Home About Us Apostolic Free Library Questions & Answers Guestbook Order Online Search The Network

Screaming matches between family members

Submitted: 10/3/2005
Post a comment or
ask a follow-up question
Question: I don't have a leader to ask this question of, and I have reached my wits end. I hope you can give me some guidance. I am a second spouse to one that was widowed many years ago. Extended family members (step-offspring and their children) stay with us for an extended stay in our home every so often. (They have a home of their own; however, hurricane damage has forced them to stay with us until housing can be secured for them.) They scream at my spouse (their parent) on a semi-regular basis, over some matter or another (Mostly about our own personal convictions on how to run our house in a godly manner, or about bad events in their shared past). If I step in, a physical fight actually ensues (and has happened in the past). Basically, I am told to mind my own business (being told, more or less, that this is between me and my 'parent'.) However, according to Scripture, I am still the head of this household. I do not want Satan to rear his ugly head, not even for a moment. And I hate seeing my spouse jumped on by her children. All say they are Onesness, Acts 2:38-believing Christians (except for the step-offspring's spouse), and claim they have the Holy Ghost. How do I affirm my headship of this house, and limit Satan's attacks against myself and my spouse? I am at a loss as to what the best response to these bizarre situations should be. I do not wish to be a brawler, but I believe that I have to respond somehow. Thank you for your help.

Answer: We are sorry your family is going through this painful ordeal. You have correctly concluded that you are the head of this household and that the behavior you have described is inappropriate and unacceptable. We suggest that your houseguests be given a brief amount of time to find another place to live (perhaps 24 hours). If there is any violence against you or your wife, call the police immediately. It is a criminal act to assault and batter another human being.

You may hear protests that you are being unkind or even unchristian and that they have no place to go. Frankly, that is their problem, not yours. These people are adults who are responsible for their own lives. You have been willing to help them out, but they have abused your good intentions. If they will not leave, call the police. Once you have told them to leave, if they do not they are trespassing.

You and/or you wife may battle feelings of guilt, but we assure you that you have nothing to feel guilty about. You are actually doing the best thing for these people because you are requiring them to take full responsiblity for their conduct. Once they demonstrate that they can behave in a more Christian manner, you may then allow them back in your house. Until then, keep them out.

It your wife protests and tries to make excuses for her children, be very gentle and understanding toward her but remain firm in your resolve to deal with this. You need to protect her from the tyranny of her emotions. As the head of your home, you should not let this situation continue another day. It would be unfortunate if the police have to get involved, but it is not your fault.