The 700 Club with Pat Robertson


Bring It On: Kids and Parents


Raising Babies and Kids in New Parenting Situations

 

Rearing Teenagers

 

Adult Children and their Parents

 

 

I told my 14-year-old son that we could discuss dating when he is 16. He began dating a girl from school anyway, against our wishes. We moved the computer out of his room and only let him use it when supervised, and we take his cell phone at night, but he is still talking with this girl. Should we confront the girl’s parents? What do you think about all this?

Terry Meeuwsen

I don’t let my kids date when they’re 14. I don’t know if he’s dating. They seem to be able to control him. Kids “go with” each other. They like each other. Be happy he’s attracted to a female, I say.

Pat Robertson

Amen, sister. But this idea you’ll take his cell phone away... you’re going to punish him, because he’s got an attraction to a young lady. Good grief.

Terry Meeuwsen

Another word to the wise is: if you make this the forbidden fruit, it becomes the center of his world.

Pat Robertson

The danger is that they’re going to couple up while you’re not there. They’re in the house, and all of a sudden, they’re experimenting with sex. It’s a little different from when I was growing up than it is now.

Terry Meeuwsen

We were just talking about positive reinforcement. What a great opportunity to sit your son down and say, “We’ve looked at you. We see that you’re a mature man, that you’re willing to listen, that you accept wisdom. We’re going to trust you.”

Pat Robertson

Bring the girl to the house. Have her for dinner. Get to know here. Let her be like a daughter for the time being. Before long, they won’t get married. He’ll go someplace else.

 

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My one-year-old grandson wakes up screaming most nights because of nightmares. It takes awhile to calm him down before he can sleep again. How can we put an end to his nightmares? Can evil be the cause of nightmares?

It certainly can. I don’t know enough about you, your grandchildren or anything else, but when you get right down to it, they can be a curse put on it. You’ve got to go back. Is there somebody in your background who was involved in witchcraft, in the occult, in any kind of spiritism? Has somebody invited demon power to come into this child? Whatever it is, you need to take authority in the name of Jesus, and say, “Satan, I bind your power, in the name of Jesus, and the forces of evil. I command you to loose this child.” Then you ask for the power and the blood of Jesus to be over him. It may be that you’re in a house that has some occult presence. That is entirely possible. I could go through a whole list of things, but I just named a couple. You ought to also see in his life. Does he have some physiological thing? Does he have intestinal parasites, for example, that are causing him problems? You have to rule out all these various causes before you say, “This is it.”

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My daughter is living with her fiancé. They want to come and visit me. I insist that they sleep in separate bedrooms. She thinks this is ridiculous, since they are already living together. Am I making a big deal out of this, or should I make them stick to my rules?

Stick with it. God bless you. Let them know that this conduct, I don't care what they are doing, is not appropriate. And you have your rules. Sooner or later, she will come around to your way of thinking. One day, she's going to have a family, and she will have a daughter, and then she will say, 'My mother said' And the way she raises her daughter will be what you told her as her mother, so stick with it.

Why don't they get married? I would do everything I could to encourage them if they are a good match. If not, they ought to break up this relationship. Living together contravenes a healthy marriage. It is just not an intelligent thing to do. What we have found through surveys is that the male of the species, if he can get his sexual gratification without the obligation of marriage, he will take that because that is the easy way. Any woman who enters into that relationship is asking for trouble. It is just the way it is.

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Is there anything wrong with not wanting to have children, even though I still want to be married some day? Whenever I see women getting excited about babies, I just don’t get it. I might considering adopting an older child later in marriage, but I just don’t have any desire to have my own kids. Does God always fashion a woman to have a mother’s heart?

Pat Robertson

Well, obviously He didn’t fashion you to have one, so you’re certainly an exception. But the answer is no. Not every woman has a maternal extinct. There is nothing unusual about it. It’s just that you have to have an agreement with your husband if you’re going to get married someday. Most men would like to have children.

Terry Meeuwsen

Well, I know a number of couples, though, who do not and are very happy.

Pat Robertson

Sure. They are, but as they get older in life, it’s certainly nice to have another generation coming up. But that’s your decision.

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I'm a 25-year-old divorced woman with a 5-year-old son. I know I will begin dating soon. What steps do I need to take to protect my son from not getting emotionally involved with the men that I date? I don't want him to think that I am replacing his father.

Ultimately, you are going to replace his father if you are dating. You need to talk to him, saying, 'You know how much I love Daddy, but I have to have a life and I have to get somebody else into my life and somebody who will love you and be here with us and be like a new father for you.' It is just a little boy. He will understand if you break it to him gently. But the answer is you are replacing his Daddy.

You can say, 'Look, I am trying to see who might come along, but I am praying.' You all pray together. You get the little boy praying with you, 'Send Mommy the right man to share her life with' and all of the time he's on board with you praying about this thing. He will be asking God to do something for you. Involve him. Don't try to shield him and all of a sudden say, 'This is the one.' He will hate him. You need to bring him in gradually.

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I am forced to live at home with my mother due to a lay-off and lack of finances. She tells me things like "You never do anything with your life!" and "If you get into this shape again, you should get a gun and blow your brains out!" She has hurt me so much with her words. How do I respond in a Christ-like manner?

