Sabrina - posted on 10/24/2012 ( 61 moms have responded )
My 17 year old daughter told me that she's doesn't believe n God..p please give me some advice on what to say or do I'm lost..
Sabrina - posted on 10/24/2012 ( 61 moms have responded )
My 17 year old daughter told me that she's doesn't believe n God..p please give me some advice on what to say or do I'm lost..
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Jennifer - posted on 11/14/2012
I would say there is moving you can do or say. You can't force her to believe something she doesn't believe. My own husband doesn't believe in God eiher and I stoped tryin to force him a long time ago. I teach my children about god and he knows that he can't stop me from teaching them or stop them from asking all he questions they want.
Kirstin Bailey - posted on 11/05/2012
You could always try showing her different religions and how similar many monotheistic religions are. Praying for her will help ease your nerves but God will bring her back. Also explain that it is about having something to believe in after life and atheism is the ONLY "religion" to think otherwise. Most of the time a young adult follows the trends of friends or from a dramatic experience, but knowledge is power so try looking at all religions to show her how meaningful they truly are. I'm only twenty one so I went through the same experiences as well. I hope this helps at least a little!
Deanna - posted on 11/04/2012
Sabrina, that is what makes a great Mom!! You confused with her choice, but accept it as her choice. And you know that she is still your daughter and want that relationship with her. That is amazing.
Be proud of who you are, what you have done, and be proud of your daughter. But I doubt that I need to remind you to do that, you seem to have it all in hand.
You are an amazing person.
Sabrina - posted on 11/03/2012
Thanks for the encouragement all, even the negative comments ..lol..but I know she will find her way and we have a great relationship and that will always be not matter what..we are very involved in our youth group at church and.she wants to go more and more now, some I'm glad she.searching for herself....
Valerie - posted on 11/03/2012
Wow, there are some seriously bratty people on this post. It's ok, they might not believe in God, but God still believes in them. ;)
Sabrina - posted on 10/30/2012
I just want to thank everyone for all your comments, encouragement and insight it has truly been helpful
Christine - posted on 10/30/2012
I just read a few of these remarks and pretty funny. All the God thumpers right on this one- So Kick her out because she does not beielive in god. Pretty funny.... If my daughter at 17 came to me and said Mom I do not beleive in god I would say- Honey that is your choise and your choise along... Next subject. Who cares....
Christine - posted on 10/30/2012
Again respect her belief,. Not everyone beleives in god and god comes in all different shapes and sizes. Don't force your bleives on your daughter.
Kimberlee - posted on 10/30/2012
Be thankful you have a daughter who doesn't simply blindly follow and is capable of critical thinking. Why would you want to change a thing?
Tia - posted on 10/29/2012
I just can not NOT say anything on some of these outrageously disrespectful and rude comments everyone is subject to their own belief at the end of the day would you rather live your life as if there isn't a God than to die and find out there IS a God? Facts be it so that yes we can not see God but we could definitely hear him, where do your morals come from, how do you know right from wrong? what's good from bad? The good thing is about God is he give us the freedom of choice you can choose whatever religion you want, the information (BIBLE) is out there for us to read its Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth knowing is knowledge and knowledge is power....STOP criticizing others belief! so you small minded people sit small cause we all have to answer to a higher power when we die.....or i guess you don't believe in life after death as well.....sad case!
Oriana - posted on 10/29/2012
Pray for her daily, especially her salvation. Continue to be a woman after God's own heart, be a christian mother, wife, sibling and friend-set the example. Just continue to plant the seed!! Lifting you and her up in prayer!!
Gina Marie - posted on 10/28/2012
Kays respond was the best. GOD has everything in control. One thing to remember though she is only 17 and still under your roof. Don't compromise with her.
Pamela - posted on 10/27/2012
First remember that none of us can MAKE another person do anything! That is the blessed gift of Free Will Choice given to us by our Creator.
Simply because you desire your daughter to think like you is no reason to get upset when she does not. Truth be told, there are probably many things you disagree on that you have never even discussed...and THAT'S OK!!!
