Luke 17:3 Ministries Inc
Monday, May 20, 2013
For Adult Daughters of Controlling or Abusive Birth-Families
AUGUST 2009 Newsletter
LUKE 17:3 Ministries
for adult daughters
of controlling or abusive birth-families
A sisterhood for those who seek support in developing self-esteem, setting boundaries and limits, forgiveness, Godly confrontation, recognizing and cutting ties with reprobates, healing, and rejoicing in the peace and love of
the Lord, our Father
take heed to yourselves. If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him……..Luke 17:3
VOLUME 7, ISSUE 3 AUGUST 2009
Luke 17: 3 is the scripture often misquoted, usually by an abuser or his enabler, when he tells you that the Bible says “Forgive and Forget”, or that you must forgive him because you are a Christian. However, Jesus is very specific when he tells us to rebuke the sinner, and if he repents, to forgive him. Have you rebuked your abuser, and has he or she repented?
THE ONLY FORM OF ABUSE STILL CONDONED BY SOCIETY. THE ONLY ABUSE IN WHICH THE VICTIM IS CRITICIZED OR ABANDONED FOR TRYING TO PROTECT HERSELF. CHILD ABUSE THAT DIDN’T END WHEN ADULTHOOD BEGAN…THE CONTINUING ABUSE OF GROWN CHILDREN BY THEIR PARENTS.
If you have ever experienced Adult Child Abuse by a parent, sibling, or other relative, We Welcome You!
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Rev. Renee Pittelli
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If You Say There Is No Forgiveness Without Repentance In The Bible,
Then What About, “Father Forgive Them For They Know Not What They Do”?
by Rev. Renee
Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment and cast lots….Luke 23-34 KJV
One of the fundamental teachings that we emphasize in our ministry is that there is NO Biblical precedent for forgiving an unrepentant offender (see the article “No Forgiveness For The Unrepentant” on our site). There is no such thing in the Bible as unconditional forgiveness. God has a prerequisite for forgiveness, which is that the offender must repent first. She must do this by showing true remorse for her wrongdoing, doing everything possible to make amends, and most of all, changing her life and turning to God and away from her sinful ways. The Biblical formula for forgiveness is repentance FIRST, THEN forgiveness.
Sometimes this teaching leads to disagreement with those who seem to feel that abusers should be able to repeatedly cause pain for others, while smugly claiming that God forgives them and that their victims have to forgive them as well- even though they have done absolutely nothing to deserve forgiveness. And they are most fond of citing Jesus’ words to our Father God, asking for the forgiveness of those who persecuted him even though they did not repent.
Many times I have had this discussion, most recently in a chat group to which I belong. Some of the group members have also experienced abusers and enablers using this Scripture to pressure them to forgive when no forgiveness is merited. The devil just loves to cause confusion. But the Lord has led me to clarify this point for the benefit of victims and survivors, and in this article I will share with you the response he gave to me. As always I pray for wisdom and understanding and urge you to do the same whenever you are trying to understand an apparent contradiction in Scripture. The Holy Spirit will illuminate it for you and give you the insight you ask for. Thank you, Lord!
To begin with, out of all four accounts of Jesus’ death in the four gospels, only Luke makes mention of this remark of Jesus’. It is interesting and perhaps relevant that none of the other apostles thought this was significant enough to mention in their otherwise meticulous recordings of Jesus’ teachings. Luke might have included it simply to make sure his account of our Lord’s crucifixion was as complete as possible. The apostles who were there and witnessed Jesus’ death first hand were in a much better position to judge his intentions at the time than we are. They might not have all felt that this particular comment of our Lord’s was something he meant for them to document and pass down to us as a teaching. Therefore I believe we need to consider whether we might possibly be giving it more significance than Jesus intended. It is quite possible that he was simply admonishing the centurions in the way that we would say “God forgive you!” to someone who hurt us, and not intending it as a teaching for us after all. He could also have simply meant that they did not know they were killing the Son of God, nor understand the vast implications of what they were doing.
