Instead of trying to change your family members, try changing yourself.
During my junior year of high school, most of my close family members decided they didn’t want to be a part of the Church anymore. When I noticed their feelings changing, it was like a punch in the gut.
I didn’t know what to do, so I tried to force them to attend church with me. By doing so, I unconsciously made them feel like I was judging them, and my relationships with them became strained. I missed my family members, and I wanted to stay a part of their lives. But how could I mend my relationships with them? How could I change myself to help them?
- Live together in love. You have to show love to your family even when it may seem hard.
- Learn to communicate. Without communication, no relationship can find success.
- Respect each other’s agency. If you and a family member disagree, acknowledge his or her opinions and move on. Don’t resent the family members because of your differences.
- Hold on to your testimony. Don’t lose faith. Don’t lose hope. Trust in God, and keep moving forward on your path to him.
- Build friendships. Find people who will genuinely befriend your family members regardless of their choices.
Although applying these tips is easier said than done, they really can help improve your relationships. When I started finding ways to change and better myself, I began to grow closer to my family members, and my love and respect for them grew.
To learn more about how to change yourself to help your family, read Megan Armknecht’s full article: “Living the Gospel Alone in Your Family.”
—Naomi Hurd, Mormon Insights
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