What do I do if someone I really care about is making awful decisions?
When someone we love is making some awful decisions it can be incredibly stressful for us. It is very hard to watch to say the least!
Recently, I was asked about the following scenario. He is young man in a culture where is frowned upon to be considered even appearing promiscuous by any means, especially if you are a woman. His little sister is rebelling against some of the societal norms in their country and religion.
She is hanging out with the wrong crowd which includes older guys and it gives the appearance she could be sleeping around. In this culture, if you are not a virgin at marriage, you probably will never marry. To add even more to this situation, if you are a woman you are at a disadvantage, so never marrying is a big deal.
Her grades are slipping and like in many cases, if you don’t get a good education you can be setting yourself up for financial hardship down the road. Without a good education it can be tough to get a good paying job which could even lead to poverty.
So, understandably, her brother is very worried about his little sister! Good man! He’s wondering what he should do. Apparently, she is not listening to other key people in her life when they have somethings to say about her decisions.
This is a much more complicated question than it seems. As you may have heard me say, or read what I’ve written, you have to ask yourself, “who is this person to me and who am I to them?”
We’ve all had people just offer their unasked for opinion and it stinks! It feels yucky and offensive. If he has any prayer of his little sister really hearing him and making some changes he has to have a very good, loving relationship with her.
She NEEDS to know he loves her, cares for her, and protects her. If she doesn’t view him in that way, she will most likely rebel even more.
Rebellion often comes from a void we’re trying to fill which is hurtful and then that hurt turns into anger. We live our life with the preverbal middle finger in the air because we’re mad. We’re mad about the hurt and we don’t know what to do with that.
Easy to understand. But our decisions can really be pretty sketchy as we’re off trying all sorts of things to fill that void and ease that hurt. It’s rough.
Often times we fail to understand we all have a “Creator” shaped hole in us only He can fill. Think of it like a puzzle piece. We have the hole and He is the missing and perfectly shaped puzzle piece. No matter what religion you are this hole is there.
It has nothing to do with religion. In fact, God is not religious in the slightest. He made You to not live without Him so when we do that, we fail pretty miserably. We may look successful, but on the inside we know deep down something is missing. Then we will try to fill that hole with whatever we can.
Those things can even look good by societal standards. Great job. Wonderful spouse. Wealth. Big, fancy house. Cool kids. But the void is still there. We thought all those things would fill it, but it doesn’t work that way.
Back to the brother. He needs to think about how she views him and their relationship. If the brother does not have a great relationship with his sister, it is imperative he builds that BEFORE he tries to talk to her about her decisions and his worries for her. If he doesn’t do that first, she will not perceive him as concerned.
She may even perceive his motives as selfish, such as, “you only want me to live your way because I embarrass you.” Yikes. That could get ugly quick!
She needs to see and feel he loves her as a person. He cares about her future. He doesn’t want to see her be hurt and suffer her whole adult life for the decisions she’s making now.
Hurting people need lots of love. They do not need condemnation, judgement, anger, etc. It may be hard not to feel all those things, but check yourself before you open your mouth and possibly make things worse!
Good luck and I’d love to hear how it all worked out!
P.S. Here’s an affiliate link for The Five Love Languages if you’d like 🙂
The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts
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