Forgiving Her Father

Q. God Bless your site and thank you for all the times you answer my questions. My family has recently been struggling with some deep issues. I divorced my husband five years ago after finding out about his homosexual tendencies, and now I have found out that for years he was molesting my daughter who is now 15. The authorities are handling everything and we are starting Christian counseling.

Here is my question, can you point me to scripture to share with my daughter to help her understand that even tho she is angry and hates him she should pray for him and forgive him. I struggle just as much as she does I am sure, and I have shown her that God will take vengence for her, but she should in turn pray and forgive her father.

Also, many children that go through these things have similar symptoms, can you point me to any scripture to help her battle the demons that will lurk within her as well? That was a lot. I know I am not a new believer but not nearly as knowledgeable as I wish I was, I have always had a hard time understanding the Bible, and then a friend pointed me to your site. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

A. This is a hard thing to understand, and my heart goes out to you and your daughter, but if she could realize that her own healing can’t begin until she forgives her father, it might make it easier. Forgiving her father won’t let him off the hook with God, and it doesn’t mean that she has to pretend it never happened, but it will prevent your daughter from suffering further and help her gain some closure. The parable of the unmerciful servant in Matt. 18:23-35 can help. See the King as the Lord, the servant who’s been forgiven everything as your daughter, and the other servant as her father. The jailer is Satan.

Here’s the way it works. The Bible calls even justified anger a sin (Matt. 5:22 and Ephesians 4:26) Unconfessed sin puts us out of fellowship with God and deprives us of His healing. The devil uses our anger to gain a foothold in our minds and can build it into a stronghold (fortress) that’s almost impossible to demolish unless we use the divine weapons that God has given us. (1 Cor. 10:3-5). Left to grow, this kind of a stronghold can make us into a bitter, resentful person incapable of love.

Jesus told us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (Matt. 5:44) It’s a divine weapon. A good way for her to work up to this is to begin by asking God to forgive her for being angry and to deliver her from her anger. Then, when she’s ready, to ask the Lord to forgive her father and help her to do the same.

When she’s able to do this, the Lord will respond with mighty acts of healing in her heart, and she’ll be able to recover from this terrible thing. We’ll lend our prayers to her recovery (and yours) as will the many thousands who read this.

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