Parenting Your Parents

Updated on January 12, 2010
B.D. asks from Marshfield, MO
7 answers

I am seeking GODLY advice on a subject that will not go away. My father, after being married to my mother for 20 years, decided he wanted something more. Since then, he has been remarried 3 times and is now on to the fourth woman. We call her #5 for short. (I am so thankful my mother is remarried to a man that values her and takes great care of her.) He says each time, "This one is different. She cares about me." Blah, blah, blah. All the women he has remarried are 10-15 years younger than he, and while they say they are Christian, and he claims that is a requirement, they have no evidence of that in their home or ways of living. He is now avoiding all of his real children and putting extra time and extreme amounts of money into the new relationship with #5 and her children.

Re-reading this makes me sound to simply be jealous, but please trust this is a VERY short story of all the constant DRAMA with our father. My siblings and I are truely seeking Godly advice. This really has nothing to do with #5, but is truely about his behavior. We do not wish for our children (his grandchildren) to go through anything that we have had to endure in our lifetimes.

Do we confront him in person? (Matthew 18) We already know that he has never listened before, and typically he speaks over us, and so we give up. His favorite phrase is "You just don't understand." And we know that we are to forgive "seventy times seven", but does that mean that we must have a relationship with him and #5.

Please tell us...what shall we do?

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

Thank you ladies for your guidance and most of all your prayers. I have spoke with my Pastor and his wife and have come to the decision that I must do what is right, regardless of my fathers feelings. I have put it in writing to him the way that I feel, and most importantly what the Bible tells us. I will continue seeking His guidance in the situation, but will NOT be focusing on this subject as I had been. Thank you, thank you! God is good!

More Answers


answers from Norfolk on

Your father is an adult of reasonably sound mind. He makes his own choices and his own mistakes. If you want him in your life, you are going to have to accept the drama that comes with him. And if the drama is more than you can bear, then accept that this is something you can not change, move on and leave him to his chosen life. You do not have to have a relationship with him and #5 if you do not want you. It does not make you a bad person. God gave us all free will. Your father makes his choices, and you can make yours.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

If you truly want Godly advice, then really the only thing you can do is just pray for him and his women. It's hard watching parents do what we don't think they should be doing, but you have to remember that he is an adult and as long as he's not trying to drag you into his situations, then really there's nothing you can do or say. I wouldn't worry about the age of the women, my husband & I are 20 years apart and get along fantastic!! Too much emphasis is put on numbers instead of character.
So, good luck to you all, and just keep praying. It does help to have siblings to talk to, it's basically like therapy that's free! You just have to be careful what, if anything you say to your dad, or big family problems could arise. I know, I've been there...completely different situation, but was a very stressful time and it sure helped all of us kids to talk w/ each other about our parents "acting up!". Good luck to you.

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answers from St. Louis on

okay, I like what Karen said about "choosing to accept him as a father/grandfather....& not accepting his lifestyle.....& setting boundaries". That's exactly what I did with my own Father when my parents divorced.

It was a difficult choice, it created hardships....but gave me the leeway to achieve peace on a daily basis. I limited my contact with him, I did not "party" with him & his friends.....we simply periodically exchanged life's details thru phone calls & kept social interaction to just the holidays/birthdays.....& not always then. All of this changed when he finally met a wonderful woman & she helped him thru the angst leftover from the divorce....& eventually helped him rebuild his relationships with our family.

Two years ago, I began scrapbooking my sons' childhoods. My father was very distraught over the lack of photos of him in the books. I quite bluntly reminded him that during that time period...he lived the life he'd chosen & nothing could change it. I showed him the differences in my sons' books, showed him how he did chose to be present in my younger son's life, & said "that's the best we could do, Dad".

I lost my Father a few months ago. I embrace my memories, I am proud that the grandsons were all pallbearers, & am thankful that all of the grandchildren loved him deeply enough that they sobbed thru the whole process....they truly loved their Grandfather. And do you know that all of those wild friends from what I call the "missing years" were also there for him! In his own way, my Father touched many people...there were old friends thru all of the years there paying their respects. That, in itself, proved to me that even though I did not appreciate his life choices, someone did! I wish you Peace.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

We can't ever change the way another person thinks or feels. As much as I get that you want a better relationship with your father, it sounds like he is attempting to make this relationship with # 5 and her children work. Right now, # 5 and her children are his nuclear family. I bet you would get a lot further if you just spend your time and energies praying for him and her and those kids, whatever ages they are.

