"Michell's Weekly Pearl"...(Not His Mother)

an advice column and a question about confronting others
Hi everyone...thank you for joining me for another edition of  "Michell's Weekly Pearl", where I seek to use Godly wisdom to offer encouragement. If this is your first time visiting, let me tell you a little about my advice series. This is where you can ask me anything on marriage, women's issues, family matters, relationships, parenting, homemaking, or life in general. If you want an honest, biblically based, to the point answer; email me your questions via prowessandpearls@gmail.com (please put "MWP" in the subject area). I'll post your question, along with my answer, anonymously. Easy as that! I'll also delete your email once I've transferred your question. To read all the questions and answers in this series, you can do so (HERE).

Keep sending in those questions!!! In the meantime, read on to see what "Not His Mother" asked...

Hi Michel :)
So here is my question.

A few months ago two boys (not related to each other) moved into our home, one is 18 and one is 16. Life wasn't that great at home, and their parents gladly allowed them to live with us.
They are wonderful boys and we love them dearly.

One of the boys, I will call him Tom, had a more difficult upbringing. There was and is abuse, substance abuse, emotional abuse,and physical abuse.
Tom's mother has a lot of stress at home and when it becomes too much for her she comes to our home and unload all of that stress on Tom. Naturally Tom feels that he must fix his mother and the issues in the rest of their family. It puts a lot of pressure on Tom, I can see how much stress this puts on him.  It affects him physically and emotionally. Tom keeps a smile on his face the whole time his mother is here, but what she does not see is the pain and the depression that I see in Tom when she leaves.
I want to shake this woman, I want to scream at her "can't you see the pain and the pressure that you are putting on this boy?" But I don't know if it's my place to do so, and I certainly don't know how to say it with tact and grace.
I want to speak life to her, I want to help her, but my first priority is Tom, and right now I feel more anger and frustration for his mother than love or empathy.
This is a pattern that has gone on in their lives for years, is it my place to say anything?  If so, how?

'Not his mommy'

"Hi “Not his mommy”, thanks so much for your question!  This is a sticky situation, because you know parents are funny when it comes to their children! :-) However, in your case, because the mother “allowed” you to take on the care of her child, all bets are off. BUT and I don’t say that lightly, you still should approach the situation carefully. Why, for one, you have a mother who is obviously unstable at the present time, and secondly because of this, she more than likely will put up a defense when confronted. Nevertheless you must confront, because after she’s gone, you and your family have to pick up the broken pieces.  You’re so right, she NEEDS someone to speak life to her. Let’s be real, from what you’ve shared, there’s obviously no one in her life who has ever done that.  I’m sure you don’t want to hear this, but it looks like you not only have to minister to Tom, but to his mother as well, because when you took him on, you kind of took on everything that came with him. The first step to her coming from that place of despair is for you to be honest with her. Before doing this, ask Him for wisdom on what to say and how to say it...He said He'll give it to us if we ask Him. She must be told that what she’s doing is unfair to her son and because it’s draining him physically and spiritually, she must stop it. If she refuses, then you have every right to tell her she can no longer come over, until she’s able to stop. Of course this may tip the iceberg, because this is all she’s known. But you stick to your guns…you don’t have to be mean, but right is right and wrong is wrong. Too many times things never get resolved because people skirt around issues that quite frankly need to be dealt with HEAD ON! Some people act as if they’re clueless…until you confront them! Suggest to her that she may want to visit a minister or counselor(someone who can give her “professional” help). But the best thing you can do for her is to intercede for her. She needs much prayer! Pray to God that your heart doesn’t harden towards her, so you can minister to her as well. I know people can take us there(lol), but in spite of what she did/does, she is worthy of experiencing the love of Christ! I should also add this. If this doesn't work out and/if this situation starts to affect your family...you have EVERY right to let it go, without feeling condemnation. As humans, it's our nature to want to help people who are in need. This is natural(it's our make up)...it's just the Jesus coming out in us! ;-) But, one thing I've learned in ministry is that you won't be able to help everyone and that's perfectly fine(because we're not superheroes). If it should come to that, just have faith that God will handle the situation(either through Himself or through another person), because you've done everything you could within your means to assist. Hope this helps…will be praying about the situation! Have a blessed weekend!" Hebrews 13:20-21, Jeremiah 32:27, James 1:5

*Okay Readers, have you ever been in a situation like this or similar to this? If so, how did you handle it? Please share....

