Advice for a close friend.

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SteveEpperson

Junior Member
May 12, 2018
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#21
Advise him to focus on God and let God focus on his problem. Keeping yourself focused on CHrist tends to make you a better parent, employee, friend, student, just closer to God, and that will draw people in, even possibly spiteful people wanting to hurt us. It also allows us to forgive and love the unlovable...All in God's timing.
Thank you, and great advice. I had another friend advise him to listen to the audio bible while exercising. But I find that actually reading it gives me more peace. What do you think?
 

Lizzy

Junior Member
Jan 18, 2018
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#22
Hello, everyone.

I have a good friend whose wife divorced him a few years ago and took their children. She has since remarried and they all live in the same town. It really is quite awkward for everyone involved, especially since he knows the new hubby.

Anyway, this guy is already insisting that the kids call him dad out of spite for my friend. And his ex-wife is on board with it, apparently to add to the cruelty and vindictiveness.

The saddest part is, my friend is a godly Christian man who apparently didn't make quite enough money to keep up with her maintenance. So, she found someone with deeper pockets.

The custody arrangement was the usual weekend visitation. And to his credit, I don't think he's missed a weekend yet.

But he is battling over the anger issue. He doesn't want to be so furious, because he knows it's a sin. Yet someone else is actively trying to take his place as a dad to his children.

What advice would you give him?
In all of this, I think the most important thing is that he's seeing his kids, loving them and spending quality time together. Consistently. His kids will remember this forever, that their Dad was always there for them. It will be hard to be the 'bigger' person in the relationship, letting go of the adult hurtful junk, but he's teaching his kids life lessons. As long as the ex and her new partner are being good parents to the kids, thats most important. Lifes hard and sometimes doesn't feel fair at all, but we just gotta do our best.
 

SteveEpperson

Junior Member
May 12, 2018
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#23
One word of advice for your babies sake. Never talk bad about your ex, mom, or the new guy, to or in front of your kids.
Yeah, that is tempting, isn't it?

Then, soon enough, she'll be on to hubby #3.
Hopefully not. How destabilizing for the kids if that happened.

If she's taking on the adversarial role you need to be prepared.
Yeah, it's difficult to display total forgiveness at the same time as this person continues their attacks toward you. I guess this is the wisdom of praying for your enemies in action here.
 

SteveEpperson

Junior Member
May 12, 2018
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#24
However, we can live in unforgiveness, bitterness and resentment or we can forgive and get clean hearts. That includes forgiving the people who take sides against us.
I agree. But it comes down to what that forgiveness looks like as a practical matter.

Jesus dying on the cross is the perfect act of forgiveness that we should emulate. But that still doesn't mean he offers it to those who blaspheme His name.

I don't think God intends for us to hang out with our attackers. Also, we have every right to acknowledge that were attacked.

I think forgiveness lets us relinquish our self-imposed right to be their judge, jury, and executioner. However, I don't think that God expects a rape victim to go make friends with her attacker. That would be dangerous.
 

SteveEpperson

Junior Member
May 12, 2018
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#25
It's always an odd bit of reasoning that comes up in a Christian community in times like this especially.

On one hand there will be those who will claim certain matters in scripture pertain not at all to Christians today, because those things were exclusively applied to Jews in the OT.

Then, for example in issues like that in the OP, we'll insist first century and older morals and relationship practices apply to this day in marriage.

God forbid a Christian family adopt and practice Old Testament marriage and family rules and standards.
In for a penny in for a pound.

We can't admonish and advocate one practice, like the man in a marriage is primarily responsible for the family dynamic, making marriage a Patriarchy , when God said the two become one, equals, in marriage, and ignore the rest.

And as pertains to the divorcees in the OP, holding to Biblical marriage rules, the ex-wife being remarried is technically an adultress.
Making any children with her new husband, should they have children, bastards.

If marriage rules according to scripture worked, and if it were true, the family that prays together stays together, Christians wouldn't qualify as a divorce statistic.
I think what you are saying is that there can be a double standard sometimes? And I would agree with you.

