Non-Christian dad


#1

My dad isn't Christian, or even religious. He doesn't come to Mass with the rest of my family and has stated that he doesn't believe in God. He does pray meal prayer with us though.

I feel as though I should be "Evangelizing" to him, but it's extremely hard. In what ways could I do this?

Please help!


#2

You know your father better than any of us, so some of the suggestions that you will get might not be applicable.

I would suggest you start reading Catholic/Christian material in his presence, be non-chalant about it, or leave it around the house, maybe under a stack of his favourite magazines or the news paper, where he can find it, but find it in such a way as it looks like you left it there without purpose.

Or, bring up subjects you can steer towards the faith, current events are always a good one. The other day I managed to steer a conversation to the nature of God’s intervention from the BP debacle. A friend of mine and I were talking about BP’s responsibilty and the damage to the environment et al, and she’d read somewhere about how people were “praying” for it to sort itself out, and from there I flicked the conversation as to how God intervenes.

Or you could just be really up front, if he’s your dad, then you wont’ have to worry about the whole awkward thing that happens if you bring up God with secular friends. Because he’s your dad! You just ask "well, dad, why don’t you beleive in God? Why do you say prayers if you dont’ think there’s anyone who can hear you?

If you get an idea as to why he doesn’t beleive in God then you can better craft your missionary work, so to speak.


#3

I recently watched a video series on the life of St. Teresa of the Andes. One of her older brothers was going seriously astray – staying out partying until all hours, alcohol, women, the works. Teresa (known to her family as Juanita) stayed up late until he came home, not so she could preach to him, but so she could serve him for the love of God.

St. Francis of Assisi is credited as telling his brothers to preach constantly, and if necessary, to use words. His point was that their actions must preach the gospel.

My point, if I can make one today, is that the best way to evangelize to anyone, is most likely through loving service, performed for the love the Christ. If you love your father to the best of your ability, and “put your love into living action” (as Blessed Mother Teresa used to say), you will be providing a powerful witness to the Truth.

If God wants you to speak, He will open that door and put the words into your mouth. In the meantime, pray and make sacrifices for his conversion. The prayers of a child for his/her father are precious to Christ.

Incidentally, my son’s dad is also not a Christian, but even though this man is my peer (same age, education level, etc.) I feel fairly certain that I am not to talk to him about God at this point. The evangelizing God wants of me in this case is to love this man unconditionally (not an easy task with an ex-husband!) and to look for opportunities to be of service to him.

I will be praying for your family!

Gertie


#4

My father is an atheist, and very hostile toward anything religious. If I were to try to convert him, or even try to get him to discuss the possibility that there might be a loving, eternal God, he would be at first irritated, then defensive, and then downright hostile. It would do more damage than good to pursue the matter. So we “agree to disagree” and leave it alone. Every now and then I’ll work something into the conversation, like recently where a seemingly-random turn of events avoided a bad situation. I said, “That was your guardian angel at work, although you’d just call it 'good luck.;” His answer, “Well, we have different ways of looking at things.” It grieves me to see him approaching the end of his life in this state (he is in his late 80’s), but God isn’t finished with him yet. I pray for him, offer penances on his behalf, and leave the rest to God. And I also do a lot of the loving service Gertie mentioned, helping him around the house, driving him to the doctor’s, etc. – preaching the Gospel with my actions even when I’m keeping my mouth shut. Sometimes this is all we can do…:frowning:

God bless.


#5

How you personally live your life, is your best evangelism you can do.

IMHO


#6

[quote="StrawberryJam, post:5, topic:201832"]
How you personally live your life, is your best evangelism you can do.

IMHO

[/quote]

Agreed. "Preach always. Use words if you have to." - Saint Francis of Assisi (allegedly)

rossum


#7

[quote="McatholicN, post:1, topic:201832"]
My dad isn't Christian, or even religious. He doesn't come to Mass with the rest of my family and has stated that he doesn't believe in God. He does pray meal prayer with us though.

I feel as though I should be "Evangelizing" to him, but it's extremely hard. In what ways could I do this?

Please help!

[/quote]

Sounds like me. :) I'm a Dad that is not Christian, nor do I attend Mass (well, sometimes I do).

You're not going to like this - I'm giving you information from the other side of the coin - you're not going to be able to evangelize him. If he's gonna convert, he's gonna do it himself. Live your life as you see fit, continue to love him, but please avoid any contrived situations to convert him - that would likely make things worse.

And just FYI, my family sends me all kinds of Christian information via links and books and they talk about God around me, too. ;)


#8

Skeptics know that words are cheap. They believe hard evidence: in this case, the evidence of a life lived.

I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35

OP: if your dad is good to you, he will not go without his reward:
Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.” John 13:20
Therefore, what he does for you because he loves you, take as a work done for God.

Pray for his obvious conversion, that he may receive those graces as soon as possible, but as long as he seeks the truth, have good hope for him. The one who seeks, finds.


#9

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