For the most part, I agree with the advice you give. However, I must disagree when, sometime ago, you suggested to “let sleeping dogs lie” in answer to the question whether a parent should admit to an infidelity. Likewise, you advised another letter writer to keep the news of her affair with a younger man a secret from her husband.
I am actually surprised that you will abet lying as a way to keep a family from falling apart. Keeping a secret is simply another euphemism for telling a lie and a malignant course of action to suggest because it corrupts a family.
Once lying loses its stigma among family members, it simply becomes a means to an end. It may have an immediate, short-term benefit for a few, but in the long run it becomes destructive as family members become scheming as a way to get ahead of others.
If a family falls apart because a secret was revealed, then, let it fall. At least there is truth in that situation. It’s certainly better than nurturing a lie, because lying skews reality for everyone who becomes a party to it.
I’d rather lie and forgive one indiscretion to keep a family together than go through a devastating alternative like breaking it up, wouldn’t you?
Are you going to destroy this family for one momentary surge of passion just because it’s a sin to lie? Haven’t you ever lied in your life? Ever? Not even a white lie like telling someone her dress is pretty even when it’s not? She might have needed that boost of confidence that one moment, and you, in your strict sense of right and wrong wouldn’t accord her that teeny-weeny feel-good tingle that could last her the day?
In the instances when I supposedly condoned the affairs of these two letter writers, there must have been something lacking in their lives that made them succumb and made the moment “right” for it. Who are we to judge them? Didn’t the Bible say, “let he who has not committed that sin cast the first stone?”
And when the Lord started writing all the sins man is capable of committing on the sand, didn’t the do-gooders—those screaming for punishment—started turning away one by one upon seeing the sins they have committed right before their eyes?
The God I believe in is so understanding, so forgiving, that if He sees a sinner repent, he is sure to be welcomed back to the fold.
Let’s not be too harsh on vulnerable souls. We never know when our time to sin will come. Haven’t you been attracted to someone for a fleeting moment, and imagined what it’s like being with that person?
If you can think it, you can do it. If the heavens can forgive, why can’t we? The world is full of cruelty, violence, and just sheer vileness. Why can’t we turn a blind eye just once and forgive? Would that be too much?