I am a Christian teenager (18) still living at home, and I have parents who renounce my faith in Jesus Christ and tell me that He and God and the devil don't exist. There is fighting, swearing, and blaspheming every day in my house, which makes me want to leave because it affects my relationship with God. I get really mad when my parents blaspheme, but I choose to not say anything. If I do, i get kicked out of my own house, and if I don't, I feel like I am not being a good Christian by keeping quiet. I do not know what to do (besides pray for them), but no matter what I do, they do not care about God and renounce Him every day. I've gotten to the point where I don't want to pray for them anymore and that they can sort themselves out. I have virtually given up, and my parents can see that I do not want to be living here anymore. What should I do?
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That's a difficult situation Alex, that fortunately as a Christian, you will not go through alone. The Holy Spirit's role in your life is continual. Your in quite a quandary based on your age, and the fact that your under their roof. Ultimately the best advice will address what's most important, which happens to be eternity. You want to honor your parents, though they don't honor the Lord in their deeds or actions. Possibly it may feel like they push it a bit too far. How does a child respect their earthly parents when they in turn are disrespecting your heavenly Father? The two things that are important in your situation, is an understanding of what God wants to do in your life through this situation, and what He ultimately desires for your parents in terms of their salvation. You are a blood bought born again child of God. Your name is written in the Lamb's book of life, and sealed by the Holy Spirit. You have been given the mind of Christ and capable of Godly wisdom that only comes to those indwelt by the Holy Spirit. This was not always the case. There was a time when you didn't know the things of God. You were incapable of understanding His heart which He has poured out in His word. Your parents, like every other Christian prior to conversion, are blinded to the truth of God and His word. They have up until this point made the decision explained in 1 Corinthians, as seeing the teachings of the bible as foolishness, when in fact it is human wisdom that is guilty of this label, when compared to the mind of Christ. You are going through this for two reasons. The first is an understanding that your going through this, painful as it may be, for a specific reason. God uses tumultuous events in our lives, in an effort to grow in our trust in Him. This will continue throughout your life, and mine. Roses are sweet, but weeds could careless. This is easy for my to suggest, because your the one who is going through it. Of all the people in the world, family have the ability to make the deepest cuts. You are in the situation that your in because God has promised us not to place anything in our lives that His strength can't handle. The second most important thing, is your understanding of where your parents are spiritually. They may disregard the bibles standpoint on eternity, but the foundation built on truth is the one you now stand on. The anxiety of their eternal future in your heart, weighs infinitely more heavy than current challenges you receive from time to time. If your goal is to grow stronger in your relationship to the Lord, then your second should be in your conduct in your daily life when negativity is at it's highest. Christian's, no matter who they are, are being observed. Witnessing to non-believers doesn't always include one on one conversations. How we act in our daily lives is a testimony of God in our lives as well. When we are berated for Christ sake, not only are we promised rewards in heaven for our candor, but we are demonstrating the power of God in our life when we continue to love those who are against the truth that we hold dear. Standing up for God doesn't involve shouting back at your parents as to why their wrong. The Lord's goal is for them to see Christ in your life, through the things you say AND don't say. Standing up for God regardless of the situation is not the way to handle every situation where He is slandered. God's goal for that person is to come to know Him as Savior, not beaten in an argument that they're wrong and He's right. Standing up for God, and being a pushover, are not the only two options. Disrespectful arguing, is not a validation for disrespectful countering. No Christian wants to hear the Lord's name taken in vain, but we are to respond appropriately, and sometimes not at all. Praying for your family is not a 'last resort'. 