Q: My mom is the main reason I started going to church (other than God, of course), and she bought me my first Bible and purity ring. I know she supports my choice to follow the Lord. But the problem is, now she is abandoning her faith and I don’t know what to do. I am praying for her, but do you have any other ideas of what I can do? She told me once that she doesn’t worry too much about the way she lives her life because none of her friends are believers, so she feels she can get away with it. I love my mom and don’t want her choices now to affect the rest of eternity.

adropIt makes my heart so sad that you have to be the “parent” in terms of maturity. However, I’m glad that you are so mature! I think most girls in your situation would see their parent’s indifference as a license to have the same attitude toward life. Instead, you’re wise to see that your mom’s choices right now are foolish.

I definitely think praying for her is the most important thing you can do. I’m trying to put myself in your mom’s shoes to see what my daughter could do to help me wise up. I think being a steady example is huge. For a teenager (and my own daughter at that) to choose God’s way of living when I’m not would really make me question whether I was being a good example for her. On the flip side, I think the worst thing you could do is nag her about her choices. Scolding, arguing, saying “Grow up!”–those types of reactions would put anyone on the defensive. It may be productive to tell her (in a calm, mature way) that her actions are hurting you, and that you care about her too much to see her sacrifice holiness to gain the approval of her non-Christian friends.

It seems Paul wrote this verse just for you, sis:

“Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity”  (1 Timothy 4:12).

Take some time to reflect on those words, and maybe write down some practical ways that you can be an example to your mom in what you say, in the way you live your life, in your faith, and in your purity.

I know it’s not easy; there are never any quick fixes to help others make better choices. But you can be thankful that God used your mom to show you the path of godly living, whether or not your mom gets her life back on track.

Love,