Ask Your Preacher
Does the Bible say anything about how a married couple should act after the kids have left home? Is there any responsibility between the two to show affection or maintain a relationship? Or can they part ways yet remain married under law?
Dear Growing Apart,
A godly marriage is not built upon raising children; raising children is built upon a godly marriage. The marriage comes first, and then the children (Eph 5:31). Before Adam and Eve had any children, they had a responsibility to one another. Also, the Bible commands us to rejoice in our marriage even in our old age (Pr 5:18). A husband and wife have a responsibility to one another regardless of the status or age of their children (1 Cor 7:1-3). If a couple simply “parted ways” they may be fulfilling the letter of the law by remaining unmarried again (1 Cor 7:10-11), but it definitely would not be fulfilling the spirit of God’s intentions for marriage.
There has been tension in my husband's family for many years between him and his mother. He has cut ties with her because no matter what he did, it was always wrong. She has managed to convince his son that she (grandmother) is the victim. Now his son is carrying the same attitude as his grandmother. At what point do you stop trying?
End Of Our Rope
Dear End Of Our Rope,
We stop trying to make a difference in our children’s lives when we are dead. God tells us to never grow weary of doing good (2 Thess 3:13). Never give up (Gal 6:9). It may be that your husband’s influence over his son seems minor… but every child is affected by their parents (Heb 12:9). Put the Lord first in everything (2 Cor 8:5), and let your lights shine brightly for your son to see (Php 2:15). You never know what kind of influence you will have.
What do you do when your teen son tell you that he is the devil?
Dear Dodging Pitchforks,
Start praying he is wrong. Of course, it is impossible for him to actually be the devil, but when people live sinful lives, they become children of the devil (Acts 13:10, 1 Jn 3:8). The devil has only one tool at his disposal – lies (Jhn 8:44). The greatest antidote to lies is truth.
Ask your son to reason with you and explain why he thinks he is the devil. God is a big fan of calm, rational discourse (Isa 1:18). We have no idea how likely it is for you to get your son to do this… but it never hurts to try. Many times when people have to explain their beliefs, the nuttiness of their position becomes apparent to even them. Darkness hates being brought to light (Jhn 3:20). Ask your son to explain why he believes what he does; chances are, you won’t have to prove him wrong… he’ll do that himself.
Well, the last couple of days have really been tough...my girlfriend and I thought we conceived a baby (we are not married, and I know that is a sin), but I asked for forgiveness... but then it all fell apart. I loved her and trusted her... she ended up telling me there was a possibility that the baby might not be mine; she left me because it was hard to be with me after she told me, and I admit it was hard, but I was willing to forgive and let go, but she left, and now she has told me that the doctors told her she probably lost the child. I don’t know if the kid was mine, but I feel like it was. I had dreams about it and saw myself with a lil’ boy I had never seen before. I was so happy to find out I was going to be a daddy and was going to raise him right by God. I’m not sure if it’s mine or if she miscarried. I just want advice on why things like this happen. I tried my hardest to make it work, and I wanted to be happy, but it all fell apart. I’m twenty years old, and this is one of the hardest, if not the hardest, things I’ve ever dealt with. I lost the love of my life and my possible child, plus she had a daughter, and she would call me “Dad”, so it’s like I lost two children. Please, I need the Lord’s Word to get through this, so please help!
You are experiencing the pain of sin in a very real and personal way. God does offer forgiveness if we place our faith in Him (read “What Must I Do To Be Saved” for more details), but that forgiveness doesn’t remove the consequences of sin. David sinned when he committed adultery with Bathsheba (2 Sam 11:2-4); God forgave David of the sin when David repented (2 Sam 12:13), but David’s child still died as a consequence of that sin (2 Sam 12:14). Sin has both spiritual and physical consequences. The spiritual consequence of sin is eternal death unless we are forgiven in Christ (Rom 6:23). The physical consequences of sin still remain after forgiveness. God says that we reap what we sow (Gal 6:7). When we behave immorally toward a woman, lose our temper, mistreat others, are bad examples for our children, etc. – there are consequences to those choices. God wants you to have a happy and healthy life here on this planet. The only way to do that is to trust His Word that teaches us everything about life (2 Pet 1:3). We are so sorry that your road has been so difficult as of late; hopefully, this will become an opportunity for you to start with a new commitment to live as God intends. If you would like help finding a faithful congregation in your area (not all churches are equal) to help you on that journey, we would be happy assist you in locating one. Simply e-mail us at email@example.com.
Why would God allow the torture of innocent children?
This world is full of all sorts of disease, pain, violence, and strife – but God didn’t cause those things; sin did. All bad things are a result of sin. When God made the world, He placed mankind in the Garden of Eden and gave us a joyously blissful existence in that paradise. Who caused the pain? We did. It is sin that has brought all of the death, disease, decay, pain, suffering, troubles, and heartaches into our world. We all, in varying degrees, are reaping the benefits of a world with sin in it. Sickness is a consequence of Adam and Eve’s sin in the Garden of Eden. One of the curses of their sin was that we all must face our own mortality – life is finite. Sickness, disease, and pain are a part of the human existence.
Sadly, this is true even for our children. When God gave us freewill, He gave us the right to cause problems for ourselves and others, and if He simply removed all the consequences for our actions, He would be removing our freedoms as well. The flip-side to this is that all children go to heaven, so after a child dies, God immediately comforts them on the other side. God gives mankind the freedom to make decisions, but He also has the wisdom to know how those choices will affect the future (Job 12:13). God planned before the foundation of the world to save us by sending His own Son to die (Eph. 1:3-4). Even though He isn’t responsible for our choices, God sent the perfect cure. This world isn’t fair – if it were, it would be heaven. Instead, we live in a fallen world where man has been exiled from paradise. This world is not our home; Christians await a better world where the most innocent don’t face such things. (Heb 11:16).