In my reaction to having church attendance forced on me until I left my parents home, and after an experience with the church where I clearly saw the hypocrisy of my congregation, I left the church. I eventually found my own Spiritual Path and though I have attended other churches along the way, I do not currently belong to one. Nonetheless I am DEVOTED to The Creator and to creating love, peace and harmony in my own life, thereby sharing it with my very presence in the lives of others.
Though reared as a staunch Christian I did not teach my children in the same manner...and guess what, my youngest son announced that he was agnostic (no belief in God). I was alarmed, but he was already an adult and there was nothing I could do about it so I let it go.
Guess what, he fell in love with and married a Catholic young woman. He has not converted to Catholicism,(and insists that he never will) but as a result of his love for his lady he attends mass with her. So, he is infused with religious ceremony now. I have not discussed his feelings about this and may never do so, but I smile and know that Our Creator works in strange and mysterious ways with wonders to behold.
Let go of your desire to control your daughter's thinking and your REACTIONS to her choices. Put your desire for her to experience God into prayer...KNOW that prayer works and leave it in the hands of The Creator.....watch the outcome. If your prayers are honest, truthful and continuous....they will work!
The highest and best to you and yours!
Barbara - posted on 10/27/2012
Don't push her, she must decide for herself
Amy - posted on 10/26/2012
I've been an atheist since I was a very young child. I think you need to respect your daughter's beliefs. One thing you may want to do is to encourage her to go to a Unitarian Universalist church. Everyone is welcome--even atheists. This is from the website of my church:
"What We Believe
from the bylaws of the Unitarian Church of Norfolk
We are a community united in a common search for religious meaning in our individual lives. Ours is a church free from dogma and creed, devoted to the use of reason, feeling and compassion in exploring all areas of religious experience. Ours is a society devoted to this search and obligated to promote those guarantees which make such a search possible.
We affirm the worth of all human beings. We trust people's ability to build their own faith. We seek to encourage people to think for themselves. We recognize that people will differ in their opinions and lifestyles and feel that these differences generally should be honored for each person is the final source of authority for his or her own life.
We exist to offer a warm, open supportive community. We want to provide a place where individuals can meet and find intellectual stimulation and emotional support through all the stages and difficulties of life.
We seek to act as a moral force in the world, believing that ethical living is the supreme witness of religion. We are deeply concerned about the effects of our current action on future generations. We seek to promote one universal humanity, undivided by arbitrary classifications or superficial traits, with allegiance to the cause of a united world community.
By recognizing our human shortcomings, we unite in the hope that in working together we may come closer to realizing these ideals."
Your daughter doesn't have to believe in God to make a difference for good in the world & she is young & should continue to search for what she does believe. Her search may bring her back to your beliefs, or it may take her somewhere else. You just need to support her spiritual growth no matter how it comes.
Sandra - posted on 10/26/2012
I know its heartbreaking but your prayers keep her in GODS PROTECTIVE ARMS. THE WORD SAYS ASK AND YE AHALL RECIEVE. YOUR FAITH WILL ONE DAY BRING HER INTO SALVATION. START THANKING THE LORD SHE IS SAVED. AND SOON YOULL SHE IS SAVED. HAVE Faith.
Jennifer - posted on 10/26/2012
Honestly, I would let it go for now. The more my mom pushed me about it the more it pushed me away and it wasn't just her. My mom is a buddhist and we grew up having to pray at least 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes at night. Then I had my christian friends and strangers that would pressure me about believing in God. I can't tell you how many times I was told I was going to go to hell for being a buddhist and not believing in god when I was a kid. I even had some parents tell their kids they couldn't play with me because I wasn't a christian. It all just pushed me away. That doesn't me I'm against religion all together. I don't care what religion anyone has as long as it helps them be a better person and brings them comfort when they need it. My husband was raised Roman Catholic and we both decided that whatever our kids decide it's up to them and we would support them. If they told me they wanted to go to church, I would take them. My youngest was even in a private catholic school for preschool last year. Both of my kids have asked me about God and Jesus and I try to answer them as best as I could and have told them it was ok for them to believe in them and if I can't answer their questions then I would either find out for them or ask daddy. I think if you don't pressure her she is more likely to later return to your religion then if you hassle her now about it. Just give her time.
