Dear Pearls,

We are the parents of 7 children, four are adopted. Once I was suspicious my husband was handling one of the girls, but when I confronted them, they both denied it. Finally the 13-year-old daughter told me they had been doing things together, not intercourse, but almost. As soon as I found out, I took the girls (ages 12, 13, 14 and 17 years old) and left. My girls are now telling all, they are angry. My husband is counseling with our pastor. Should I take them back into the home with him? How do I as a mother and wife respond to this? Do I protect my daughters or honor my husband? How can the kids ever respect their dad again? He was so strict and careful not to expose them to the world, teaching them to keep themselves pure and all the while he was doing this evil thing. There is a lot of hurt and anger in all of us. Please help.

Michael Answers

We receive too many letters like this. It begins with pornography, now piped into the home by the computer, and ends in tragedy.

You husband has committed a crime against humanity. You are legally obligated to report this crime to the law. He will be jailed and stand trial; you and the girls will testify against him; he will be sentenced to about 20 years.

I go to prisons every week and preach to men, many incarcerated for the same crime as your husband’s. Some of them are now old men, having been there for 15 to 20 years. Their children are grown. But they have been forgiven by the blood of Christ. Prisons are great places for a man to contemplate his sin and prepare for eternity.

Counseling won’t do. He needs a good case of old fashioned weeping, begging repentance. If he truly repents and gets saved, and you should choose to forgive him, the girls should never be forced to be in subjection to him again. He forfeited the right to be their father when he committed a crime worthy of death against them. If they choose to forgive and accept him as their father, that would be a blessed thing for them. They have been hurt enough; they shouldn’t have to live with the hate and anger. That would mean that his sin is continuing to follow them.

I am so sorry for all of you. Sin is a terrible thing. It is death. May you and the girls find the grace to go on and live in the peace and love of God, and may your husband repent in bitter tears and discover the mercy of God that is available to all.

– Michael Pearl