It seems that in 2021, men are held to account for the conduct of their family life, yet women are allowed to bug out anytime there is a conflict in the marriage. And the children are made to suffer for it.
 

SteveEpperson

Junior Member
May 12, 2018
192
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#26
Lifes hard and sometimes doesn't feel fair at all, but we just gotta do our best.
I appreciate your honest answer. However, the divorce rate for evangelical Christians hovers at around 50%, about the same as non-believers. It has nothing to do with fair or unfair, but our willingness to abdicate our children to Satan.

I think you would agree that Satan is behind EVERY divorce, right? After all, divorce is not God's idea.

I am going to put you on the spot here. What do YOU think will bring that divorce rate down a bit?
 

SteveEpperson

Junior Member
May 12, 2018
192
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#27
Not all anger is sinful. There is such as a thing as righteous anger.
I agree. But there is a fine line between righteous anger and prideful anger. I think he knows he's crossed the line. He says he has to repent every day of it, but he still doesn't find peace.

Any part of scripture you can point him to? That's the only thing that gets me through trying times. But I'm not sure where he should focus.
 

Jocund

Active member
Jan 14, 2021
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197
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#28
I agree. But there is a fine line between righteous anger and prideful anger. I think he knows he's crossed the line. He says he has to repent every day of it, but he still doesn't find peace.

Any part of scripture you can point him to? That's the only thing that gets me through trying times. But I'm not sure where he should focus.
The book of Job comes to mind anytime I think of suffering that seems unfair. Through Job's trials he eventually came out on top and prospered for all the years of his life after but Job struggled with sinful anger at his circumstance.
 
Apr 3, 2020
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#29
I appreciate your honest answer. However, the divorce rate for evangelical Christians hovers at around 50%, about the same as non-believers. It has nothing to do with fair or unfair, but our willingness to abdicate our children to Satan.

I think you would agree that Satan is behind EVERY divorce, right? After all, divorce is not God's idea.

I am going to put you on the spot here. What do YOU think will bring that divorce rate down a bit?
Thats a easy question to answer. How to bring the divorce rate down? Women initiate %75 of divorces. They get full custody %95 of the time in my state. They typically receive 10s or 100s of thousands of dollars after the divorce from their former lovers. Worst case scenario for them is break even. End these cash payouts and drop womens divorce rate to that of mens and you would cut divorce in half. Men are the only ones with anything to loose besides hurt feelings in a marriage. Pastors know this they see the divorces they deal with are female led and they say nothing.
 

Gideon300

Well-known member
Mar 18, 2021
1,381
943
113
#30
It's always an odd bit of reasoning that comes up in a Christian community in times like this especially.

On one hand there will be those who will claim certain matters in scripture pertain not at all to Christians today, because those things were exclusively applied to Jews in the OT.

Then, for example in issues like that in the OP, we'll insist first century and older morals and relationship practices apply to this day in marriage.

God forbid a Christian family adopt and practice Old Testament marriage and family rules and standards.
In for a penny in for a pound.

We can't admonish and advocate one practice, like the man in a marriage is primarily responsible for the family dynamic, making marriage a Patriarchy , when God said the two become one, equals, in marriage, and ignore the rest.

And as pertains to the divorcees in the OP, holding to Biblical marriage rules, the ex-wife being remarried is technically an adultress.
Making any children with her new husband, should they have children, bastards.

If marriage rules according to scripture worked, and if it were true, the family that prays together stays together, Christians wouldn't qualify as a divorce statistic.
Rules are never the problem. Divorce stinks, as I know all too well. But there are times when people do not follow the right principles and instructions. People are the problem. Ex wives have ex husbands. So the husband is an adulterer, according to the legalistic approach.

What people seem to forget is that we are living under the covenant of grace, not law. When God forgives, He forgets. Cultures vary, but in my white European culture, if a marriage fails its the man's fault. He will be asked to leave the church. His ex wife will get the support and her side of the story heard. The guy will get trashed. Now I escaped some of that because I had a pastor who had been divorced himself, and he refused to judge or take sides. I still got visits from people I considered friends who brought their whips with them. I was not permitted to say anything and I did not intend to try and justify myself. It was no fun listening to people who made themselves judge and jury without hearing the facts.

