Ep. 429 When Aging Parents No Longer Walk with God

Ep. 429 When Aging Parents No Longer Walk with God

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Shows Main Idea – I would love for you to do a video on how we, as Christian adults, can deal with our aging parents when they let us down and commit egregious sins. My husband and I have a parent who just left another wife for no reason other than he was tired of being married to her. We’re having a hard time, primarily because we have lost all respect for his dad. We have always thought he was a believer, but he quit going to church and shows no remorse for abandoning his wife.

Show Notes

You might want to read:

A Few Considerations

As you all discuss this with your family, here are a few talking points for your consideration. Hopefully, this will initiate redemptive conversations, prayerful spirits, and a game plan for being Jesus to your dad.

1. No Division: The problems in your extended family cannot divide your marriage and children. You all must be on the same page. Do not let his sin make its way into your hearts and lives. If it does, act on it promptly by walking out repentance.

2. Guarded Distance: Those who do the will of God have more influence and relationship with you than those who don’t, even if those who don’t do God’s will are relatives. Sometimes you will have to separate or create distance from those who reject God so that they don’t bring division into your autonomous domestic empire. Christ was clear on this matter (John 12:46-50).

3. Right Attitude: Work hard at having an attitude of forgiveness for the aging parent. Think about how Joseph recalibrated his heart regarding his brothers while they were sinning (Genesis 50:20). Think about Jesus on the cross, too, demonstrating a heart of forgiveness to irreconcilable people. (See 1 Corinthians 1:1-9.)

4. Watch the Tongue: Do not gossip or slander your aging parent to anyone, especially your children. You pity him as a fellow image bearer. It’s okay to talk behind his back if your motive is redemptive and you’re speaking with someone who can help.

5. Mini-Messiah: You may want your dad to love God more than he wants to love God, so don’t become a mini-messiah. Your job is to water and plant, but you cannot grant repentance (2 Timothy 2:24-25). Know your role, and stay in your lane. You’ll know when you’re overworking the problem by how you think and talk about him. If you’re sinning with your tongue, you’ve crossed the line and are becoming the mini-messiah in his life.

6. Help the Vulnerable: Attempt to connect with his ex-wives, hoping to bring the hope and help of the gospel to them. They have experienced a poor representation of the gospel through this man.

7. No Gaslighting: Don’t let your sympathy for him give him license to manipulate you. He may use your concern as a means to create double-mindedness. You’ll know if this is happening by the level of soul noise you have, how you all talk about him to others, and any division entering your immediate family.

8. Soul Consideration: He might be a Christian who has walked away from the faith. There are times when the disappointments of life accrue so much that don’t care any longer. It does not mean he is not a believer, but a fallen away one. If this is true for him, the weight of God’s displeasure will rain down on him as he continues to press the truth of God from his life, another reason to pity him (Romans 1:18).

9. Evangelize Him: Your dad’s actions will determine the kind of relationship you all can have with him. If he loved God, it would mean one thing; if he does not, you must adjust accordingly. Just because he’s your dad and you thought he was a specific kind of person does not mean he is that person. Don’t let sentimentality, old notions, or how you wish things were influence what is actually happening. You know him by his fruit, so react accordingly.

10. Community Support: Without gossiping, you want to talk to a trusted mentor to walk with you through this trial, no matter how long it may take, which may be your pastor, small group leader, or other competent Christian who knows you all and the situation. Embrace body-to-body ministry.

Call to Action

  1. If you want to discuss this with us, you must visit our website because we cannot have correspondence on social media. We don’t have the human resources to do that. We have more requests via social media than we can manage, and we don’t want you to fall through the cracks.
  2. Please read the three articles in the “you may want to read” section at the top of these show notes. Also, you will benefit from the embedded links.
  3. Search our website for additional resources. They are free.
  4. Pray for your dad daily, around meals, in front of the children, and whenever God brings him to mind. The more you pray for him and yourself, the more effective you will be in cooperating with God concerning what needs to happen.
  5. Two books that will help you are and . I wrote them, and they will be a huge benefit to you and your family.

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