Bible Question:

I got remarried about 1 1/2 years ago. Sometimes my ex-wife's son, my stepson, comes to visit. By the way, I raised him from the age of 4. He is 17 now, and he was 15 years old when I was divorced. He still thinks of me as Dad and I think of him as my son. My wife thinks I should put him out of my life. I feel I should at least be a friend to him. My wife and I argue constantly over this issue. is there something biblical that we can refer to?

Bible Answer:

God tells us that all of us are to love God as well as those around us in Matthew 22:37-39. This would include your stepson. God gave parents children (Gen. 1:28). The sacred scriptures tell us that children are a blessing from the Lord (Ps 127:3-5). God assumes parents, especially fathers, love their children. Listen to Luke 11:11-13,

Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? “Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” (NASB) Luke 11:11-13

Deuteronomy 6:4-8 tells us that parents have a spiritual responsibility to our children,

And these words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. “And you shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. “And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” (NASB) Deut. 6:6-9

There is only way to do this. Spend time with our children. In a divorced relationship children still need their fathers, and father still have a responsibility. Eph. 6:4 and Col. 3:21 give more instructions to fathers about spiritual obligations and discipline.

Divorce makes it difficult to be a spiritual dad to children. God assumes you still love your son. Children should never be rejected since Jesus told us to even love our enemies (Matthew 5:43-48),

You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR, and hate your enemy.’ “But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. “For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax-gatherers do the same? “And if you greet your brothers only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (NASB) Matthew 5:43-48.

But there are times parents need to discipline their children if they have sinned or are disobedient. As young adults our children need to start becoming independent more and more. Sometimes children want to hang on for security and love. Young adults usually want the privileges of adulthood with no responsibility. When these occasions occur parents need to help their children transition into adult life. How this best happens depends on the child, parent and the situation. Fathers are models of God in every respect and all times (Proverbs 3:12; Hebrews 12:4-13).


Parents are to love their children. Fathers have the spiritual responsibility for training their children to know God more and more. Fathers have the primary responsibility for training children in righteousness. This also includes discipline. Fathers are models of God (admittedly poor models).