Question:

Hello,

I recently had a falling-out with my Dad, and it was so bad that we have parted ways. It wasn't just a one time thing, it was after years of him treating my wife badly and disrespecting her. He wanted a relationship with me only but never bothered getting to know my wife, his daughter-in-law. My Dad's behavior shocked me because he has a doctorate in Theology and has been a pastor for decades. My Dad has always wanted me to serve as a pastor in the denomination he grew up in as well as me. I serve the Lord in a different church now, but he wasn't happy. He blames my wife for me not being in that church and has shown that he is annoyed by her. Whenever she would speak to my Dad he would get offended by silly things. She wouldn't even be able to speak to him without him getting cross. My Dad has helped us financially also but during the falling-out he said that I am biting the hand that helps us. I didn't think that his help in times of trial would be the pawn he used against me. Was I wrong in saying to him that it is better that we part ways?


Answer:

This simply goes to show that an education doesn't necessarily imparts wisdom in a person. From what you've told me, your father was in the wrong and there is nothing wrong with limiting contact with someone bent on causing harm to your marriage. You still owe your father respect (Ephesians 6:2-3), so you should occasionally call him and make sure he is doing well. This will keep the door somewhat open for him to make a change. Remember also that you will more likely to encourage him change by being kind to him. "Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. Therefore "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (Romans 12:17-21). Therefore, send occasional notes, cards, and gifts to him to let him know you haven't forgotten him.