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Loved
Sep 6th 2008, 07:14 AM
I have no idea where to post this, as I haven't been here in awhile and seem to of lost the board for stewardship(!) :) So if it needs to be moved, thank you and my apologies. :)

I'm having a horrible time applying what little Biblical knowledge I have about borrowing and lending money. A month or two ago I came up with a personal policy (based on Luke 6:28-35) with my family about borrowing money. (On a side note: As much as I hate to air family laundry, I am desperately in need of advice, so please forgive the tactlessness!). I'd been withholding money from my dad, because I felt like he was not providing for the family, and I was enabling him to continue not providing by loaning him money (short summary of the situation, and based on 1 Timothy 5:8, "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."). I'd been loaning my mom money (she has her own income) so long as there was an understanding she would pay me back (I trusted her to do this, whereas when I 'loaned' money to my dad I knew I'd never see it again), and I pretty much gave my sister money willingly but would hold it over her later. So after reading the passage in Luke 6, I decided that if anyone in my family asked for money, I would GIVE it to them, and pray that I could do it cheerfully and without resentment. My mom and my sister respect this policy, and because they don't take advantage of it, it's pretty easy to give them money, say a quick prayer, and be able to walk away without resentment or anything. My dad, on the other hand, has turned me into his personal loan agent, and will ask for large amounts of money with a heaping guilt trip on top (in other words, he puts himself in dire situations that affect all of us, and then asks me to cover it financially). His actions have been building and building resentment in me, and this morning was the final straw with him taking my debit card (without explaining anything, just asked where it was in a panicked tone) and spending hundreds of dollars. When I asked him later about repaying me (this was after crying all day and wondering if I had any right to ask for it back, since he essentially stole it rather than asked), he shrugged it off and acted like I was selfish and horrible for even caring that he did that. He originally told me he had the money in his wallet, but he was paying over the phone so he needed a card number immediately. By the end of the day, he'd spent the money in his wallet, so there is no way for him to pay me back now.

So my question is, how do I apply Biblical truth to this situation? The worst pain in the situation for me is not being able to trust my dad at all, and feeling incredibly insecure that I will have my needs met. I am also an animal lover caring for three dogs of my own and three foster dogs (which is a ministry God's given me), so there is always this fear that they will not be provided for with my dad continually spending my money. I want to talk to him about how it makes me feel, but he gets incredibly defensive when anything is brought up, and acts like I'm a jerk for caring that he's spending my money.

Any advice would be very much appreciated!!

graceforme
Sep 6th 2008, 11:11 AM
Loved - you are in a very peculair situation. Are you married? Do you have children? Do you find that your own needs must be put on hold so that you can help your Father?

Proverbs 22:7 says "The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender."

According to Mt. 5:42; Luke 6:34-35. If nothing is returned the lender is not to hold it against the borrower

In Exodus 22:14-15; Ps. 37:21, however, we find that the borrower is obligated to repay.

But there are other issues that might be involved here. Does your father drink or do drugs? Where does he spend the money that he has? Is he irresponsible, or is the situation that he simply doesn't make enough money to meet his needs? From your post, I get the idea that he simply "squanders" his money, then relies on you to make up the difference. Are there children in the household that are forced to go without what they need because of this?

There are so many variables in a situation like this, but one thing is sure. If your dad is wasting his money, then getting money from you to make up the difference, you may be enabling him to live in sin.

A careful assessment of this situation needs to be done. If he is wasting his money instead of paying bills, etc. then you should discontinue giving him money. We went through this with my son. I found out that my parents were giving him money and he was out spending his on stereo equipment, car "gadgets", CD's, etc. My Dad even co-signed for a car for him and then had to pay off the loan himself. I really had a talk with them, and they had to stop giving the money. My son had to make a plan for himself and there were times that he had to do without in order to learn that he had to manage his money, instead of depending on someone else to "bail" him out when he used poor judgment. I don't want to think of what would have happened if the "lender" had not gone out of business. My son now has 4 kids, his own business, and is doing well. But, had my parents continued to give the way they were, he never would have learned how to manage his own money. My parents have passed away, and I often wonder how my son would have survived after their death if we hadn't cut off his supply of money.

My husband's sister lived with her son, who had never worked a day in his life. He was drawing some sort of SSI from his father. We never figured out exactly where his income came from. Anyway, the sister, who also lived on SSI, wanted the rest of the family to chip in and pay the "upkeep" on their house, which they had continued to live in after my mother-in-law had passed away. But, what we discovered was that "upkeep" might be a new roof, or it could be to replace a window that the son had thrown a chair through when he was angry. Or that he had taken all the money from the monthly checks and planted shrubs in the yard with it. Needless to say, no money was ever given, and I know they struggled financially. But if we had given them the money, we would have been supporting their lifestyle, and we would have been enabling them to be irresponsible.

Pray about this situation. But, above all, don't allow your Dad to make you feel guilty if you don't continue to give him money. If money for groceries is an issue, then give your Mom a gift card from a grocery store.

