Question:

I am really disturbed. My dad who has been very violent since my mum joined him in a foreign country. He was broke and moved to this new country for business. Several years down the line, my mum came and joined him, but he has become proud and arrogant. Worse still there are rumors that he has a baby outside of wedlock. We are all grown up now, but my dad, despite loving us, was very harsh with us. We have been beaten silly since we were kids. He has been very violent with my mum, having beaten her till she had to go to hospital. Just yesterday he chased my sister out of the house because she said she hates him. I feel bad because I have been silent for a long time, fearing being disrespectful, and being the first born I felt he needed me. But as it goes with men who are cheating on their wives, he has become very mean, stingy and most of all violent.

Now I know you deal with these issues, kindly advice me. The spirit tells me this man has pride, arrogance and a whole host of demons inside of him. We are praying for him but as patience runs out I am persuaded to give him a piece of my mind. Why is it that he is so stubborn? What are the repercussions, even if we are praying for him. I just needed someone to listen. I feel very lonely. Very few people have given me as good advice as yours.


Answer:

"Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to 'set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law'; and 'a man's enemies will be those of his own household.' He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me" (Matthew 10:34-38).

I'm sorry to hear about your family's difficulties. It is always sad when parents don't live up to their children's expectations. Too often people make exceptions for their own family. They will put up with more wrong doing from a family member than they will from anyone else.

I don't know how closely tied you are to your father, but it is time to be an independent man. What your father is doing is wrong. The motivations are not a critical as knowing how to deal with a violent man.

The first thing you need to do is distance yourself from your father. His behavior is going to drag the entire family down and you'll go with him if you tie yourself to him.

"Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of evil. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn away from it and pass on. For they do not sleep unless they have done evil; and their sleep is taken away unless they make someone fall. For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence" (Proverbs 4:14-17).

The chief concern is that by being with such a person, you slowly begin to pick up his evil ways.

"A violent man entices his neighbor, and leads him in a way that is not good. He winks his eye to devise perverse things; he purses his lips and brings about evil" (Proverbs 16:29-30).

"Make no friendship with an angry man, and with a furious man do not go, lest you learn his ways and set a snare for your soul" (Proverbs 22:24-25)

Eventually his violence will destroy him. "The violence of the wicked will destroy them, because they refuse to do justice" (Proverbs 21:7). "Behold, the wicked brings forth iniquity; yes, he conceives trouble and brings forth falsehood. He made a pit and dug it out, and has fallen into the ditch which he made. His trouble shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down on his own crown" (Psalms 7:14-16).

In dealing with an angry and violent man, the temptation is to combat like with like. Anger and violence is never overcome by angry responses. You have to stand up against him with quiet gentleness.

"But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will" (II Timothy 2:23-26).

"A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger" (Proverbs 15:1).

He won't like the fact that his eldest son disagrees with him. The common tactic is to attack back, to try to make you behave like him. You have to ignore his attempts at making you angry. The hard part is that since you grew up with him, he knows just how to irritate you.

"The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression" (Proverbs 19:11).

What I would suggest is telling your dad how disappointed you are in the way he is behaving. You had expected better things from the man who had raised you. He won't like it. He'll probably lash out, but don't stoop to his game. Just quietly leave if he becomes angry.

When you can, tell your mother that you are also disappointed with her because she accepts your father's violence. Tell her that you have chosen not to support your father until he learns to be gentle. Then invite your mother to join you whenever she chooses. Also let the rest of your family know you are limiting your interactions with your father. You'll visit for your mom's sake, but if he gets angry or violent, you will immediately leave. Invite your siblings to do the same, but point out that you understand they must make their own choices.

This has the highest chance of causing your father to change.