Two Men Have An Unfaithful Child
Bill and Fred are both faithful in their attendance and ac tive in the work of the local church, but unfortunately both men have a grown child who does not serve the Lord faithfully. The spiritual lives of Bill and Fred seem similar in many ways, but when it comes to dealing with the unfaithful child there is a big dif ference.
When Bill is asked about his son, he is honest in describing the situation and urges everyone to do all they can to help re store his son to faithfulness. If anything is said to Fred, he immediately becomes defensive and makes excuses for his son. While Bill wishes people would be more direct in dealing with the soul-threatening sin in his son’s life, Fred continually worries that someone is going to say the wrong thing to his son and “offend” him.
Is this writer describing an actual situation with which he is fa miliar? The answer is yes and no. The names are fictitious, but they do represent the actions and attitudes of real people he has watched and known over the years. This writer has known his share of “Bills” who understood the danger their children were in and sought the help of all. But tragically, he has also seen far too many “Freds” who were so worried about the feelings of their children that they would make excuses for them, cover up for them, perhaps try to keep people from even find ing out about them and become resentful toward those who did try to help.
If the passing of years were to see this writer have an unfaithful child, would he be a Bill or a Fred? Would he find himself making excuses that sometimes border on dishonesty or would his concern for the soul of his child cause him, no matter how heartbreaking it was, to refuse to excuse the conduct and instead urge everyone to do those things that needed to be done? In all honesty, that question cannot be answered now and he hopes it never has to be answered, but if that time ever comes there can be no doubt about which answer ought to be given.
When people are overtaken in sin fellow-Christians have an obli gation to restore them (Galatians 6:1; James 5:19, 20). As parents, we must make certain that we do not stand in the way of those seek ing to restore the erring. To carry it even further, are the parents themselves excused from the obligation to “restore such a one”? It has to be truly heart-breaking and gut-wrenching for a parent to see the church with draw from one of their children (see 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; 2 Thessa lonians 3:6-15), but a parent who has the proper faith in God and a true love for his child rejoices that God’s children care enough about God and their child to follow God’s plan. Though painful, they trust that the desired end is that “his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus” (1 Corinthians 5:5).
Let us love our children; seek to train them when they are young and then remember two things if they should choose not to remain faithful:
1) We must love Jesus (and His teachings) even more than our children (Matthew 10:37).
2) Our love for our children is a very shallow love if it does not extend to their souls.
Parents, please think carefully about this painful subject. Do not ever allow your love, pride, embarrassment, shame or anything else to stand in the way of that which is needed to bring your child to repen tance.