Cover Story Good Advice Feature Video Hot Topics

Most Commented Video

Hot topic of the week

Hello everyone! What are some of your favorite things to do on Sabbath? I like to watch nature shows, listen to music, and read! :)

What do YOU think?

Click here join in the discussion.

Most Commented Articles

Angels With Brussels Sprouts (3)

The Interview (3)

Camp Meeting Ambush (1)

Hard to Be Good (1)

Carrying Calvin (1)

Shayna's Picture
Meet Shayna


My dad has backslidden, I donít know what to do!


PART 1: Until last year, my dad was a very dedicated Christian. Since then he has backslidden and heís not living the life of a Christian. His choices are destroying my family. I donít know what to do!óLinda, online

Shayna Answers:

Dear Linda,

Our parents are our role models, our sources of security as heads of our families. Yet sometimes our parents’ behavior disappoints us because we forget that they are also human and susceptible to making mistakes just like we are. Even though you probably expect your parents to be the ones to take care of you, every member of a family has the potential to affect and to help another. Let’s talk about what you can do to help your father and, by extension, your whole family.

Ask your parents if you can talk to them alone. The effects of your father’s behavior may seem obvious, but unless you point them out to him, there’s a possibility that he may not know how his behavior is affecting the family. This may be a difficult conversation for you to have, so think about specific examples of how your father has changed. If you’re afraid that you’re going to get emotional, or that you’re going to forget what you want to say, make some notes and use them when you talk with your dad.

While you’re talking to your dad, don’t make generalizations such as, “You’re never here anymore!” Instead, give specific examples of your dad’s behavior, such as “You said that you would come to my softball game last week, and then you didn’t show up or say why.” Also make sure to express how his behavior is affecting you. You can say things such as “When you didn’t show up at the game, I got angry and confused. I felt like you abandoned me for no reason.”
There probably is a reason why your father has been backsliding. Take the opportunity during this conversation to find out what it is. Parents need people to encourage them just like we do. Ask your father, “Did something bad happen?” and “Is there anything I can do to help?”

You don’t have to have the answers for anything he shares with you. Just listen and offer general encouragement, such as “Dad, I’m really sorry that happened, but you’ve always been a strong person, and you shouldn’t give this person/situation/disappointment enough power to change your behavior.” Say positive things to your dad. You can even say, “Dad, you know I’ll always love you. I just don’t like to see you hurt yourself or our family.” Sometimes parents need to hear that we still support them when they make mistakes.

I mentioned that you should talk to both of your parents. It’s important to have your mother with you when you talk to your dad. She needs to know how you feel for two reasons: so she can continue talking to your father about your feelings after your talk with him, and so she can comfort you and help you while you and your dad work things out. After all, no matter what your father might be doing, your mother should still be there for you.

Maybe you’ll find that your father is unresponsive to anything you or your mother has to say. If this is the case, you may need to seek the assistance of outside help—such as a Christian counselor or pastor. Ask your parents if you can start with something as easy as having your church pastor make a home visit when you know your dad will be home.

Breaking up families is the devil’s most-favored tactic for destroying peoples’ faith and pulling them away from God. Next week we’ll talk about the most important thing you can do to keep your family together.

Submit Question :: Add Comment ::Send a to Friend!

Top | Home