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What's the answer for broken men?

Submitted: 10/22/2013
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Question: 'It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.' Frederick Douglass. What is the biblical answer for broken men? I know it all begins at home, but my broken son is way past anything I had anything to do with. I don't understand how he is so broken. Should I let him heal on his own? He's 22 and believe me, no church would ever want to step in and help us. Is that God's way of bringing things to the surface for my whole family who at times regret him?

Answer: As parents, we have a responsibility to raise up our children in the fear of the Lord to the very best of our ability. We all make mistakes. We also share in the responsibilty for the outcomes of our mistakes. But there comes a time when our children begin to make their own decisions, and as free human beings, they can make decisions that are extremely self-destructive. This is their responsibility, not their parents.

As the parents of adult children, we are responsible 'to' our children (as we are toward everyone else), but not responsible 'for' them. In other words, we are responsible to do what we can to help, but if there is nothing we can do, or nothing that will be accepted, then we must let go and allow our children to suffer the consequences of their actions. There may be assitance from a local church, but the fact is, no one can help your son unless he wants help. It all starts with him. What may be a more important role for a local assembly is to provide you and your wife as his parents with support, advice, and prayer. That can be invaluable when your heart is breaking over your child's self-destructive behavior.

If your son should decide he wants to salvage his life and go in a different direction, there are many helpful resources available, not to mention the transforming power of the Holy Spirit.