Also, it is true that Jesus asked Father God to forgive those who crucified him. However, he didn’t say to them “I forgive you.” Although he could have if he wanted to, Jesus himself did not offer his own forgiveness to those who hurt him. Our Lord did not use this as a golden opportunity to set an example for us of forgiving the unrepentant. Even in his last words, Jesus did not give us any reason to think that he had forgiven his murderers.
The question of whether or not Father God actually forgave them despite their unrepentance is left unanswered and remains unknown to this day. There is absolutely no indication that the Lord did indeed forgive them and no reason to assume that he did. This would be nothing but pure unsubstantiated speculation.
Another interesting point is that three of the gospels make mention of the centurion’s and others’ reactions when Jesus died, the rocks moved, and the curtain of the temple was torn in two:
“When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified and exclaimed, ‘Surely he was the Son of God.’”…Matthew 27:54.
“And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”….Mark 15: 39.
“The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away.”…Luke 23:47-48.
Could we not take this to mean that at least one, if not some or all, of those who killed Jesus realized what they had done and did in actuality repent? It certainly seems as if at least this one man did feel regret and remorse, or even horror that he had helped to kill the Son of God. If in fact any of those who killed Jesus praised God as Luke says and repented, then we know they were forgiven- BECAUSE they repented!
But in my opinion much of this is too deep to get into with nonbelievers who challenge that repentance is a requirement for forgiveness. They’re just looking for an excuse to be entitled to forgiveness without changing their ways- they’re not looking for a complicated Bible study. I find I can only have discussions like this with other believers. Those whose eyes are veiled have no understanding and are just looking to debate everything in the Bible that is not completely spelled out so that they can pick it apart, twist it, and find flaws.
Rather than get into a long drawn out argument, I prefer to simplify it by pointing out that the key to this verse is that Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO.” He is saying that God does not hold you responsible for sinning if you don’t understand what you’re doing or know that it’s wrong, just like a child who has not yet reached the age of reason is not considered responsible for his actions.
I’m sure all of us have at one time or another overlooked an offense and forgiven, because we knew the person who hurt us really didn’t know what he was doing, made a genuine mistake, is not normally malicious, didn’t mean any harm, etc., etc.
However, no one who has been in an abusive relationship can say that an abuser doesn’t know what he’s doing. In fact, he knows EXACTLY what he’s doing. Abuse is intentional, deliberate, ongoing, and often planned out in detail and in advance. It is also repetitive in nature, and the abuser keeps doing it because it works for him. Deliberate malice or disregard for the feelings of others might be hard for some of us to absorb, but one great book that really helped my understanding of this is “Why Does He Do That?- Inside The Minds of Angry and Controlling Men” by Lundy Bancroft.
Even if we wanted to give an abuser or controller the benefit of the doubt and assume that he really doesn’t have enough sense to understand that his behavior is wrong, or to realize the harm it causes, once we confront or rebuke him and make this clear, now what’s the excuse? And what is his usual reaction? As we all know, it’s never an apology and change in behavior. Instead it’s more abuse in the form of denial, lies, blame, rage, etc., and the behavior we originally rebuked continues or even escalates. This pretty much removes all doubt that the abuser “doesn’t know what he’s doing”, because now he’s been TOLD what he’s doing, and he’s choosing to do it anyway.
In this particular verse, as always, Jesus does not speak in generalities but is quite specific. He asked God to forgive those who did not have the ability to know what they were doing and to understand that it was wrong. But abusers don’t have that excuse. They are not innocent or naïve and therefore don’t qualify for forgiveness on the basis of not knowing what they are doing.
So for someone who has the ability to know what he’s doing and what he did wrong, repentance is still the Biblical requirement for forgiveness. As for those who killed Jesus and did not repent, the Bible never says that they were forgiven despite their unrepentance. So I stand by my statement that there is not one instance of forgiveness without repentance in the Bible.
This is one of those instances where abusers jump on what they think is an opportunity to use the Bible for their own benefit. They add their own thoughts, interpret it to their advantage, take it out of context, make assumptions and jump to conclusions that are not at all supported in Luke’s gospel. However, if we read this verse exactly as Jesus said it, it does not contradict our position that God requires repentance before forgiveness.
