I am twenty-two years old…. Four years ago, I left home to live with my boyfriend…. I had a daughter who is now two years old…. My daughter’s father left the country before she was born, and now wants me to join him because he doesn’t know our daughter and because he says that he loves me.

During the time that we lived together, we had a hard time understanding each other. I love him, but I want to do God’s will and not my own.

Dear Friend,

We congratulate you for knowing that your only way to true happiness is by doing God’s will. You understand that God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life that can only be achieved if you are willing to do things His way. It sounds irrational to some people when we say that we need to give up our own free will in order to find God’s will, but that is exactly the way that it works.

Many people claim that they want to know God’s will, but what they really want is to look over the details first and make sure that they are acceptable to them. They want to keep all their options open, in case God doesn’t do things like they think is best.

However, God’s will is similar to a door. You can’t see what is on the other side until you are willing to open the door, go through it, and then close the door behind you. There will be more doors ahead, and you can’t see now what any of them will bring, but there will always be the option to choose God’s way or a different way. At any time, you can choose to stop going through the doors that God has for you to go through, but you cannot expect to get to where He wants to take you unless you choose His doors.

God’s will never violates His principles. His doors will never require you to lie, cheat, steal, or hurt others. And His doors will never involve living with, or having sex with, someone to whom you are not married.

If, on the other hand, your daughter’s father were to ask you to marry him before joining him in the other country, then you would have to evaluate what you know about him to determine if it were possible to live with him according to God’s principles. Read Cases 181 and 213 to consider how some of the advice that we gave in those Cases might apply to you. But more important than all other factors is whether or not this man wants to serve God and do His will, as you do. If the answer is no, then there is nothing else to consider.

We are very sorry that your daughter is growing up without her father. We encourage you to arrange communication between the two of them as often as possible. But don’t make the mistake of marrying this man or any other unless you know for sure that both of you want to choose God’s doors and walk through them together.

We wish you well,