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Question 96

Q: I got a call from my older brother two weeks ago telling me that my father, who is a retired missionary, has been involved with various women.

My mother discovered this when she came across some emails on his computer. This is such a shock, because my dad was always very “righteous,” and held us to a high standard.

My mother arranged for my pastor to confront him. He admitted to most of it, but still thinks all this isn’t as serious as we’ve made it out to be. I told my sister to hide our guns because dad was untrustworthy and always had a big temper.

Now a lot of things make sense. My dad’s constant judging us as kids, being spanked harder until we quit crying, and all kinds of other abuse. He spoke to us about spiritual things, but never his relationship with God.

Well, at this point, mom and dad want to rebuild their marriage, and I’m glad for that. But I’m away at college, and my dad hasn’t called me. I just get my news through my brother.

Here’s my question: what do I do when I go home? He probably won’t say anything to me about his sin, nor will he ask forgiveness for his mistreatment of me and my brother. Do I just ignore everything, and pretend that everything is just like it always was?

Asked by: Carol

A: Well Carol, you are in a really difficult predicament, but I see some hope here.

It’s wonderful that your parents are trying to get their marriage back together after the truth about your father has come to light. That most assuredly would have been a great shock to your mother, but on the other hand, maybe your mother had her suspicions. Who knows?

I think it’s very important for you to talk to your mother when you go home from college, and get some wisdom from her as to how to handle this very difficult situation.

You don’t want to confront your dad unless your mother thinks it should happen. You should talk through what your own approach to this is going to be, because if she is trying to reconcile, that part of the relationship should be encouraged.

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