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Question 3

Q: Our son is being falsely accused of improper conduct toward a teenage girl—the daughter of one of our best friends.

Now, they’ve turned against us, wanting to get us out of the church, but we’re not convinced that our son is guilty. In fact, we have evidence that their daughter has had other destructive relationships; plus our son was never alone with her. Now the pastor is being asked to take sides. Instead of resolving this peacefully, they’re going public, slandering us as a family. We’re desperate, afraid and in pain. What do we do?

Asked by: Peter, New York


A: Well, my dear friends, thank you so much for asking that question. Conflict is always difficult to deal with, and even more so when it’s between friends. I can imagine what you’re going through.

I see two issues here. The first one is: what really happened in relationship to your son and this young woman? And the second is: how should it be handled?

The best way to move forward is for you to go to the elders of your church for a resolution to this matter; most assuredly, it should not be handled publicly. Your family must come under their authority and the other family must also be under their authority—hopefully the elders will warn them about the great sin of gossip and how wrong it is to make accusations. 

The elders should hear both sides of the story and make a judgment regarding the question of what happened and how it should be resolved. And whatever their decision (which will probably not make both families happy) the two families must live by it. The pastor should not be quick to judge but to minister to both families as best he can.

If you don’t have trustworthy elders, you must seek out wise counsel, hopefully the kind of counsel that the other family will also respect. One thing is sure you cannot resolve this between the two families alone… you need help.

Finally, let me say that whenever you live with a false accusation, God gives strength. He would have never allowed this to happen in your life if He didn’t intend for it to bear fruit. I pray that it shall bear fruit and that this matter shall be resolved. Others can destroy your reputation, but they cannot destroy your character. So be faithful and God will help you through this.

 

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