Question

Grandchild Spending Time with Non-Christian Grandparents

Question:

I did not grow up in a Christian home and became a Christian soon after getting married. My parents have been vocal about their disapproval of my husband and Christianity.

How much time should I let my young children spend with their non-Christian grandparents? Any resources on biblical forgiveness are welcomed too.

Response:

This is a difficult situation.

Following the example of Jesus Christ, we are called to reconcile with others when there is a conflict. This can lead to solutions that offer a win-win for both parties and an opportunity to model how we should show the grace and truth of Jesus to other people.

In this case, it sounds as if your father wants to have a relationship with your children and of course, we want to encourage that. It also sounds as if you have a desire to continue to have a relationship with your dad.

However, you and your husband also have a right to set some ground rules regarding how you expect to be treated going forward and how you wish for your children to be treated while they are in your parents’ care.

I suggest that you sit down with your mother and father (and their spouses if they are both remarried) and talk about your expectation that they will fully respect your Christian beliefs and that they will not say or do anything further to communicate disapproval of Christianity to you or your children.

If they agree to this, you can monitor how things are going and make the decision about whether or not you want to continue to allow them to care for your children.

Also, I think you would find some help by picking up the book: Forgive for Real by Tim Sanford.

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