Honoring My Father

Q. My mother died when I was three years old leaving my siblings and myself to live with our stepfather. He was the most abusive and hateful person I have ever met. I do not need to get into how my life growing up was, let’s just say it was so terrible that I could not forgive him for years. I am an adult now and the same stepfather has fallen ill. I have eventually forgiven him and was ready to make provisions to take him into my care. I felt that although he was my step-father, he was the only father that I knew. I tried to remove him from a very abusive situation so that he may die in some dignity. My problem is I think that God is not allowing me to take him.

I know the Bible said to honor thy Mother and Father, I would like to honor him but was not allowed to. The last time I was allowed to visit him, I felt it in my heart to tell him that I forgave him and that he should accept the Lord but I did not. He is still alive today but I am not allowed see him. Would I be punished for this? What should I do?

A. There are two things you should consider. First, why would God, who commands us to honor our father, prevent you from honoring yours? Therefore, if someone or something is preventing you from honoring your father, it isn’t God.

Second, if you’ve committed any sin where your father is concerned, Jesus has already paid the penalty for it, and you’ve already been forgiven. Therefore you can’t be punished.

You should ask the Lord to make another opportunity for you to be reconciled to your father, and that your father’s heart would be changed while there’s still time.

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