Up to what point do you have to keep obeying the commandment to honor your father and mother? My father has a business and, because of his poor life choices, he ended up owing back taxes…. He started another business, and put it in my name without even consulting me…. The same issues began once again, not paying the bills and falsifying invoices to pay lower taxes. My father didn’t care that I could go to prison for that. I felt badly and… wanted to quit, but he said that I was being selfish and that I should stay for the sake of the family… so that he won’t have to face court charges…. Am I guilty for his mistakes? I need God so badly! I cry a lot.

Dear Friend,

It is always sad to hear of a father (or mother) who is a terrible example for his children. In your case, your father is actually encouraging you to engage in illegal and unethical activities. The fact that he is not concerned about you going to prison is the ultimate betrayal.

When your father put the business in your name without even consulting you, I am sure that you immediately figured out that it was not the generous action of a father giving something to an adult child. Instead, it was a convenient way to get around the laws and taxes.

Your father does not seem to have a conscience, and you are the one who is suffering for his behavior. In addition, he is using manipulation to guilt you into continuing to risk your reputation and your freedom from criminal prosecution.

You can honor your father, according to the commandment, by speaking respectfully to him. But honor does not include lying for him, engaging in criminal activity for him, or allowing illegal activities in a business that you technically own.

It will be difficult, but you must immediately get the business out of your name. (If he put it in your name without your permission, then you should be able to put it back in his name without his permission.) Stop working for him and find another job. Distance yourself from all his activities.

You will have to face some very unpleasant conversations with your father, and probably with others in your family. Your father will make you seem like the guilty party, and will blame all financial repercussions on you. He will tell everyone that you have betrayed the family and that you are heartless and irresponsible. But those who love you will understand your reasons, even if they are not free to take your side against him.

It can be very lonely when you feel like you are the only one who listens to their conscience. And it is very confusing when people manipulate you and appeal to your emotions. But God will be your strength if you will call on Him. You say that you really need God, and you are right. You need His help, His wisdom, and His strength. Ask Him to forgive you for your sins, in His Son Jesus Christ’s name, and to become the Master of your life. And ask Him to guide you in all the difficult situations that you have ahead of you. He will not let you down.

We wish you the best,