Angela - posted on 10/26/2012
What should you do?...Give yourself a pat on the back. You raised a strong free thinking woman. We need more of them, thank you for adding another to the world Your job is to raise her to be a good person, if you did that and she is then there is nothing to talk about.
Jill - posted on 10/26/2012
You've had 17 years to teach her what you believe. Sometimes it doesn't stick. Now you have to step back and let her make up her own mind.
Ashley - posted on 10/26/2012
Sabrina, don't worry too much about it. When I was 17 I went through that phase too. It took a few years, but I found my faith again. She will do the same, or she may just have a different belief... I found that I consider myself more agnostic. I believe that there is a higher power watching out for all of us and I do believe in guardian angels. I don't necessarily believe that the higher power is one being, it may be many beings, or many guardian angels. I respect that many call this being "God" but find that I myself can't bring myself to believe that with all that goes on in this world that one being could be orchestrating / helping us all through it. I hope this helps. She will find her own faith in her own time. Even if it isn't exactly the same as yours, all you can do at that point is respect it. And even though I don't believe exactly in "God" I do believe prayers work and are answered...
Brenda - posted on 10/26/2012
Prayer is the supernatural connection from Heaven to Earth so never stop praying. Even if/when it looks hopeless, keep praying! Our King in Heaven can and will do what seems impossible to man! On top of that, you must be her example. You have to walk out daily your belief in Jesus as a Savior. One undeniable truth right now is that the world can't distinguish a Christian (Christ-like) from a non-Christian and that is a problem! So beyond prayer, be her example in everything you do! Even when Satan attacks you and you start to get frustrated, angry, or discouraged - stand strong to the faith that you believe she will be saved and turn from those unbeliefs! Don't be discouraged from what seems impossible because God wants to hear from us and turn those circumstances around based on our faith and committment to Him!!!
Amber - posted on 10/26/2012
Let her gave her own opinion, lover her and then get on your knees and pray that he would make himself known to her. And let him work.
Karen - posted on 10/26/2012
So many people have mentioned loving her, supporting her and praying for her. I agree with all of them! I won't continue to repeat what has already so elegantly been said, but just know that i will be praying for understanding on your part and for Christian friends to be available to your daughter to lean on. I will continue to pray for her that she will one day discover a personal relationship with God.
Deanna - posted on 10/26/2012
You did your part by raising her in your Christian beliefs. Now it her turn to take what you gave her and find who she is. That is a big part of growing up. She may decided to go back or may decide that she doesn't believe. She needs to know that you love and respect her no matter her choice.
I was raised in a Christian family. My Dad was High Anglican and my Mom is Protestant. I realized at a young age (9 years old) that was not my belief. My parents (thankfully) were very accepting and even helped me study other religions. I realized that all fit, but didn't fit at the same time. I was not telling them they were wrong, but told them they raised me to be my own person. I was so much happier after finding myself. My little sister kept believing in God, and she is happy with that. My brother stopped believing then was born again, becoming happier. Strangely, I married a Catholic man (strict Catholic parents) and am very happy. My children are (or will be soon) baptized into the Catholic faith. I will help my husband give them the foundation to find their religion and therefore themselves.
Ask her questions, ask her why she feels the way she does. Explain to her why this bothers you but emphasize that she is still your daughter and that you love her. She needs to know that you are not disappointed in her and her choice. She needs her mother, not someone to force religion and God onto her. She needs her mother. Please do not force God back into her life but try to understand why she has pushed him out. And accept it. She may come back or she may not.
Judi - posted on 10/26/2012
Be there for her, talk to her, genuinely seek answers to her announcement concerning her belief.
I have had this happen to me and know things can be turned around. I am in the ministry and counsel both children and married couples; this does happen to kids but again I must say handled properly it will be turned around.
GOD Bless you all and will be praying...
