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Christian Family Forum

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Thread: Need Godly Advice on Family Issue

  1. #1
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    Default Need Godly Advice on Family Issue

    I am seeking some Godly advice. I am a new Christian as of about 3 months ago and have been married to my husband for over a year, who is also a Christian. I am 8 months pregnant with our first child and we have been having a lot of talks about setting a good Christian foundation for our future children. We live in a two bedroom apartment, and my husband’s father has lived with us since the day we got married and moved in together. I am aware that the more pregnant I get, the more impatient I become, and I am juggling a lot with being pregnant, working, and going to school, therefore I am pretty stressed most of the time. My husband is a great leader for our family a works very hard, but I have been struggling recently with having his dad here.
    First of all, mine and my husband’s main priority is to bring up our children in a Christian environment. We don’t want our children being exposed to conflicting life styles more than they already will growing up in a Godless world. Recently we had a talk with my husband’s side of the family about instilling a Godly life for our children, and hoping that they are on board with us and will eventually become Christians. His family took it well, but they are struggling with making serious changes, such as not listening to rap music, smoking, cursing, etc., but we also know it will take time. His dad grew up in the south where he was forced to go to Church, and since he was 18 has not gone back. It came to a point where my husband told his father that he wants him to come to church with us or else he will no longer be able to live with us (because he doesn’t want our children seeing this conflicting lifestyle).
    My husband’s dad has not had a job in over 20 years, and has been supported by his children (mostly my husband) for quite some time. He is not unable to work, he just chooses not to. All he does is take, and hardly shows any appreciation for what has been done for him. He does not try to contribute to paying any bills nor does he do much around the house. He sits and watches TV and then waits until I get home to take my bus pass and goes somewhere. He really is an angry and lonely man, so I feel very sorry for him a lot, but other times it just makes me dislike him more and more. I grew up seeing my dad go to work at 5:00 am every morning, working overtime on a weekly basis, and never complaining about it once. This is where my frustration comes in. My husband and I have now supported his dad together for over a year, and I am becoming more and more impatient, angry, resentful, and bitter. As a Christian, I know that these are not good feelings to have, which is why I am greatly needing advice.
    With the ultimatum given by my husband, my father-in-law has now been coming to Church with us for the past few weeks. My husband and I are hopeful that he will become a Christian, and want to support him in the most Godly way possible, but as many people probably know it is hard to change a grown man’s thoughts.
    As my due date gets closer and closer, I see myself getting more and more selfish and angry. I selfishly want that extra room for my baby because I am in my “nesting” phase and want to make sure everything is ready for the baby. I don’t agree with the way my father-in-law is raising my husband’s nephew and don’t want my child to be under that influence. And frankly, I just want to feel like I have my own family, and not constantly be around his dad. I want my husband and I to “cleave” unto each other, and not in any way forget or ignore our parents, but focus on the family we’re creating together. I want my father-in-law to get a job like I know he can and be a grandparent, like my parents are.
    I am so happy that my father-in-law is coming to church, but am afraid he’s just sitting through it so that he can stay in our house. He has also shown us that he is not willing to change certain ways, like not giving our nephew candy everyday (this caused an argument between him and I because he refused to respect our wishes).
    I am struggling between my great desire for my father-in-law to become a Christian, and my desire for my children to be raised by my husband and not be under his influence, and my selfish desires of simply not wanting my father-in-law living with us because it’s not what I had in mind when I got married.
    I struggle with talking to my husband about this because I do not want him to feel like I hate his dad, which I absolutely do not. We have talked briefly about it, but my husband’s mentality is that it’s worth him staying here if he becomes a Christian, and that we just need to be patient with him. I don’t know what to do. I have prayed for this anger to go away and for me to become more patient but I constantly am struggling. Please, any Godly advice would be very helpful to me. I know that I have selfish thoughts and am not prideful, so please tell how to deal with this as a true Christian.

