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“About Your Father” Clarified (I hope)

Yesterday, I reposted an article I had written several years ago, “About Your Father.” When I first posted it, I received quite a bit of feedback—a few comments on the blog (when comments were still open), and several emails—all positive. This time, it has been much the same, but I have also received objections, both outright disagreement, and misunderstanding. I probably can’t do anything about the disagreement, but I can attempt to clear up misunderstandings. This post is that attempt.

First, a look at the case that provoked me in the beginning. The particular father in question was a “good man,” as we would judge him. I only met him once (he is now deceased), but according to his son’s testimony, he was an interesting character, a nice guy, and a good father, someone I think I would like to have known. In short, he was not an abusive jerk. This is the kind of person of whom I was writing. Furthermore, the offenses in question were understood to be not only less-than-horrible, but in the distant past—that is, not ongoing conflicts.

These are not the subject I addressed:

These are fair game and you, I would argue, are not only allowed, but obligated to address them (Matthew 18:15). Do it in love, do it humbly, but yes, do it. Corresponding to that, if you can’t do it with love as your motive, don’t do it at all.

What of other offenses not covered above? Am I saying we should never bring them up? Not at all. I’m just saying that we should think carefully and pray before we do. We should ask ourselves a few pertinent questions:

I won’t try to answer any of those questions for you, or answer any “what ifs.” For that, you should consult your church elders or other wise friends that you trust and actually know, not some blogger you’ve never met and doesn’t really know you. In the end, we all have to answer those questions for ourselves, meditating on God’s Word, praying for wisdom, and examining our motives, remembering that “love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8).

Posted 2019·08·21 by David Kjos
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