Here in the GCC countries, we are facing a common situation: disciples who come here to work while leaving their spouse and children behind. These situations vary tremendously. Sometimes the spouse left behind is also a disciple, sometimes not. The age of the children vary from newborns to university students. Relatives, some who are also disciples, almost always look after the family members left behind. Since this is quite cultural to some and not to others, I am not sure how to address it. I would appreciate your assessment. -- Daniel Bokelman

To me it is huge negative, definitely not desirable, and yet not a matter the Bible addresses directly. We often find biblical characters leaving wife or family for a period of time. (How about the apostle Peter?)

Yes, this is cultural. Especially in the traditional cultures of the world. I cannot forbid it biblically. In practically every case I can imagine, or have heard of, I have discouraged it. But it's up to the individual to take advice on matters the scriptures address only obliquely.

This article is copyrighted and is for private use and study only. © 2005. Reprints or public distribution is prohibited without the express consent of Douglas Jacoby.