Now all this was a long time ago and I've not remarried. It just seemed too much like hard work and my social circle was not full of eligible women. However, I blame no one for wanting to remarry. Some people need a spouse and God knows that. The attitude that the innocent party (If there really is such a thing) cannot remarry either is just wrong. God will not punish the innocent with the guilty. We see this with David and Bathsheba. If anyone should have been punished, it was David. God spared him, not only that, it was Bathsheba's son who became King after David.

As to morality, God has not changed. If anything, the Law given to Moses is a watered down version of what God truly desires. Lord Jesus spelt this out in the Sermon on the Mount. As to authority, God also has not changed. Women are of equal worth to men. However, God formed Eve to be a suitable helper for Adam. That also has not changed. Wives should submit to their husbands. Submission does not mean physical or psychological abuse either. Husbands need to submit to Christ so that they may know how to treat their wives appropriately.

I believe that Joyce Meyer has the right balance. She preaches and practices submission to her husband. Yet she has a world wide teaching ministry that has touched millions of lives. She does not pastor a church. She ministers mainly to women. Men come to her conferences, and why not? Anything that helps guys understand a woman is pure gold!

People come to Christ with various problems. Some take a good deal of time to resolve. Some of these problems are toxic to a relationship. Sometimes it takes a catastrophe to get people to wake up and seek help. Divorce is not the unforgivable sin. God can work even that failure for our good, if we will let Him.
 

Gideon300

Well-known member
Mar 18, 2021
1,381
943
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#31
that's baloney and yes I saw where you said it's not just your personal experience. it's still baloney

perhaps you are reflecting on your personal circumstances. that does not help the op in the least with regards to his friend

advice should be objective...actually trying to help
It's not baloney. I am 70. I base my statement on what has happened to Christian men in my circle as well as my own experience. I was treated as the villain by Christians I used to call friends. I was blessed to be helped by someone who did not respond with the knee jerk "It's all your fault". Where I was at fault, we talked it through. My ex was not willing to do the same. Things could have been different, but it is what it is.
 

SteveEpperson

Junior Member
May 12, 2018
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#32
Women initiate %75 of divorces.
I tend to agree with you, but are there any stats to back up our claim? If you could find something, I would appreciate it.

They get full custody %95 of the time in my state. They typically receive 10s or 100s of thousands of dollars after the divorce from their former lovers. Worst case scenario for them is break even. End these cash payouts and drop womens divorce rate to that of mens and you would cut divorce in half. Men are the only ones with anything to loose besides hurt feelings in a marriage. Pastors know this they see the divorces they deal with are female led and they say nothing.
Yeah, about 30 years ago it became all about child support to make deadbeat dads pay their fair share for raising the child. Unfortunately, now it's being used as a punitive measure toward men. And many women are using it strictly as alimony.

After all, how dare men force their wives to have sex with them. They were the ones who "got the woman pregnant" as if she had nothing to do with. The man is told never ever divorce his wife while the woman is told she can leave anytime she feels like she's being "victimized."

I see it so often now that I'm ready to advise all young men to just go ahead and get a vasectomy. At least then they won't have the anguish of being separated from their children later on.

There are a lot of children still who need adoptive parents. In addition, I have never seen any adoptive parents split up, have you?
 

