Ask Your Preacher
Hello, I just really need some major advice if you could, please. My family (mom, dad, sister, brother and I) is always fighting. It's beginning to take a huge toll on all of us, and it's becoming all we do. I don't want us to be that way, but I don't know what to do to stop it. I pray that everyone will start being happier with everyone, that everyone will stop fighting and just get along and enjoy our time together. My parents fight a lot, and I'm just worried that it's going to tear this family apart. Do you know anything I can do or say to stop this?
I feel like I'm about to have a mental breakdown. I really do. Everything is just getting to me, and I have no friends at all (I know God and Jesus Christ love me, but I mean, like, people around me). Everyone just thinks of me as a loser or something. I want to be needed and to be someone's best friend. I know this all probably sounds crazy or just a rant, but I just needed to talk to someone that would personally read and answer me. I'm trying to make friends. I'm just afraid that I'm supposed to be alone and friendless all my life. Please help any way possible; a prayer for my family and I would be greatly appreciated! Thank you for taking the time to read this, and again, I'm sorry. God bless.
First of all, you are in our prayers. Fighting within a family is so painful for a child; at least one of our AYP writers knows that first hand. Perhaps the most painful part is the feeling of helplessness that the children are left with. There isn’t anything you can say to fix it, and that is what hurts. We wish we could tell you that there is an easy solution, and if you step in and get involved, it will change everything, but that isn’t true. Sometimes, getting involved can make things worse. Pr 26:17 says that getting in the middle of someone else’s disagreement is like grabbing a dog’s ears. You’ll get bitten every time. Just because you feel you have the solution and see the situation clearer than your parents doesn’t mean that they would be receptive to hearing it. The most likely scenario is that you would add fuel to an already burning fire.
Another thing to consider is that your advice isn’t likely to be accepted by either parent because you are their child. Jesus said that a prophet has respect except amongst his own family and in his own house (Mk 6:4). Time has not made you equals with your parents, and you aren’t in a position to help them – it just isn’t the way life works. This doesn’t mean you are wrong or that you are seeing things incorrectly – it just means they won’t listen because you are the child, and they are the parents. Whether or not you are correct is irrelevant.
But all of this doesn’t mean there isn’t anything you can do. Jesus’ preaching didn’t affect His family, but His lifestyle did. Multiple times in the Bible it says that Mary saw Jesus’ behavior and “treasured these things in her heart” (Lk 2:19, Lk 2:51). Jesus’ example made a lasting impact upon His family. When you see your parents fighting, calmly walk away. If they ask why – tell them it hurts you. When you have a chance to show respect to your father and love to your mother, do it. As parents, we can tell you that mothers and fathers notice these acts of selflessness and maturity in our children more than they ever know. Many parents have become better people because of the example of their children. You can’t preach to them, but you can live a sermon every day. And most of all, remember that regardless of what your parent’s marriage looks like, it isn’t your fault, and it isn’t your burden. You are only responsible for you, and someday, if you get married, you can apply the lessons you are learning now to change your family tree, so your children don’t need to feel the way you are feeling now.
[This question is in response to “Feminine Ways”]
How do you view Deborah in the Bible? How do you explain why God mentions her at all? She judged both men and women in Israel. I'm not convinced that God will be boxed in to whom He can use at any given time. God Bless.
Thinking Outside the Box
Dear Thinking Outside the Box,
The only rules God is “boxed in” by are His own. The Bible is full of women that taught and shared God’s wisdom… Deborah is just one example of them. Miriam, Moses and Aaron’s sister, was a prophetess (Ex 15:20), and so were Philip’s four daughters (Acts 21:8-9). The problem is not with women teaching; it is the venue in which they do it.
We didn’t make 1 Cor 14:34 and 1 Tim 2:12 – those are God’s laws, not ours. We also didn’t make the qualifications that an elder be a man – the Lord authored Tit 1:5-9 and 1 Tim 3:1-7. The qualifications for an elder restrict women from being pastors, but it also forbids young men, unmarried men, and those without children. It isn’t a matter of the value of people; it is a matter of what God’s law says.
How can I live a more stress-free life, so I can move on in my life?
Bundle Of Nerves
Dear Bundle Of Nerves,
A stress-free life is impossible, but a Christian has tools to deal with the ups and downs of life that change everything. We are told that we can pray for a quiet and tranquil life (1 Tim 2:1-2). Matt 6:33-34 says that if we seek the Lord, He will take care of us and care for our needs. Ps 55:22 also teaches that we can cast our burdens upon God, and He will sustain us. And lastly, Rom 8:28 gives us the confidence that God will cause all things to work together for good for those who love Him. Christianity doesn’t mean a stress-free life, but it means a life where we can have peace through the trials (Php 4:7).
I wonder why our gospel preacher, along with several others, think they need to go overseas to preach the gospel. I feel there is a great need here in the United States for preaching also, but he doesn’t do that; he only holds gospel meetings from time to time. I know it is good to let others hear the gospel all over the world, but why not go out into areas in the U.S.?! It seems like a lot of wasted money, and everyone knows the people in the poor nations are always looking for money. Why do so many preachers think they have to do this?
Stick To The States
Dear Stick To The States,
The key to answering your question is in your own words – you said, “I feel there is a great need here…”. God has told us to bring the gospel to all of the world (Matt 28:19), and it is a matter of wisdom and personal preference as to where, when, and how to do that.
Some feel it is more practical to focus on those of their own country because there is a real need right here. Others feel that since we are the wealthiest nation in the world and have the means to preach in foreign lands, we should focus on that. Both are right. There are needs in both America and abroad. There are preachers needed here and elsewhere.
Yes, some people in poor nations only want money and are deceptively listening to the gospel in hopes of a handout… but the same could be said about people here in America, too! Wherever the gospel has been preached, there have been sincere and insincere hearts. Even one of the apostles, Judas, used religion as a disguise for greed (Jhn 12:6).
The best thing we can do is all work to preach wherever we feel we can make a difference and not judge those who put their zeal towards other evangelism fields – we both serve the same Master (Rom 14:4). The problem isn’t that we aren’t preaching enough in the right parts of the world… the problem is that we aren’t preaching enough.
Can Satan read our minds? Does Satan read our thoughts? Is he capable of knowing what we are thinking? Thank You!
What Am I Thinking Right Now?
Dear What Am I Thinking Right Now,
Satan cannot read your mind, but he can attack your mind. The devil is exceptionally cunning and wiley (Eph 6:11). He uses his trickery to deceive us, but he doesn’t know your inner thoughts. On certain occasions, the devil has placed thoughts within minds (Jhn 13:2), but he cannot see into our hearts. If the devil could read minds and hearts, he never would have wasted time tempting Jesus (Matt 4:1).
God is the only one to be noted to have the ability to see into our hearts (Acts 1:24) and read our minds (Lk 11:17). Aside from God, the only one who knows your mind is you (1 Cor 2:11). The devil may be very clever… but he doesn’t know the depths of your soul.