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Question and Answer

How do you minister to a family member who isn’t a believer without causing division? Or is division inevitable? If so, is it worth talking about Christ at the risk of your relationship being marred or even destroyed?

Families are often the hardest context in which to live out our faith. It is wise for believers to live among our family members with humility, submission, forgiveness, and love to all and with honor to our parents, praying daily for our family members. In this way, we might minimize relational conflicts.

When you tell your family members that Christ is the only way to God and that they will perish apart from Him, some may become angry. If you do receive a hostile reply, remain as loving as possible, admit your own faults, and explain that you do not have answers to every question about Christ.

Once you have an opportunity to share the gospel, leave the door open for family members to return to you by letting them know you are praying for their good every day and offering to talk more about Christ only if and when they want to. In the end, God must be the one who saves them, and we trust Him to do so.

BY Eric C. Redmond

Eric C. Redmond serves as a professor of Bible at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and as associate pastor of adult ministries at Calvary Memorial Church in Oak Park, Ill. He is married to Pam and they have five children. He is the author of Say It!  Celebrating Expository Preaching in the African American Tradition (Moody Publishers), Where Are All the Brothers? Straight Answers to Men's’ Questions about the Church (Crossway), a commentary on Jonah in the Christ-Centered Exposition Series (B&H Publishers), and a study guide on Ephesians in the Knowing the Bible series (Crossway).

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