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I am torn. Five years ago I broke up with my child’s father because I was tired of having to support us after he kept losing or leaving jobs for stupid reasons. His mother would constantly make excuses for him and even the people at church kept telling me I should keep him because he was a good man. Neo he never was violent toward me. He was always respectful. But he was so spoiled by his mama that he was lazy. It felt like other than me having a baby I was the man and I was taking care of a woman. After the baby I had to rush to get back to work because he lost another job for showing up late or leaving early and he didn’t tell me about it until the bills were due. All that time he was hanging out at his mama house and I was home recovering with the baby thinking everything was alright. I guess I should have known better because he left his mama house to come live with me and when I told him to leave he went back to live with his mama. I am 26 now and he is 35. We all still go to the same church and I don’t have no problem with him seeing our son. I get a little money from him but I know it is coming from his mama because he still really not working. But now she getting tired of him and I think she is responsible for all the pressure and the comments in the church about how I should let him back for the sake of my son since he is not an abuser. Are they right? (Name Withheld for Privacy)

MY REPLY: Since you stated you go to church, let me try to answer you in a way that you can understand from the Bible. If you look at Second Thessalonians Chapter 3 within the context of it addressing Christian charity, it basically says that if a person is capable of working and work is available but chooses instead to rely on the charity of those who are led to feed the poor, then he or she is abusing the church and you and any other person are not obligated to provide them any food or assistance because their poverty is of their own choosing. Your charity should be reserved for the truly helpless.

This male (because I cannot call him a man) has been coddled by women his whole life. I know this because, once again, I am getting a story that never mentions a father or even another strong man who is in his face telling him he needs to be a man. And from what you are telling me, there are also not any real men in your church because the men should have been in that bruthas face from the moment they heard about why you had to put him out in the first place.

The problem is that everybody is about their own business as long as what a person does isn’t affecting them. Now that his mama is tired, she is going around talking and rather than that church trying to confront that brutha about being a man, it is easier to just guilt trip you into taking him back.

The sinner in me wants to say tell them all to go to hell. But it sounds to me like even in your heart he is not a bad man but maybe has been poorly raised and you are in a fellowship that has no accountability toward men. So I suggest the following terms in getting back together:

1. He must agree to couples counseling by a certified therapist.
2. He must get a job and keep it.
3. That you both must leave that church and go into a fellowship apart from his mama where there are men who will hold him accountable

Most would assume that given my issues with organized religion that I would have jumped at the opportunity to trash the church on this question. But I see my role as meeting you at the path that you are on. I hope this helps. -NEO