Departments and Ministries
Dear Dr. Smith
51. Dear Dr. Smith
We have a daughter who is 36, divorced, with 2 sons. This past year she has become involved with a man who has been divorced twice and is behind on his child support for the children from his 2 marriages. They have had violent arguments about money and other things. This summer he moved in for one week. They had a big argument and she called the police after he threw her cell phone on the sidewalk and busted it. She did not press charges, but claims that she loves him, and if we don't accept him and invite him into our home and lives, we'll never get to see her or our grandsons again. We talked to a priest about this, and he told us to stand our ground if we really believed that this man was bad for our daughter and grandsons. What does scripture say about situations like this, and can you give us any advice how to handle it.
Dear Concerned Parent,
Your daughter is 36 years of age, and by this one would have thought that she has learned the lessons of life. Obviously not, so she is setting her self up to be hurt again. There is not much you can do to prevent that. As an adult she has a right to her decision as dysfunctional as they may be, and so too, you have a right to your decision. I concur with your priest by saying you should hold to your position. If she chose to stay away and keep your grandchildren away, as painful as that will be for you, in the long run you will not be responsible for supporting her self-destructive behavior. While you accept her as your daughter, you do not have to accept her behavior.
Her behavior is an attempt to manipulate you. Trust me on this one, it will not be long before she comes crying, so stay your ground it may help her to grow up.
From what you have said, it is quite clear that this man is abusive and manupulative, no wonder he has been divorced twice, your daughter is just the next victim if she marries him. Unfortunately, at this point she is in denial and is being controlled by her emotions and not by her reason.
The Bible is clear about unequally yoked relationships (2 Cor 6:14ff), however, this is not an unequally yoked relationship it’s a relationship of living in sin. The Bible says “Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” (Heb 13:4).
I hope your daughter will come to her senses before it is too late or she suffers too much, in the mean time, the most you can do, is to keep praying for her and stick to your principles. May God help you with this most challenging family problem.