...and for goodness sake, if you're on the other end, stop accommodating the biting creature!!
We know some people who are struggling with a child who has become increasingly deceptive, and wickedly defiant. It is apparent that peers and culture are heavily influencing this one. Since we are indirectly involved, it has caused me to ponder the best course of action. My natural leaning is to let the rebellious child go as a prodigal and not allow the demonic presence that is following this one into the home. But, is this right? Some feel that grace should be offered and offered and offered even to the sacrifice of their own personal health and life; and even if it takes decades to occur. I can certainly see the love in this scenario, but it doesn't seem right to me.
"A man of great wrath will suffer punishment; for if you rescue him, you will have to do it again." (Proverbs 19:19) The NLT puts it this way: "Hot-tempered people must pay the penalty. If you rescue them once, you will have to do it again." (emphasis mine.)
I don't think this verse is advising whether or not to rescue such a person, but is telling us that if we do, we will have to do it again and again and again. We must choose if we want to be a slave to a fool or to let them go on their own. It is clear that appeasing/rescuing them will not result in turning them away from their bad behavior.
To what extent do we associate with fools?
What if they are Christians?
What if they are family?
It does seem to infer that constant contact/living with/intimate friendship is to be avoided.
"Make no friendship with an angry man, and with a furious man do not go, lest you learn his ways and set a snare for your soul." (Proverbs 22:24-25)
"An angry man stirs up strife, and a furious man abounds in transgression." (Proverbs 29:22)
Proverbs 13:20 tells us to walk (alluding to a long-term relationship) with the wise and that if we associate with fools, we will suffer harm.
"Bad company corrupts good morals." (1 Corinthians 15:33) Do I really want the goodness in my home corrupted? This is a no-brainer. NO!!!
It is clear that we are not to keep company on an on-going basis with those who are being foolish and with those who will negatively influence us. The danger is that we may also join them in their sin; and that we will suffer harm.
Scripture is even clearer concerning those who are not Christians.
"Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness: And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: 'I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.' Therefore, 'Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.'" (1 Cor. 6:14-17)
To reach their hearts for the Lord, efforts must be made. Short visits. Letters. Invitations. Love.
Balancing love with discernment, wisdom, and just plain old common sense.
I think it is ok to welcome them into our home as long as it is for a brief period of time and assuming they are not bringing with them darkness, defiance, or any form of a bad attitude that challenges the peace in the home.
No refusing-to-be-saved, sinful, or wicked person will live under my roof; only those who bring with them the Spirit of God.
Scripture is clear. (Duh!) Here, we have been debating it --- using a few scriptures and a lot of useless psychobabble (why do we even go there?) and have only argued and upset one another. But, the answer is always in God's Word. How come I take so long to get to it? Ugh!
Thank You, Jesus, that You bring such clarity!
p.s. To read more on this subject, click here.