'All I can do is pray', is an attitude you need to kick to the curb. Prayer is the first and most powerful way to go about this situation. And any other that comes, and they will come. Your last statements are understandable. It hurts to be ridiculed, but you need to think about some of things you've stated. If you've gotten to the point where you don't want to pray for them, then it's important to understand what your saying. These statements suggest that you can be ridiculed to the point, where you don't care if a person goes to hell or not. There is no justification for that line of thinking. Quite possibly you were upset when you asked this question, but you need to address it. Your situation is just as much about how your living your Christian life, as it is concerning how they are living outside of God's word. Your parents eternity is the issue, not your hurt feelings. If you love your parents, then you take the steps to acknowledge that you don't have the strength to carry out my suggestions, unless Christ is providing the muscle. Were not built to do things in our own strength. I don't know your situation, so I'm unable to advise on your living situation. What I do know, is that the only two things that matter, is how you will decide to use this circumstance to grow in your walk with Christ, and how you come to grips with the fact that your pride is not more important than the need for your family to accept God in their life. We can't force people to believe the way we do, but our actions are a testimony in themselves. The strength that Christ's gives us, is very apparent to even the most ardent of scorn. Is it difficult? Of course it is, but that's where Christ comes in. You have to make a decision. Pride, or your parents best interest. People spend their whole lives justifying how they've been wronged. How life isn't fair. How they don't deserve this or that. We have to remember that Christ was rejected TO HIS FACE! Why should we be any different. Does that make it easier? Who cares. It's not about being easier, it's about eternity. 'But that's too much, I don't have the strength.' That's where God comes in. You and I aren't doing this alone. And guess what, after this situation, another one will take it's place. God prepares us for future situations, by the current situation that were in. He can't trust us with future trials, until were able to go through lesser ones with Him at the stern. Remember, this is just as much about your need to make some changes, as it is theirs. You will meet many people in your life. Some of which are going to benefit, from the knowledge your gaining through this circumstance, that until you've gone through it with God at the helm, you'd be ineffective in counseling those in the same situation.
you are light in that family keep praying for them and live a good Christian life that stands out in godly behavior be a good example to them of Christianity. Pastor Benny Hinn was also the only person in his family to be saved in his family he suffered persecution but he stack with Jesus and led his whole family to the Lord. so don't give up pray for them.
Don't just walk out on your own without anywhere to go. Don't get into an association with someone who may appear "nice" on the surface but internally has evil thoughts about you. Go to your church Pastor, tell him your story, request assistance in finding a temporary place to live. Don't discuss it with your parents. When suitable Christian arrangements are made, as an adult, you can move out without notice. Once you are settled in somewhere, invite your church, Christian family members, and Christian friends, to daily talk to God about your parents. YOU and your parents are in our prayers.
Alex, I grieve for your situation and will be praying for you. Some understanding may help. Only you and the Holy Spirit can decide what to do and say (communion) to get through this. 1)You will receive good and bad advise (not referring to anyone here). There is some very good advise here. Nurture listening to the Holy Spirit. Get quiet and alone with Jesus. Seek his peace, don't be troubled, don't be afraid (John 15:27). 2) Only the Father can change your parents hearts so focus on what Jesus is doing in your heart (Romans 2:28-29).. 3) Father does not call nor draw everyone (John 6:44-45) so learn from the Father in this situation by obeying His voice in what to say and do. 4) If you keep your peace (fruit of the Spirit) and say nothing you say you get really mad. This can only cause more trouble. If you are in danger of physical violence then leave. If you keep your peace (saying nothing about Jesus) it sounds like there will be peace because you have been there 18 years. Honor your parents by not becoming estranged from them. They may interpret your leaving as a rejection of them. Love them by the power of the Spirit in you (Ephesians 3:17-21, I Corinthians 13:1-11, Matthew 5:43-48). Allow room for possible failure because Father is perfect and His goal is to perfect love in your heart and that takes time. 5) Listen to the Holy Spirit about who you should befriend. It may be a pastor, someone close to your age, someone in the church, someone at school. But do not share this with just anybody, be led by the Spirit. Be open to help but your refuge and strength will come from the Lord (Psalm 46:1). Read Psalms - David and the writers of Psalms had many enemies and as the Matthew passage above says love your enemies. There is a battle in your house and love wins in your heart. May the Lord bless you and keep you as you grow in Him (Romans 13:8-14).
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