I’ve been married for over 24 years to my husband, a pastor. I’ve worked alongside him in ministry full-time for over 17 years. During that time, we've pioneered two ministries and I've established a women’s ministry(Women of Excellence). We have three adult children and a son-in-law.  My areas of specialty are family, marriage and women’s issues. Hopefully the (Godly)wisdom I’ve learned through my years of experience will lead you to and keep you on the road to doing you well!  As my husband always says...why spend your life going down a road you don't have to travel, when someone else has already learned the lesson and can show you how to avoid that path.  

*Disclaimer*: I don't profess to be an expert, but what I have learned...I'm willing to share.  With that being said...what I write on my blog is my opinion and advice. It is not my counsel. This also applies to anyone writing on this blog. If someone uses any advice, opinion or recommendation from this blog and is upset, angered, or harmed in any way, I am not to be held responsible or be held liable in any way. What I write on this blog is not to be taken as fact or absolute. My intention is to do no harm. The content in this blog is the opinion of this blogger and is not intended to disparage or malign anyone or anything that has the ability to be offended. I am not responsible, nor will I be held liable, for anything anyone says on this blog in the blog comments.
All Rights Reserved copyright© 2012-2013 Michell Pulliam “Prowess and Pearls” by Michell Pulliam

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  1. Yikes! What a situation. Good for her for loving children who need it so much.

    1. Yes Bekah, it is! I agree...kudos to her for giving of herself! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I LOVE how you answer the hard questions, Michell! You have a beautiful gift for helping people through. You are a true woman of gold! Love you!!

    1. Awww, love you too Ash!! To God be the glory girl! :-) Thanks so much for dropping by...have a blessed evening!

  3. Oh what an incredibly difficult situation this precious servant has before her...

    Your wisdom is spot on Michell!! I would go so far as to say that if this kind lovely woman has the children with her, she could possibly help get them a counselor to help them deal with the emotional issues their mom has brought on them. Even if it's through her church...?

    I would definitely be talking to that mom and giving her TRUTH. It may not change anything, if she is stuck in her selfish ways- but it gives you new ground to go on to set firm boundaries around her seeing the kids.

    1. Oh yes Chris, I'm sure it is! I agree, with so many factors playing into this situation, counseling for everyone involved should definitely be considered. Given her background, boundaries must be set or she's likely to go renegade. Thanks so much for stopping by and chiming my friend...have a wonderful week! :-)

  4. Your advice is absolute perfect..

  5. Loved how you answered this. Poor Tom. :( I hate it when kids have to be the parent because the parents act like KIDS. I think this reader does need to say something and introduce some firm boundaries to Tom's mom in order to better protect Tom. She needs to give REAL, specific examples of how it affects Tom when the mom "unloads" on him.

    Your advice is always superb.


    1. Thanks Meredith!! I know, that gets on my nerves too! And we wonder why society is like it is...you literally have kids raising their parents! I agree...she definitely needs a.reality.check! Thanks for stopping by darlin'! ;-) XOXO

  6. Hi Michell! I have to commend this Mom for accepting these children into her home. That is such a leap of faith and so generous. And her asking you for help just shows how aware she is, and how much she wants to help. Wouldn't it be amazing if we were all like her?

    Getting professional help is always such a great idea. For her, and for Tom. I feel bad that it's up to her to confront Mom, but if she is going to accept Tom, it really does fall to her. I'll be praying for this situation.

    You gave great advice, Michell.

    1. Hi Ceil! Yes, she is a true servant isn't she! So glad she asked the question, as she ended up getting support and confirmation from you all that she's doing the right thing! Thanks for stopping by...have a blessed evening lady! ;-)

  7. Wow. That is a difficult situation. I agree that if Not his mommy is the taking care of Tom, all bets are off...however wisdom in dealing with his mommy is certainly needed. God will surely granted, it, like you said, we ask. My heart goes out to Tom and not his mommy because both of them are being impacted by this. It's sad that she has to even deal with a situation like this after taking those boys into her home and loving on the. That should be rewarded with gratitude and support.

    My two cents... everything you said ;)

  8. Bless her for taking those two children in! What a difficult situation but your advice is great, Michell. I can't even begin to imagine trying to deal with that, but I guess you find the strength to do what you need to do!

  9. I agree with Michelle - bless this woman for taking on two children and I totally agree with you - that with taking on the kids she is essentially taking on the family with them - and she needs to speak what she sees. No skirting issues. Speak with truth for those kids is speaking the truth for herself. I love that you take letters like this one and give biblically based advice.


Thanks so much for dropping by...I really appreciate it! Please check back for a response to your comment, as I post all responses to comments here on the blog, not via email. Please note, as this is a Christian blog...any comment that contains offensive and/or inappropriate language will be sent to the authorities...NAH, but seriously though, they WILL BE deleted. :-) Have a great day...I call you blessed! ;-)