  2. #2
    Sirk
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    Default Re: Need Godly Advice on Family Issue

    Quote Originally Posted by KatieP View Post
    I am seeking some Godly advice. I am a new Christian as of about 3 months ago and have been married to my husband for over a year, who is also a Christian. I am 8 months pregnant with our first child and we have been having a lot of talks about setting a good Christian foundation for our future children. We live in a two bedroom apartment, and my husband’s father has lived with us since the day we got married and moved in together. I am aware that the more pregnant I get, the more impatient I become, and I am juggling a lot with being pregnant, working, and going to school, therefore I am pretty stressed most of the time. My husband is a great leader for our family a works very hard, but I have been struggling recently with having his dad here.
    First of all, mine and my husband’s main priority is to bring up our children in a Christian environment. We don’t want our children being exposed to conflicting life styles more than they already will growing up in a Godless world. Recently we had a talk with my husband’s side of the family about instilling a Godly life for our children, and hoping that they are on board with us and will eventually become Christians. His family took it well, but they are struggling with making serious changes, such as not listening to rap music, smoking, cursing, etc., but we also know it will take time. His dad grew up in the south where he was forced to go to Church, and since he was 18 has not gone back. It came to a point where my husband told his father that he wants him to come to church with us or else he will no longer be able to live with us (because he doesn’t want our children seeing this conflicting lifestyle).
    My husband’s dad has not had a job in over 20 years, and has been supported by his children (mostly my husband) for quite some time. He is not unable to work, he just chooses not to. All he does is take, and hardly shows any appreciation for what has been done for him. He does not try to contribute to paying any bills nor does he do much around the house. He sits and watches TV and then waits until I get home to take my bus pass and goes somewhere. He really is an angry and lonely man, so I feel very sorry for him a lot, but other times it just makes me dislike him more and more. I grew up seeing my dad go to work at 5:00 am every morning, working overtime on a weekly basis, and never complaining about it once. This is where my frustration comes in. My husband and I have now supported his dad together for over a year, and I am becoming more and more impatient, angry, resentful, and bitter. As a Christian, I know that these are not good feelings to have, which is why I am greatly needing advice.
    With the ultimatum given by my husband, my father-in-law has now been coming to Church with us for the past few weeks. My husband and I are hopeful that he will become a Christian, and want to support him in the most Godly way possible, but as many people probably know it is hard to change a grown man’s thoughts.
    As my due date gets closer and closer, I see myself getting more and more selfish and angry. I selfishly want that extra room for my baby because I am in my “nesting” phase and want to make sure everything is ready for the baby. I don’t agree with the way my father-in-law is raising my husband’s nephew and don’t want my child to be under that influence. And frankly, I just want to feel like I have my own family, and not constantly be around his dad. I want my husband and I to “cleave” unto each other, and not in any way forget or ignore our parents, but focus on the family we’re creating together. I want my father-in-law to get a job like I know he can and be a grandparent, like my parents are.
    I am so happy that my father-in-law is coming to church, but am afraid he’s just sitting through it so that he can stay in our house. He has also shown us that he is not willing to change certain ways, like not giving our nephew candy everyday (this caused an argument between him and I because he refused to respect our wishes).
    I am struggling between my great desire for my father-in-law to become a Christian, and my desire for my children to be raised by my husband and not be under his influence, and my selfish desires of simply not wanting my father-in-law living with us because it’s not what I had in mind when I got married.
    I struggle with talking to my husband about this because I do not want him to feel like I hate his dad, which I absolutely do not. We have talked briefly about it, but my husband’s mentality is that it’s worth him staying here if he becomes a Christian, and that we just need to be patient with him. I don’t know what to do. I have prayed for this anger to go away and for me to become more patient but I constantly am struggling. Please, any Godly advice would be very helpful to me. I know that I have selfish thoughts and am not prideful, so please tell how to deal with this as a true Christian.

    If I was in your position I would likely feel like I was being used so I would say something like "I feel like I am being used and taken for granted and I don't like feeling that way. I am fearful of some of the circumstances of our home that I am bringing our child into".... and then.....
    I would clearly state what my boundaries and expectations are and that they are subject to change as this is my home and I have needs as well.....but thats just me.
    KatieP likes this.

  3. #3
    atwhatcost
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    Default Re: Need Godly Advice on Family Issue

    You talked briefly? That's a lot of stuff to get through in brief. This isn't on us, it's on your hubby. Talk to him.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Need Godly Advice on Family Issue