SophieT

Well-known member
Dec 9, 2020
3,851
2,197
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#33
It's not baloney. I am 70. I base my statement on what has happened to Christian men in my circle as well as my own experience. I was treated as the villain by Christians I used to call friends. I was blessed to be helped by someone who did not respond with the knee jerk "It's all your fault". Where I was at fault, we talked it through. My ex was not willing to do the same. Things could have been different, but it is what it is.
this, is baloney:

Please don't get me wrong. I am well aware that most Christians assume that the man is entirely to blame and that the woman is entirely innocent.
most Christians? I don't think that. not that I am most Christians, but then you do not know most Christians.

this, is what you know and it is subjective

I base my statement on what has happened to Christian men in my circle as well as my own experience
in another post, you also said this:

Anger in his case is due to wounded pride and unforgiveness.
would you like him to be a doormat? again, your own perspective
 

SophieT

Well-known member
Dec 9, 2020
3,851
2,197
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#34
but God holds the man responsible as he is the head of the home
SMH. would you also hold Jesus responsible for those who continue to sin even though they say they are a Christian?

sounds to me like you have not really quite got things figured out yet

the Bible actually says that if an unbeliever wants to leave the marriage, then let them. in cases where a husband or wife act like an unbeliever, then let them depart if that is their desire.
 
Jul 27, 2018
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The Garden of Weeden
#35
Thank you, and great advice. I had another friend advise him to listen to the audio bible while exercising. But I find that actually reading it gives me more peace. What do you think?
I think everyone is different. Hearing it can reinforce what he reads, and help him absorbs it more. If it helps, do it, I always say. :)
 

Mofastus

Active member
May 23, 2019
128
73
28
#36
The custody arrangement was the usual weekend visitation. And to his credit, I don't think he's missed a weekend yet.
The kids obviously know who "Dad" is and that can Not or ever be replaced, and as dad he has his duty to stay in their lives. That is and should remain his only focus, what his ex and significant other do is no longer any of his business other than when it concerns the well being of his kids. He needs to make sure he is Not part of "parental alienation" in any manner. kids are not stupid they will grow up, so the most important part is being a good role model to ensure those he loves remain stable. Tell him he has no need to feel jealous or angry, no man can replace a child's dad, that bond is set. He also needs to allow other role models in their lives in the hope it will benefit their lives, (it takes a village). This is the new normal unfortunately.
 

SteveEpperson

Junior Member
May 12, 2018
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#37
This is the new normal unfortunately.
I read the rest of your reply, and it is valid, and I highly respect your point of view.

But if this is the new normal, and everyone just accepts it, then I personally will lead the charge against fatherhood altogether.

That's because I think it's a bad idea to risk having children when there is a 50 percent chance you will be divorced and relegated to being a weekend dad, not to mention the pain and anguish your children will go through.

Why doesn't anyone consider the children anymore when it comes to divorce?
 
Aug 20, 2021
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#38
I read the rest of your reply, and it is valid, and I highly respect your point of view.

But if this is the new normal, and everyone just accepts it, then I personally will lead the charge against fatherhood altogether.

That's because I think it's a bad idea to risk having children when there is a 50 percent chance you will be divorced and relegated to being a weekend dad, not to mention the pain and anguish your children will go through.

Why doesn't anyone consider the children anymore when it comes to divorce?
what about the chance they may loose their soul?
 

SteveEpperson

Junior Member
May 12, 2018
192
88
28
#39
what about the chance they may loose their soul?
Sorry, you are replying to someone who is not altogether bright.

Who is it that may lose their soul and why? Thanks in advance for clarifying for me.
 

Mofastus

Active member
May 23, 2019
128
73
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#40
I read the rest of your reply, and it is valid, and I highly respect your point of view.

But if this is the new normal, and everyone just accepts it, then I personally will lead the charge against fatherhood altogether.

That's because I think it's a bad idea to risk having children when there is a 50 percent chance you will be divorced and relegated to being a weekend dad, not to mention the pain and anguish your children will go through.

Why doesn't anyone consider the children anymore when it comes to divorce?
no offence but you are very late about it, it's been happening a long time, deadbeat dads aren't a new term either.

and children have been considered, I remember when child abuse was considered a troubling issue, but not much more than that and the law couldn't do anything about it. But there were those that considered the children, I was one of those children. I hope your friend stands up to his duty as a parent, many dads haven't, and yet with better laws to ensure the safety and well being of children. There is hope in all this selfish neglect of adults not living up to their vows.

but again I will add, that children can have 100 dads, but they will always, always know their own dad if they knew him at all.