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May 26, 2008

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Jonathan Seda

I would point her to 1 Peter 3.1-6 and draw an analogy between the profound influence a wife can have on her husband and the profound influence a child can have on her parents, all without words. Peter says an unbelieving husband can be "won over without words" and I believe the same is true of parents whom we are to honor. This is not to say that words are not important, but those come later when they observe her life and ask her to give the reason for the hope that she has (1 Peter 3.13-15). It would seem that in a culture where family is so very important this instruction of Peter would be very applicable.

Arjuna Chiguluri

This is what I would do if I were in her shoes.

I would continue to worship Christ and since the family is so offensive about it I would not talk to them about Christ. But I would continue to read Bible, pray and attend the church.

Second, she has to make it clear why she became a Christian when her family confronts her. Since she does not know how to do this, maybe you or someone must teach her how to talk about it from her life.

Third, a strong counseling is necessary to help explain to her the hardship we face often when accepting Christ and patiently pray for the family and win them to Christ. It will be tough at times, but God will help her through those difficult days. She does not need to fear she will lose the family because she is not leaving them but sticking with them. Only when it comes to worship she is separate.

Also the family of God is bigger than the family she has now and she should be taught this and otherwise encouraged by your counseling.

Joseph Utter

I would agree with the above two comments. I would stress the importance of her not being alone in this perceived problem. That a great number of brothers and sisters have felt this same sense of separation, if only spiritually, if not emotionally/physically from family members unlinked with them by Christ.

Most important would be to encourage a meeting with a mature believer (preferably older woman, per Titus 2) and to nurture the strength, knowledge, and needs that this young believer has.

Encouragement to take heart that there is one who sticks closer than a brother is also a comfort.

Dynitta

First and foremost, praise God for her courage!! Her courage to ask the hard questions, and her courage to stand for Christ, even in the midst of possible rejection from her family.

Secondly, she needs to understand for herself "why" she believes. We can never give to someone something we do not have ourselves. So I would ask: why did you leave Hinduism and make a choice for Christ? What was it about the message of the Gospel? I would also suggest studying a bit of apologetics [Josh McDowell for example]. So that she may always be prepared to give an answer to those that ask about the hope she has.

Third, become apart of the church community. Volunteer within areas of interest, find the place you fit. Become apart of a small group. The Body of Christ is the family of Christ. You bring your gifts and talents together with other people and the Body is represented. We are all different parts, but ONE body.

Fourth, share this with a trusted group so that these other believers, or family members, can join with you in prayer for your biological family. But please realize that the moment you became a Christ follower, you inherited millions of brothers and sisters all across this planet ... and we would all love to pray for you and your family.

And finally, cry out to God on behalf of your family. God is the only one that can change a heart. Ask him for clear direction, and clear times of opportunity to witness or to be a witness to your family. I believe it was St. Francis of Assisi that said, "Preach the Gospel and when necessary use words." More can be gained by the life you live, the freedom in Christ that you have, the joy and hope in your life then mere words. Let your family see the Light of the Risen Savior in you. Be Salt. Be Light.

My prayers are with you dear sister, please keep fighting the good fight. Your Heavely Father is not through with you yet [smiles]

Anonymous

First of all, thank you for responding. It seems as though I should just let God do His work in his own time, which is the problem I have. I am working on being patient and not doing his work. I think I am getting better, but it just seems difficult to do that. Why is it so hard to let god control all the aspects of my life? is it just me, or does everyone struggle with that? it seems as though I give up my problems to God and then, if i don't see any results in a few days, I want to take those back and try to solve it. it's a constant and exhausting battle.

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