I think it is time to move out. Surely there is something you can do. That kind of stuff will destroy you psychologically and emotionally. You are supposed to honor your mother and hold her in high esteem and pray for her, but you are not supposed to stay at home after you are an adult and take all kinds of abuse. I am shocked that a woman is that way, but she is. There isn't anything more destructive.

The one thing you don't do is fight back; the one thing you don't do is to try to justify yourself. Just turn it over to the Lord and smile and say, 'God bless you, Mother.' Before long she will go nuts, because she expects you to respond. If you don't give her that hostile response, she will not know what to do either.

But my goodness, that woman needs Jesus. She's in serious trouble, and so many mothers and mothers-in-law are like that. I wish they weren't, but they are. They demean their children.

If I were you, I would do everything I could to get out of there. There must be some other living arrangement you could find. You have got to grow up and leave home.

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My daughter is 19 and wants to marry a 22-year-old Marine. We think she is too young. She still lives at home. How much should we try to control this situation and sway her to wait?

I was a 22-year-old Marine. I was a pretty good guy. Let's not be bad-mouthing the Corp. Seriously, a young man of that age and your daughter are pretty close, and if they are in love -- the biggest thing is, is he a Christian and does he love the Lord? Your daughter will know when she's ready for marriage, but certainly that's not too young. I know she's got a future to consider. Is she going to college? Is this going to interrupt her college? Can they handle children? These are practical steps. But the biggest thing is do they love Jesus and are they going to have a Christian Home? If this Marine is like some of them are and all he wants to do is party and raise Cain, then maybe he is not the one. If he is a sincere young man and he is a morally upstanding person and he loves the Lord Jesus, then he would probably make a good husband and I certainly wouldn't try to break it up. If you get in the middle of it, you are liable to have your daughter hate you for the rest of the your life.

Commit that one to the Lord and just make sure that your daughters and sons when they get to this age have been brought up in the knowledge and admonition of the Lord. You train up a child when he is young and when he is old he will not depart from it. You give them the principles of the Bible when they are young, and then when they get older, they can make their own decisions. That's what I tried to do with my children. I wanted to graduate them as quickly as I could into the School of Jesus and get away from my teaching up to His teaching. What do you think the Lord wants you to do? That's the question you ask and not here's what I want you to do. What's right for you? Pray and God will show you.

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My 18-year-old son is hooked on computer games that have magic spells in them. I'm concerned, but what can I do?

Once they are 18, it is tough. Nevertheless, as a mother, sit down with your son and say, 'We are Christians and love Jesus. This kind of conduct is hurtful to you and damaging. There are demons.' You need to explain to him the reality of demonic possession. You begin with one of those games and it draws you in. Remember the stuff that happened out there at that tragedy in that high school near Denver when those boys had played a computer game and acted it out to their classmates? These things are dangerous. You need to sit down and talk to him and say, 'I love you and this is the way it is.'

Bring the biblical verses that show him how these things are wrong. You can find a number of instances. Get a concordance and look up 'spirits' and 'demons' and look up the 'devil,' 'Lucifer,' and 'Satan' and show that they are not just fun and games. You need to show him the consequences and he will listen. And do a lot of praying that the spells he may be under may be broken, because it is possible for someone to get transfixed like they do with Dungeons & Dragons. They play those roles so much and it takes them over.

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I come from a Christian family, but my family wont accept the fact that I sometimes date outside of my race. I find it very hard to find common ground with my parents on this topic. Is this really wrong?

Look, theres nothing wrong with dating outside your race. I dont know if youre talking about whether youre black and youre dating white people, or whether youre Asian and dating Caucasian people. You didnt say what race youre talking about. But God made all races from one. They all came from Adam and Eve, so theyre all part of one.

The question is not the color of somebodys skin or the way their eyes are cast, but whats in their heart? I think your parents should be concerned about whether youre dating people who know the Lord. Thats whats important. If youre dating a heathen, or they are trying to bring you into idolatry, then its a different matter.

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My stepdaughter is fascinated with vampires and other occult practices. Her bedroom is draped in black and has an altar with candles, incense, and a pentagram. I tell my wife that even though I am not our daughter's biological dad, I am still responsible before God for my household. My wife tells me to mind my own business. What do you believe is my responsibility before God concerning her behavior in our home?

First of all, according to the Bible, you are the head of your household. That includes your wife and your daughter. If she [your wife] got married in a Christian marriage, she is supposed to submit to the authority of her husband in matters of spiritual activity.

You do not wish to invite Satan to come into your home. The pentagram, the candles, the occult incantations -- they are all prayers to Satan and to demons to enter your home and to do damage to your home and to your family. As the high priest of your household, you have an absolute right to say, 'No, this is my home and I am paying the bills. You get that junk out of here!'

Don't think that because you are not involved in it that you are going to escape. There was a prophet in the Old Testament whose name was Eli, a wonderful human being, but he let his children get away with murder. Eli the priest allowed his children to engage in fornication with the women who came to the temple to worship, and it got so bad that God said, 'Eli, you and your whole family are out of here. You are out of work, and none of your progeny is ever going to have a part in the priesthood again.' The same thing is true with you. You must take a stand on this. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Your wife has got to say that that is the way it is. You need to say, 'I am not arguing with you. This is the way it is going to be.'

