About someone in my family


I know someone in my family who doesn’t understand my spiritual needs…I try to share this without shoving anything but it’s as though it doesn’t matter for that person…So I end up not talking about it at all and try to talk about other things that we have in common…Why is this important? Well, I live far way from my home and am over 40 years old now so I can lead my life…A family member doesn’t seem to understand my happiness overseas. I do have beliefs and feel that God is wanting me to teach overseas…No matter how much I try to show my happiness or my passion for the work I do both in the church and in my field of work, it doesn’t seem to impress this family member…What spiritual strategies can I use to avoid problems with this person when it concerns me and my life abroad…? How can I maintain my family love and my love for my work out here? I’m using my own judgment but is there a book that someone can recommend about living abroad and keeping a family happy…a religious book?



Do you need a book?

Sounds like you need a little more conversation. Perhaps your perception is off as to why they feel that way about you. It may not be about your needs - it may be about what they need from you.

When a family member works abroad it is quite easy for other family members to feel sad, confused, and don’t understand why a family member would purposefully chose to be away for long periods of time. They may feel like they are not able to share much since you may not be around to provide support to them when they need it. Perhaps they simply miss being able to share family memories, events, births, anniversaries, graduations, and other gatherings with you.

Ask them how they feel about you working overseas. You may be surprised to learn that you are loved and missed and needed. Good luck.

I don’t really understand the problem.

It seems to me that your family member doesn’t approve of/agree with your decision to live overseas.

So, I would just say ‘topic closed’ when they bring it up.

You are 40 years old, you do not owe anyone an explanation or a defense of the things you choose to do. You do not have to rehash this with anyone over and over. You simply say, “we have covered this, I am very happy, let’s move on”. If they can’t respect your boundaries, then you need to tell them politely that you will be unable to continue to converse with them until they can respect your boundaries.

I think maybe a book for your own growth and development would be one on assertiveness or boundary-setting.

We, too, lived abroad in Europe for six years and there were times when I was so lonely…and couldn’t share my faith with those back home. Have you considered joining a Bible study of some sort? It may help alleviate the loneliness even if in another language. Another option is going to Adoration and prayer. It helped me.

Thanks for your ideas… I’m on vacation right now from my Bible class…I’m just visiting this Forum…I’m happy to see your caring feedback…Thanks again. I may be back.


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