Can we help? with PASTOR & MRS BANDA
DEAR Raphael and Namukolo,
I have been married to my husband for 15 years. We have four children. However, I have a big confession to make. Our first born who is 15 years is not my husband’s son.
I got pregnant from another man just before I got married to my husband. My husband has always thought it is his child. Recently two things have happened. I became a Christian and I am finding it difficult to keep this burden inside me and, secondly the father of the child has been insisting he wants his son.
I therefore need help with the following. How should I go about to inform my husband that the 15 year old son is not his, given that he is not a believer. Secondly, should the actual father of the boy be allowed to claim his son without him first passing through my relatives since there was no formal acknowledgement of this pregnancy by him.
Mrs Secret Keeper
Dear Mrs. Secret Keeper,
Last week we explained how you should approach the first two parties involved in your saga, namely; God and your 15 year old son. Let us finish off with the remaining three parties.
• Your husband: When he married you your husband accepted you knowing fully well that like every other human being you had a past. With respect to your son he believed he was the biological father and devoted himself to parenting the child. Being a parent is far much more than siring a child. It involves nurturing and providing for the child until they grow into responsible adults. Parenting is not open ended. It comes to an end as soon as the child grows into an adult and becomes independent. There are only a few more years before your husband completes the job of parenting your son. To disturb him now is illogical and there is nothing that would be gained from it. Breaking the news now will also be a major emotional blow to him which he might not be able to take well especially that he is not a believer. His relationship with your son might drastically change. Similarly, his relationship with yourself might change. He might even start questioning the parentage of the other three children. Peace in your home might be lost for good.
• Your ex- boyfriend: He is the major culprit in this scenario. For 15 years he has abrogated parental responsibilities and he cannot therefore just walk into the picture and start demanding that he wants his child back. Where was he all these years? He needs to be assisted to see that his demands are absurd and that they will be the cause of total destruction to all the human parties involved. He must be assisted to see that by making such demands now he actually risks losing his son for good as the boy might fail to cope as already pointed out earlier. He also risks destroying your marriage and his own marriage if he is married. The best he can do is to keep out of your life and admit that it is too late to make such demands.
• Yourself: Let us start with your newfound Christian convictions. Your convictions are as a result of your conscience being awakened. But they should not lead you to the wrong conclusion that the only way to address them is by a mandatory type of confession to your husband. We have explained what happens when a person gets saved. All your sins were forgiven. What you need is wisdom from above to help you wisely handle the consequences of sin. So do not allow a wrong understanding of your spiritual status lead you to unnecessary misery or to taking wrong action. If you were to confess to your husband it should be because that was the best cause of action and not because it is a mandatory requirement. Currently, it does not seem to be the best course of action for the reasons we have already advanced.
Since you have repented and your motives are now sincere you should not feel guilty as if you were maliciously keeping a secret.
What you need to do is to engage very reliable people, either your relatives or people from church who can be trusted to keep confidence to go and sit down and engage your ex. They should assist him to understand the damage he will cause to your marriage and worse still to his own son if he insists on going ahead with his demands.
Hopefully, he will understand and lay off for good or until such a time as the boy will be an independent adult.
Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry (James 1.19).
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