 

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My 5-year-old son is starting kindergarten soon and we're torn between the award-winning public school district and the new Christian school opening in the fall. Our Christian friends are happy with the public school and encourage us to enroll him there. What are your thoughts?

Not knowing your school district, not knowing the teachers, not knowing the curriculum, I really can't give you an opinion of it. I think some Christian schools don't give adequate education. That's a thought. If it is a brand-new start up, it may not have the adequate training you want for your child. On the other hand, there are some Christian schools that are absolutely superb. The biggest thing is what is he being taught in school? What kinds of influences are there? What are his fellows going to be doing? What is going to be taught in the curriculum year after year in that so-called model school? I can't give you an opinion on that. Some public schools are quite good. One or more of my grandchildren go to public school in Dallas, in the University Park area, and they are excellent schools. Our daughter went to school here in the Chesapeake, Virginia, area and the schools were superb in those days. It just depends. There has been a breakdown of public education that is appalling. You look at these schools in many cities and 50 or 60 percent of the teachers send their own children to private schools. That gives you a clue about what is going on. It is case by case.

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My husband and I have a 21-year-old daughter who has three children, all from different fathers, and has never been married. My daughter now wants to move back home. My husband thinks it is a great idea, and I don't. I feel this is "our time" now. I want to be Nana, not Mommy No. 2. I will baby-sit once in a while, and have them over for holidays and a week in the summer. My daughter is doing fine on her own, paying the rent and keeping food in the house. Am I being selfish?

Pat Robertson
There is something more about this girl that we see here. This girl is out of control. She is only 21 years old and she has had three kids by three different men, which means she started in her mid to late teens and she was having sexual relations and having children.

Why didn't someone explain to her what is happening? Why didn't someone tell her that this kind of conduct is wrong? Fornication is a sin, and that is what she was engaged in bringing forth children.

I will tell you what she wants to do. She wants to come home and be your little girl. You, now, are going to be the baby sitter. You are going to look after the kids, and this out-of-control ex-teenager is going to be running around finding some more men to have sex with. You don't want to be involved with her pathology. That is what it amounts to. You are going to be buying into her problem and helping her through the problems.

Sure, it is nice to have grandchildren in the house. They are fun and they are sweet and they are loving. I have got 14 of them, and they are the dearest, most wonderful children in the world. But you don't want to be imposed upon by an out-of-control child. That child needs serious spiritual and psychological counseling --

Terry Meeuwsen
-- and to deal with the responsibilities of the choices she has made. That is part of growing up and learning about life.

Pat Robertson
Of course, Terry, but the choice says I am going to go home to Mommy, and Mommy is going to take care of my babies. She will change the diapers. She will be up late walking with them when they have got croup. I want to be scot-free. I want to be all prettied up out at the dance hall.

We just can't let that happen. Tell your husband that it is a nice idea but no way. Does that mean you don't give them some money along the way? That is a different thing. You can do that. But this is not a good idea.

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I am 13 and feel so bad about my body. I know I shouldn't, and I know God made me perfect, but I can't help feel this way. My dad left us, and my mom is struggling so much just to keep the apartment we have. My dad came to me. Now he expects me to feel so tight with him, even though he was never there for me. I'm involved in my church, but I still feel lonely because everyone I know is never there. I know God is always here, but again I can't help but feel this way. Help!

My heart goes out to teenagers who are going through a very difficult period in their life. They are entering into puberty. Their bodies are changing. In the case of young women, they are developing what are called secondary sex characteristics which are essentially preparing them for motherhood. This means they are beginning menstruation, they are beginning to develop breasts, and experiencing other major changes in their bodies.

As in this case, this young girl verbalizes it as "I feel sooooo bad about my body." What is happening to you is not, something you should feel badly about, but praise God about. It's going to prepare you one day to be a wife and a mother.

However, coupled with the normal confusion that comes upon a teenager as to his or her identity, you are faced with a problem because your father walked out on you. Interestingly enough, it is fathers who seem to play the most important role in the social development of daughters. Without the father being there, there is no way that a young lady can totally adapt to the situation around her. She feels lonely and as if no one is ever there for her. God is there for you. Jesus Christ is there for you. He will be the Father of the fatherless, and He will be the Husband of the widow. God will come and make Himself real in your life, and you will know somebody who loves you and cares about you. You have received Jesus as your Savior, and I want you to know that He is your protector. Talk to Him ...talk to Him every day: Tell Him the deep longings of your heart. He knows everything you think anyhow, so why not let Him know your problems. Share with Him what's going on inside you, and let Him reach out to you in comfort and love.

Beyond that, get together with Christian people in your church, your school, and other associations available to you, and let them talk to you, help you, and encourage you. Find someone you can trust and confide in. Perhaps it's another woman, an older girl, or someone who knows the Lord to whom you can go and just talk. There are people who will love you and bless you and encourage you.

My prayer is that you will know the answer to the cry of your heart.

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I worked two jobs, putting my husband through law school. Now he is doing very well, practicing in a great firm, but I feel like it's my turn to continue my education to become a trauma nurse. However, we have a two-year-old son who my husband insists I stay at home to raise. Pat, I love my husband and my son, but I feel like my time is slipping away to finish school. Is he wrong to ask me to put my career on hold, or am I just being selfish?

