Navigating Parental Divorce: Guidance for Adult Children

"Navigating Parental Divorce: Guidance for Adult Children" | Watch This Episode on YouTube


Related Messages

Consider listening to the following sermons exposited from the Scriptures that will help to further inform and guide you in your conversations on these issues:

The First Attack On God's Design

The Anchor for the Christian Family

Generational Instruction

Foundational Matters for Healthy Marriages

The Love that Endures - Parts 1 & 2

The Correction of God's Children - Pts. 1, 2, & 3


"Navigating Parental Divorce: Guidance for Adult Children" | Watch this episode on Vimeo

Navigating Parental Divorce: Guidance for Adult Children

This week on the Straight Truth Podcast, we have someone who asks what can an adult child do when their parents are going through marital difficulties and are possibly pursuing a divorce. How can adult children of professing Christian parents speak into their lives as they see these things taking place? Can children go to their parents and bring the Scriptures to bear upon their quarrels and troubles, imploring them to hear and obey? Can we involve others in our desire to see our parents remain married? What can we say and do as we seek to honor and respect our parents in their roles while yet pointing out the error of their ways? Join us to hear this conversation as Dr. Josh Philpot and Dr. Richard Caldwell aim to give biblical advice for how adult children can respectfully speak and appeal to their parents when they see that relationship breaking apart, along with suggesting other possible avenues of calling them to reconcile.


The Lord hates divorce. This is factually clear from Malachi 2:16, when God says, ‘For I hate divorce.’. In Matthew 19, we read of the Pharisees coming to Jesus with questions about divorce. Instead of answering their question about divorce, He first reminds them of the permanence of marriage that God has intended from the beginning. So, Dr. Caldwell says if the parents claim to be believers, you can appeal to them with Scriptures, showing them that their pursuit of divorce is sinful. The Bible is also clear that there are limited grounds for divorce. There’s debate in the church about what those grounds actually are. But one thing that's undebatable is, apart from those reasons, divorce is sinful. So if there's been no sexual immorality and no abandonment taking place in the marriage, then whatever it is that’s dividing these two people, it needs to be confessed as sin, forgiven, and their marriage needs to be maintained. You can go to your parents with this. You can have conversations with them about marriage, reminding them of the overall teaching in the Scriptures about marriage, and talk with them about the sinfulness of what they are pursuing.


If you have siblings, reach out to them, and get them involved, especially if they are believers. Ask them to come alongside you on the issue, to help you to talk with them, and appeal to your parents to do what is right, that which will bring honor and glory to God regarding their circumstances. If they still won’t listen to you, and your parents are part of a healthy church, reach out to the leadership of that church. If they aren’t already aware of these things, make sure they know what is going on with your parents and what steps you’ve taken to appeal to them. Ask them to engage with your family.


You may very well have some hesitancy and experience anxiety about confronting your parents about sin issues. This is to be expected, as they are your parents, and you are commanded to honor and respect them. But the beauty and wonder of the Christian life is that when the Lord saves us, we become part of His family; we are His children. So even though your parents are your parents, if they are saved, and you are saved, you are brothers and sisters in the Lord. And the Scriptures tell us that if we see a brother in sin, hurting himself or others, we are to go to them and confront them. This is true whether it’s your parents or even one of your immediate siblings in sin. We can't let family relationships get in the way of our God-given responsibilities.


Dr. Philpot asks Dr. Caldwell about how adult children can help navigate those parents who are widows and widowers that want to get married again. Would it be a similar approach? Should those children and their siblings, if any, just appeal to the Scriptures and call their parents to be faithful? Should they consult with that parent's church if they aren’t part of theirs?


Dr. Caldwell shares that you want to recognize and empathize with your parent's loneliness. Additionally, you need to recognize they are not sinning if they decide to get married. The Scriptures make it clear that when a spouse dies, whether it's the husband or the wife that remains living, they are free to marry. Yet, this is conditional for the widow or widower who is saved and belongs to Christ, they may marry whomever they wish, but only in the Lord (1 Cor. 7:39). However, it’s worth having a conversation about how this is going to affect the family dynamics. Your parent needs to be wise enough to hear you out and understand what concerns you might have. But in all these situations, it’s about conversations. It requires sitting down in honesty and sincerity, not sort of talking around the issues and hoping that they get the message. Straightforward, clear communication is always best. But also, make clear your love for them and your desire to help, sharing that these are the motivations for your conversations.

About The Straight Truth Podcast

The Straight Truth Podcast: Christian Opinions in an Increasingly Secular World. Join Dr. Richard Caldwell, Dr. Josh Philpot, and their guests as they discuss news events, current affairs, and cultural issues from a Biblical point of view. Find the truth at

The Straight Truth Podcast is a weekly opinion show hosted by Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot. Straight Truth is available as an audio podcast on iTunes or as a video podcast through YouTube or Vimeo.  The duration of the podcast is approximately 10 minutes. We release new episodes every Thursday.

The topics discussed in the Straight Truth Podcast are current events, matters that challenge traditional Christian values, and questions submitted by audience members. Dr. Caldwell, Dr. Philpot, and their guests seek to answer these questions with Biblical truths and from a Christian conservative point of view. The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God; it alone is and will be the basis and authority of
answering any and all questions.

The Straight Truth Podcast is the perfect podcast for those seeking to strengthen their faith, to be informed on how to broach difficult topics with a Christian point of view, to share their faith with unbelieving friends, to challenge the status quo of their own beliefs by viewing them under the lens of the Scriptures, to interpret current news events from a Biblical point of view, and more.

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Season 24 Credits

Produced by
Juan Carlos Claveria

Executive Producers
Joshua Philpot
David Anders

Hosted by
Joshua Philpot

Social Media Descriptions by
Michele Watson

Graphic Design
David Navejas



Special Thanks to
El Centro Network

Music by

Motion Graphics
The Media Stock

Set Decorator
Molly Atchison

Walking In Grace Produces The Straight Truth Podcast - The Best Christian Podcast On The Web

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