When is it ok to distance self from parent?

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notuptome

Senior Member
May 17, 2013
15,050
2,531
113
#21
Ga 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

Paul wrote to the Galatians to leave judgment to God. You feel offended and that is good but God is also offended which is not good. Now it won't result in the loss of salvation but it's certain to have an impact on his relationship to God.

For the cause of Christ
Roger
 
Jun 20, 2018
21
7
3
Brisbane
#22
I grew up in a Christian family. My dad was and is a preacher. My mom died a year ago from cancer complications and just short of 35 years with my dad. Right after her death, however, my dad announced he was seeing someone else and it was serious. Come to find out, it was a woman he'd been seeing behind my mom's back for 10 years (a high school friend). She lived in another state and my dad would stop to see her and sometimes take her on trips to see my grandmother (his mom.) There is a lot of hurt that goes into this from many angles. In my opinion, my dad is being a hypocrite but he denies any wrongdoing. This lady is quick to tell me and my sister's were wrong for not accepting her. I feel guilty for needing to distance myself from my dad but at this point there is nothing but a toxic relationship that I don't need coming into my own family.
At this point, I've told my dad I don't agree with his decisions and while he can come around, I have no desire to see the other woman. As a result, my dad has been ignoring me and his grandkids while this lady blocks me on Facebook but emails me letters that I'm ruining her potential life with my dad. As a Christian, when is it ok to draw the line and not be disrespectful to my dad?
What people say and do to you is a reflection of themselves & their views.
 
W

whatev

Guest
#23
This isn't meant to be an argument. You haven't the slightest idea how real this struggle is for me, nor do you know all the details. I'm not claiming to take the high road. In fact I feel pretty crappy. I can honor my father without being present in his daily life. I'm honoring him currently by not exposing him to his entire church which he stands in front of each Sunday, lying about his own life. That isn't my place. A healthy boundry is allowing myself some distance from being hurt. I'm allowed to walk away from irresponsible behavior.
You are doing what your father is doing. You are asking, "What should I do?" as if that is the question. He asked the same question, and look where it has him.

The right question is, "What would you have me do, Lord?"

And, just so you know, I do know what you're going through. The two differences between your story and my story are that Mom left him for several reasons, and that was one of the them. And it is several decades later, so I know how my story worked out.

And my biggest regret? I didn't ask God "What would you have me do, Lord?" for eight years, and didn't catch on to part of his answer for a few more decades. Because of that, family secrets are so deep none can come to the surface because they affect the innocent. The guilty have managed to harden their hearts enough to not even remember there are secrets.

Your father cheated on your mother. I do know how bad that is, especially having to live with the cheater as family. BUT is that better or worse than harboring such hate? Which is the worst sin -- breaking the fifth or seventh commandment? According to Jesus, there is no worse or better. Breaking one has the death penalty.

Following him takes that away.

So, ask the right question and seek the Lord for your answer.

And, if interested, I can tell you the thing you are falling for that caused me the most frustration for the rest of my life.
 

Marbear87

New member
Jun 17, 2018
13
20
3
#24
You are doing what your father is doing. You are asking, "What should I do?" as if that is the question. He asked the same question, and look where it has him.

The right question is, "What would you have me do, Lord?"

And, just so you know, I do know what you're going through. The two differences between your story and my story are that Mom left him for several reasons, and that was one of the them. And it is several decades later, so I know how my story worked out.

And my biggest regret? I didn't ask God "What would you have me do, Lord?" for eight years, and didn't catch on to part of his answer for a few more decades. Because of that, family secrets are so deep none can come to the surface because they affect the innocent. The guilty have managed to harden their hearts enough to not even remember there are secrets.

Your father cheated on your mother. I do know how bad that is, especially having to live with the cheater as family. BUT is that better or worse than harboring such hate? Which is the worst sin -- breaking the fifth or seventh commandment? According to Jesus, there is no worse or better. Breaking one has the death penalty.

Following him takes that away.

So, ask the right question and seek the Lord for your answer.