Cindy - posted on 10/26/2012
I know exactly what you are feeling. It's not about thinking that people who don't believe in God are uncaring people who are not nice and kind hearted. It is about your sadness of your daughter turning her back on a relationship with our heavenly Father. It is just a sad thing. Once you know God, you know the truth. As a mother, we long for our children to know the truth. My experience has been that some kids do this and some don't. I have experienced both ways with my children. The good news is that God never leaves them. Sometimes we leave Him for awhile but He NEVER leaves us. My daughter struck out on her own and decided that she would be an atheist. That seemed to be the popular thing that year. She now is 28 and has had a beautiful little baby of her own and is married to a wonderful man. She looked at her baby and said "How could I ever think there was no God......just look at this baby!" She has come back to Him and yours will too.......................All you can do is pray and continue to let God's love shine through you.................she will want it again someday. But, you need to let go of it now, pray a lot, and then sit back and watch God draw her close. It will have to be her decision..........................it could take years but it will come.........
Stephany - posted on 10/26/2012
Our son is 14, and an adoptee who has some attachment issues. With him, it stems from a core belief (from the attachment issues) that he does not deserve to be loved, and thus pushes those influences away from him. God knows his heart and everything about him (Psalm 139), and I pray that God will reach him as only He knows best to do. It is so difficult to watch them struggle with faith matters, but as long as we can provide that loving backdrop for them, then we have done a wonderful thing for them. I will pray for you!!
Terrie - posted on 10/26/2012
pray and do not push. The fact of the matter is, she knows the truth and what many parents want stop at to get them back to God. But if you pray but do not push to hard you you get do ah
Kebbi - posted on 10/26/2012
Sabrina, when my parents divorced at 17, I lost all faith in God. It took me several years to find my way back. I only found my back because someone out there had to be praying for me, because I was dead set on living Satan's way, not God's. So please, do what everyone has been saying and pray. I will pray. But love her, and never stop loving her. That combination never hurts.
Christine - posted on 10/26/2012
Just tell her that you're always there for her, IF and when she wants to talk about it. I don't know if you can tell if she has truly reached a conclusion that there are no gods in the universe, or if she's merely angry at your god for not answering some prayer of hers (which happens sometimes with kids this age), but forcing the issue isn't going to help anyone. If she has more to figure out, she'll do it herself; if she's done figuring things out, she's unlikely to be interesting in going back, and will be resentful of forced attempts. If you're going to pray for her, note that that's more for your sake; you should be looking for understanding of your child. Going out of your way to tell her that you're doing so is generally something that would make an atheist just roll their eyes. I hope you're both capable of being civil in your dissenting beliefs, and you should be lucky that you at least have a strong enough relationship where she can be honest about these sorts of things with you.
Kathleen - posted on 10/26/2012
The best thing we all can do for our children is to pray for them.
God hears our prays and knows your heart . I will pray for you &
your daughter. Just remenber that God is with you always.
SCHARLET - posted on 10/25/2012
I think that was about the age I was when I said the same thing and ever since then I have considered myself agnostic. Borderline atheist, I don't know what to believe. But the whole christian and God thing doesn't seem like the answer to me, too many bad things that make me angry, hurt, and question everything. I am sure she has her reasons as well. Now that I am a Mother though, I have no idea how to teach my kids about religion, or right and wrong--In fact, I believe religion was invented to teach children right from wrong or the rules of the culture and just exploded into a belief and faith.
Lyn - posted on 10/25/2012
Hi Sabrina, I'm also a Christian, and I find myself thinking about if someday my children will turn away from God... I remember thinking' perhaps if I surround them with enough christian influences etc I would not have to face what you are.. One night I was praying, and I realized that yes, I need to teach my children about my faith and why, I need to bring them up the best I can Gods way.. But ultimately I can not control what is between my children and god. It is God that will place that desire to know him and be loved by him in her heart. Many Christians regardless of age, question their faith at various stages of life, because being a Christian doesn't make life any easier, it simply mean we are apart of his kingdom, we are forgiven, and in times of struggle, we are held.. So as others have said, pray for her, love her like Jesus would. So one day, should she return to god, she will thank you for standing with her on her journey. I will keep you both in my prayers.