Wicked people and children of the devil love to use the Bible as an excuse to get away with evil and continue on in their mistreatment of others. Abusers who try to twist the Bible for their own purposes don’t like to be corrected, but if they’re going to attempt to use the Word of God for evil, it is our responsibility to our Lord not to allow it. So sometimes we have to remind them that we didn’t write it- we’re just repeating what it says and obeying what it says, whether they like it or not. EXACTLY what it says. No more, no less.
Sisters, never forget that the father of lies, disorder and confusion is Satan, and his children will try their best to lie and confuse us so that they can continue their wickedness unchecked. But whenever there seems to be a contradiction or confusion about something in the Bible, it helps to remind ourselves that God NEVER said anything and NEVER WILL say anything that would make it easier for an abuser to keep on abusing, or a sinner to keep on sinning. There is nothing in the Word of God that facilitates or supports evil in any way.
I pray that this explanation will be useful to you when you are confronted by an abuser who uses this misleading argument. Praise the Lord and thank you, Holy Spirit for your gift of understanding.
ASK AND IT WILL BE GIVEN TO YOU; SEEK AND YOU WILL FIND; KNOCK AND THE DOOR WILL BE OPENED TO YOU….Matthew 7:7
WHY IS MY LANGUAGE NOT CLEAR TO YOU? BECAUSE YOU ARE UNABLE TO HEAR WHAT I SAY. YOU BELONG TO YOUR FATHER, THE DEVIL, AND YOU WANT TO CARRY OUT YOUR FATHER’S DESIRE. HE WAS A MURDERER FROM THE BEGINNING, NOT HOLDING TO THE TRUTH, FOR THERE IS NO TRUTH IN HIM. WHEN HE LIES, HE SPEAKS HIS NATIVE LANGUAGE, FOR HE IS A LIAR AND THE FATHER OF LIES. YET BECAUSE I TELL THE TRUTH, YOU DO NOT BELIEVE ME! CAN ANY OF YOU PROVE ME GUILTY OF SIN? IF I AM TELLING THE TRUTH, WHY DON’T YOU BELIEVE ME? HE WHO BELONGS TO GOD HEARS WHAT GOD SAYS. THE REASON YOU DO NOT HEAR IS THAT YOU DO NOT BELONG TO GOD….John 8: 43-47
THE MAN WHO ENTERS BY THE GATE IS THE SHEPHERD OF HIS SHEEP. THE WATCHMAN OPENS THE GATE FOR HIM, AND THE SHEEP LISTEN TO HIS VOICE. HE CALLS HIS OWN SHEEP BY NAME AND LEADS THEM OUT. WHEN HE HAS BROUGHT OUT ALL HIS OWN, HE GOES ON AHEAD OF THEM, AND HIS SHEEP FOLLOW HIM BECAUSE THEY KNOW HIS VOICE. BUT THEY WILL NEVER FOLLOW A STRANGER; IN FACT, THEY WILL RUN AWAY FROM HIM BECAUSE THEY DO NOT RECOGNIZE A STRANGER’S VOICE….John 10: 2-5
HE REPLIED, “THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE SECRETS OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN HAS BEEN GIVEN TO YOU, BUT NOT TO THEM. WHOEVER HAS WILL BE GIVEN MORE, AND HE WILL HAVE AN ABUNDANCE. WHOEVER DOES NOT HAVE, EVEN WHAT HE HAS WILL BE TAKEN FROM HIM. THIS IS WHY I SPEAK TO THEM IN PARABLES: “THOUGH SEEING, THEY DO NOT SEE; THOUGH HEARING, THEY DO NOT HEAR OR UNDERSTAND. IN THEM IS FULFILLED THE PROPHECY OF ISAIAH: ‘YOU WILL BE EVER HEARING BUT NEVER UNDERSTANDING; YOU WILL BE EVER SEEING BUT NEVER PERCEIVING. FOR THIS PEOPLE’S HEART HAS BECOME CALLOUSED; THEY HARDLY HEAR WITH THEIR EARS, AND THEY HAVE CLOSED THEIR EYES. OTHERWISE THEY MIGHT SEE WITH THEIR EYES, HEAR WITH THEIR EARS, UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEARTS AND TURN, AND I WOULD HEAL THEM.’ BUT BLESSED ARE YOUR EYES BECAUSE THEY SEE, AND YOUR EARS BECAUSE THEY HEAR. FOR I TELL YOU THE TRUTH, MANY PROPHETS AND RIGHTEOUS MEN LONGED TO SEE WHAT YOU SEE BUT DID NOT SEE IT, AND TO HEAR WHAT YOU HEAR BUT DID NOT HEAR IT….Matthew 13: 11-17
SHOULD I LET MY ESTRANGED RELATIVES HAVE CONTACT WITH MY CHILDREN?
