My former daughter-in-law divorced my son after affairs with other men. Both my son and she are members of the church. The man she is currently involved with lives in another state, as does my son. She recently told me she has him stay in her home when he visits her. This past weekend, she also told me she this man was in town and she was taking the kids to a different church.
My son states his objections about her behavior but she does what wants. She almost bankrupted my son and literally drove him to deep despair. He is moving back to be closer to his kids as soon as he can, which is next summer. He calls them every day and visits monthly. Up until the divorce, I spent a lot of time with my grandkids. I have not been judgmental or said one bad thing to my grandkids about their mother. My daughter-in-law thinks she is the perfect mother and person. She will argue down anyone who takes issue with her.
My question is what is my responsibility as as Christian to say to her about her immoral behavior. I have discussed this with my church's elders who say it is more important to have a relationship with my grandkids than to try to correct her for two reasons: She knows what she is doing is wrong and to try to correct her may result in not being allowed to see my grandkids. It is likely that she would do exactly that. My son says the grandkids need me, but he not would presume to stand in the way of my acting as I see fit as a Christian. What do the Scriptures say I should do? Should I follow my elders advice? I know my son will not stand by and say nothing while my former daughter-in-law takes the grandkids to another church. I think her guilty conscience is why she wants to change churches. I travel each Sunday one hour each way to go to Sunday services with her and the kids. I am just sick to my soul. Please help me.
God bless your work. I have visited your web site for several years and have found it very helpful in my spiritual walk.
I would like you to read through the sermon outline "When Good Men Do Nothing" and realize that your elders are wrong in this case. Your former daughter-in-law sees the religious people in her life still accepting her as she continues to sin. She pretends to be a Christian while committing sexual sins with a man she is not married to, despite what Paul said in I Corinthians 6:9-10. And no one says anything because they what something from her.
I'm glad you are still involved in your grandchildren's lives and that you see to it that they are able to go to church. But as Paul said, "And why not say, "Let us do evil that good may come"? --as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say. Their condemnation is just" (Romans 3:8). Yes, if you say something, she just might block your access to the grandchildren. She just might switch churches to one that ignores the fact that she is sinning. But wait a minute -- she is already in a church that is ignoring her sins and she is going to change churches anyway. In other words, your silence did nothing to change the situation.
You should not be talking to the grandchildren about their mother. They are innocent bystanders in this matter. However, your former daughter-in-law needs to hear you take a stand, even if it means she wrongly cuts you off from your grandchildren. "He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me" (Matthew 10:37-38). If your daughter-in-law doesn't want you around because it reminds her that she lives in sin, then that is her choice and there is nothing you can do about it.
You keep doing what is right. Keep in touch with the children as best you can whatever the circumstances. She can't totally cut you off because through your son you'll still have some access and make the most of the time you have with them by showing and teaching them what true Christians are like.
But never compromise with evil. You can speak against the evil she is doing in a polite, calm, and sincere way (II Timothy 2:24-26), but you can't leave her with the impression that you condone her sins.
"When I say to the wicked, 'O wicked man, you shall surely die!' and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul" (Ezekiel 33:8-9).
Thank you for your quick response. I know that you are correct. As a follower of Christ, I have a duty to my former daugher-in-law that I cannot neglect.
God bless you in your work.