    You guys come across as a bit rigid. I understand being newly married, wanting to create your own family and all, but telling other family members what they can and can't listen to, how they must live their lives because you're having a child? This sounds very controlling and demanding and paints Christians in a bad light. Just because you are newly wed and having a child doesn't mean everyone elses lives should revolve around you and your family. I would be offended if i were a member of your family, and rightly so. You have no business making such requests of other peoples lifestyles.
    And forcing his dad to church. Really? What was the reason your husbands dad quit going to church? Oh, because he was forced to go to church. So now you think if you repeat the pattern you will achieve a different result? You don't think he's sitting in that church annoyed and bitter that he is being blackmailed into going to church? That it may be bringing up memories of when he was young and forced to go? Or that you are only doing more to drive him away from God by being manipulative, demanding and controlling?
    I see no problem with wanting to raise your children in a Christian environment and minimizing their exposure to other lifestyles, but raising them in a Christian bubble isn't going to guarantee them coming out the way you want.
    Nor is making lifestyle demands on family members, or blackmailing them into church, being a good witness, but rather coming across as religious fanatics that want people to bend around your expectations. Seems a somewhat self absorbed and inconsiderate mindset.
    I know it's not the advice you asked for, and i will no doubt be criticized for speaking out and pointing out things that need to be, but it's what i see.
    Nautilus, Dan58 and atwhatcost like this.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Nautilus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Godly Advice on Family Issue

    Yeah I made it to the requests to stop smoking and listening to rap when I realized that some people expectations are insane. Your families have no need to conform to your lifestyle. If you want to keep your child away from them then that is on you and you ruining familial bonds.
    atwhatcost likes this.

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    Default Re: Need Godly Advice on Family Issue

    I am new to Christian Chat, so I think I was expecting something a little different. It is not for Christians to judge, but rather help one another think and act in a more Godly way. I am not looking for someone to justify my thoughts, but rather give me Godly advice (as in providing scriptural guidance). If anyone can help me in this way I would greatly appreciate it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Dan58's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Godly Advice on Family Issue


    I'm wondering why you've invited your father-in-law to live with you in the first place? If you've ever tried to change yourself and are aware of how difficult that is, then you should realize how impossible it is to change someone else. If he's been a non-christian who hasn't worked in 20 years, your probably asking for a miracle? Change must emanate from within oneself, it won't begin because its your desire that your father-in-law changes, or because he attends church to appease you. Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

    I'd suggest that you and hubby have a sit-down with your father-in-law and tell him your going to need his room when the baby arrives. Instead of trying to force change, offer to help him find a job and become independent. Its way past time that he begin providing for himself. "But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel" (1 Timothy 5:8). Encourage him to turn off the TV and hit the street to fill-out some applications. Your husband has been his father's enabler, and nothing will change until he stops paying the freight. Time for Daddy to grow-up and assume some responsibility, so politely make him understand that you can't afford to raise 2 babies at once, and the free ride ends in one month. "As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful (lazy) upon his bed" (Proverbs 26:14).

  8. #8
    atwhatcost
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    Default Re: Need Godly Advice on Family Issue

    Quote Originally Posted by KatieP View Post
    I am new to Christian Chat, so I think I was expecting something a little different. It is not for Christians to judge, but rather help one another think and act in a more Godly way. I am not looking for someone to justify my thoughts, but rather give me Godly advice (as in providing scriptural guidance). If anyone can help me in this way I would greatly appreciate it.
    You're a Christian, right? What were you doing but judging your FIL? And as for scriptural guidance, why are we to provide it, when you don't use it anyway?

    I did give you "scriptural guidance." That talk to your hubby didn't come out of the blue.

    I also see no scriptural guidance used with what you demand your FIL does to make you feel better either.

    I'm really curious, what were you expecting? If I'm living with family and they told me I couldn't listen to rap, smoke or curse, my immediate reaction is to start listening to rap, sing long and loud (assuming it has curse words in it) while smoking a cigarette. I'd rather have a molar pulled out with no novacaine then listen to rap, but, hey, if some kid, especially a family member, tells me I can't, I immediately will. (And the next rule would be I can't sing anymore, because I really can't sing. lol)

    You're about to have a baby. Isn't it time to throw out your parent's rules, actually talk to your hubby, honor your FIL, and truly get over being selfish? I have no idea why your FIL is really living with you, but it's not like you didn't know he was part of the package deal. This should have been agreed upon (and probably was) before you got married.

  9. #9
    atwhatcost
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    Default Re: Need Godly Advice on Family Issue

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan58 View Post

    I'm wondering why you've invited your father-in-law to live with you in the first place? If you've ever tried to change yourself and are aware of how difficult that is, then you should realize how impossible it is to change someone else. If he's been a non-christian who hasn't worked in 20 years, your probably asking for a miracle? Change must emanate from within oneself, it won't begin because its your desire that your father-in-law changes, or because he attends church to appease you. Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.


