Afraid to break promise made to dead husband


September 16, 2017

Dear Pastor,

I am 33 years old, and I have a problem. I have confidence in you, and that is why I am writing to you. I am a Christian and I was married, but I lost my husband. We have two children. On his dying bed, he asked me to promise him that I would not get involved with any man until our children are grown.

The two children are girls. I told him that I would not get into a relationship with any man until my girls can manage. He told me thanks. My girls are eight and 10 years old. My husband died two years ago, and since he died, I have been wondering whether I was wrong in making that promise to him. People tell me that I am a very attractive woman. To avoid getting into trouble with any man, I take my children wherever I want to go.

Here is my problem, Pastor. I have an old school friend who has always liked me. We were never sexually involved with each other. We were just good friends. My husband knew him too. Recently, he has been telling me that he loves me, and he would like us to have a relationship. He was married, but now divorced. And like me, he has two children. They are living with his ex-wife.

Pastor, I am so afraid to get very close to this man because I promised my husband that I will wait until our children are grown before I have a relationship with another man. Sometimes when I am in bed and I am thinking of this man, and I can almost hear the voice of my husband warning me not to get involved. I am a young woman, and I do feel for sex sometimes.

Do you believe that I will be punished for breaking the promise that I made with my deceased husband? I really meant what I said to him when he was ill. Do you think anything will happen to me if I break my promise?

My husband wanted me to make that promise because he doesn't want any man to molest his daughters. I would not want that to happen. My husband left me in good shape financially, and I am working. I have not discussed my problem with anybody but you, so please, don't ignore my letter. Tell me how you feel about my problem.


Dear J.W.,

I believe that when a promise is made it should be kept. But circumstances may cause a person to break that promise. I want you to know that when you made that promise to your dying husband, you meant it, but you did so in ignorance. I am sure that you did so to assure him of your love for him, but now as you look back, you have come to realise that it was not a very wise promise to make. He loved his daughters, and the thought of dying and leaving them bothered him, so he asked you to make a very serious commitment, which is that you will not get emotionally or sexually involved with another man until your children became adults.

I want you to know that you are not the only woman who has made such a promise to her man. Others have done the same. Some have kept the promise, but some have not. Now that you have come to realise that you are in love with another man, I would say you are not doing anything wrong if you establish a new relationship.

Your husband is dead. Cherish his memory, but move on with a new life. Forgive yourself for making that promise. You believe that you have met a man that you will love. Perhaps you need to check out this new man thoroughly. You need his help. He can be of tremendous support to you, emotionally, physically and psychologically, and your girls can look up to him as their new father.

Therefore, I say to you, free up your conscience, and give yourself the freedom to fall in love with this man. But make sure that you do not spend any money that your deceased husband left for the children and you on this man. If he is coming to you with baggage, don't get entangled with him.


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