That's a hard one, isn't it? I had a wonderful mother and my mother was rather prominent in the social scene in Washington. She was an accompanist to a violinist and they did concerts together and she sort of put everything that she had like that on hold to raise her child. Some of the things that may have come about in my life I owe to my mother, who just spent a tremendous amount of time praying for her son. She was there for me. Ruth Graham said that this is more important than any other career, bar none, looking after a child. You have in your hand the next generation. Trauma nurses are important. My wife has a master's degree in nursing, taught nursing, was a nurse, but raising our children, I think, was much more important. She never neglected the children, to my knowledge, in exchange for her "career." So putting that on hold until your child is up and around, in my opinion, is far, far better.

But many women don't want to do that. They will not sacrifice what they consider is their personal career and, therefore, they'll put their children in daycare; put them in the hands of people who don't love them and care for them as much as they do. It's a difficult thing. Sometimes if you have a mother that's around that can look after your child and give your child the same nurture you do, it might be appropriate to go back and get some education.

But being a trauma nurse, in itself, is a very demanding profession. You're talking about long, hard hours. You'd be exhausted with the work you do. And what my dear wife used to do; she always came back from the hospital with somebody's staph infection. It was unreal what the stuff would be. You're exposed to all kinds of things in hospitals and it's pretty hard to get rid of all of them, so it isn't a fun profession.

When our child was older, my wife went to school until 3:00 p.m. She was teaching in a community college, so she taught. She'd take the child to wherever she had to go; go teach; be home; the child would come home, and there was a normal family.

Please, for now, put it on hold for that child. I think he'll thank you, she'll thank you and you will thank the Lord you did it.

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I'm a 30-year-old mother of three and happily married. My father abused me physically, mentally, and sexually as a child. I have never confronted him and wonder if I should. He still abuses me emotionally. Now my children want to spend time with him and get to know their grandfather. As a Christian, I need to know how to handle this situation.

On that one, you need the wisdom of God Almighty. He tells us to forgive, and we are to be forgiving and we are to be loving, but apparently, that father hasn't learned anything. Did you ever tell your mother what was going on? Now you're 30 and you didn't say that your father and your mother were divorced, so it means that if you're 30, your father is -- What? -- 60, 65. I don't know how old he is. He could be in his 50s. But you need to tell your mother. And don't put yourself in a position where you've got to do the confronting. You're at a disadvantage. He's got a power hold over you, and you don't really need that. I wouldn't let my children get involved with somebody who's an old lecher, who did to you what he did, because if he did it to them, if he's a pedophile by nature, he'll do it to your children as well. You've got to explain it to your husband and you've got to explain to your mother what's going on. Don't say, 'I just don't want to go with Daddy.' 'Well, why not? What's the matter with you?' 'I don't feel right about it.' I mean, that won't work. Lay it on the line. Then if you feel like confronting him, confront him. He needs to find Jesus. You need to be on your knees praying, 'God, save my father, that he might come to you and repent of his sins and be born again.' That's what he needs.

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My wife’s anger problem is starting to affect our daughters. They’re punching holes in walls and fighting with me over everything. I’m surrounded by angry women. I know the Bible says, ‘Be angry and sin not.’ How far can anger go before it becomes sin, and what can I do to change my household?

What does it say? “Better to live in the corner of the attic than in a house with a brawling woman.” And I think you have asked for it. There’s got to be a sense where you take authority over that in the name of Jesus. That contention and anger is from Satan himself. I know it’s human nature, in a sense, but it is satanic, and it will feed on itself. You need to take your authority as high priest in your home and say, “In the name of Jesus, I rebuke the spirit of confusion and contention that’s here. I bind that, and I’m not going to permit it.” And when your wife begins to get onto this angry kick, you say, “I’m not going to permit this. I am head of the household. I will not allow this.” And the same thing with your daughters. If it’s so bad they’re punching holes in the wall, this is very serious. Now, you can say at this point you want professional help, but you can try to be the high priest of your family. Take authority spiritually. Take it over Satan, and, in a sense, take it over your household. You have authority. I’m not talking about beating up people. I’m talking about using your mouth and your God-given authority to say, “I’m not going to permit this in my household.” You can’t live that way, and to do that to your daughters is terrible. You’re warping them for the rest of their lives.

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I’m 21-years-old and would like to live on my own. My parents think I’ll miss God’s blessing in my life, if I move out before I’m married. They said I need my dad to be my covering until I get a husband, so God can bless me. Is that true? Do I still need a covering if I never get married?

Kristi Watts

In terms of moving out of your house, it depends on the type of person that you are. But if you’re of age, I think that’s a great idea to learn about responsibility and things of that sort. But you’re also talking about being a covering. Your father can continue to be your covering if you guys aren’t under the same house.

Gordon Robertson

He will always be your father regardless of whether you live in his house or not. I think you need to keep that in mind. And you might make too much out of covering. Jesus can be your husband. "Your Maker is your husband." It’s very scriptural. He can be your father. He can be your all in all. If you’ve got that, what else do you need?

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My ex-husband’s wife tells my kids to call her 'Mommy', even in front of me. She’s even replaced my name on my children’s emergency contact lists for school. She said I gave up my rights as a mother when I divorced my husband. Is she right? Do I have any say in the responsibility of raising my kids anymore?

