ANONYMOUS WRITES: How do I witness to my siblings if they have turned away from the faith?
I have three older brothers. Two of them have turned away and are very consumed by the world, especially my oldest brother. I want to speak up to them about Christ, but then they would see me as a messenger from my parents – my brothers do not have a good relationship with my parents.
How do I witness to them without destroying my relationship with them?
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I noticed that you mentioned you feared telling them about Christ because you fear they’ll see you as a messenger from your parents….Well, I would say to at least try!!!! If they think that is what you are doing, then be honest with them and say you aren’t a messenger from your parents…I’m the oldest, so I’m not as good at seeing this from your perspective however I can see it from the older brother’s prospective of what might encourage me….Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not always very receptive when my younger brothers try to give me advice…even if it’s good advice.. (I struggle with pride a lot.. =P). I DO accept a challenge quickly though… 😉 What I’m trying to say is, maybe you could challenge your older brother to read the Bible for so many days straight…you could maybe even give them certain references to read…Make it sound like a challenge…or maybe even something that would be THEM benefitting YOU! Like, “Hey bro, I’m really struggling in my Bible reading and I thought maybe if we read together it would help me to be better about reading!” See?
Maybe they woud’nt be very receptive to reading the scriptures…Maybe you could just try to schedule a weekly phone call/get together with your sibling to start out…amybe after building a closer bond with them (or maybe that close bond is already there) you could start proposing praying together, reading the Bible together, etc…..
Even just shooting a quick text or saying the words “I’m praying for you!” or asking “How can I pray for you?” will be an example to them! Depending on how receptive they are to YOU, you may have to start small with things like this, and then slowly go bigger with things like reading the Bible together or some deeper discussions…
Also, Take opportunities to mention you relationship with Christ nad give God credit for things in your life like “God has been teaching me so much!” or “I’m so thakful to God for..” things like that! =) Also, asking questions like “how’s your relationship with GOd?” “How’s your Bible reading going?” things like that are questions that are a bit of a challenge…you know, if this time he’s like “uhhhI haven’t been reading my Bible…” then maybe it will prompt him to read so he can better answer the question next time! 😉
Basically, apply positive peer-pressure! =) If you have a positive respose, he may not be doing things for the right reason at first, but at least it’s astep in the right direction!!! =) However, their salvation is ultimately up to the Lord! he’s the only one who can change their hearts…So just remember, prayer is probably the biggest thing you can do for them! =)
Thank you. But here is my problem: my brother hates God and the Church and is ready to degrade God, the Church, and my parents. What do I do then?
oh man…. =P that’s definitely tough!! I think you can still at least send the short texts or bring up Christ in your conversations (not so much that it’s annoying to him, just sometimes) But again, prayer is your biggest weapon!! We’ve been praying for my unbelieving g-pa for YEARS! He doesn’t wanna talk about Christ….He tells us to stop talking about it when we try to bring up conversation about God, BUT we still send him texts saying we’re praying for him, thinking of him, etc. And we still say in answer to some questions, something about what God is doing in our lives…That’s all we can do right now….But who knows what God will bring of it? I hope this was a little more helpful….!!!
Let your words be few and your witness strong.
I don’t really know your family situation, but I imagine it’s extremely awkward and I totally feel for you 🙁
I would just say to start out slow. Talk about the stuff that all of you like to talk about–call them, text, Instagram, whatever. And then if the conversation turns to their sin, or whatever they’re doing that doesn’t align with the Bible, gently confront them (with love).
I think the goal is to present yourself as a friend, not just as a younger sibling. It might take a while–weeks, months, years–before they see the light, but keep chipping away at it, little by little. (Also, make sure your apologetics are strong.)
I would. It is just hard because most of my life is about God and has to do with Christian friends. My brother hates God, and I have nothing to really talk to him about.
Also, I might want to add…when you do share the Gospel with them, they might reject you and call you hurtful things and claim that you’re a messenger from your parents and cut off all ties with you. But I want to say that sharing the Gospel with them IS showing love to them, showing truth. Even if they want to shun you guys out, they can’t block the fact that you are family, and that you will always be there for them. You literally have the same blood running through their veins.
And sometimes separation is what it takes. Prodigal sons.
Hope that helped!
Thank you Rachel. I will try.
I think I can relate to your story some myself because I have an older brother who is also not living for God right now and I have wondered myself how I can witness to him. I don’t know if this is the case for you, but I grew up in a Christian home, so the gospel was taught quite clearly and regularly in my home. So for my older brother, I know for sure that he has heard the gospel; he knows the truth; he has read the Bible; he honestly probably knows more about God than many Christians do, yet right now he is choosing to reject the truth. So what I am trying to get at right here is that I am not always sure how helpful it would be to always be preaching the gospel to him since he really does already know it, but the one thing I do try to do is reach out to him by being a faithful sister and good friend to him. I try to keep up with him in various ways and also keep him updated on my life. Furthermore, I try to remember to spend time praying for him (which I have gotten slack in doing) because God is the only one who can change his heart in the first place. My brother knows the truth, but only God can make that truth real to him.