By Rev. Renee Pittelli
***See Part 1 in our May 2009 issue for the full testimony about my own decision….
AFTER PRAYING AND ANALYZING IT, THE ONLY POSSIBLE CHOICE BECAME CLEAR
After what they had done to me, I felt that I owed my birth-relatives nothing. They certainly were not healthy people to have in my children’s lives, nor were they a good influence or positive example. I could not give such destructive people a say in who my children had to see, or allow them to selfishly and deviously put my kids in the middle of their issues with me. My only loyalty was to my husband and children and to do what was in their best interests. My sons had supported me and loved me through all the trauma that my parents put me through. There was no way I was going to betray them for my worthless birth-family.
So basically, I couldn’t see how it would have been constructive, practical or possible for my father, mother, or sister to continue a relationship with my children when they weren't speaking to me. It would have put my sons in a very difficult position. Intentionally or not, they would have been used as pawns in the conflict.
In the end, I decided that I was not comfortable with my relatives remaining in contact with my kids when they weren't speaking to me, and my husband and kids weren't comfortable with it either. Quite frankly, nobody else’s feelings mattered. Their lifelong disinterest in my kids, ruining so many of their happy occasions, and abuse of their mother, had finally backfired on my parents and sister. By the time they stopped speaking to me, my kids were no longer interested in having anything to do with any of them. Speaking for my family unit, we had all just had enough. So after all these considerations, my decision was that my kids, my husband and I were a package deal. My birth-family would either have to see all of us, or none of us.
THE WISDOM OF SOLOMON HELPS US DISCERN WHO IS TRULY ACTING OUT OF LOVE FOR THE CHILD, AND ILLUSTRATES THE UNSELFISHNESS AND SACRIFICE THAT TRUE LOVE ENTAILS
NOW TWO WOMEN WHO WERE HARLOTS CAME TO THE KING, AND STOOD BEFORE HIM. AND ONE WOMAN SAID, “O MY LORD, THIS WOMAN AND I DWELL IN THE SAME HOUSE; AND I GAVE BIRTH WHILE SHE WAS IN THE HOUSE. THEN IT HAPPENED, THE THIRD DAY AFTER I HAD GIVEN BIRTH, THAT THIS WOMAN ALSO GAVE BIRTH. AND WE WERE TOGETHER; NO ONE WAS WITH US IN THE HOUSE, EXCEPT THE TWO OF US IN THE HOUSE.
“AND THIS WOMAN’S SON DIED IN THE NIGHT, BECAUSE SHE LAY ON HIM. SO SHE AROSE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT AND TOOK MY SON FROM MY SIDE, WHILE YOUR MAIDSERVANT SLEPT, AND LAID HIM IN HER BOSOM, AND LAID HER DEAD CHILD IN MY BOSOM.
“AND WHEN I ROSE IN THE MORNING TO NURSE MY SON, THERE HE WAS, DEAD. BUT WHEN I HAD EXAMINED HIM IN THE MORNING, INDEED, HE WAS NOT MY SON WHOM I HAD BORNE.”
THEN THE OTHER WOMAN SAID, “NO! BUT THE LIVING ONE IS MY SON, AND THE DEAD ONE IS YOUR SON.” AND THE FIRST WOMAN SAID, “NO! BUT THE DEAD ONE IS YOUR SON, AND THE LIVING ONE IS MY SON.” THUS THEY SPOKE BEFORE THE KING.
AND THE KING SAID, “THE ONE SAYS, ‘THIS IS MY SON, WHO LIVES, AND YOUR SON IS THE DEAD ONE’; AND THE OTHER SAYS, ‘NO! BUT YOUR SON IS THE DEAD ONE, AND MY SON IS THE LIVING ONE.’”