    I'd suggest that you and hubby have a sit-down with your father-in-law and tell him your going to need his room when the baby arrives. Instead of trying to force change, offer to help him find a job and become independent. Its way past time that he begin providing for himself. "But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel" (1 Timothy 5:8). Encourage him to turn off the TV and hit the street to fill-out some applications. Your husband has been his father's enabler, and nothing will change until he stops paying the freight. Time for Daddy to grow-up and assume some responsibility, so politely make him understand that you can't afford to raise 2 babies at once, and the free ride ends in one month. "As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful (lazy) upon his bed" (Proverbs 26:14).
    I think it's a good idea for her and hubby to decide what to do together before talking to FIL. They haven't even gotten that far yet. (And, we don't really know why FIL is there. There has to be some reason he's not working, but is responsible for a child -- husband's nephew. And, I am assuming FIL does something with that bus pass, which usually requires money, so something isn't adding up here.)

  10. #10
    Senior Member Ugly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Godly Advice on Family Issue

    Quote Originally Posted by KatieP View Post
    I am new to Christian Chat, so I think I was expecting something a little different. It is not for Christians to judge, but rather help one another think and act in a more Godly way. I am not looking for someone to justify my thoughts, but rather give me Godly advice (as in providing scriptural guidance). If anyone can help me in this way I would greatly appreciate it.
    Translation, no matter how valid the points offered were, i'm choosing to ignore them because i don't like them, and demanding that everyone do things how i expect them to do done (i'm seeing a pattern here).
    As far as judging, you presented facts, and people expressed how you look by your behavior. People have given you completely valid and Godly advice, but you treat them the way you treat your family. Which only feeds peoples perceptions of you.
    Your actions and behavior reflect who you are, it doesn't take 'judging' you to understand what is plain. If i know someone who is always stealing i'm not judging them when i point out that they steal, i'm pointing out facts. Your behavior suggests a certain kind of mentality and so far you've done nothing to suggest anyone has been wrong.
    You got help, you just didn't like it because it became a reflection on how you act rather than supporting your actions and using scripture to encourage you to continue in your wrong behavior. Show where one bit of advice so far was unGodly.
    Or as suggested above, why not provide us with scripture that suggests your expectations on others to change or your blackmailing your father in law into going to church are correct. People are stating your behavior is wrong, and you want scripture, so don't ask for something from others if you can't provide the same to defend your own actions.
    atwhatcost likes this.
    Give me a new voice
    Give me a heart for repentance and make it stay
    Cause I've idolized my words
    It's all my fault
    But it's comfortable
    ~Poured Out, Rival Choir~

  11. #11
    Sirk
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    Default Re: Need Godly Advice on Family Issue

    Come on guys...be nice.

    Katie....some valid points here. You might need to take a deep breath and relax some expectations. Unrealistic expectations on others will cause you much heartache.

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    Sirk
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  13. #13
    ember
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    oh ouch....I understand what you are saying...not an easy place to be

    I am new to Christian Chat, so I think I was expecting something a little different. It is not for Christians to judge, but rather help one another think and act in a more Godly way. I am not looking for someone to justify my thoughts, but rather give me Godly advice (as in providing scriptural guidance). If anyone can help me in this way I would greatly appreciate it.
    I understand about wanting to control your environment but with yr FIL living with you that is difficult

    I think you have chosen a bit of a hard path from the get go by allowing him or having him, live with you and yr husband in yr small appt.

    If there is one sure way to become disappointed, it would be expecting your desires and goals to be fulfilled by another person. Basically, yr FIL is going to block what you desire because of him being him...

    I disagree with making him choose between going to church and staying or not going and having to find a new place to crash

    You can't tell other people how to live so that YOU are comfortable...would you respond well if the tables were turned and you were being advised how YOU should live in order to please others?

    We are to be in the world but not OF the world and you cannot enforce Christian conduct on others

    I'll point something out here. You are enabling your FIL to live as he does. You are supporting him in his irresponsibility and you are now becoming resentful...which is no big surprise

    Why are you giving him YOUR bus pass? He has not bought one and he has no right to use yours...if you really want to be above board, you are cheating the system...which requires individuals to buy individual passes

    I do have understanding for your situation, but you made it.

