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Concern for Family Members

Chris
US

Question

My sister recently moved in with a homosexual man. His past is full of anger and regret. He has attempted suicide several times and puts his life at risk with certain situations. I am nervous for my sister and have tried to talk to her about it. She puts me off and says that I only think it because he is a homosexual. What should I do to help her understand that I do not hate him and accept him but only fear for hear well being through his actions.

Nayaswami Hriman

Nayaswami Hriman

Ananda Seattle

Answer

Dear Chris, I feel for your concerns and for your sister. Let me start by assuming that her "moving in" is in the capacity of roommate and nothing more, given his sexual orientation.

That having been said (or assumed), I interpret your concern for your sister as being related to her roomate's anger and suicidal tendencies.

If I am still on target, can I also assume your sister is fully aware of these risks? If so, how does she view them? Dismissively or is she being naive? Driven by circumstances? Friendship?

Is she attempting to help or "rescue" her roommate? I am searching for her motivation in moving in.

By this point I trust you have attempted to clarify that your concern is not related to your view on homosexuality (if any) but for her safety?

If she is not open to hearing your concerns or reconsidering her living situation, my best thought is to "change the subject" but stay in touch. Make sure by your staying in touch that you are both a sister and a friend who will be there if she needs help.

Let your conversation and activities together take a neutral and mutually beneficial and enjoyable direction.

Then, I would suggest you keep your sister and her roommate in your prayers. Since she has interpreted your concern for her as being based in something unrelated, it will be important not to keep going back to that for a while.

Be her friend and sister first. Listen sensitively, second. Try not to overreact but be calm and understanding at all times. Ask questions, perhaps.

For example, if she brings up her roomate's behavior in a way that seems to express her own dismay or concern, rather than blurt out your feelings or opinions (or concern), ask her if SHE IS CONCERNED. What are HER feelings?

This way you can guide her to her own awakening or self-understanding. After that, and barring anything criminal or imminent personal harm, it's best to be "light on your feet" so to speak.

Here's where God's grace once again shows its light. Stay in that light, trusting in the best outcome, showing concern sensitively and in practical ways that are invited and welcome.

Drastic action should be reserved for truly drastic circumstances.

Blessings, Hriman

 

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