Q: I would love to know how adult children who grew up in mis-matched homes feel about all of the things we deal with. (Going to church and activities only with mom, not being able to pray/sing/share at home when Dad's around, worrying that Dad is not going to Heaven, etc.) I would also like to know how to answer my daughter's constant questions about those same topics.
The following is an informal Q&A between me and my daughter, Caitie, age 22:
ME: Do you worry about your Dad’s salvation?
Caitie: Yes, I worry. I do understand that my Dad is very stubborn, and he has made his choice. And yes, I’m sad about it. But I have given it over to God.
ME: Do you still pray for his salvation?
Caitie: Yes. I found it interesting that when I attended BIOLA (Christian University) and the subject of parents would come up, it would make others uncomfortable to talk about my parents differing faiths.
ME: That’s interesting. I didn’t know that. Why would it make them uncomfortable?
Caitie: Because most of the students came from two-parent believing homes. (This is true of our church experience.) It was difficult to talk to others about it and my friends would avoid talking about the challenges about being a kid in a mismatched home. However, my close friends and I would talk about it. Mom, every home has challenges. One of my roommates struggled with Father issues and he was a believer.
ME: Many, many people struggle with “Father” issues. I know that I have in the past. The devil works tirelessly to destroy the “Father.” When earthly fathers fail, it destroys our perception of a loving heavenly Father who loves and has only goodness for His kids.
Caitie: That’s true.
ME: Did you ever feel uncomfortable around your Dad about being a believer?
Caitie: No, not about my faith. Again, he was good about not stifling me and my belief. What was uncomfortable was the arguments between the two of you.
ME: Ouch. You know that most of our arguments weren’t actually about faith. It was just the dynamic and our own unhealed wounding from our childhoods, right? We’ve talked about that before.
Caitie: Yes, Mom. I do.
ME: But what is really cool, Caitie, is that your dad and I are still growing. Even after 25 years of marriage we are still finding healing and understanding. And I have prayed that all the mistakes, missteps, and the iniquity of our blood lines, are not passed along to you and your brother. I have faith that your future relationship will be free from some of the things we started with in our marriage.
Caitie: I know mom. Okay, I’ve gotta go study. I love you.
ME: Love you baby girl. Bye