I'll be lifting you up in prayer. I know how hard these things can be.

diffangle
Sep 6th 2008, 03:15 PM
You as your fathers child should be the one he takes care of, you are part of his household... unless he's disabled or sick, he needs to be the one providing for his family. It sounds like all you're doing is providing for his addiction/s and that isn't right. Even when you loan/give money to your family you're still responsible for being a good steward with that money, so if it's going to frivilous stuff then you have a right to with hold that from the person.

2Th 3:10 (http://www.blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin/popup.pl?book=2Th&chapter=3&verse=10&version=kjv#10)For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.

2Th 3:11 (http://www.blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin/popup.pl?book=2Th&chapter=3&verse=11&version=kjv#11)For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.

2Th 3:12 (http://www.blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin/popup.pl?book=2Th&chapter=3&verse=12&version=kjv#12)Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.

Sold Out
Sep 6th 2008, 03:26 PM
Loved - I think your 'lending policy' is very generous....probably more generous than I would be!

If you continue to help your dad, you are enabling him. He has a problem that he will never do anything about unless you stop enabling him and bailing him out. Please stop giving him money. He will need to suffer the consequences of his actions. It might be painful to see, but it is entirely necessary.

Loved
Sep 8th 2008, 07:33 AM
I apologize for my delay in responding! Thank you all so much for your advice.

To answer your questions and clarify some things... I am unmarried/without children, living at home. My dreams don't have to be put on hold currently, but I am trying to save up money for them.


But there are other issues that might be involved here. Does your father drink or do drugs? Where does he spend the money that he has? Is he irresponsible, or is the situation that he simply doesn't make enough money to meet his needs? From your post, I get the idea that he simply "squanders" his money, then relies on you to make up the difference. Are there children in the household that are forced to go without what they need because of this?

No, no, my dad is a Christian and not out squandering our money so much as not being a good steward of it. He has never been responsible with money, and right now it's down to him not making enough to meet our needs as well as being irresponsible with it (what little is left to be irresponsible with!). There are no minors in the house, and we're not going without thanks to my mom's income and my sibling and I's.

The more I'm thinking about it, the more I think I'm actually wondering: What does God say about 'enabling' another person to sin?? Because I feel that I KNOW my dad is not acting in a Biblical manner, but that that cannot dictate my RESPONSE to him (how I am commanded to act--such as in Luke 6). Am I taking Luke 6 out of context? Is that supposed to be our response to unbelievers? I feel like God's truth is unchanging, so how can the response I am commanded to have change based on circumstances? Are there verses about not enabling people to sin? Am I allowed to determine that he is sinning and respond accordingly?

The other "stuck between a rock and a hard place" is that he puts himself in positions where myself and my whole family are affected if I do not bail him out--in other words, letting him suffer the consequences actually means all of us suffering. My family would not even resent me for not bailing him out if I didn't, because we're all on the same page feeling taken advantage of by him, but that is a hard decision to make!!

We've scheduled a family meeting for tomorrow night to approach him about how we're feeling, so any further insight into God's feelings on 'enabling' and such are most welcome! I covet your prayers, as well. :) Thank y'all so much!

graceforme
Sep 8th 2008, 11:17 AM
Maybe one solution would be to pay "rent" to your parents, since you are an adult and still live at home. That way, you would be giving your parents a set amount of money each month, but let your Dad know that when the rent is paid, you are "paid up" for the month, or you might let your Dad know that you are willing to help with household expenses (such as helping with the electric or gas bill and buying some groceries), since you are living there, BUT you can no longer hand him money. It is fair and proper than an adult child help with expenses, but to give over money that will be spent foolishly and not for needed things puts you in the position that YOU are being a bad steward of YOUR money. And that puts you in the same category as Dad - living outside God's instruction for us.

I can't see where any real lasting good is being done if your dad is such a bad steward of his money. Does he just not know how to handle money? Maybe financial counseling would be a help for him. God does instruct us to be good stewards with what we have, and if we aren't, then we have to suffer the consequences. I know, because I've learned some hard lessons myself about this.

I'll be praying for you and your family. But, please try to convince Dad to get some financial counseling so he can work out a budget and a plan that will help all of you get along better. And let him know that you are willing to help with this.

God Bless.

Sold Out
Sep 8th 2008, 11:15 PM
Maybe one solution would be to pay "rent" to your parents, since you are an adult and still live at home. That way, you would be giving your parents a set amount of money each month, but let your Dad know that when the rent is paid, you are "paid up" for the month, or you might let your Dad know that you are willing to help with household expenses (such as helping with the electric or gas bill and buying some groceries), .

Great advice!!!!!!

mrsparks
Sep 9th 2008, 08:59 PM
I agree, graceforme has some good advice. And perhaps the rent should be given to your mom, who will actually pay bills with it. Also, I don't that Luke 6 is saying you are obligated to lend, just that IF you lend, you shouldn't get upset if you're not repaid.