Cheryl - posted on 10/25/2012
I will be praying for her to have a revelation of truth.My daughter did the same when she was that age but when she reached a down time in her life and nothing or no one could help,she reached out to God and He came to her aid.She is now born again and walking with the Lord.I never ceased praying for her all that time.God hears the cry of a mothers heart.He loves you and loves her soo much.
Gina - posted on 10/25/2012
My son did the same thing at that age, he is now 20, and has remained firm on that. He has studied many religions and their gods and beliefs in "higher beings" to see if there was something he felt he could believe in, and at 20 still tells me now that he is an Atheist. This is very hard for me, who raised both of my boys as Catholic, I myself was raised strict Catholic and even went to Catholic schools. But all I can do is accept his decision, he is an adult now..... and I pray for him every day. He is ok with that. I pray for his safety and that he may find his way in life, regardless of his religious (or lack of) choices.
Beth - posted on 10/25/2012
Give her space to reconnect with a relationship with God on her own terms- This is a path she is on- allow her to find her own way. Don't force, don't judge...
Sarah - posted on 10/25/2012
my mother and I have problems because she raised me her version of christian, and when I was 14 I gave it up for fairy tales. I am now 32 and she still can't accept that I do not have faith in her god.
I am raising my 7 year old son (and my son-to-be, in 3 months) to think for himself, make his own decisions. he and I have a great relationship, and I think it is in part to my not forcing my beliefs on him, religious or otherwise.
my mother, obviously, has a bigger problem with me now, being that I'm not raising her grandson the way she thinks I should.
my advice to you is to love, accept, and support your kids, even when you disagree with them or their decisions. there is enough hate and judgement in the world already - be your kids' safe haven.
Tami - posted on 10/25/2012
I have never thought of believing in God as a religion. I believe there are different religions such as Catholic, Protestant, Mormon, etc but I know all of those so called religions tend to believe in God. That being said, you can only do your best and pray then let God do the rest. People that don't believe in God may just surprise you later in life. Luke 19:40 says even the rocks will cry out and praise him. If the rocks can cry out, your daughter may just come to this realization on her own.
Kathleen - posted on 10/25/2012
I've had two kids who claim to be atheist and agnostic. At first I panicked, then I prayed. I've sought out prophets and others for wisdom -- but mostly God and His Word. Kids do indeed need to find their own FAITH in their own way. I believe when they choose to make Jesus the Lord of their life they will come back stronger and more determined to serve the one true God. Daily I lay my children at the feet of God's throne. He created them, He knows them, they were His before he ever gifted them to me to raise on this temporal earth. Just pray for them and let God do the rest. Don't do or say anything that might cause them to rebel further. They are on a journey. I pray daily that my children's destiny upon this earth will be fulfilled then I give them back to the Lord. I pray their guardians angels to keep a strong watch upon them. I pray for Holy Spirit to bring good Godly people into their path... I pray then I lay them back on the throne of our Creator. There is much peace and comfort in doing this. As parents we pray but the burden is the Lords and we have God's promise that if we raise them in the way of the Lord, they will return :) Have a great day.
Sara - posted on 10/25/2012
when i was 14-15ish (22 now) i said i didn't believe in God. it was a stunt i was looking for attention. although i was in church overtime the doors were open and went to a school ran by that church. it was a bad church. i was trying to get kicked out that church made me a very angry individual and i went into full rebellion mode. but from my experience i had to get out there and test the waters of my own faith find out what i believe and what was brainwashed into ny head (bad bad church many people kicked out and completely shunned for the most ridiculous reasons) your daughter will be fine she most likely does believe and is just trying to figure out her own heart and trying to see for herself what others have told her is true
Christine - posted on 10/25/2012
Respect her belief.
Felicity - posted on 10/25/2012
She is at an age where she is finding herself, and discovering her own mind, support her in that. I have always had open religious and spiritual conversations with my children, encouraged them to find what is the right path for them, a path that can change over years as they experience life, sometimes good, sometimes bad. My 20 year old is a believer in God, this was her choice, she seldom goes to church as she feels this is not needed, and that her beliefs are between her and God, my 16 year old is a church and youth group attendee, partly due to the social side, but also because he is finding himself, I see this as his choice. Mr 17 year old is strongly anti, and given his life long struggles, I can see his side too. My 9 year old is still to work out her place in the world, but does occasionally attend youth group with Mr 16. Sabrina, your daughter too, will find where she fits, and I think so long as you have raised her well(which I'm sure you have), and she is a happy caring person, this is all a parent can ask for.