I can’t answer that fully without having more information about what the situation is. So you gave up your rights. Apparently your husband got custody of the kids, which is very unusual. To see a mother deprived of custody of young children is very strange. So what did you do? Were you involved in some other activity? Was there a crime? Was there drugs? I mean, there’s got to be something where a judge would take children away from a mother. You are the mother of those children, and you’ll continue to be. But it’s a question of what did the kids used to call you? If they used to call you “Mommy,” then she shouldn’t come in and say, “You call me ‘Mommy.’ ” I mean, “You can called me ‘Mommy Sue,’ ” or whatever. I mean, there’s got to be a different name.

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Pat, I’m almost 20 years old, and I’ve been in college for a year. I pursued a college education in order to please my parents. My true calling doesn’t have anything to do with college. Would I be disobeying my parents if I quit college to get a head start on my career? Should this kind of thing be my choice or theirs?

According to our laws now, when you pass 18, you’re emancipated, so you’re kind of on your own. But I think your parents do have some wisdom. They’ve lived longer than you have, and they’ve seen the heartaches. I tell you something, the salary levels for somebody with a college degree are probably double what somebody with a high school degree makes. So your lifetime earning potential is vastly greater. I don’t know what your calling is. I mean, if you’re a Lebron James, your calling is to get millions of dollars putting a little ball in the hoop. And he left high school and into the pros. So I don’t know if you’re called to be a pro basketball player or what it is. For a well-rounded person, if you just take a liberal arts education, it gives you access to all kinds of wonderful things. The literature of our culture, the art, the history and philosophy, etcetera. It’s nice to have a background in that, regardless of what your calling is. It helps you to live your life better. With a college degree, believe me that your earning capacity is vastly greater, and your parents know that. But it’s your call. You’re old enough. You can make your own decision.

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My son is a freshman in college, and his girlfriend there recently introduced him to Wicca. He still has a 4.0 grade point average, but his whole attitude has changed. I want to drag him out of that college and teach him a lesson. My husband thinks he’s like most people that rebel in college and that he’ll turn around if we just leave him alone. Is he right? Why do most kids tend to rebel once they go to college?

That’s part of the psyche of youth. You want to rebel. Getting into witchcraft is not cool. This has to do with Satan, and Satan isn’t necessarily going to think it’s just a passing dalliance. He will get his hooks into that young man, keep him there, and his life will be destroyed. The answer is, if you want to pull him out, by all means, do so. I don’t how you’ll handle it, because I don’t know your son. I don’t know your relationship with him, and it may make further rebellion. But you’ve got to get him in with a Christian group of people who will teach him the things of the Lord. And he’s impressionable enough now that if they have a Campus Crusade for Christ group or InterVarsity or some other group there, they’re the people he needs to be having fellowship. And maybe he can take that white witch girlfriend and move her into something more wholesome.

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My daughter plans to live together with her boyfriend. They know I don’t approve, but my daughter’s asserting her independence this way. Is it okay for me to visit them and stay overnight at their house, or is this condoning their relationship? Would she understand if I chose not to visit her?

She really needs to understand it. You shouldn’t condone it. If you stay with them, then you are saying, 'It’s okay, because I’m putting my blessing on there.' I know that’s a tough thing. You love your daughter, and your daughter’s showing her lifestyle, but her lifestyle is wrong. The Bible calls it fornication. She needs to get married. If these people are in love and they want to have a life together, then let them solidify it with marriage, period.

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My teenage daughter will soon give birth. She has not told the father and doesn’t want to, because he’s a reckless drug addict in his 20s without steady employment. She thinks it’s much better for the child not to be subject to the father’s bad influence. What do you think? Should she deny him privileges if he finds out?

That’s an extremely tough question but I have heard of one instance where there was a situation of a father who was a drug addict who insisted on privileges and to the detriment of the child. If this person is, quote, 'a reckless drug addict' with no hope of getting off of drugs, then it would be just as well that that child doesn’t know. Because all you need is to have him go to court and ask for custody or joint custody, and that might not be a good thing. On the other hand, somewhere along the way, you’re going to have a child say, 'Who’s my daddy?' And somewhere along the way, you are going to have to tell him or her. So it’s a dilemma. It would seem to be the role of wisdom [to] stay away from that drug addict and bring up the child in a Christian home

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My husband and I had a baby last year. It was unexpected, but we were still very excited. Since then, we’ve been slowly sinking financially, and it’s really stressing out my husband. Could my husband end up resenting me and our son for bringing on this financial burden? I don’t really want to get a job, but do you think I should, for the sake of my marriage?

The child needs a mother, especially in those formative years. I tell you, to have a baby and a couple of weeks later put it in day care and away you go back to work... little babies need mothers. They need the loving care of mothers. They need that nurture. Those early days are vital in a child’s life. I just think that going back to work isn’t the answer. Most of the surveys indicate that a husband with a supportive wife can earn more money than somebody who is all frantic and trying to carry half of the domestic load while the wife works. Sometimes the net effect, the net dollars are not as good as they would be if he was getting the raises that’s appropriate to him. One way that you can help support and supplement income is by staying at home. There are all kinds of telemarketing jobs. There are things that can be done out of your home. More and more people work on computers at remote locations, depending on which skill level you have. So you don’t have to get all dressed up and leave your child with somebody else to commute all the way into a city. So why don’t you see some of those creative jobs, or maybe a little business that you could do yourself that wouldn’t take a lot of time? There are many ways of making money, besides getting a 9 to 5 job.

