Here is a parable from Stand Firm...
There was a man who lived in a very small village with his wife and his son. The man had a thieving friend. One day, after his friend had left his home, the man discovered that his ring was missing.
The next day, his friend came over. The man’s ring was on his finger. “That’s my ring.” “It was your ring. Now it is mine” “No. It is mine and you have stolen it.”
“I did not” said his friend, “It has always been my ring.” The man was not going to back down. “Listen here, if you look on the inside, you will see my name engraved on it.” “So it has,” replied the man’s friend, “that’s very nice” “It’s not only nice, it’s my ring, now give it back.” “No”
The man was in a difficult spot. His friend, though a thief, was important and powerful. It was an honor to be associated with him, an honor that brought the man a great deal of influence and prestige not only in the village but even in his own home with his wife and children. How could he break fellowship?
“The ring is mine,” the man said finally. “I will not agree that it is yours. I will always lay claim to it. But for now, I’ll let you wear it.” “Thank you,” said his friend.
The next day the thieving friend came over for a visit. The man was not home.
When he returned he found that his wife was gone. He waited for her to return. She did not. His son said, “Your friend came over while you were away. When he left, mother went with him.” “What? That can’t be,” exclaimed the man. “It is,” said his son. “I was here. I saw it. Will you bring her back home father?” “Yes. I’ll see about this tomorrow.”
The next day the man found his friend walking through the village. His wife was with his friend. They were holding hands. “What are you doing?” asked the man. “I’m taking a walk with my wife.” “She’s not your wife. She’s my wife.” “No. She is mine.”
The man looked at his wife. She smiled. She was happy. The man was filled with anger. He was enraged. “This man is not my friend,” he thought to himself. “I must do something.” But what? “If I break fellowship with my friend, I lose everything I love most. If I do not, at least there is a chance of one day getting it back.” “You may keep my wife for now,” the man said, “but she is my wife and I will always lay claim to her, but you may walk with her and take her to your home. One day I will reclaim what is mine.” “Thank you,” said his friend, “I will always hear your claim.”
The man went home burdened. His son asked. “Where is my mother?” “I’ve let her stay with my friend for a while. It is best. Trust me my son.” “But she’s my mother. She’s your wife.” “I know. Do not fret about this. She will return one day, but I am not in a position to do anything about it now,” said the man. But he could see that his son was not satisfied. You are too young to understand.” “No father. I am not.”
The next morning, the man rose from his bed. He called for his son. There was no answer. He went to his son’s room. It was empty. He walked to his friend’s house and knocked on the door. “Have you taken my son?” he asked. “No. He is not here.” And he was not. “But I have seen him," said the friend. “Oh, good, where is he?” “He came to say good-bye to his mother this morning,” answered the friend, “He is gone.”
“But where did he go?” “He said he would no longer be known by your name.”
The man returned to his house alone. "But," the man consoled himself, "at the very least, I still have my friend."