NITA - posted on 10/25/2012
You can not lead someone to God...that is a road she will walk all by herself....or not walk....pray for her lokk up St. Monica.... God gives us frre will, so He will not force her to believe in Him.
Ednah - posted on 10/25/2012
Be still and Know that God is still God. He reigns and He knows how to talk to your daughter. Your burden is lifted in Calvary. God bless you mum.
Meg - posted on 10/25/2012
Your daughter is at an age when questioning EVERYTHING is normal. Tell her you understand that. Ask if she's interested in learning about other religions (and try not to be freaked out at the answer). I remember our Youth Group in my Lutheran church took an entire winter to explore other religions, their teachings and beliefs. We'd meet up at our home church and car pool, go to a Catholic church one week, a Methodist another, etc. Our parents were worried this exposure would pull us away from what we'd been taught at home, but just the opposite happened! We had so many good discussions, not only about the different services, music, etc., but our understanding of the Bible and most importantly developing our own relationship with God! Trust God, trust yourself and the good example you've put out there for your daughter and keep the lines of communication open. If you have a youth group in your church, encourage her to check it out.
Elisha - posted on 10/25/2012
My great grandmother was very religious, my grandmother enjoys the church and believes in god, as does my Aunt. My mother on the other hand stopped going as soon as she could, but is still spiritual. I am a strict atheist. None of our religious differences came up in day to day conversation, and while I was never old enough to speak to my great grandmother about it I hear she was very respectful of other's beliefs. My family never pressured me one way or the other to believe what they did. I am insanely grateful for that because I would never want the rift to come between us.
Your relationship with God is a very personal one, and while you may be worried that she's rejecting him and therefore a very good influence in her life, I can assure you that atheists and agnostics are not without morals, charity or respect. It's more important that you raised her to believe that she should be a good person, not because there are punishments and rewards in the hereafter, but because her time on earth should be beneficial and fulfilling. You can have a discussion with her to see where she gets these feelings in case she's rejecting religion out of some problem she's going through and not getting help with, but more likely she's seen the argument for both sides and simply agrees with one over the other. Religion can and does tear families apart and keep others segregated from them, lack of religion is even worse. Your daughter will need support if she doesn't believe in God - that means family is going to be more important than ever.
Christy - posted on 10/25/2012
I can't believe how many rude people there are (I was reading some of the responses to your question). I understand that your daughter's unbelief is heartbreaking to you. I am hoping that you have a close relationship with her, talk to her. Find out why she thinks the way that she does and tell her why you think what you do, why do you believe. Try your best not to be disrespectful of her feelings and way of thinking. I believe that everyone has to think for themselves, if she just blindly believed, it wouldn't really mean much. But I do think that if she can see what a difference God has made in your life, that will help. Some people think of God as a mean rule maker. To me, God is wonderful and I have a close personal relationship with him. Give her time, understanding, and patience. Nothing will drive her farther away than you yelling or making her feel bad for questioning. And I think God respects us for really investigating it to find out the truth for ourselves. And pray for her.
Katharine - posted on 10/25/2012
Why do anything? She's a smart girl. Sounds like you raised a great woman who can think for herself and puts her trust in science and truth. Good for your daughter!
Lesli - posted on 10/25/2012
Be proud and thankful that your daughter has embraced truth and science. Sounds like you could learn a lot from her.
Denise - posted on 10/25/2012
Despite the fact that I'm deist/agnostic, I acknowledge that it is probably very hard for you as a believer to hear this from your daughter, especially if your beliefs are more strict about who goes where when they die. However, you can't force her back to religion - if anything, it'll only drive her farther away and make your relationship more strained if you keep pushing it. Find comfort in prayer or talking to other parents, but don't let it affect your relationship with her.