While the situation described may be common, the names, events, and dialogue etc. are all fictional.
Here’s the situation:
David and Sue Johansen have been married for 20 years. They have four children: 19 (girl), 15 (girl), 12 (girl), and 8 (boy). The oldest just finished up her sophomore year in college, about a two-hour drive away. She is doing very well in school, majoring in biology and pre-med with a 3.8 GPA, and her boyfriend of nearly two years is an education major, planning to teach high school English in an inner-city school. Needless to say more, they are both very competent and successful in their educational pursuits. While away at school, she eventually became disinterested in attending the local branch, and eventually moved in with her boyfriend. While this concerns both David and Sue, they disagree about what should be allowed when their daughter and her boyfriend come to visit. Sue feels that their daughter is an adult and should be allowed to share a room with her boyfriend. David vehemently disagrees.
David: “If we allow them to sleep in the same room in OUR home, we will be condoning her choices. How can we allow this in our home, which is SUPPOSED to be sacred?!? You should be supporting me on this. Well, not just me, but the Lord.”
Sue: [Rolls eyes] “Of course we don’t agree with her choices, but she is an adult! Besides, your preaching about our “home” and what you think the Lord wants is divisive. Of course I care about our home, but your attitude is belligerent and controlling.”
David: [Raises voice] “Well, that’s the consequence of sin! Jesus himself said so. Just because she’s our daughter doesn’t mean we have to accept her sinful behaviors.”
Sue: “I really think you should back off on this. Actually, the other kids feel the same way as well. She is doing so well in school, you need to give her some space as an adult.”
David: [Looking hurt, softens voice] “So you’re all ganging up against me on this?” [Raises voice, becomes adamant] “Then you’re going against the Lord. Regardless, what kind of example will that set for the rest of our kids? That this is okay? It seems to already be happening… And I agree, she is doing well in school, but she is only successful by the world’s standards. How many children will we lose to the world? I don’t want to lose anymore” [Begins to tear up a little]
Sue: “I get it, she is not living the church’s standards right now. We don’t agree with her choices, but she is on birth control, and she is 19 years old! You are going to drive her away with your insistence on parenting our adult child. What does it matter if she shares a room with her boyfriend if it means she isn’t pushed out of the family? You NEED to let this one go.”
David: “What about when Elder Oaks said that we can’t ignore adult children who are cohabitating? He is an apostle and he said it is wrong for us to ignore it. How can we ignore the Lord? Also, Elder Nelson said that we should confront children in these situations, not just go along with it. We can’t support sin!”
Sue: “It’s clear to me that you care more about quoting church leaders than you care about our family. We all disagree with you. It is her choice, and if we don’t accept their relationship, we will drive them away. Is that what we want?”
David: [Getting louder] “Of course not! But we can’t condone this! I’m beginning to think you don’t really care about what I think or what the leaders of the church think, or even what the Lord thinks.”
Sue: [Getting quiet] “Here you go again…”
You make the call! Who wins this argument? David or Sue? Why? Sound off in the comments, and offer some advice about how this couple could work out this disagreement in a more productive way than just declaring a winner….[poll id=”178″]