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My dad has backslidden, I donít know what to do! Part 2.

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Part 2: Until last year, my dad was a very dedicated Christian. Since then he has backslidden, and now his behavior isnít conducive to a Christian lifestyle. His choice is destroying my family. I donít know what to do!óLinda, online


Shayna Answers:

Dear Linda,

Last week I suggested that you talk to your parents alone. I advised you to express your feelings with statements that provide examples of how your father has disappointed you. I also said that you should ask your father why he has changed. Then encourage him by communicating your unconditional love for him. I ended last week by suggesting that you may need to involve a counselor or pastor.

This week we’ll talk about effective things you can do in this situation to make it better.

First, remember that James 5:16 promises that prayer can make a big difference. Praying for those who are in distress, or for those who are hurting us, is a powerful thing to do.

Matthew 18:20 says that “where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” Ask your siblings to pray with you every night about this situation. Also, pray for specific things—that your father will achieve resolution from whatever has hurt him, that he will not be influenced by the devil to live a non-Christian lifestyle, and that he will be inspired to find his way back to God.

No matter what you say or do, prayer will help this sitatuation more than anything. It will also help you remember that you are surrendering the situation to God and asking Him to intervene for you. This will reduce your daily stress level, and it will strengthen your relationship with God.

Second, even if no one else in your family is setting a good example, you can. Help to pull your family together by encouraging everyone to eat dinner together at the table. Doing this will give your family members the opportunity to communicate.

At first no one may want to follow you to the dinner table, but if you are brave enough to sit at the table alone and just wait for your family, they will eventually join you. I know, because I have done this!

Get your siblings on board too. Talk to them about creating a peaceful environment. Make a conscious effort not to fight with each other in order to reduce the strife in your home. And, be more obedient to your parents.

While it may not seem like your behavior has any bearing on what your parents do, if you help to create an environment that is opposite to your father’s behavior, he may start to conform to the new norm in his house and unconsciously start curtailing his negative lifestyle choices.

Finally, pray for a forgiving spirit, so that your prayers can be sincere, and you can let go of the disappointment that you’re feeling. Even though you love your dad, not holding his bad behavior against him is a difficult thing to do. After all, he’s been responsible for the destruction that’s occurring in your family, and it’s normal to be angry, bitter, and disappointed.

Sometimes, though, we have to be the ones to change before we can see a change in others. Don’t give up hope in this situation. Luke 1:37 reminds us that “with God nothing will be impossible”—not even this.



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