Ask Your Preacher
Dear preacher, my name is (omitted), and I am a christian. I trust your competence and knowing of the Scriptures, and I would like to ask you one very serious question. At least, it is very serious for me. I am married to a non-christian girl. She does not want to know about God and about the Bible even though she respects my faith and is not against me attending the church meetings. We are going to have a child soon, Lord willing. She wants to baptize the child according to Russian Orthodox tradition in the Russian Orthodox church. I tried to explain to her that this is not according to the Bible, that this is not what God wants, and that this is not true baptism because the child cannot even understand what is being done with him... she insists on baptizing the child, which, Lord willing, is to be born soon. What should I do in this case as a christian? Should I let her baptize the child if she really insists on this? I do not know what to do... I want to save our family... I really want to save our family.
When she told me that she wanted to baptize the child in the Russian Orthodox church, I told her that if she really believes in this (in the necessity of baptism of infants) - I cannot stop her from doing this... I told her that if she wants to do this – I’d let her do this, but I will not do anything to support her. I will not even take her with our car to the Russian Orthodox church for this purpose.
I also told her that when our child reaches certain age, I will take him to the children’s Bible classes at our congregation, so that he would be able to know about God from the very early years of his life. She told me that she will not let me do this - if I do this, she will leave me and will take the child with her. I am in great despair at this moment. I want to save our family, but it seems that if she does not change her attitude - this will not be possible.
Sometimes, I want to tell her that if she really insists that she will not let me take the child to the children’s Bible classes - she should leave me right now. Should we get divorced based on 1 Corinthians 7? I never thought that she would become so hard-hearted. She believes that the commandments of the Lord in the Bible make people limited and cause them not to enjoy their life in full.
I have made certain mistakes as a person not really experienced in marriage, but each time I asked her to forgive me, it seems like she forgave me. In the same way, she made mistakes… which I forgave. But I do not know what to do in this case. I really need your help and your advice.
Dear Unorthodox Father,
Our heart really and truly goes out to you - you are obviously "unequally yoked" in spiritual matters (2 Cor 6:14). There is no simple answer in this case, but there are some principles that you should consider.
- You are the spiritual head of your household, and you have a responsibility to guide your family in God's ways (Eph 5:23).
- This responsibility means that you must behave as Christ does towards His church - sacrificially and lovingly. Being a husband means that you must pick your battles; be the first to forgive and the first to show kindness (Eph 5:28-29). The spiritual direction of your child's life is a battle worth picking, but if you are constantly fighting over less important things... the issues that matter won't be treated with the gravity that is necessary.
- If she does baptize the child in the Russian Orthodox church - it won't matter. The child will get wet, but it won't affect its soul. Take comfort in that.
- You mentioned 1 Cor 7 - if she wants to leave, you can let her go (1 Cor 7:15), but that doesn't mean you should hope that she leaves. As long as she wants to be married to you – even with your religious convictions – you need to try and make your marriage work (1 Cor 7:12). As frustrated as you are right now, you never know if your good behavior might get her to see the light (1 Cor 7:16).
In short, hang in there. Stand your ground on moral principles and give way on matters of opinion. The Lord will bless you, and your child, in your faithfulness (Rom 8:28, 1 Cor 7:14).
Is there any where in the Bible that dictates how many children to have?
Three or Twelve?
Dear Three or Twelve,
No, the amount of children that a married couple has together is a matter of personal preference. God never stipulates how many children a couple can (or cannot) have. There are examples of faithful married couples having no children (such as Hannah and Elkanah – 1 Sam 1:1-2), and there are examples of faithful couples having a dozen children (like Jacob’s family – Gen 35:22).
My question is in regard to taking fertility medicine to conceive a child. I have a hormonal imbalance that makes me have difficulty conceiving. I took medicine after trying to conceive for over a year. It worked for me, and I had a beautiful son. I feel like God sent him to me, and he is a blessing, but in the back of my mind, I wonder if God thinks it was okay for me to take the medicine to have him. I just want to know... is it okay to take fertility drugs to conceive a child in the eyes of the Lord?
Dear Baby Boom,
God condones taking medication for our health problems. Paul told Timothy to take some wine for his stomach (1 Tim 5:23). The sick were told to have the elders pray over them and anoint them with oil – oil was used as a medicine (Jas 5:14).
We know that medicine is perfectly appropriate when you are sick. Though some feel uncomfortable using fertility drugs (and you should never do anything that goes against your conscience – 1 Tim 1:5), the argument can be made that fertility medication is just like using aspirin or any other medical technique to improve human health and body function. Enjoy the blessing of your baby boy, and thank God for him (Col 4:2).
I long to have children, and I feel like it is my call in life to be a mother, but my husband does not want kids. He is very adamant about not having children, EVER! This is not what we had planned and certainly not something that I agree with. How lonely would it be when we are older and our families are gone and we have no kids of our own to visit with and talk to. What do I do? I have tried prayer and talking to him. I don't know if I can deal with never having children. Any advice?
Dear Baby Mama,
The longing of the female soul for children is as old as the world. Ever since Eve became the mother of all living, women have wanted children (Gen 3:20). Leah used children as the benchmark of whether she was a successful wife (Gen 29:32). God also says that he opened Leah’s womb as a comfort and blessing to her (Gen 29:31).
Rachel was bereaved that she could not have children, and she, like you, fought with her husband over that issue (Gen 30:2). Women unable to have children (for whatever reason) are very often vexed by a deep emotional burden. In fact, childbearing is so entrenched in the psyche and feminine culture that women sometimes measure one another by their children; Peninnah often provoked Hannah because she had no children (1 Sam 1:6).
In fact, Hannah is an excellent example of how to deal with the sorrow of not having children. Hannah never stopped loving her husband and maintaining a godly relationship with him (1 Sam 1:4-5). Elkanah, her husband, didn’t understand why children were so important to Hannah, and it is likely your husband doesn’t either (1 Sam 1:7-8). Hannah prayed constantly for God to find a way for her to have children; she prayed in her sorrow, and she prayed in hope (1 Sam 1:10).
Trust in the Lord, be a godly wife, continue to pray, and study the Scriptures with your husband on this topic, but ultimately you must learn to be content in whatever state you are in (Php 4:11). May the Lord bless you in your difficult struggle.
Two of my children left home to live with their father that has not been in their lives all their lives (my son is seventeen and daughter thirteen). They feel like I have to many rules, and he has none. Their father is not saved and does not go to church. I know this will be a big mistake. I want my children home, but like God, I want to choose the right thing. What do I need to study and pray about to have them to see the light and come home before it is too late, or should I just let it be? Help!
The Unpopular Parent
Dear The Unpopular Parent,
Of course you want your children home, but forcing them to come home won’t work either. Hammering them with Bible verses probably isn’t going to be your best option. Since they have the option of choosing where they live, and since they are old enough to make the decision on their own… their lives are in their own hands to a certain degree. You have been a light in their life (Php 2:15), and you have tried to train them up in a way that is pleasing to God (Pr 22:6). Now they will have to decide who they want to become.
At some point, everyone has to work out their own salvation (Php 2:12). Your children, for better or worse, are now entering that stage of life. Continue to be a loving, godly example to them and let your influence work. Your children are already greatly blessed with an advantage because their mother is a christian (Pr 20:7). You have done your best to provide them with the tools to succeed, and now it is their turn to ask and seek for themselves (Matt 7:7).
Continue to pray (1 Thess 5:7), continue to teach them when possible (Deu 11:19), and then be still and know that the future is in the Lord’s hands (Ps 46:10).