THEN THE KING SAID, “BRING ME A SWORD.” SO THEY BROUGHT A SWORD BEFORE THE KING. AND THE KING SAID, “DIVIDE THE LIVING CHILD IN TWO, AND GIVE HALF TO ONE, AND HALF TO THE OTHER.”
THEN THE WOMAN WHOSE SON WAS LIVING SPOKE TO THE KING, FOR SHE YEARNED WITH COMPASSION FOR HER SON; AND SHE SAID, “O MY LORD, GIVE HER THE LIVING CHILD, AND BY NO MEANS KILL HIM!” BUT THE OTHER SAID, “LET HIM BE NEITHER MINE NOR YOURS, BUT DIVIDE HIM.”
SO THE KING ANSWERED AND SAID, “GIVE THE FIRST WOMAN THE LIVING CHILD, AND BY NO MEANS KILL HIM; SHE IS HIS MOTHER.”
AND ALL ISRAEL HEARD OF THE JUDGMENT WHICH THE KING HAD RENDERED; AND THEY FEARED THE KING, FOR THEY SAW THAT THE WISDOM OF GOD WAS IN HIM TO ADMINISTER JUSTICE.”…….1 Kings 3:16-28 (NKJV)
In this story, Solomon knew that the woman who was willing to sacrifice her own desires and give up her rights to the baby so that he would not be hurt was the one who truly loved him and felt a mother’s protective instincts towards him. THE EVIL, SELFISH WOMAN WANTED TO POSSESS AT LEAST HALF OF THE CHILD WHO WASN’T HERS, EVEN IF IT MEANT HE WOULD BE HARMED. Both women wanted the child for themselves, but only the woman who really had his best interests at heart was the one who was willing to step back and lose him rather than let him be “divided”.
From this lesson we learn how to recognize one who truly has unselfish motives in the battle for a child’s affections. In every dispute between estranged relatives about access to the kids and not “putting them in the middle”, everyone talks a good talk about how much they love the kids and don’t want them to be hurt, but actions speak louder than words.
In order to avoid “dividing” the child, his affections and his loyalty, one party has to give up their “rights” so the child can live in peace, without being confused, hurt, and conflicted. That’s just the way it is, until the rift gets resolved. In all practicality, the child’s parent can’t very well be the one to step out of the picture and hand him over to his grandparents, aunts, or uncles. We can’t actually expect a mother to give up her children to the relatives, and that certainly would not be very beneficial for the children.
The only ones who are in a position to do the honorable thing and step back are the grandparents and/or extended relatives. If they fail to do this and continue to stubbornly insist that they have “rights”, to the detriment of the child, then that speaks volumes about the purity of their motives. Far better for everyone if they put their energies into doing whatever they have to do to heal the rift in their family, instead of wasting all that effort trying to circumvent their daughter and “show her that they don’t need her” to have a relationship with her kids.
THE MYTH OF “IT’S IN THE CHILDREN’S BEST INTERESTS” TO HAVE
CONTACT WITH ABUSERS
Of course it’s in the children’s best interests to have regular contact with a loving extended family who will nurture them, care for them, and give them a sense of belonging and connection. Nobody would dispute that. But the key to that is a LOVING family, which our families, unfortunately, don’t happen to be. It is very sad and unfair for our children when their extended family happens not to be made up of loving, nurturing, caring people with whom it would be possible to carry on a warm, caring, respectful relationship, however, they will adjust to it. After all, those same unloving people were our IMMEDIATE family, it was sad and unfair for us too, and we had no choice but to accept it and adjust. If we learned to live with it, when it was our parents and siblings, then our kids will learn to live with it, too. And they will adjust more easily than we did, because it involves only a grandparent, aunt or uncle, not a parent or sibling.
Although both estranged parties might talk a good talk and claim that they only have the children’s best interests at heart, usually at least one party is acting out of very selfish motivations by trying to divide the child’s affections and loyalties.