I don’t know if you grew up in a Christian home or not or if your brother has heard the gospel or not, but maybe your brother needs most of all a faithful friend and maybe that is what you could do best for him. Also I am not saying at all that you should never talk about God to your brother, but maybe don’t make that your only conversations with him and allow the Holy Spirit to lead. If you don’t end up talking about God during a conversation, don’t beat yourself over the head about it, but rather pray that your willingness to be his friend could speak louder than words. Allow the gospel to be preached through your actions of love for him.
I think some people who turn away from God think that all their Christian friends are going to reject them and maybe that is what they want, so they can speak poorly of Christians, but show your brother that you are willing to love him and be his friend no matter how he lives his life.
Sorry this got so long, but I hope it makes sense and is helpful. Maybe my situation doesn’t apply to your situation and nor can I say that my approach is the best, but hopefully something I’ve said is helpful.
I would say first to just start at as being a good example to them as a sibling and Christian, I read a book by a guy who was talking about influences in his life and he said one of his biggest influences was his sister, she was a Christian and he wasn’t, but he said that she was a big influence in his life not by being preachy or anything but by her godly and loving example. So I would say just start by being a godly example, if you’re not very close to them try to start forming that close bond by talking, calling, texting, sharing stuff about your life and asking about how they’re doing, you can become more than just a sibling but a best friend. My siblings and I are all very close and our family situation as a whole hasn’t always been great, so believe me, having a close relationship with your sibs is an amazing, almost life-saving thing to have. If you come to a point where you feel like you could share the Gospel with them, then maybe you should try to lovingly, and even if they’re not receptive, never lose your faith that God can do awesome things in your brother’s lives, keep praying!! Prayer is the most powerful thing you can do so never lose hope in it!! Hope this helps some.:)
This does help. But I do not have a close relationship with my brother. and another thing that i need help on, how can I be a godly example to a person who has already been surrounded by them?
Good question, it’s not like you can totally outdo others (especially parents) in being a godly example! Some good verses about being a godly example are 1 Timothy 4:12, Matthew 5:16 and Ephesians 5:1-21.
But I was thinking more about it and talking to the Lord and He told me some good stuff. I don’t really like to use the word Christ-like, it sounds like super righteous (but that’s just me), but you hear as a Christian that we are to strive for Christ-like character which is true and basically another way of saying you should be a godly example. What was Christ’s character or example that He left for us? Love. He modeled love for us in serving, teaching, rebuking, healing, etc. And love is the answer, it’s what He wants us to practice and be an example of to the world. I’d encourage you to read these verse on love- John 15:9-17, 1 Corinthians 13, 1 John 3:16-24 and 1 John 4:11-21 (reading the whole book of 1 John anyway is good). This may not sound like some great, revelatory answer but I think this is really what being a godly example is about, it’s all about love. This is the kind of example we are supposed to be, an example of Jesus’ love in how we act and treat others. Try being that kind of example for your brothers and being consistent in your example of love, consistent love is really key, being faithful in love even when you don’t want to be, that’s what love’s all about, being self-less. And finally I would say that I don’t think you should be afraid to share your faith and talk about God as part of an example to them, inviting them to read the Bible or watch sermons online (like Intouch), as well as rebuking wrong when you should and when it’s necessary and of course having it all done in love. Hope this helps, praying for you!
Thank you. This does help me out a lot. Thank you for your prayers!
I have an older sister like that. I’ve tried to be her link back to the family, and to keep up with what’s going on in her life. The one time I tried to get into a serious conversation she said I’m too young for us to talk about it. So for now I’m just maintaining my relationship with her and praying fir an opportunity to have a real conversation.
I’ll be praying for you, Anonymous!
That seems to be where I am at. I will pray for you too. 🙂
Yikes, Anon. Id say that the most important things you can do are pray and read the Bible. Always be kind to them and love them. If you talk to them about Jesus, be very kind and gentle about it. I will be praying for you also, anon. This is a very tough situation.
Thank you. I will keep you in my prayers as well. 🙂
I can’t tell you exactly what to do because I’m not God, but I do know that you should go into this with a lot of prayer. Never stop praying for your brothers. Next, you should be a light to them through your actions. Show them that you love the Lord all by yourself and not just because your parents might. Let God take it from there. If He leads you to speak to them about something, don’t hesitate! But in the long run, if your brothers do change, it’ll be God’s work.
I’ll be praying for you and your brothers! Stay strong!
Thank you for the words. I will put them into practice. Praying for you too.
Having seen God move in my brother’s life, I’d just say prayer and invite them to hang around you and your Christian friends. They may see something in your fellowship and love that they want for themselves.
i have three little brothers and its hard to keep my cool and not get angry. But im doing all i can and ben praying to God to help me be the big sister they see me as.
I went through a time where I was the sibling that needed witnessing too, even though I was technically speaking an *ahem* Christian. The best thing for me, was having my family love and care for me. However, when they “preached” at me, that didn’t go over too well 🙂 just knowing that they cared and didn’t judge me helped a lot! Love them loads! Praying for you, Anonymous!
the best way to witness to them at this point is set a good example, start slow, this is my recommendation to you and if they ask you questions about you and your faith then do not hesitate to explain. Ill be praying
one thing that I believe is that people can see God through you. If you are a Christian it will show in your fruit. be a mirror of God, reflect him and they will se God through you. I will be praying for you.
The Bible says that a believer may lead their spouse to God by their godly living and example – I think it is similar with siblings and even outside people just observing. We will be praying for you!