And, if interested, I can tell you the thing you are falling for that caused me the most frustration for the rest of This thread was simply to get other Christians perspective. I'm not harboring hate or extreme resentment against my father. I'm allowed to have concern over his future as well as how it effects mine and my kids. I pray over this daily. I'm not faultless but you are seemingly turning this into my personal flaw.

Thank you for your perspective though. I do appreciate it.
 

Dynamaniac

Junior Member
Feb 10, 2017
39
23
8
#25
First and foremost, I'm so sorry for your losses -- first, your mom, and now your dad. I do believe though that you must keep yourself from sinning and obey God. Forgive others as you have been forgiven. Remember that his sin is against God, not against you. This makes his sin between him and God, for sure. I'm not saying that he has not hurt you by his sin -- of course he has. But who are we to step in and make the sin of others about us. It is hard for us to remember that forgiveness is not about them, it's about us. It does not mean that you agree with this behavior, but it does keep you from marring your relationship with God. Punishment for sin is up to God, not us.

I'm not sure that I agree that his congregation should not know the truth. There are clear guidelines on who is allowed to teach in the church, and there are clear guidelines on how God's judgment on them should be exercised. I don't know that you are obligated to expose these truths to the church. I do think this is an area for which prayer is mandatory.

It's hard to reconcile that our parents are human beings and are not infallible. It's even harder when we expect them to be infallible. I cannot imagine how I would feel in your situation -- your father being a man of the clergy. But I do think that we have to remember that, as believers, we are to follow Jesus, not man. Jesus died for all of us. Have you tried to have a one-on-one conversation with your father about all of this? Does he even know that his gf has told you all of these things? Are you certain these things you've been told are the truth?

Take it to the Lord in prayer and allow God to do His work.
 

Marbear87

New member
Jun 17, 2018
13
20
3
#26
Thanks for your words. I have talked to my dad three times about this. Each time it gets worse in blaming my mother for not being attentive enough to him. And this woman is his true happiness. The finger is always pointed elsewhere. He knows the things this woman has said to us kids. I've sent him copies of the messages. He just defends her in saying we aren't open minded enough. He's never denied the circumstances and situations but defends those too and sees no wrong. For example, he said it was ok take this woman on trips to see my grandma because my grandma didn't stop them and they stayed in public "view", though it was out of the area and no one would know the difference anyway.
 

Dynamaniac

Junior Member
Feb 10, 2017
39
23
8
#27
I'm sorry. I think your only option is to leave it to the Lord. Pray for him. Until he takes responsibility for his actions, he will not find peace, and that, in and of itself, is very sad. While I know that his actions have affected you, don't let them affect your relationship with God. I pray that God will deal with your father and bring him to repentance. I don't know what that looks like, but God does. God doesn't make mistakes, we do. But God is the one in control and only he knows the outcome of this situation. All you can do is obey God -- don't judge your father except in light of God's word; forgive him (and her) as God forgives you; honor him as you're commanded. We never know what God could be working out in your father's life. Remember that God works ALL things for good for those who love him and are called for his purpose.
 
W

whatev

Guest
#28
Thanks for your words. I have talked to my dad three times about this. Each time it gets worse in blaming my mother for not being attentive enough to him. And this woman is his true happiness. The finger is always pointed elsewhere. He knows the things this woman has said to us kids. I've sent him copies of the messages. He just defends her in saying we aren't open minded enough. He's never denied the circumstances and situations but defends those too and sees no wrong. For example, he said it was ok take this woman on trips to see my grandma because my grandma didn't stop them and they stayed in public "view", though it was out of the area and no one would know the difference anyway.
The thing I didn't hear well when the Lord told me. Unless you promised to keep his secret, you are not under obligation to hide the truth.

I spent quite some time hiding the truth. Enough time that I know something about a younger sibling's birth that would hurt the sibling more than exposing the truth would help anyone. Our family is a family of secrets. I no longer play my role in that, unless it's that one. That doesn't mean I'll gossip to others. It means I won't keep the secrets or hide the truth by changing the subject when someone says something.

