It can be extremely painful for friends and family when a loved one leaves your shared faith tradition. While it’s normal to feel a range of emotions, including disappointment, sadness, anger, and fear, it’s probably best not to share these feelings with your loved one who has left the Church. Licensed therapist, coach, author of The Assertiveness Guide for Women, Dr. Julie Azevedo Hanks helps us navigate this difficult conversation.
Process your painful emotions with other family members, friends or a therapist. When speaking to your loved one, it is important to come from a place of love in order to preserve the relationship.
Here are some suggestions of what for say when a loved one leaves the Church.
What to say to a loved one who tells you that he is leaving the Church:
1) I trust you to do what is best for you
2) What can I do to support you at this time?
3) I’m here for you
4) Your relationship with the Church is separate from our relationship
5) I respect your integrity and strength
6) I know you didn’t make this decision lightly
7) My love for you is unconditional
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