Blood is thicker

There is an old German proverb that we often use in English, “Blood is thicker than water.”  It means that the bonds of family are stronger than those bonds between friends or unrelated people.

Sunday after church I understood this clearly while sitting in the pastor’s office.  A woman in her 70’s, frail and using a cane, walked into the pastor’s office in need of prayer.  I sat stunned as I heard her story and became increasingly angry at the same time.

It seems that this grandmother has an alcoholic daughter who lives with her.  When the daughter drinks she begins abusing her mother by hitting and beating her.  As the elderly woman told her story, which the pastor has heard before, I couldn’t help thinking that this woman was almost defenseless and couldn’t run away from the abuse due to her frail state.

The pastor informed me that he had visited and prayed with the daughter of several occasions and has wanted to call the police to report the abuse, but the elderly woman has begged him to not do so.  So, the pastor promised to come once again and speak with the daughter and try to encourage her to stop her drinking and beatings.

I was struck by the love this elderly woman obviously has for her daughter.  She kept repeating that we needed to pray for her daughter’s salvation.  Tears welled up in my eyes as I heard the pastor pray for this unrepentant daughter and for the mother to have strength to endure.

As the woman left I remembered that old phrase, “blood is thicker than water.”  It took on a slightly deeper meaning for me as to the degree this mother is willing to do to protect her daughter from life in prison.  It is apparent that she loves her daughter very much and is willing to endure some abuse to see her daughter come to salvation.  I am praying salvation comes quickly.

7 thoughts on “Blood is thicker

  1. I sometimes wonder if “tough love” isn’t a deeper love. Would this daughter come to know the Lord if she faced the consequences of her sin here on earth. Would the shock of the police visiting or going to jail wake her up to reality and her need to repent. I’ve been wondering about this type of “love” for a while and wonder if we get in the way of God working, by trying to smooth things over or help a person. I just don’t know the right answer, because it is so hard to do, because blood is thicker than water. But then again, what about the blood of Christ? It’s a difficult thing and I hope and pray I won’t have to figure it out with my own daughter. God bless and protect this elderly mother and may she see her daughter transformed before her death.

  2. Beth, I so agree with you. It was difficult for me to sit through this meeting with this elderly woman, thinking that could be my mom (except the beating part, of course). My first instinct is to protect her. I know the pastor wants to respect this woman’s wish, but I do think he will eventually go to the police if it doesn’t stop.

  3. This sad and tragic story is happening so often across our beloved Ukraine and elsewhere. I pray that the chains of sin will be broken and those held captive by alcohol and the victims of abuse will be freed.

  4. Joe, I’m so sorry. The reality of ministering in this fallen world can be overwhelming. Sin is so destructive. I cannot imagine what this woman must be going through – the things people endure – there’s a history of this kind of abuse in my extended family – so I understand your wanting to help this woman all too well – there’s such a feeling of powerlessness. I’m thankful she reached out to the pastor – that’s a big step for someone being abused – and that you were there to hear her story. Because now we can pray for her, her daughter – and the whole situation. I’ll be praying for the woman’s safety, for the daughter’s salvation – and for the pastor (and you) to have wisdom to know what to do in this situation.

  5. Joe, I know this is hard to see face to face, sin and how it plays out in this life. As I read this story I thought of Christ on the cross for my sin. The beating for my sin. The shame for my sin. This mom bearing on herself the sins of the daughter, when the mom has given birth to her and cared for her all of the daughters life. This is what God has done for me birth me, cared for me, and provided the perfect love so I can have everlasting life. Oh what a Savior!

    Praying the pastor takes action on behave of the defenseless, that’s our duty.

    Joe, praying for you as you walk with these many that are in darkness and need someone to guide them to the light. Thank you.

  6. Shannon, This is my prayer too. May the chains be broken!
    Lisa, May God answers our prayers quickly!
    Loys, I am praying hard as well.

    I mentioned on FB about a situation I was in when I first moved to Kyiv in 2003. The neighbors above me fought almost every day and always at bedtime. One night the fight was so abusive, I was sure the husband was going to kill the wife. I went to my door to see if anyone was helping her and no one was. I spoke to our Ukrainian administrator and he informed me to stay out of it. I began praying before going to bed, specifically for this couple and I must say the fights were more hollering at each other and then eventually I didn’t hear them at all. God is in control of this and I know from the tears this mother sheds that even through all the abuse, she desperately loves her daughter and desires for salvation to come to her life. I pray the pastor is able to reach the daughter with the salvation message.

  7. Hi Joe –

    Sad to hear of this situation. Just warn this daughter of the judgment to come: Rev. 20:11-15, 2 cor. 5:10.


Comments are closed.