to us. Some people discount the message of the Bible because of the fact that our world has changed so much since Bible times. But while it is true that every specific situation cannot be found in the Bible, the principles and instructions that are there can help us know God’s will for every moral dilemma.

In your case, the Bible is clear. Sexual relationships are to be confined within marriage. A man and a woman vow to be faithful to one another as a part of their wedding ceremony. Of course, we know that many people are not faithful to their vows, but that does not change God’s opinion about marriage.

Even though it is tempting to let the father of your children move back in with you, we believe that you should insist on being married to him first. And we believe that, before you are married, you should insist on a waiting period during which time he proves that he is ready to be faithful to you by refraining from a sexual relationship with any woman, including you.

You may believe that he will not be willing to abstain from sex and that this plan will drive him back into the arms of the other woman. If that is true, then you will have your answer, won’t you? You will know that all his words of love, as well as his desire to change, were just his way of manipulating you once again.

Whether you end up marrying him or not, we encourage you to facilitate his relationship with your children. They need their father, and you must accept that their relationship with him is not contingent upon your relationship with him. Even if he ends up with another woman, make sure that you encourage and support him as your children’s father. We know it will be extremely difficult, but God can give you the strength to make the right decisions.

We wish you the best,