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My daughter is 17 years old and wears a small skull around her neck. When I asked her to take it off she refused and ran away to her boyfriend’s house. She says it’s just a harmless piece of jewelry, but I think it looks horrible. Am I overreacting about this? Would it be wrong to sneak it away from her and destroy it?

I don’t think it would be very smart to sneak it away and destroy it. I think that’s something else. But I think she should obey you. She’s still at home. A skull is a symbol of Satanism. It’s a symbol of death. It has all kinds of connotations of evil. And why would your daughter want to have something around her neck? I think she’s got to come to the point where she submits to your authority.

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We have a six-year-old daughter and a one-year-old son. My husband and I spend as much time with our kids as possible. We don’t let them go on sleepovers, and we don’t hire babysitters. Our friends think we’re emotionally hurting our kids by not letting them interact more with other children. Isn’t time with parents more important to a child than time with friends?

At the age of those children, absolutely. Yes. Mom and dad are extremely important. If you’re spending time with them; if you’re reading to them; playing with them; talking to them; answering their questions, [that's] far, far more important than going out with their little buddies. Of course, that doesn’t mean you have them in an island. They have to learn the give and take of other children.

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My ten-year-old son saw a bully harassing a girl in his class. He was so upset that he came up behind the bully and tripped him. The principal called me and said even though my son did a brave thing, he still had to be suspended. I’ve taught my son to stick up for other people. Do you think my son did the right thing in helping the girl, and what’s the best way to handle a bully?

Your son did the right thing. The principal is wrong. I don’t want to encourage kids to beat up on each other, but in that one, let that bully know what it feels like to have somebody going after him. I know that sounds hard, but it’s true. We’re supposed to lift the yoke of oppression. Read Isaiah 58. That’s the yoke of oppression. This poor little girl was being oppressed by a bully, and your son did the right thing.

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My 23-year-old daughter has a daughter herself and now lives with an older man. I recently found out there’s a drawer full of porn magazines at this house within the reach of my five-year-old granddaughter. Do I have the responsibility as the grandmother to step in and rescue my granddaughter from this situation. How could this lifestyle affect the upbringing of my granddaughter?

First of all, your daughter has a daughter. Was she ever married? You didn’t say so. She’s now living with an older man, so they’re not married. So you’ve got a bad situation there that is either adultery or fornication, whichever. Do you have an obligation to get in and rescue her? Yes, sort of. But the law is the only way that you can do that, and the law would be contributing to the delinquency of a minor. But the fact that he’s got porn in a drawer would be pretty tough to say in court something was wrong. So how do you do it? I think the best thing to do is to start talking to your daughter. But you should have talked to her a long time. I think you should pray that more than anything that she will get her life right. She ought to leave this guy. She shouldn’t be living with this man. There’s something not right with this whole picture. So where do you start? You start with praying and asking God for wisdom. The second thing, you begin to talk to your daughter about the problem. But you really have very little recourse. You’re the grandmother.

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My 14-year-old daughter has a friend that’s interested in going to church. She’s come to church with us once. Her parents found out, and now they won’t let her come to visit anymore. They told their daughter they hate what we believe and would rather she hang out with drug addicts. Should I speak with her parents to convince them this is good for their daughter? What should I say?

Gordon Robertson

I would advise you to pray about this. You’re obviously going to walk into some pretty severe opposition, and the big one here is reaching out to this daughter. She seems to have some issues that are bigger than just “can she go to church?” I question “what are her parents doing?” and “what kind of household is she growing up into?” And so reaching out in love to this daughter in ways that don’t violate what her parents are telling her to do -- I think you need to pray, “Lord, direct me in how I can minister to this daughter.” But that same prayer can be directed to the parents. And sometimes the greatest persecutors of the church, throughout history, the greatest persecutors of the church can turn and become the greatest Christians the world’s ever seen. Now that happened to Saul, the persecutor of the early church. He became the apostle Paul. But it took people praying. It took a visitation from Jesus Christ. It took Ananias being courageous enough to go visit him. It took a lot. And you need to get specific direction here, and God will do that. All you have to do is ask for it.

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My husband and I have had several miscarriages. It’s a very tough thing to go through even once. We’re so afraid that if we keep trying, we might have to go through the trauma of losing another baby. How do we get over this fear? And have we put ourselves through enough torture, or do we just keep trying?

Gordon Robertson

There’s two parts to the question. One is fear, and perfect love casts out all fear -- that’s what the Bible says. You don’t need to be afraid. There are lots of promises in the Bible about the barren becoming fruitful, and I would spend some time in prayer with the Lord and get His guidance on this. You don’t tell us why you’re having miscarriages. I mean, is this a medical problem? Do you have advice from a doctor on this as well as to what’s really happening? But I know the trauma. I have some dear friends that have gone through what you’re going through, and they, through prayer, were able to both conceive and bear to term. So that same thing can happen to you, but you need to hold onto the promises of God. If you’re fearful going into it, I wouldn’t recommend that. I’d find out, 'Can I get peace from God on this, and can I hold onto that peace throughout the pregnancy?'

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My daughter is 12 years old. I try to shield her from explicit TV shows, movies and games. I want to protect her, but I don’t want her to grow up being an oddball and unprepared for real life. What’s the right balance in terms of exposure to the world?