What is in the best interests of children of ANY age (yes- even 20s, 30s and beyond!) is to not be involved in any way in the disagreements or feuds of the older generations. Children do not need to be forced or pressured to spend time with and be pleasant to someone who abused their parent. This naturally leads to confusion and conflicted feelings, and what we are doing in effect is teaching our children hypocrisy. We are teaching them that they must be hypocrites and phonies instead of being true to their own feelings of right and wrong. We are teaching them that they must accept, tolerate, and excuse unacceptable behavior towards a loved one, and go on having a nicey-nice time with the abuser and pretending that nothing is wrong and everything is perfectly normal.
Besides being pretty ridiculous, these are not the kinds of values I would want to model for my kids, or the example I would want to set. I would not be able to help but feel proud of my children for having the integrity and courage to refuse to have anything to do with an abuser. How could I chastise them for that? And how could I insist that they maintain a relationship with an abusive relative when I myself would not?
Children do not need to feel as if they must stick up for their Mom or Dad with the rest of the family. It is only natural for them to feel as if they have to defend their parents, and if they don’t, to then suffer from feelings of guilt and shame. They don’t need to feel anxious, nervous or inhibited, or like they have to watch what they say in front of the grandparents for fear of triggering a critical reaction about their parent, or letting slip something their parent may not want known. They do not need to feel pressured from either side, and they don’t need to be burdened with any of this.
Most adults would not want to be in this position between two parties who are not on speaking terms, and those of us who have been in such a situation know how stressful it can be and how we had to walk on eggshells in the presence of both parties. Like it or not, no matter how hard we tried to remain “neutral”, staying in touch with BOTH estranged parties made us feel “put in the middle”- just the thing we all claim we don’t want to do to our kids. It can’t be avoided-being in this position IS being put in the middle. In many cases it’s really too much to expect even of another adult, but it’s way too much of a strain to put on a child.
It is even more unrealistic of a grandparent to think a child can “remain neutral” and should be just as interested in maintaining a relationship with a grandparent, aunt or uncle, as he is with his own Mom or Dad. That is another example of expecting from a child what even an adult would find difficult to achieve. Children cannot divide their loyalties in that way and it is not healthy to try and force them to. It is only natural for a child to take his parent’s side over someone else’s, to be loyal to and protective of his own parent, and to feel resentful of anyone who hurts his parent.
Children and their parents need to be a package deal. The way for the child’s interests to be best served and for him to feel the most at ease is for him to visit relatives together with his intact family unit. The person who insists on trying to maintain contact with a child while eliminating his parent is the one who is truly using the child as a pawn, not the person who tries to protect the child from being put in a difficult position or awkward situation.
SO WHAT DO I TELL MY KIDS?
Children can be very resilient. They usually accept very nicely that either “We’re all going to see Grandpa next Sunday” or “We’re not going to be seeing Grandpa for a while because he needs some time to learn how to control his temper. When he can do this, then we’ll go see him again.” Many times we waste unnecessary time agonizing over this decision and how to “break it to” the kids, only to find out that they don’t much care one way or the other. For younger kids, their little world consists of Mommy & Daddy, their siblings, their pets, and their house. They don’t have any trouble adapting to changes in other, peripheral relationships.
As long as we’re honest, tell them the truth and let them know what’s going on before they find out some other way, our children will feel secure and trust us. It is when they think we’re hiding things from them that they feel insecure and nervous.
Older children may require more of an explanation. I do not believe in protecting abusers, and I firmly believe in telling the truth, at an age-appropriate level. In fact, my philosophy is basically, “If you don’t want anyone to know what you did, then don’t do it.” When you do finally speak the truth to your children about your relatives’ abusive behavior, you will often be surprised at just how much they already know, how much they have observed over the years, and how uncomfortable they’ve been all along watching their mother be mistreated.
Even if they protest not seeing their grandparents or aunt or uncle, children still need to understand that the final decision must rest with their parent, and not with them. Depending on their ages and the nature of your birth-family’s abuse, you may not have shared all the details with your children as of yet. They may not have all the facts they need to make an informed decision about whether or not it’s really good for them to have these people in their lives. Even if they do know the whole story, children do not have the judgment, knowledge, wisdom, or experience to make such decisions for themselves. We don’t let them go wherever they want to or do whatever they want to, because they’re not mature enough yet to choose wisely and to understand all the ramifications. This decision is no different than any other. The parents’ judgment has to be the one to prevail.
