Hi! I have a question about people that I and my children associate with. Most of my family are in second marriages, some don't even believe in God. I have a (female) friend who is married to someone who is divorced. She said that his ex-wife cheated on him, I do not know what the details are beyond that point. I myself repented of a second marriage and am now single. She has a son who goes to school with my son and they are good friends.

Should I allow my child to go over to her home and spend time there? Do I need to stay away from them? I don't know what to do. I am willing to do what is right, but I want to love those around me and not develop a certain attitude of disdain toward everyone. I am confused. Sometimes I feel it would be best to cut myself off from these people.

Thank you and may God bless you today.


"I wrote to you in my letter to have no company with sexual sinners; yet not at all meaning with the sexual sinners of this world, or with the covetous and extortioners, or with idolaters; for then you would have to leave the world. But as it is, I wrote to you not to associate with anyone who is called a brother who is a sexual sinner, or covetous, or an idolater, or a slanderer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner. Don't even eat with such a person" (I Corinthians 5:9-11).

The only people Christians avoid are those were members of the church, but who have been withdrawn from because of their sins (I Corinthians 5:1-8). The reason for this separation is to show we don't support sin in people claiming to be true Christians.

This gets a little confusing these days because many people claim Christianity without ever doing what God said to become His child. Such people I still count as part of the world. As Paul said, the only way you are going to avoid sinners is to leave the world and then you would not be able to teach the gospel as our Lord requires (Matthew 28:18-20). From what you state, your family aren't real Christians, so isolating yourself from them is not required or useful.

However, we need to balance this somewhat. Worldly people don't have the same standards as we do. If we are not careful, we can get pulled into sins by those we consider friends. "Do not be deceived: "Evil company corrupts good habits"" (I Corinthians 15:33). This comes back to why we separate from Christians who are sinning. We expect worldly people to be worldly, so we keep up our guard against their influence. But people we call brethren we can be more relaxed around, so a worldly brother can pull us astray before we realize what happened.

The way my own mother handled this was to make a distinction between our standards and the rest of the world. So if we complained that a friend lied to us, she would say something like, "Well, that isn't right. It's too bad for your friend that his parents don't live as Christians ought to live and teach him to respect God like we teach you." It emphasizes a mental separation and an expectation of living up to a higher standard.

One of the the things that has made a big impact on me and my own children is seeing how bad things are in worldly families. I've had my children tell me they aren't interested in going over to some people's homes because of all the fighting and bickering going on. Sometimes you don't appreciate what you have until you see what other people don't have.