I don’t know what you could keep her from when she starts going to public school. If you keep her in a private Christian school, she probably won’t get exposed to some of the things. I think, little by little by little, you need to talk about the facts of life, and where babies come from and all that sort of thing. But she doesn’t have to be exposed to gross obscenity and the things that are in movies. She doesn’t have to hear all sorts of profanity and see lewd situations. She just doesn’t have to do that, and there’s no reason. You say, “Well, I want to get her ready for it.” Well, I hope maybe she doesn’t ever get ready for it, because why should she? I think some of the carnality that is present in television, and the Internet, and cable television and so forth is just horrible; and you don’t want your daughter involved in that if you can help it. But among other things, keep her away from those porn sites on the Internet, because she’ll really get a shock. But can you shield her totally from the world? The answer is no. So the best thing is that she knows the Lord and knows Him thoroughly.

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I was widowed in 1997 and remarried in 2003. My 17-year-old daughter is giving me and my wife a really hard time. She picks fights with us and cries a lot, saying that we shouldn’t have gotten married. This has caused my wife to question whether it was right to marry at all, and we’ve thought about separating. Are we being manipulated, and will my daughter get used to our marriage over time?

Pat Robertson

You better believe she’ll get used to it, and if she doesn’t, it’s tough luck. It’s your life, and she’s just being selfish. She can’t have her daddy for herself. One day, hopefully, she’s going to get a little older. She’ll grow up. She’ll find a man she likes. She’ll leave home and get married, and then you’ll be all alone. So what she’s saying, “For these next four years or five years, I want you for me. I don’t want anybody else to have you.” Well, that’s too bad, because you’re her daddy, not her husband, and it’s time that she recognizes that. And you really need to have a sit-down talk with her, and, if need be, get a professional counselor on this one. But don’t let her manipulate you, and don’t let her break up your marriage. I mean, this is your life, and you’ve got a long way to go, and you deserve companionship in these remaining decades of your life.

Kristi Watts

Plus, you’ve got to look at the fact she’s 17, so the girl’s going to be out of the house next year.

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My girlfriend bought some gifts for her daughter’s tenth birthday and told her that they were from ‘Daddy,’ which wasn’t true. No one has heard from her daddy since he want to jail for selling cocaine five years ago. Should we tell this little girl that her dad is a loser, or should we let her figure it out? Is hiding the truth from her as bad as lying?

Pat Robertson

You’re not hiding the truth from her. Let the child have her delusions. I mean, you can play some games in something like that. I don’t think that’s the kind of lie that is going to hurt anybody right now. Tell a ten-year-old, “Hey, kid, you’re dad’s a loser,” I mean, what do you do that for? “These are from Daddy. Daddy loves you.” Children want to think Daddy loves them. “Does Daddy love me?” “Yes, of course, Daddy loves you. He’s just away right now."

Kristi Watts

And as parents, if something happens in the relationship, the one parent should never speak badly, ever speak badly, about the other parent. That’s a huge thing. Because the child will eventually grow up, and they’ll see things on their own. Let them come to their own conclusions about that other parent, but don’t ever speak negatively.

Pat Robertson

They will appreciate you, because you tried to hold it together. And maybe one day Daddy will get his act together, and he will come home.

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My son is about to turn 13, and I’ve never talked to him about ‘the birds and the bees.’ My wife thinks we should let him learn through his sex education class this semester. Is it okay to leave it up to the school to educate him about the facts of life, or should parents take this responsibility?

First of all, the chances are your 13-year-old will tell you things you don’t know about sex. If he’s a typical teenager, he already knows. But what you need to do is to tell him the beauty of God’s plan for mankind and that he has the potential of procreating a creature made in the image of God. This is a question of love, and you talk about love. Don’t give him a biology lesson, and don’t leave it to the schools. Because, I promise you, at the school level, there’ll be no religious connotation about the glory of God’s humanity and His creative impulses given to human beings. You also need to tell him about the question of abstinence -- that this is the way that you seek love in marriage, and then you have children and so forth. That’s what you need to talk to him about.

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How do I get my 13-year-old daughter to accept my boyfriend? We plan to eventually get married. Her father has a new wife who she seems to respect. I’ve told her she doesn’t need to love him but should respect him. Do you think my relationship with my boyfriend is doomed? My daughter will grow up and leave someday, but he could be with me for life. What should I do?

She’ll get over it. I don’t know why you and your husband divorced. You’ve got to make sure that that kid doesn’t blame you for it. You need to talk to her because young girls really identify with their fathers. We’ve found more and more that if the daddy doesn’t do right, the daughter does bad things. So you have to explain to her what happened. Perhaps if you can get your new boyfriend together in a non-threatening situation, like the lake or picnics, little by little, you can win her over. But you’re exactly right. You have a life ahead of you. You need to explain to her that this man’s not going to take her place in your life. It’s just going to take a lot of counseling and a lot of love. But more than anything, do fun things together and make sure that this guy that you think is so great is able to get along with your daughter. It may be there’s a flaw in him that she might point out that you’d be glad she did.

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I’m exhausted trying to meet the demands of my job and my family’s frantic schedule. Pat, what should take priority, parents getting recharged and refreshed or parents keeping up with their children’s busy lives and activities? I feel like I’m headed for burnout, and something’s got to give.