ALL RELATIVES ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL
There is a reason that a distinction is made between an “immediate family” and an “extended family”. They are not the same thing, and they are not of equal importance in a child’s life. To a child, he and his parents and siblings are his family unit and the extended family is not part of that unit. Grandparents, aunts and uncles are simply NOT EQUAL TO PARENTS, and it is not logical to expect that they should be. That’s just the way it is, and that’s the way it should rightfully be.
No “outsider” should be permitted the right or the power to intrude into a family unit of parents and children and cause any kind of conflict or conflicted loyalties, tension, confusion, disharmony, or upset. No one has “rights” to a child who isn’t theirs. Many abusers don’t really love the grandkids, but are simply using them to punish or get at their victim. If she truly wants her grandkids in her life, the abuser can always start by apologizing to their mother for the abuse, and by treating her with love and respect from then on. The reality is that if you truly want a good relationship with someone else’s children, then you need to be prepared to also have a good relationship with their parents, and to do whatever it takes to relate to the child’s immediate family as a whole and in a positive manner.
Personally, I see no reason to accommodate abusive, abandoning, treacherous, or evil relatives by making it easy for them to see our children without having to face us or deal with us. I believe that allowing them access to our kids while cutting us out of the picture takes away a big incentive for them to change their ways and motivation to make amends. In my humble opinion, we and our children are indeed a package deal. If someone is not on speaking terms with us, then it's not a healthy situation for them to be in contact with our children until and unless the rift with us is resolved.
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret- it leads only to evil. For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land. A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found. But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace. The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them; but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming……Psalm 37: 7-13 NIV
Copyright 2002-2013.-All articles on this site are copyrighted. Permission to copy is granted for non-profit use only.Please help yourself to anything we write if you can use it to help others. A link back to this site is our only requirement. Please contact us for any commercial or other use. All e-mails, letters, and other correspondence become the property of Luke 17:3 Ministries, Inc. Due to the large volume of e-mails, we're sorry that we are unable to personally answer every one, but we do lift everyone who writes to us in prayer to the Lord.
The Lord specifically called Sister Renee to minister to Adult Children, not their parents, estranged siblings or friends, abusive or abused spouses, or victims of other types of abuse, although what we write here can often be meaningful for those folks as well. Because of this, our ministry and website have a narrow focus which we will not be changing. We simply can't cover everything. In addition, it is not our purpose to help you re-establish contact with someone who felt it was necessary to cut you off for the sake of their own well-being. We do not keep a list of resources for estranged parents or any other type of abuse and suggest if you are sincerely interested in making amends with an estranged relative, you do an internet search for a website or group that will be more relevant to you. If you cannot find a group or site that you can relate to, we suggest you start your own, and bless other people in your position as well as find support for your personal issues.
For Adult Children and others as well, please understand that we cannot give you personal advice concerning your particular family relationships. We are not therapists or lawyers, we usually do not have enough information to form an opinion, and time does not permit us to give enough thought to each person's individual situation to do it justice. If you need personal advice, we urge you to contact the appropriate professional, depending on the problem you have- your minister, therapist, attorney, police department, local domestic violence hotline, etc. In reading this site, you acknowledge that nothing you might read here qualifies as or substitutes for professional advice. Please note we cannot recommend or refer you to a counselor and we do not have a list of therapists or recovery groups in your area. The only Counselor we recommend is the Holy Ghost, and we encourage you to read the Bible and learn for yourself what the Lord says about the issues we write about.
Our articles are strictly our personal opinions and testimonies and are not intended to give or offer any advice. All who access this site do so with the understanding that we are NOT professional counselors and we strongly recommend that you discuss your individual situation with your pastor or therapist and pray for the Lord's guidance before acting on anything we write on this site. Unfortunately, the abuse we discuss is all too common, inflicted on countless victims by countless perpetrators. All names and identifying details in our articles have been changed to protect the innocent as well as the guilty. Any resemblance to a real person or persons whom you might know is strictly coincidental.