How can I better witness to my family?


#1

My family isn’t Catholic and although most of them consider themselves Christians, they lack a huge understanding of how Christ has called his people to be.

Examples:
One of my sisters (I have 6) is currently pregnant with her second child. I’ll call her M. She had several pregnancy complications in the past due to a malformed uterus and past exposure to an STD. She has had one or two miscarriages and an ectopic pregnancy that almost killed her. Today she said that after this baby is born that she is thinking about either getting herself “fixed” or having her husband “fixed.” Which means getting tubes tied or vasectomy. :frowning:

Another sister who is also pregnant, called C, had also mentioned before that after she has two kids altogether that she wants her husband to get a vasectomy.

And yet another sister, A, who already has two children, has been pondering having another child when her children have not yet grown accustomed to her boyfriend and they aren’t even anywhere close to becoming engaged.

I am not trying to judge them, it’s just that when they express wanting to do things like this I really wish I had a way to witness to them. I feel like no one wants to listen to me when I speak up about what I believe because they think I am trying to act like I am better than them. When my mom found out I was pregnant myself she was like “wow you were pregnant when you were getting baptized?! now you definitely don’t have a leg to stand on.” I didn’t understand what she was talking about because I never judged someone for having a child out of wedlock nor have I judged anyone’s character for making any mistake. I get kinda down sometimes because I wish I could encourage them to make better choices for their lives but no matter what I say or how I say it I am always being judgmental. :shrug:

I don’t feel comfortable standing up for my beliefs in my own home and it’s very discouraging. Any thoughts?

God bless


#2

Jesus was also rejected in His home town(Luke 4:16-30, Matthew 13:54-58), they won’t listen to your words so you will have to lead by example.


#3

**Children are the most beautiful gift God gives us in this life!
**
i was given 3 beautiful children and had a vasectomy because i was selfish and worried about money.

i regret my decision every day and often dream of the beautiful gifts from God that i refused.

Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, Ora Pro Nobis Peccatoribus!

mark


#4

Someone once said that the only bible people may read is you. Actions speak louder than words…


#5

It often takes a long time for seeds to sprout. It sounds like you are younger than the sisters you talked about, and that may have a lot to do with them not listening to you. Simply continue to live your life according to God’s principles. Speak up graciously whenever you have the chance. Pray for them. Love them. Be happy every time they make a moral choice.


#6

I know I need to work on being a stronger example for my family so I definitely need to start with myself. I suppose what I really wanted to ask is should I be speaking up when my loved ones want to do something that isn’t good for them? I have been keeping quiet around them in these instances because for one, yes I am the second-to youngest child, and two I just don’t want to come off the wrong way and sound like I am giving them a “holier-than-thou” attitude. I just want to make sure I am doing enough because I don’t want to be responsible to turning people away from the faith.

God bless


#7

In a situation like this, it might be best to only give your opinion if you are asked for it. Actions speak louder than words in many cases.

There are a few things I would speak up about to family even if I was not asked, but sterilization likely wouldn’t be one of them. For one thing, it is a somewhat private issue. But more, if they aren’t coming from a place where they see the bigger picture of why you think it is wrong, then they are unlikely to understand your objections. You need to start with the basic stuff before you get on to the specific things that derive from that.


#8

Sometimes when we are dealing with family members over whom we have no real authority, it is best to pray for people or circumstances to come into the lives of those family members from outside of the family.

Please do not make the mistake of thinking that you are responsible for making faithful Christians out of your siblings. Jesus said we could move mountains if we had but small Faith but our family members are not inanimate mountains. It honestly takes even greater faith to hand over those we love to God to let Him do the convincing.

That said, there is nothing wrong with sharing your understanding of what is true Christian teaching. But there is also nothing wrong with using tact when doing so. You are young enough that you are still learning how to do this. When we are speaking about family members with whom we share a strong emotional connection (and this is generally true about family members whether we are in the huggy type of family or the stand-offish type) it is often best to approach problematic behaviors from the point-of-view of emotion. For example, “It must be so hard to have so many pregnancy problems that you’d consider something major like sterilization.” (Actually that’s probably NOT how to say it but that’s the gist of it.) If your sister asks for clarification you can explain the Catholic Church position: that sterilization (for the sake of sterilization) is mutilation. (And remember, sometimes it IS necessary to remove diseased reproductive organs.) If your sister doesn’t ask what you mean, then pray for someone to come water the seeds of of your words.


#9

Sometimes the only thing you can do for those you love is pray for them and try to be the best Catholic you can be without leaving room for people to interpret your words or actions as hypocritical. I doubt anyone’s family is as holy or as moral as we would like them to be; it’s certainly the case for my family that many of the people I love very dearly have made poor decisions in the past or turned away from their faith. Don’t agree with or be complicit in their sinful actions, but do try to be loving and compassionate towards them. Most importantly, pray for them. When they do realize their mistakes and they need someone they can trust, they will know you are there for them. That’s all, really. Remember that our words won’t convince anyone unless God has first put it in their hearts to listen to us; only God can change someone else’s heart.


#10

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