When is charity trumped by other concerns?


My wife and I are caught on the horns of a dilemma. There is a girl in our town, homeschooled (like our own children) but claims to be terribly lonely. She has focused on our own daughter as a friend. We wish to reach out to this girl, but we do not trust her. She has in the past bragged about her exploits with boys with our daughters (a serious no-no), and our instincts are shouting that this girl is not to be trusted.

To top things off, our daughter finds this girl to be a chore, but is willing to work on the friendship for charity’s sake.

What do we do? Reach out in charity? Or does our duty to our daughter trump out in this case?


As it is possible to be charitable toward both this child and to your daughter, it is not an either/or situation. The only question is deciding the course of action in both cases.

If this child is a danger to the chastity of your daughter – and you report that she is indeed by her sexually-explicit bragging – then you must protect your daughter from her influence. If that means requiring your daughter to sever the friendship, then that is what you must do. Since your daughter sounds as though she is not interested in continuing the friendship on its own merits, this shouldn’t be hard to do. She might simply say, repeatedly, to all offers to get together: “I’m sorry; I wish I could, but my parents won’t allow it.” If pressed for reasons why, she might shrug and say, “You would have to ask them.”

As for the child: If you know her parents, you might try sharing your concerns with them so that they can get their daughter the help she needs. If not, and if her family belongs to your local homeschooling support group, you might take the concerns to the group’s coordinator and/or chaplain. Those individuals should have contact with the girl’s parents and be able to discuss it with them (or set up a meeting so that you can discuss it with the parents directly).

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