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What is the best way to help a family member (i.e. father) who proclaims to be a Christian (by the method of the AME) and continues to be of the world. The reason I ask is that his behavior is effecting the whole family and he is reluctant to discuss it (pride). He also has a controlling attitude toward the household and how it should be run despite not providing any reason. Please could you provide some advice as to best handle this.


"Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh" (Genesis 2:24).

There come a time in everyone's life when you must leave the nest and establish your own. Generally it happens due to marriage, but if you have delayed marriage, you might likely do so at an earlier time. When you have left home, your father only has as much control over your life as you chose to give to him.

Be respectful to him because he raised you to adulthood. ""Honor your father and mother," which is the first commandment with promise: "that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth."" (Ephesians 6:2-3). Listen to his advice because even when a man is of the world, he still has experience with the world. There are likely to be small gems to treasure among the worthless ideas. However, God does not expect a person to follow a person into error just because he happens to be related. "If, however, he begets a son who sees all the sins which his father has done, and considers but does not do likewise; who has not eaten on the mountains, nor lifted his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, nor defiled his neighbor's wife; has not oppressed anyone, nor withheld a pledge, nor robbed by violence, but has given his bread to the hungry and covered the naked with clothing; who has withdrawn his hand from the poor and not received usury or increase, but has executed My judgments and walked in My statutes - he shall not die for the iniquity of his father; he shall surely live! As for his father, because he cruelly oppressed, robbed his brother by violence, and did what is not good among his people, behold, he shall die for his iniquity" (Ezekiel 18:14-18).

What should you do about his worldly ways? The same as you do for anyone else -- tell him why it is not right by showing him from the Scriptures. If he doesn't want to listen; well, you can't make anyone listen to reason. You can only offer it.


See also:

Questions and Answers regarding Parents
Questions and Answers regarding Family