We cannot change our parents, but we seek the Lord so He changes us.
 

mcubed

Senior Member
Dec 20, 2013
1,449
216
63
#29
My dad was married had me with another woman and was "cheating" on both his wife and my mom to the woman he has been married to for the last 30 years...

Sounds like a "WOW" story but true. I am a bastard. My dad had his wife pregnant with my sister, who is 4mo. and 10 days older than me, because my mom was pregnant too.

When it all came out EVERYONE HATED my DAD!!! and hated me for "being the bastard"

This is G-d:

When I was in the 5th grade G-d worked with his wife and children that they forgave him. When I was 18 and got saved I actually went to live with them (they are not Jews but Saved people, I got saved at 18 and my "real" mom (a Jew) disowned me for getting saved).

Dad married Rita finally when I was 13. And his children now send Mothers Day, Birthday cards/gifts to her.

But it started out just me and my dad... I remember him telling me if it was not for me he would commit suicide, when I was around or so...

Now dad is 80 and all of us girls have loved, accepted, forgave, and wanted him for a long time....

When everything is raw it cuts to the core, BUT G-D... BUT G-D!!!! Changes us... Not life, not the happenings of it.... But life... it's outcomes and consequences!!!

G-d took the hard, the crazy, the hurt, the pain and REALLY did turn it around for those that LOVE HIM... even did not I guess... I got saved, my dad's family forgave him and have room enough for Rita and pray fro my Mom....

My dad has lived "happily ever after", just not how he imagined it when he was young!!!!

There is no better ending to this story... SCREWED UP LIFE TURNED AROUND BY G-D!!!!
 
7

7seasrekeyed

Guest
#30
Hello Marbear87,
I would recommend you borrow or acquire the book Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. They are Christians and clinicians with lots of experience. The book shows how to deal with difficult relationships by establishing and enforcing relational boundaries. You can avoid disrespecting your father (though he and the gf might see it otherwise) and still be firm about your views.
You can also pray that God would bring appropriate conviction on them. Don't try to be God... let Him do it His way. You are under no obligation to accept his relationship with this woman, given its history, nor to extend forgiveness when there is no repentance. Forgive them in your heart though.

EXCELLENT book!
 
7

7seasrekeyed

Guest
#31
I grew up in a Christian family. My dad was and is a preacher. My mom died a year ago from cancer complications and just short of 35 years with my dad. Right after her death, however, my dad announced he was seeing someone else and it was serious. Come to find out, it was a woman he'd been seeing behind my mom's back for 10 years (a high school friend). She lived in another state and my dad would stop to see her and sometimes take her on trips to see my grandmother (his mom.) There is a lot of hurt that goes into this from many angles. In my opinion, my dad is being a hypocrite but he denies any wrongdoing. This lady is quick to tell me and my sister's were wrong for not accepting her. I feel guilty for needing to distance myself from my dad but at this point there is nothing but a toxic relationship that I don't need coming into my own family.
At this point, I've told my dad I don't agree with his decisions and while he can come around, I have no desire to see the other woman. As a result, my dad has been ignoring me and his grandkids while this lady blocks me on Facebook but emails me letters that I'm ruining her potential life with my dad. As a Christian, when is it ok to draw the line and not be disrespectful to my dad?

I do not think you are being disrespectful because you are not describing 'disrespectful'

you are describing normal reactions on finding out your dad has been running around on your mother for the last 10 years and basically lying to anyone who listens to him. he has no business being a preacher.

it is actually your father who is being disrespectful and trying to force his sin on others

your father has put himself first for many years and you do not and should not feel guilty about his sinful decisions

frankly, even though it hurts because he is still your father, I would not allow him in my home with the woman he committed adultery with (and please anyone else reading this don't tell me he did not do that because he most certainly did do that) for the last 10 years that you know about

your father is the one with the attitude and as far as the other woman goes, why on earth do you even WANT to look at her facebook page. good for her for blocking you. stay away...she is toxic!

