Struggling with non-believing family members

I’ve struggled with this for a while now and I will appreciate all the help, guidance and prayers that you all can provide. Some of my extended family members do not believe in God. At times they make me feel inferior because I believe in God. One time I made a comment about God and one member replied “IF there is a God” in a mocking, superior tone. I find this completely rude and hurtful. I don’t make rude comments about their beliefs and I wish that they would respect mine.

This happened over a year ago and I wish that I would have been a stronger more confident person at the time to actually reply to her comment. Again, they have made themselves out to be superior with their own beliefs and have ridiculed others for their strong Faith. I’m just afraid that they will do the same to me. I grew up with them and we have shared good moments together. I don’t want to be resentful and hateful towards them because that’s not what Jesus would want. That’s not what I want for myself either.

How can I keep attending family functions and speak to them in a nice civil way and in some way keep loving them as my family without these feelings of hate towards them?

The best way to “prove” God exists if for your family to “see” Him in your life. Enjoy His presence in your life and it wont matter what your family thinks of your beliefs except that you will simply want them to have the same happiness in their lives and thus want them to know God. But your desire for them to believe wont be so they wont mock you. It will be out your love for them to share God with them.

You cant worry about what anyone thinks about ANY of your beliefs. If you are certain about your faith, no one else’ opinion matters but Gods.

So next time you see them, maybe tomorrow, simply give everyone a big hug and say I love you, God loves you - that Hug was from me and God!

God bless!! Dont worry. We know the truth in love!

We’re not called to hate unbelievers, but to love them to Jesus.

Next time someone acts superior because they don’t believe, don’t try to respond verbally. Just smile and give a small shake of your head, because you know better, and someday they will, too.
Besides, it will drive them crazy. :wink:

Just focus on being civil and nice. Don’t bring up religion or God on your own. If they bring religion up, just politely say, “we are going to have to agree to disagree, I am not interested in arguing with you and would like to enjoy your company without a fight over faith”. About feelings of inferiority you need to realize that you should not let anyone make you feel this way and determine in your head that you won’t and that you are not. That has to come from within yourself. You know now there is a God and believe in God. Since they don’t, they probably are not going to listen to you at this time. Catholic Answers does have a book out about answering Atheism. I would suggest you get it, read it and give yourself some confidence in what you believe and why. Without knowing your family, focus on being polite and kind and if they bring up religion, beg off the question.

I know exactly what you feel (I think) because I have the same issue at university with my coursemates and with some acquaintaces. I want to love others but find it difficult because they are always rejecting GOD. And in a way, some say that I am judging them. My advice will be to pray the Rosary. Our Blessed Mother is helping me love people that do not love her Son, as that’s what she had to do when Jesus was being scourged and when he was crucified. Another piece of advice is that: remember that your duty has a Christian is to tell others about GOD, not convert them. Conversion comes directly as a grace from GOD. We are meant to give them food for thoughts, whether they decide to eat that food or rejecting it, is entirely up to them. I sincerely believe that by growing in spiritual prayer, you will find it easier (never easy) to tackle such situations.:smiley:

There will always be people around us who do not know or love God and this presents us with a great opportunity. We can show by our actions and lives what joy our faith in God gives us. Someday they just might come around because they will want what we have and will find their peace through God as we have. Be patient and pray constantly.

While I have always believed in God, there was a time I spent “wandering in the desert” away from the church. During this time I felt like a ship with no port. When we kick God out of our harts and lives there can only be a gaping hole of nothingness to take it’s place. While they may smile and mock on the outside, they ache with loneliness on the inside.

So what everyone is saying is correct. We can pray and hope that one day their ship will come in from the rough seas and find a safe harbour. Some do find this! I think it is not surprising to find someone suffering with emptiness to want to be upset with those that are not. Is this not what is going on so very publicly all around us? As time goes on, as God is taken out of the classroom, etc ect, we will see this more and more.

What I am called on to do as a follower of Jesus, God, and Mary, is to love them, pray for them, and show them the example of Christ. Pray the Rosary before meeting with these people. You will be fine! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! :thumbsup:

I’ve been where you are. I came into the Church in my 20’s, and got promptly got dropped by friends. Family had to tolerate me, and although I wasn’t spouting off on Jesus, just the fact that I went to Church ‘all of a sudden’, irked them to no end. There were rude remarks, there were always plans made on Sunday morning for coffee and visits, knowing that I went to Church, and the usual abuse of ‘you’re too good for us now’ remarks. I’ve been at birthday parties and such where extended family was gathered, and just my question of ‘What kind of week did you have?’ was enough for them to get up and leave the room and find someone else to talk too. I know I was shunned, but I had to think of how uncomfortable they were. They didn’t know what to do with me. lol

It stung. But the best thing is, it hurt my pride. I could go to confession to confess my pride, but nothing is like the little barbs to help dig pride out! lol Thank you Jesus. After all, it wasn’t that long ago that I was just like them. Remembering Jesus, I had to submit to the barbs, because Christ, Who was sinless, accepted crucifixion. I’m certainly not being called to lay down my life, but if I could bring my own will to submit, it’s like an athlete who lifts weights to get stronger.

My husband is a good example. If someone ever said to him, “You’re an idiot”, he’d laugh and say something like, if only you knew how true that was! lol If someone said that the whole God and religion thing is stupid, he’d just reply that they would find out soon enough. No confrontation. No bristling. No stewing. It takes time to get there. It’s only being in the midst of it can you work those muscles. Go to confession as often as necessary so that the mud can get cleaned off as soon as it’s slung at you. This is how ordinary people have become saints. This is how, as they got older, did amazing things, by being faithful in the little things first. Getting stretched. There are aches and pains with the stretching, certainly! God bless and strengthen you today.

Be the light of Christ :smiley:

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