How Should a Christian Relate With Unbelieving Parents?
Categories: Bible Study, Inspirational, Lifestyle,
In this post, I have shared some guides in how Christian children of Unbelieving parents should relate with their parents.
It is a common scenario where Parents encourage their children to fellowship with believers and be good examples, however, there are also many cases where the children are believers and the parents unbelievers, have you ever wondered how children In such homes relate with their unbelieving parent?
Youths who have unbelieving parents, are often faced with situations where they have to choose between their faith and pleasing their parents.
If you are in this situation I pray you find this post beneficial. Even as you pray and stay hopeful that one day they will have a change of mind, for as long as it may stay, don't stop showing them love and putting them in prayer.
Who is an unbelieving parent?
When the gospel is preached to a person and he or she does not believe it, they are called unbelievers, this means that they have rejected the sacrifice of Jesus, as a result of this they remain unsaved. John 12:48.
A person that rejects the gospel is a person that is not born again, because they have rejected the only way salvation is made available (Acts 4:12).
An unbelieving parent is a father or mother that does not believe in the finished work of Christ, in other words a parent who does not believe in Jesus' death, burial and resurrection.
John 3:18-19 KJV
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
How To Relate With Non Christian Parents
2 Corinthians 6:14 KJV
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
To be unequally yoked together means to have fellowship with someone who is not an equal, I.e somebody that is not of the Christian faith.
With the Scripture above, you may be tempted to keep your unbelieving parents at a distance, but that should not be the case.
Apostle Paul taught these things to the church at Corinth, whose lifestyle was not reflecting Christ at the time.
Christian children have been given instruction on how to relate with their parents, whether they believe the gospel or not, In Ephesians 6:1,2 Apostle Paul says obey and honour them.
Living with a parent that does not believe the gospel can be very difficult, in the case where it is a child or teenager it can even lead to depression, because they are still depending on their parents for their livelihood, and parents influence a lot of important decisions in their lives.
Here are guides that would help Christian Children of Unbelieving Parents stay at peace with their parents.
1. Understand That What Ever They Do Is Only Based On Their Level Of Understanding
Not all of Jesus' siblings believed in him, even those from his home town, but he was not bitter toward them, John 7:5.
They were acting out if ignorance, if they knew better, that Jesus truly died and rose to offer them eternal life, they would accept him, but their minds had been blinded.
It is your responsibility to pray for them, and keep reaching out them with the gospel, if they have not believed the preaching, let them see God's love in your actions.
Always keep in mind that your parent don't hate you, neither do they have intentions of hurting you, often times, even when our parents are making a mistake, they think its for our good.
So you have to understand and keep this at heart, it will help you not to take some things to heart.
2. What They Have To Say About Your Believe Does Not Define You
Do not let the negative things your unbelieving parents say about your faith get to you, that is why you must know who you are in Christ, not having the knowledge of who you are, will lead to identity crisis. You will doubt yourself, and live below the life that you ought to live.
James 1:2-4 NLT
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
Though this is not the case of Taliban's and Christians living in Afghanistan, it is a form of prosecution and as awkward as it seems, you should be joyful that just like Apostle Paul and other Apostles, you are also worthy to go through prosecution for the faith.
3. Obey And Love Your Parents
Ephesians 6:1-2 KJV
Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.  Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)
The word children is gotten from the Greek word teknon which means offspring, it also implies dependence, a child is a person that depends on his or her parents for support, nourishment, shelter.
As long as you live with your parents you have to obey them, and this obedience is defined, it has to be 'in the lord', if what they ask you to do anything that does not agree with your faith in Christ, and you disobey them you're not wrong, love and respect them, do not look down on them because they do not share the same faith with you.
You owe your parents respect and honour, whether they are believers or not, as long as they are your parents, you should honour them, in the lord.
4. Pray For Your Parents and Be At Peace With Them
Romans 12:11-12 KJV
Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;  Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
When you understand the concept of Salvation and eternity, you will have compassion on your unbelieving parents.
If your parents remain unsaved, they will not have eternal life John 3:17,18.
Pray for them continuously, that they should yield to the gospel of Christ, and that God should send ministers to preach to them, you may not be the person that will lead them to Christ, because they raised you they may not want to listen to you on that note mark 6:4, however keep reaching out to them with the gospel, 2 Corinthians 4:3-5.
Romans 12:18 KJV
If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
As much as you can be at peace with them, God in his love will not let you go through a situation that you cannot bear, and will also make a way of escape, 1 Corinthians 10:13.
5. Know Where To Set Boundaries Especially When Your Faith Is Involved
First, Make it clearly known to everyone that you are a believer, let them know that your faith is not up for debate, when they know where you stand, a boundary has been drawn and there are certain things they will not bring to you.
You must not let sentiments make you compromise your faith. The word of God is final authority in the life of a believer, when you face opposition because of your faith in Christ, it is called persecution, and persecution is part of the Christian faith. 1 Corinthians 4:12, 2 Corinthians 4:9.
Matthew 10:37 KJV
He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
John 15:19-20 KJV
If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.  Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
Acts 5:29 KJV
Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
6. Don't Expect An Over Night Change From Your Parents
Be patient with them, they may already be considering accepting Jesus but don't know how, there might be a past event they are struggling with that you know nothing about.
Keep praying for them and believing. Never give up on them, speak to them, know what they think and why they have not believed, then you will know if what they need is more explanation or prayer.
Your life style should give them an idea of the love of Christ, if you neglect them, you will only be doing more harm than good, when they see the love of Christ through you, they will be drawn closer, and this can make them give you a listening ear when you preach the gospel to them.
It is important to note that no man has the power to save, it is not your goodness to them that will save them, but the gospel of Christ.
God is love, he expressed his love toward us while we were yet sinners, he has put his spirit within us, which should find expression through us by knowledge, our model is our heavenly father.
According to 1 Timothy 2:4, the will of God is that all men should be saved and know the truth about Christ, if you neglect your unbelieving parents, how will God's will prevail? We have a responsibility to keep reaching out to them with the gospel, and we can only do this if we have a healthy relationship with them.
Romans 5:8 KJV
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
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