Family

What should I do if I find out that one of my siblings is using drugs or is involved in any other dangerous activity, and asks me not to tell anyone?

A: There are many wonderful things shared between siblings and sometimes confidences are appropriate. However, in any case where your sibling is in a dangerous or potentially life threatening situation, that is not the time to keep a confidence. When we truly love and have concern for someone, we will do what it takes to protect him or her and to get the help that they need. Your parents are given to you from Father God for your protection, not your limitation. Oftentimes the enemy of our souls will lie against your parents’ character in order to keep you for going to them for help. We are to run to our parents for help, not run from them to hide. That is what Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden after they disobeyed God. They hid themselves when God came to walk with them in the cool of the day. Read about it in Genesis 2 and 3. When we make a harmful choice, the best place to run is to our parents who are equipped to help you take that choice and turn it for good in your life.
Another thought, what happens if you keep this information to yourself and great harm, or death, comes to your sibling? Will you be able to live with knowing you could have been a part of getting your sibling the help that was needed?

My parents tell me to go to church because it is good for me, but they rarely go. Should I confront them?

A: It is a good thing to share your heart and mind with your parents. The important thing to remember is that you are to always show them the respect and honor that Father God speaks about in Ephesians 6:1,2 Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.  Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with a promise. That promise is that all will go well with you and you will live a long life. That sounds pretty good, right! Respect and honor toward your parents also honors God.
Ecclesiastes 8:6 tells us there is a right way and a right time to approach every problem or concern of our heart. For there is a time and a way for everything, although man’s trouble [a] lies heavy on him. Several things to remember are:
– Do not approach your parents if you are angry or resentful. You must go with a desire to share your heart with them, not to demand from them.
– Respectfully acknowledge the authority of your parents’ to send you to church. Thank them that they care enough about you to want you to be taught the truth of Bible.
– Then, ask them if you may share something that is a concern to you.
– Respectfully and humbly share that you really want them to go to church with you. Talk to them about your thoughts on the matter maintaining a respectful tone. Let them know it would mean a great deal to you if all of you could go to church together.
The next thing to do is to pray that Father God would put a desire in their heart to go with you. Continue to show them honor and respect and leave room for Father God to work.

How should I approach my parents when I catch them lying?

A: The first thing to do is to ask yourself is if the information is appropriate for you to know. Lying is a very serious accusation. So often what can appear to be a lie is actually that you do not have all of the information. Sometimes parents can share all of the information, sometimes they cannot.
Approach your parents privately, not in front of other siblings or people, and respectfully ask if you can talk to them.
Tell them that you are confused about something and hope they can help you to understand if, in their mind, it is appropriate for you.
Tell them what they told you and what you thought was true. Ask them to help you understand.
Do not accuse your parents from lying. Humbly approach them asking for clarification. Caution…sometimes we are the one who has completely misunderstood.

How can I live a pure life when my parents don’t believe in it and don’t model it for me?

A: Each person must make his/her own choice in this matter. The Bible is very clear that impurity is not His plan people as it is harmful in so many ways to a stable, life-long marriage that honors God. Truth is truth whether it is modeled to us from those in our own home. Many young people live with parents who are not Christians, who are alcoholics, drug addicts, etc. Each person must decide from himself or herself whether they will follow the examples set by those in our families and in our culture; or follow God’s plan for our lives. Father God created LIFE and He created you! He is the One Who best knows how life should be lived. You have to decide for yourself if you will follow Him or follow others. Also, pray that your parents will see God’s plan for them as well. You walk according to what God has placed in your heart. Respect and honor your parents as you relate to them and the Light of Christ will shine through you!

What should I do if my parents don’t want me to become a Christian?

A: Be as honorable to your parents in every way you possibly can. However, in the matter of becoming a Christian, we are to obey Father God above all. The amazing thing is that when you are forgiven of your sins and God’s Spirit comes to live inside of you, you are given a new heart and a new mind and more than ever you will be able to love and honor your parents in a way that they will see the difference in your life! You may actually be the one who leads them to become Christians!

I can’t get along with my mom. Is it ok to ignore her and wait until I can finally move out?

A: It actually takes two people to argue. If one of the parties does not argue, it is amazing what happens potentially volatile situations. To ignore your mother is disrespectful and the Bible is clear that we are to honor our parents. (See Ephesians 6:,1,2) Sometimes we have to separate position from personality. Your mother holds a position of authority in your life. That position is to be honored. You may be greatly surprised at what might happen if you choose to be respectful to your mother in the way you speak to her, the way that you treat her, and the way that you fulfill your own responsibilities at home. Now, her personality may not be one you like or even agree with in how she communicates or deals with you. The Bible says we are to obey and honor our parents. It does not say IF we like what they say and how they say it. Actually, this instruction to honor and obey your parents is followed with a promise from God that things will go well with you if you do. Proverbs also tells us that a soft answer turns away wrath. If your mother’s manner is angry, your soft respectful answer can diffuse that anger. Amazing things can happen if you choose to respond differently. The Bible says that sometimes it is the child who leads to what is right!

I have been abused by a family member. How can I get out of this situation?

A: To escape the abuse of a family member or anyone else, whether physical, emotional, or sexual, you MUST tell a trustworthy adult. You have several options here. You can tell a parent (obviously if the parent is not part of the problem), a school counselor, a pastor or minister, a Sunday school teacher, or another trusted adult. To remain in silence or worry about what people think will eventually work against you and possibly cause you long term emotional and relational problems. The abuse will stop when it is exposed!

As a victim of sexual abuse myself, I never told anyone until I grew up, and I can now see how my silence had a terrible backlash effect. First of all, I dealt with shame over something that I had no control over. I felt like less of a person, like “damaged goods”. When a person feels shame they often begin to relate to everyone out of their sense of shame; for example, they might always feel like they have to earn everyone’s approval. They see themselves as inferior because a person who should have protected them actually harmed them. This can really mess with their head.

By remaining silent it also gives the abuser power to harm someone else. Because I was damaged by this person’s actions and kept quiet, I allowed him to go on to abuse others. For this, I will always feel regret. I cared so much about what everyone would think of me and the damage that speaking out would cause my abuser’s reputation, that I finally decided to bury it deep inside. The problem with burying something like this is that it’s not really dead! It soon came back to haunt me! Many years later, I received good, Godly counseling that helped me expose the abuse to the healing touch of Jesus. This was what finally put the power of the abuse to death, once and for all!

Don’t be silent another day! Ask God who you should go to with this information. Let it be revealed so you can begin to heal.

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