The idea of sharing your faith with family can seem daunting. They’re the people you have the closest relationship with and the ones you ache to discover God’s goodness. But they can also be the last people you want to share your faith with because it can create a lot of tension.
As long as you avoid a few simple pitfalls, you can share your faith without worrying about creating too much stress and anxiety. Here are five mistakes you should steer clear of when witnessing to your family.
1. Allowing them to push your buttons
For better or worse, no one knows you better than your family—and no one knows how to get a rise out of you as easily. Sometimes families have a playful dynamic where people push each other’s buttons intentionally. And sometimes, certain people will try to get under your skin intentionally just to test you or antagonize you.
It can be difficult for the Gospel message to land if it dissolves into bickering or hurt feelings. So it’s essential to keep a close watch on your temper. If you find yourself getting defensive or angry, pull back. Take a break and cool off.
When you can demonstrate a peaceful, reserved demeanor in these discussions, it will have a significant impact.
2. Believing they won’t change
Nobody knows you better than your family, and vice versa. That’s one of the great things about our family relationships, and one of the most difficult. It’s easy to develop a profile for each member and then lock it down. And no matter what they do, you forever see them the same way.
A lot of adults talk about experiencing this with their parents. They might be in their late thirties, but their mother or father still sees them as the person they were when they were 16 years old.
We’re all changing, growing, and adapting. Resist the urge to assume that your loved ones will respond a certain way based on experience, especially based on experience from years ago.
3. Speaking too much
When the opportunity presents itself, there’s always a temptation to charge in and dump all the information you have. Sometimes with family members, it’s much more fruitful to guide them to the truth than to lay it all out there and expect an immediate response. In this case, it’s often better to leave them with something to chew on than it is to try and definitively answer all their questions.
We spend a lot of time worrying about what we’re going to say. But the truth is that sometimes it’s just as important to know when to stop talking.
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Lyndsey Koh
CALL TO ACTION
- Ask God to soften the hearts of your loved ones.
- Pray for powerful opportunities to share the Gospel with family members this holiday season.