I think getting recharged is very important. That’s why I recommend taking a Christian Sabbath every week to take a day of rest. The thing about churches is you’re dragging your tongue with all those church activities on top of everything else. What you need to do is just spend time with the Lord, worshiping God and enjoying the Lord. You need to enjoy your life, your wife, your husband, and you need to enjoy your children. We talk about stop and smell the roses. But it’s a nice world we’ve got around there, and you need to take time to enjoy it. You also have to tell your bosses, “Look, I have a family, and I have a life. I’ll do the best I can for you, but I’m not going to give you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

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I grew up with a father who could never control his anger and who sometimes took his rage out on his family. I have also acted in rage with my own kids, but I’m trying to stop. My oldest son, who is 16, also has rage problems. Is it possible for rage to be a family curse? How can I end this pattern now before my youngest son gets it?

Some people may have a neurological situation where they’re so sensitive to stimuli that they fly off the handle. Their brains just aren’t wired as placidly as others are. It could be a genetic situation. It could be something having to do with hormones. I’m a great believer in getting tests on your endocrine system to see what’s pumping what into your blood stream and into your brain. But the other thing is that that could be a family curse. And those who are more spiritually attuned who know you might take authority over this thing and bind it in the name of Jesus, because uncontrolled anger, that’s in a sense – it’s a work of the flesh, but it also can be a demonic spirit, this anger, this murderous spirit. And that’s something that you drive out with prayer. You lay hold of God, and you believe God to cleanse you. And you go back into generations. There could be some violent event back in the history of your family. Way, way back, there may be some murder or some terrible thing that happened, and that thing has affected your family all the way through. So, that’s all I can say, because I don’t know other than that. But there are the two reasons. And, of course, just environment. If you get used to seeing somebody fly off the handle, then you get the habit of doing it. So it’s custom. So that’s the third thing you can think about.

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I recently attended a secular music concert with my 15-year-old daughter. I was shocked as four of the six band members took off their shirts, pants and even underwear. I told my daughter we were leaving. She was furious with me, insisting that all the bands do it, and everyone else got to stay. How do you answer the age old argument, ‘Everyone else is doing it.’ Am I the meanest parent in the world?

You’re a smart parent. You should never have taken a kid to that rock concert to begin with. You shouldn’t go. What these people are doing now is so appalling. That kind of conduct is against the law. And public nudity and obscene activity and corrupting the morals of minors and all of the rest of it, these are law. I mean, these are against the law. These people are violating the law. It’s a question of “everybody’s doing it.” Everybody may be committing murder, but you shouldn’t commit murder. And it’s the same thing. I’m appalled. You take off underwear, what else have you got? What’s left is the skin. We need to monitor what our kids do, and we need to say, “Look, you are destined to go to Heaven. You are a child of God. Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. Your mind belongs to the Lord. The commandment is ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and your soul and your mind and your strength.’ You cannot love God and absorb that kind of filth. You can’t do it. You can’t be part of it. The Bible says, “Have no part with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.” Don’t participate in this kind of evil stuff.

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My husband is very critical toward our ten-year-old daughter. She’s a good kid and doesn’t deserve this harsh treatment. She thinks that her dad loves her less than her other siblings. When I confronted him, he blew me off and said, ‘You turned out okay with your lousy father.’ Is criticism an appropriate tool to raise kids with? Does it do more harm than good?

I feel for your daughter. Daughters, in particular, need to have acceptance from their father. They get a lot of their own self-identity from their fathers. So these critical words give birth to ongoing problems that can literally last a lifetime. I know with my children, I am a source of encouragement. I want to speak life and destiny and a future. I think all my children are wonderful and have such great potential, and I wish every parent would have the same belief about their kids. Negative words literally will take root and bear fruit long term in your children. So you need to realize you have the power of both life and death with your tongue, and you need to speak words of life and hope and future. That’s what our heavenly Father has given us the Word of God for, that you take those words and you incorporate them into your innermost being and let them give fruit. I just don’t understand parents that don’t do this. There’s nothing godly about it. There’s nothing in the Bible that says do this. There’s plenty of room for correction, but your words need to be words of encouragement.

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My husband has given an ultimatum to our 15-year-old son to cut his shoulder-length hair, or else he can’t go on a school trip to DC. Our son refuses to even trim his hair, but it would look much better if he did. Is this a legitimate way to handle this situation? What do you suggest?

Gordon Robertson

Sometimes parents just don’t understand, do they? I went through the ‘70s, and I had long hair. All those pictures have been destroyed, because I look back now and go, “What were you thinking?” It was obviously rebellion. And you were trying to find our own identity. I think your son is trying to do that, too. So if you come at him butting heads, it’s just going to solidify that. It’s not going to work. At the same time, parents need to have rules, and he’s obviously living in your home but there are things that you’re just going to make it worse coming head on.

Terry Meeuwsen

Yes. A very well-known woman gave me a great word of advice: “War over the big issues.” That’s really true. As you raise your kids, I think there are things that are spiritual issues that really matter, and then there are the things that just irk us. It’s a great lesson to us to learn from. So love over those things.

Gordon Robertson

Remind him when he’s 40 that he’s not going to like any of the pictures from teenage years . . . .

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