What is the appropriate thing to do biblically if a boy gets his girlfriend pregnant before he is married to her. He is a Christian and she is a baptist.Do they have to get married? He plans on supporting the child.
This is a difficult situation, but the Bible has some principles which can answer this question. Please also engage in prayer regarding this situation, as I am sure you already have (James 1:5).
First, he is the father of the child and he must act accordingly, whether the two get married or not. This means that he has the responsibility to love and support the child and to raise the child in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). He will never get beyond that responsibility; it will follow him all of his life.
Second, while it would be ideal for this young man to marry this woman to give the child an ideal home environment, marriage is more than just a place to raise children. For a man to marry a woman is a commitment that he must make for the rest of his life (Matthew 19:6). He must love and cherish her as his own flesh (Ephesians 5:28, 29). She also must be willing to marry, love, and submit to his headship (Titus 2:4, 5). That is a choice that he AND she must make together. The two shouldn’t be forced to marry into a situation where they would not love and care for each other. That will only end in divorce and the latter end will become worse than the former. The only two people who can determine if their marriage is going to work will be these two people themselves. If they are willing to make that lifelong commitment, then they may marry. On the other hand, if they are not, or if they have reservations, then I wouldn’t force the issue. Perhaps they will not marry each other, but in the future one will marry another who is capable of providing a good home life for the child.
Third, You didn’t mention ages, but statistically, more couples remain married if they wait until their mid-twenties. For this reason, if the two are teens, my personal advice would be against marriage. Marriage is difficult enough as it is; it is even more difficult when a child is involved. Teens and even people in their early twenties just don’t have the life-experience to deal with such a situation.
Finally, if he has not already, this young man needs to repent and confess his fault before the church (James 5:16). He has brought reproach upon the people of God by his actions and he needs to be accountable for them. Then he needs to make a commitment not to continue to be involved in such behavior. He may simply be a young man, but if he is old enough to get himself involved in such a situation, then he is old enough to deal with the consequences. If he fails to make the appropriate acknowledgments of his sinful behavior, then the church will have to fulfill its obligations in 1 Corinthians 5.