by all means buy the book recommended by Dino...I have that book and bought it because of toxic family members and I got rid of a big load of false guilt

it hurts when it is your family, but we are not responsible for the actions of others and sometimes you really do need to just let go

hugs
 
7

7seasrekeyed

Guest
#32
This isn't meant to be an argument. You haven't the slightest idea how real this struggle is for me, nor do you know all the details. I'm not claiming to take the high road. In fact I feel pretty crappy. I can honor my father without being present in his daily life. I'm honoring him currently by not exposing him to his entire church which he stands in front of each Sunday, lying about his own life. That isn't my place. A healthy boundry is allowing myself some distance from being hurt. I'm allowed to walk away from irresponsible behavior.

don't worry about it

honor does not mean respecting sin and it does not mean do what he says

have you abused your father? well no you have not! he has abused his family and again, he should not be preaching

forgiveness is not optional, but holding his hand and pretending everything is hunky dory IS optional

don't let anyone hear put a guilt trip on you. when people ask for advice here, they will often get good advice but they will also get a variety of really stupid opinions and people will start arguing with each other

I hope you are not attending the church where he preaches?

you most certainly are allowed to walk away...but call it what it is. sinful behavior that your father has no attention
 
7

7seasrekeyed

Guest
#33
You are doing what your father is doing. You are asking, "What should I do?" as if that is the question. He asked the same question, and look where it has him.

The right question is, "What would you have me do, Lord?"

And, just so you know, I do know what you're going through. The two differences between your story and my story are that Mom left him for several reasons, and that was one of the them. And it is several decades later, so I know how my story worked out.

And my biggest regret? I didn't ask God "What would you have me do, Lord?" for eight years, and didn't catch on to part of his answer for a few more decades. Because of that, family secrets are so deep none can come to the surface because they affect the innocent. The guilty have managed to harden their hearts enough to not even remember there are secrets.

Your father cheated on your mother. I do know how bad that is, especially having to live with the cheater as family. BUT is that better or worse than harboring such hate? Which is the worst sin -- breaking the fifth or seventh commandment? According to Jesus, there is no worse or better. Breaking one has the death penalty.

Following him takes that away.

So, ask the right question and seek the Lord for your answer.

And, if interested, I can tell you the thing you are falling for that caused me the most frustration for the rest of my life.

you know, after saying that people argue with each other I would like to say something here to you rather than the op; why are you hounding this woman?

the Bible is PLAIN on how to respond to the behavior she describes and you seem to think she should take your advice

we are told to have NOTHING TO DO with someone who is living in sin, is unrepentant and is flagrantly exposing everyone to the effects of that sin...a little leaven? maybe you have heard of that?

she does need to forgive both her father and the woman and that will probably be a process, but she does NOT have to accept either of them

and the church he is preaching/pastoring in, DEFINITELY need to know just what they actually have up front

you don't coddle sin...you expose it. I honestly have not seen such bad advice in a long time...advice that is actually contrary to scripture

one of the biggest problems in churches these days, is that sin is covered up and the sinner is told 'there there God still loves you'

respond as you will...people need to understand what God's will is...it does not change from one person to the next

sin separates us from God and the op's father cannot possibly have a relationship with God in light of what he has been doing for the last 10 years.

forgiveness is the only thing the op needs to do. I pray God protects her from the sin of her father and the Jezebel that he has been shacking up with
 

Marbear87

New member
Jun 17, 2018
13
20
3
#34
don't worry about it

honor does not mean respecting sin and it does not mean do what he says

have you abused your father? well no you have not! he has abused his family and again, he should not be preaching

forgiveness is not optional, but holding his hand and pretending everything is hunky dory IS optional

don't let anyone hear put a guilt trip on you. when people ask for advice here, they will often get good advice but they will also get a variety of really stupid opinions and people will start arguing with each other

I hope you are not attending the church where he preaches?

you most certainly are allowed to walk away...but call it what it is. sinful behavior that your father has no attention
No, I don't attend his church. I'm not sure I could even attend as a guest at this point. Thanks for your words.