    He really is an angry and lonely man, so I feel very sorry for him a lot, but other times it just makes me dislike him more and more.
    Why are you sorry for him? You paint him as a lazy bum, enable him and then you are resentful at the situation.

    I understand you recently became a Christian. Please understand that I get you want to do what is right....but my best advice would be to sit down with him...and your husband should give him so much time to move. I would totally dislike having someone in my home as you describe....and you did let him move in before you were a Christian...but things are different now and it is unrealistic to expect things to continue as they are

    I can hardly believe that he has been dependent on his children for 20 yrs...must be more going on than what you wrote...but I think you prob know it cannot continue. Once the child is born, it will be worse and if you think you are angry now, well, I am pretty sure you will loose it then.

    I want my father-in-law to get a job like I know he can and be a grandparent, like my parents are.
    Doesn't matter. what matters is what your FIL does...not what you want...hey, don't we all want what is good and certainly things that make our life better?

    Better to deal with it now then later...and you do have to deal with it...but I cannot give you verse and chapter here...it is common sense.

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    Default Re: Need Godly Advice on Family Issue

    How old is your FIL? If he hasn't worked for a long period of time are you planning on taking care of him the rest of his life? your husband heart is in the right place. but he also being used by his dad and so are you for having to take up the slack..

    Now what I would do is look into help for his dad seeing if he can get him set up in a place of his own , Does he have any income at all?

    He has to know that you guys all going to be cramped in a small place, Now I know you Husband will not like hearing this , but give your dad a written notice to move and if you have to set him up in a place, get him the help he needs to make it on his own ..

    That is the only way to solve your problem is have him move and your going to being building a family , you need your space and no conflicts as you say in your way.

    Having him move out doesn't mean you still cannot be their for him, but your dad needs that push to gain his on life back and not rely on his kids to take care of him, there are place that can do that for him, like nursing homes..

    Now as for his side of the family and the things you like for them to do. I understand but to give up and if they are not ready , they are not ready, they can go outside and smoke , agree on the music , just not listen to it when you are visiting.

    Good luck , but I only see one way to solve this and that is to move him out no matter what the cost is, And DO NOT let him back in.. Cause why should he work he has you two paying for everything for him. Give him that kick he needs to get back up on his feet..

    I 'm sorry if I sound harsh or not Godly .. But I don't see a end to this , til he is moved out
    KatieP likes this.
    "As one person I cannot change the world, but I can change the world of one person."

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    Default Re: Need Godly Advice on Family Issue

    Stop enabling this dead beat dad...I manage a homeless shelter..we get calls daily for the same issue..finding shelter for those who refuse to work, no matter the reason and the family is stressed out. So sorry..but your 1st priority is to your spouse and children to be. Big Daddy will have to forage for his own..the best way that he can...at someone else's expense...Start a hot line, finding what is out there for the homeless...and there is plenty...make this move before the child arrives please. You will feel much better, less stressed and your home can be what you plan it to be without the horder.

  16. #16
    atwhatcost
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  17. #17
    Senior Member tenderhearted's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Godly Advice on Family Issue

    You said you're new to the faith --3 months... that's awesome!

    Sounds like the issue here is that your husband and his siblings have enabled their father by supporting him. The bible speaks of how we should care for our parents in their old age, but you said that he hasn't wanted to work in 20 yrs. Your in-laws have let this go too long. It doesn't seem like any boundaries were established either. I don't mean to sound insensitive, but you went along with it by agreeing to let him live in your home. Perhaps the better approach is for your husband to address the bigger issue, which is that he has no desire to work or contribute. I don't think that he should be forced to go to church. I know that you mean well, but God gives us all choice. He doesn't force us to go to church. Don't take that choice from you father in-law. Let the holy spirit do a work in him. The faith is all about grace, mercy, and God transforming us. We as Christians don't want to scare unbelievers by presenting Christianity as a book of rules to follow. I gather that you care about your in-laws salvation, but trust the LORD.

    If you feel like having your father in law live in the home is unhealthy for your children-- it's your home. He doesn't have to remain living there. Your marriage and children come first. The bible speaks of how a man should leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife. Be prayerful and trust the LORD with everything.

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    Senior Member notuptome's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Godly Advice on Family Issue

    He that will not work will not eat.

    Perhaps if he goes out on his own he can get public assistance. Welfare and food stamps should take care of his basic needs and provide him with shelter.

    Option 2 is to move as far away as possible.

    For the cause of Christ
    Roger
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