I have felt the need to change religions, and the family is opposed…. I have come to know Christ in a personal way, and I am happy about it, but my in-laws are judging me for my decision…. I don’t know how to respond to their attacks because I love them, but they hurt me with their words…. My husband doesn’t say anything; he just gets quiet.

Dear Friend,

Your husband must be a wise man! He knows that he should not take sides if it is not absolutely necessary. You might think that he should take your side against his family, and in some cases that would be the best option, but in this case it is better for him to stay out of the conflict.

You do not say that your husband has also changed religions, so we can assume that he still belongs to the same religion as his parents. If that is true, then it could be expected that he would actually take sides with his parents against you. The fact that he has not done that is another indication that he is wise.

So, what can you do? First of all, recognize that God does not place priority on the religion that a person belongs to. On the contrary, His Son Jesus Christ confronted the religious leaders of His time on that matter, telling them that even though they might appear to be righteous, on the inside they were full of hypocrisy and wickedness. Jesus said that it is what is inside of us that counts, not the outward appearance that a particular religion requires.(1) So what is most important is the fact that you say you know Christ in a personal way, because that means you have asked Him to forgive you of your sins and that you are trying to live in a way that is pleasing to Him.

Your in-laws likely believe that you are endangering your soul by your choice. That is probably what provokes them to try and get you to change your mind. It would be best if you do not enter into discussions with them on this subject. You already know what they think, and they know what you think. You have experienced God’s forgiveness personally, and you know that your soul is secure, so there is no reason to argue about it.

What did Jesus Christ do when he was persecuted and called names? He didn’t fight back, and He told His disciples not to fight back. And He didn’t get angry nor retaliate in any way. As a matter of fact, Jesus spoke few words to even defend Himself. Instead, He asked His heavenly Father to forgive those who were making Him suffer. We suggest that you follow His example. He will give you the strength you need.

We wish you the best,

1 Mt 23