Non-Denominational/Childheaded households


We are three children: 15-year old brother and twins aged 22.  I am one twin that recently married in September 2012. My father has committed adultery in late 2011 and my mom started getting sick late 2011 with cancer.  He has been thrown out of the house in early 2012.   She has since passed away in January 2013.  Me and my husband took my  brother and sister in.  He fights about the appliances and things in my momís house.  I know that he has a legal right to them, but so soon after my momís death.  He is makes all sorts of empty promises to my brother.  My brother is depressed and wants to kill himself.  In his eyes I think he believes if he commits suicide he will go to heaven (to see my mom- she was a born again Christian). I need advice I donít know what do to do.

My father isn't paying child maintenance for my brother. My question is, do i let my father back into my brother's life and demand that he pays maintenance?

Hi Shirley,

You mentioned that your brother is considering suicide. Our lives are not ours but belong to God who gave us life, whether we are Christians or not. Taking something that is not ours is a form of stealing, which is sin.  Suicide is a form of murder, which is sin. After death, one cannot repent of sin. Unrepentant murderers will not be allowed into the Kingdom of God.  "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." This is in Rev. 21:8, and is repeated in Rev. 22:15.
Let your brother know that while killing himself would end his emotional pain, it would only add to the pain that you and your twin also feel for the loss of your mother. We are commanded to love others more than ourselves, therefore suicide is also a sin against all those who love us.

You asked about demanding child support from your father for your underage brother. This is a legal issue and we are not familiar with SA family law.  You should consult with a lawyer (barrister, or soliciter) on legal issues.  You may want to try Google to locate a source of free legal advice available to you on line.

From a spiritual standpoint, parents are responsible for providing for those of their own household.  "But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel." (1Tim. 5:8).
From your comments, the boy is now a member of your household, however there are often many extenuating circumstances in divided and mixed households, such as why the boy was thrown out of his father's house. In your case, "providing" could possibly mean obtaining the father's support for the boy.

As for father-son contact, if you have court-ordered legal custody, that is also a legal issue that we cannot comment on.  From a common sense view, it depends on issues of physical safety, moral influence, psychological influence and the personal desires of both the father and the son. If the father is contributing to the depression and suicidal thoughts of the son, then further contact may be harmful or dangerous for the boy.  On the other hand, the boy has, at this point, lost both parents. Reconciling with his father might cut his grief in half. If at all possible, you should get grief counseling for the boy to help him deal with his mother's death.

We are unable to comment further based only on the information given.

We hope that this will help in some way. We are very sorry for your loss. Your mother would probably be very proud that you love your brother enough to endure and deal with this situation.

If you have further questions, feel free to write anytime.
Mel and Guyna


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Mel and Guyna Horne


We will direct you to the scriptures that can help you to answer for yourself, any serious question about the Bible, Christian Living, or Bible study. We can answer many questions about the history of the Christian churches and about comparative theology. We can discuss why many are leaving denominational, traditional and institutional churches to seek a real and meaningful relationship with God through personal Bible study, private prayers and meditation on God's word. Christian fellowship can be enjoyable and beneficial and teachers can sometimes be helpful, but salvation is between you and God through Christ, who died so that you can have direct access to God apart from any human priesthood (Heb.7:23-27).


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