Non believing family

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Non believing family

Postby Amy Fales » Sun Oct 11, 2009 12:19 pm

Is there anyone around here that has dealt with non-believing family members?

How do you deal with a non-believing spouse, or child?

How do you deal with those family members that verbally berate "religion"....even though they know absolutely nothing about it?
(What if a debate meant that family member would likely turn against you? Would you debate, or hold your tongue?)

How do you deal with the anxiety as the years pass, and thosed beloved family members age.....without accepting Christ?

How do you deal with intellectual family members that think the Bible is ONLY a historical document, and that Jesus was either a really nice man, or a fictional character composed of many good men of that time?

How and when do you try to talk with them?

Are there any stories out there of gracious turning-points?

I'd love to hear!
Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established
Proverbs 4:26
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Postby Jeremie76 » Sun Oct 11, 2009 10:00 pm

Well.. I have been working on family members such as that. I will tell you that it IS very trying. I keep praying for them (especially my dad).

As far as the debate I use facts that can't be disputed. Take things from either Josh McDowell, C.S. Lewis, or Lee Strobel. All 3 set out to disprove the Bible, and they are now all believers. As far as the validity of it, an argument I like is that over 700 years before Christ was born that the Bible said that God would regather the Jews in Israel... Look how recent that Biblical prophecy came true.. probably in your Grandparent's lifetime... right after WWII. Those are ones I use for non-believers.

I am finding that someone who says they believe in Jesus, but refuses to stop sinning (drinking, taking the Lord's name in vein, and many other behaviors). This is hard for me, because I truly believe when Jesus said "Many will call on my name and I will say depart from me, I never knew you" he was talking about people like my dad.

The biggest thing I say is keep praying for the Lord to put someone in their life that will have a bigger influence on their spiritual lives than we do.
"I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to turn" - Abraham Lincoln
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Postby Amy Fales » Sun Oct 18, 2009 1:38 pm

Jeremie,
Do you initiate debates?
If your father uses the Lord's name in vain when you're there, do you say anything or let it go?
Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established
Proverbs 4:26
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Postby Jeremie76 » Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:47 pm

I've talked to my dad... but I get the "Don't preach at me" or "I don't want to talk about that" I have written my dad a few letters talking about some of this stuff. To my wife and my's suprise the one that was a little harsh as far as calling out his behavior, he was more receptive to. The one that was me telling him that I loved him and that the Lord says that not everyone who calls upon his name will be saved, I said I was worried that he might be one of those.. he took more offense to that one... so I have initiated conversations and have been loving when doing it, but it still requires prayer.

Dad tries not to use the Lord's name in vein around me. He knows where I stand, and when he does I don't have to say anything because either he says sorry, or he's soo mad at whatever he's cussing about that I'm not going to make him more angry by bringing that up.
"I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to turn" - Abraham Lincoln
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Postby Amy Fales » Tue Oct 20, 2009 5:14 pm

Jeremie,
Thank you for sharing.

It's the other way around with my parents; harshness puts a wall up.
Words of care and love are at least accepted.
But, their spiritual life is "my worry"...

They are intelligent agnostics...and consider faith....well, I'm not quite sure what they consider it...
a way to control people....(based on historical accounts)
a belief system for those that don't want to accept this reality..
non-scientific....

But, as they age, I see a softening contemplation as they watch me...
I'm considering how to open dialogue with them again....
Not wanting to "blow my opportunity"!

Everyone matters, but when it comes to family...
sharing seems so much more stressful.
Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established
Proverbs 4:26
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Postby Jeremie76 » Wed Oct 21, 2009 10:10 am

I agree that witnessing to your family can be very stressful. If your family is at least agnostic, would they read a book that you asked them to and have them tell you what their thoughts on a book would be? I like Lee Strobel's books Case for Christ and Case for Faith (Haven't read Case for the Creator yet, but I'm sure that's good too). Lee Strobel, like a lot of other people setting out to find the truth about the Bible, does it in a back and forth evidence showing like a courtroom. He interviews both sides and lets you come up with your own conclusion, but at the end its pretty obvious that Christ existed and is who he said he was. You can use several people who set out to disprove the Bible only to become believers after the Bible disproves their false theories (C.S. Lewis, Josh McDowell, and more)... If talking isn't getting you anywhere try having them look into it themselves. Just a thought!
"I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to turn" - Abraham Lincoln
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Postby Bubba in FL » Thu Oct 22, 2009 10:24 am

(What if a debate meant that family member would likely turn against you? Would you debate, or hold your tongue?)


What if not saying anything meant eternal damnation (separation from God) for them?

Is the potential for an uncomfortable situation more important than their eternal salvation?
"Get up, Peter. Kill and eat."

Acts 10:13
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Postby Amy Fales » Sun Nov 08, 2009 11:11 am

Bubba in FL wrote:
(What if a debate meant that family member would likely turn against you? Would you debate, or hold your tongue?)


What if not saying anything meant eternal damnation (separation from God) for them?

Is the potential for an uncomfortable situation more important than their eternal salvation?


Well, that's the quandry.
I'm not so worried about an uncomfortable situation. Agreed, I wouldn't like it, but my biggest concern is that saying something confrontational will do more harm to reaching them than good.
"Up goes the wall, subject closed."
I'm trying to reach them by example. It is just such a slow process.
Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established
Proverbs 4:26
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Postby oz n bolivia » Tue Nov 10, 2009 7:40 pm

Amy this is an old problem that may not have an answer. For one that is very concerned about the spiritual health of another it becomes as a major pain of the hart.

It parallals that of being married to one that says they believe but really do not practice Christianity. My wife and son are Catholic and will not even listen to anything that is against the Roman Church, even if it is pointed out that the "Bible teaches contrary to church teaching.

Maybe the best approch is to show all the joy in your life because you believe in Jesus. When something good happens make statements like only good comes from GOD. Tell them how much happiness you get by helping your neighbor, from charity you do etc. People of intellect are the hardest to convence because they are so self assured.

Pray that the Holy Spirit will convict them and soften their harts. In other words pray and set an example that they can see the good that is happening in your life. Let GOD's light shine through you.

Oz
Blessed is he that believes in Jesus and the FATHER.
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Postby Amy Fales » Wed Nov 11, 2009 7:57 am

Oz,
Thank you. That was beautifully encouraging.
It is a perfect blend of "speaking up" and "being a living example".
I can easily think to myself, "What a lovely day this is, thank you Lord for such beauty." But, I don't necessarily speak it.
That is likely the change I need to try.....verbal praise.

Again, thanks.
Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established
Proverbs 4:26
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