Do I let my son and his live-in girlfriend come for Thanksgiving?


My son is in his late twenties, a college graduate and in the military. He is very responsible and has had a Christian upbringing.

He has just returned from deployment, and his wife has left him. He is now "serious" about someone else and living with her. Now says that he believes this is all right because they love each other and times are different now.

He knows my belief on this. He wants to come for Thanksgiving for us to meet her. This would require them to spend the night because he lives a good distance away. I can't allow this because I don't have seperate rooms to put them in, but I don't want to alienate my son.

What should I do?


Why is it that the person who stands for truth the one accused of alienating? Isn't it the other way around? "Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear" (Isaiah 59:1-2).

Your son is responsible for his choices. Yes, society is very accepting of sins today -- but it still is sinful. Sin is defined by God, not by the consensus of men. God calls things that cause harm sin, and what he is doing is harmful.

Tell him plainly that you would love to have him and his wife over for Thanksgiving, but you will not have over someone who doesn't love the woman he has sex with enough to commit his life to her. You didn't raise a son to use a woman for his own pleasure. Having them over implies that you approve of their sin and that would pull you into their sin (Romans 1:32; II John 9-11).

Since you are a Christian, you have to follow the Lord's command: "I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner--not even to eat with such a person" (I Corinthians 5:9-11). So tell him that when he honors the Lord and this woman by marrying her or he repents of his sin of fornication, you will joyfully have him over. Meanwhile, the holidays are going to lonely without him.

Until good people stop compromising and accepting sin, it will continue to spread. It won't be easy, but something has to be done to bring your son back to Christ. "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God" (I Corinthians 6:9-10).

What I suggest you do is tell him all this in a letter. If you do this over the phone, he will be too emotional and say things he will later regret. A letter gives you a chance to craft your words to say exactly what needs to be said in the best way that you know how (II Timothy 2:24-26). He'll blow his top, but he'll also have time to think before replying -- if he chooses to take the time. This is the reason why Paul chose to write to the Corinthians when they had so many problems instead of coming straight there to straighten them out. "And I wrote this very thing to you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow over those from whom I ought to have joy, having confidence in you all that my joy is the joy of you all. For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you, with many tears, not that you should be grieved, but that you might know the love which I have so abundantly for you" (II Corinthians 2:3-4). You will benefit by doing the same.

"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" (Matthew 10:34-37).

I appreciate your quick response.  I knew this answer all along. I allowed feelings for my son to get in the way of doing what is right in the sight of God and began to actually think that it might be all right. I was letting the thoughts that my son may get so upset that he would not come to see me at all or have anything to do with me cloud my judgement.  I don't want to have to do this. I feel like I am being harsh and may drive him away. I want to have an opportunity to witness to this girl also.  But I can't witness and compromise.  Thank you so much.  God bless you.

You won't be driving him away. He might walk away because prefers sex over righteousness, but that will be his choice. Make it clear that you love him and that what he is doing is treating the woman he is living with poorly. In others, make sure it is clear that you are defending her against his poor treatment of her. When they do decide to marry, she'll appreciate you for taking her side.