Sometimes a person will tell us that they are Christians just to try and relate to us or maybe just to keep us from preaching at them. If there is no evidence, they might still need to have a real breakthrough between them and the Lord. But once again, you can't do a thing about it outside of pray. I hate the way that sounds. Prayer is EVERYTHING.

Be thankful if you still have time and he isn't too terrible. I had to walk away from my father because he molested me as a child. Drank heavily, physically abused everyone he cared about, talked racism against various peoples and smoked enough to choke the daylights out of me. There was NOTHING redeeming in my father that I wanted to be around my children. I hope your situation with your father is much better. Mine is dead now. My one regret is that I didn't pray more often.

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answers from Wichita on

Good Morning B.. The Bible also tells us to shake the dust from our shoes and walk on.
Matt 10:12 And when ye come into an house, salute it.
13 And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.
14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.

That being said what kind of relationship do you want with your father?
Do you want the Holidays, Birthday celebrations etc.. or would you prefer the speaking occasionally type? That is one thing you need to decide B..
The 70 x 7 is daily B., and Boy is that a tough one.
Your dad claims to be a Christian and he possibly could be without following the complete teachings of the Bible and God. None are Perfect Save the Lord! Alot of people believe Once saved always saved. So we can't deny he may be saved by the blood of the Lamb. If he is a Christian with Bible Knowledge then he also knows he committed adultery by putting aside your mom and remarrying.

I know a lot of Godly men who have been divorced, some will never remarry. What your dad has done though is repeated over and over again with different women.

It's his choice, his life, as wrong as we feel it is. We can't judge him for his actions. That alone is up to the Father. We may abhor the situations he puts us in. We don't have to roll with it though. There are limits as to what we can tolerate. With Wisdom comes understanding, with understanding, knowledge. We may not always have understanding how a person thinks or all knowledge of their situation, but I think we are Wise enough to know our limits and how to sit them.

Don't put yourself or your children in a place of accepting his behavior but in a place of accepting him as a dad and gr dad only. If that means distance for a while, and sitting up boundaries do it.

Your dad is not a happy person, he won't find happiness through another person. He will have to find the happiness within himself to succeed.

My prayers are with you, love him for who he is not what he has done. Even if it has to be from a distance.

God Bless you and your family
K. Nana of 5

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Wichita on

Im going threw the same situation. Just not as severe as you. It's hard to share your father. Especially under the circumstances you are going threw. I would just let him live his life and do what he wants to do. No matter what you say or do will change his mind. Hopefully he will come around in time. Mine did. I still do not see him as much as i used to, But he's been with his new wife for 3 years now, and he's starting to come around.Easier said then done though, i know.

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answers from St. Louis on

B., I wish that I had some wonderful advise for you, but I don't. But I did want to tell you that I'm in a simular situation, but with my mother. My father is my good parent. My mom in on #5 or 6, I've lost count, and she doesn't marry all of them, she's shacked up with the current one. Try dealing with that when you are trying to raise Godly children and Grandma is just living with a man and not married. She ignores her own children for the children of whatever man she is with, but will tell us all how she has tried and done the best she can. My youngest sister, who is 13, is living with my Grandma and Grandpa, they also raised me. My 19 year old brother is also living with G'ma and G'pa. My 18 year old sister is living with her boyfriends parents since my mom pretty much told her she was on her own because she was done raising her. That was when sister was 16. The 2 oldest of us are married and the only 2 to graduate high school so far - we have hopes of the 13 year old sister finishing school. So see, it can be worse. This man she has now has a drug addit daughter that my mother drove across the state to check on because the girl wouldn't answer her phone and they were worried about her. But I had to be tested to see if I had MS and mom never called to see how the test went to to see if I had MS. Thanks mom I know where I stand. Anyway - I tell you all this so that you can see that it could be worse. My Grandmother said that she has been trying to get though to my mother since she was a teenager and nothing has worked. She had hoped the my dad (he's not my biological dad - but the only one that I've known) would straighten her out since he's a good man from a good family, but that only lasted about 7 years then she was chating on him. We have all talked to her, all 5 kids told her how she has hurt us. My Grandparents told her how she has hurt them and her brothers (who are both wonderful) have tried talking to her. But her response is "you don't want me to be happy". All you can do is keep praying for your dad. I pray all the time that my mother will see how she is on the wrong path. I also look for books at my local Christian book store that could apply to her and then buy them for her. Keep praying and then pray some more. I don't think that anything you or your siblings say will help. Try to support him in marrage #5 and hopefully this one will stick so that you don't have to explain to your kids another divorce. Invite him to Church with you. But most important keep praying. You can't force anyone to accept God, but God will keep trying. Good luck and God Bless!

1 mom found this helpful
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