When I was six years old, my parents argued a lot. My mother tried to kill herself many times right in front of my little sister and me. She wanted to die because my father had another woman and another daughter that was hers.

We have gotten past those bad times, but we haven’t totally recovered. I don’t like it when my father flirts with young girls…. And… I don’t like it that my mother keeps bringing up the past and constantly threatens… to leave home. I am tired of it all, hurt, sad, and I can’t take any more. What can I do to stop suffering?

Dear Friend,

We are saddened to hear your story. In your young life, your home has always been a place of turmoil and conflict. You have never known the peaceful place of refuge that a home should be for everyone, especially little children.

I remember being a child, and then a teenager, and feeling just like you do now. First it was my parents who would argue and yell, sometimes until the neighbors called the police. Then my parents got a divorce, and we had hope that we would finally have some peace in our home. But it wasn’t very long before my mother got together with my stepfather, and the arguments got louder and more frequent. I would dream of the day when I could get out of that house for good.

Sadly, there isn’t much that you can do to change your parents. You don’t have any control over them. However, you do have control over yourself and your future. You can use your time now to prepare for that future so that you will be ready when the time comes.

I suggest that you do three specific things to prepare for your future. First, study as much as you can to get the best grades possible. The better your grades, the better your chances are for getting into a good university, and possibly for getting scholarships that will help you pay for it.

Next, get a job as soon as you can, and save as much as possible of the money you earn. Being financially independent will someday get you out of that house. The sooner you begin to save, the sooner you can make it happen.

Third, and most importantly, develop a personal relationship with God. Ask Him in the name of His Son Jesus Christ to forgive you of your sins and to give you the help you need today and in the future. He will guide you and give you the wisdom you need for planning the rest of your life.

When I was a teenager, I asked Christ into my life. There was still no peace in my home, but I had peace in my heart that helped get me through the long nights of turmoil. I found a church where other people also had a personal relationship with God, and many of those people became like an extended family, understanding my home problems and inviting me into their homes. During those visits I began to envision the kind of life that I would make for myself someday. You can do the same.

I wish you well,