If your loved one is doubting God, here are 8 ways to support them

a friend loses faith

When a loved one starts doubting God, it can feel like a delicate situation to handle.

At first, you might try to offer quick reassurances or quote scripture, hoping to soothe their doubts. But then you realize that their journey of questioning and uncertainty might require more from you than simple answers.

It’s a challenging time that calls for empathy, patience, and understanding, rather than quick fixes or judgment.

This article explores 8 compassionate ways to support someone who is grappling with their faith.

Together, we’ll discover how to be there for your loved one in a meaningful way, supporting their spiritual journey with kindness and respect.

1) Listen first

When it comes to matters of faith, people often feel deeply, and their doubts can carry a lot of emotional weight.

As a support system, your first job to comfort your loved one is to lend an ear.

The thing is that listening is an act of love that signifies respect for their thoughts and feelings.

It’s not about arguing or debating, but about understanding their perspective. By doing so, you are giving them the space to express themselves without fear of judgment or criticism.

Remember, it’s not your job to provide answers or solutions. Sometimes, all they need is someone who will listen and empathize.

So if your loved one opens up about their doubts, listen first.

It’s a simple act that can make a world of difference to them.

2) Share your own journey

Relating to someone else’s doubt can be challenging, especially when it comes to faith.

This is where sharing your personal journey can be beneficial.

I remember when I had my own doubts about my faith. It was a difficult phase, filled with questions, uncertainties, and a lot of soul-searching. I shared my concerns with a close friend who was deeply religious.

Instead of brushing off my doubts or forcing their beliefs on me, they shared their own journey.

They spoke about their moments of doubt, how they navigated through them, and how it ultimately shaped their relationship with God.

This personal sharing didn’t solve my doubts overnight, but it did give me comfort to know I was not alone. It also helped me realize that questioning is part of the faith journey.

3) Encourage exploration

In the realm of faith, exploration is often the key to finding answers.

Creating an environment that encourages open dialogue can be a powerful tool in supporting a loved one doubting God.

This means allowing them to voice their doubts, ask questions, and discuss their thoughts without fear of judgment or criticism.

When they feel secure enough to share, it’s important to engage in the conversation genuinely. Ask thoughtful questions, express understanding, and share your own experiences if relevant.

So instead of discouraging doubts, encourage your loved ones to explore their questions.

This can involve reading various religious texts, seeking counsel from religious leaders, or even engaging in deep conversations about faith.

In doing so, you are not only supporting their journey but also fostering a deeper connection between you two.

4) Show empathy, not sympathy

Having doubts about faith can be incredibly stressful and emotionally draining.

Your loved one might be feeling lost, confused, or even guilty for having these doubts.

In such times, what they need most is empathy.

Why?

Because they need to know that it’s okay to have doubts and that they are not alone in this journey.

Sympathy often places you in a position of looking down on the person in distress, offering pity. It creates an unintentional divide between you and your loved one.

But empathy, on the other hand, is about understanding and sharing their feelings. It’s about putting yourself in their shoes and acknowledging their struggle without judgment or criticism.

Let’s be clear:

This doesn’t mean you have to agree with their doubts or questions. Rather, it means recognizing that their feelings are real and valid.

Try to put yourself in their shoes and understand their emotional state. Let them know that you’re there for them, no matter what.

5) Reassure them of your unconditional love

Faith and spirituality can be deeply intertwined with our identities.

So when someone begins to question their beliefs, they might also fear losing the love and acceptance of those around them.

This is where you need to reassure your loved one that your affection for them goes beyond their religious beliefs.

They need to know that regardless of where their spiritual journey takes them, your love for them remains unchanging.

What you should do?

Tell them in no uncertain terms that you’re there for them, not because of their faith, but because of who they are as a person.

This reassurance can provide a sense of stability and security as they navigate through their doubts.

Trust me, unconditional love is one of the greatest supports you can offer to a loved one in doubt!

6) Offer resources, not solutions

When a loved one is doubting God, it’s natural to want to help them find answers. However, it’s more beneficial to offer resources instead of trying to provide direct solutions.

Sharing resources can aid in their exploration and understanding. These could include:

  • Books exploring faith and doubt
  • Spiritual mentors or counselors
  • Online forums or support groups
  • Podcasts and talks on spirituality

Remember, the goal is not to solve their doubts but to equip them with tools to navigate their journey.

By doing this, you empower them to seek answers in their own time and way, which can lead to a deeper and more personalized faith.

7) Pray for them, not at them

Prayer is a powerful tool in supporting a loved one who doubts God.

But remember, it’s important to pray for them, not at them.

I know this might seem like a subtle distinction, but it carries significant meaning:

Praying at someone might suggest you’re trying to impose your beliefs or will onto them.

On the other hand, praying for them shows your humble request for divine guidance in their life. You are entrusting their journey to God, acknowledging that ultimately, it’s in His hands.

That’s why you should ensure your prayers are respectful of their current state of belief. Don’t pray for them to simply return to their old beliefs, but rather for clarity, peace, and wisdom on their journey.

Because genuine care and respect are more impactful than any well-intended advice you could give.

8) Respect their journey

Finally, every individual’s journey with faith is unique. It’s filled with personal experiences, questions, and realizations.

So when your loved one is doubting God, it’s crucial to respect their journey.

Avoid trying to rush them towards a conclusion or impose your own experiences on them. Instead, acknowledge that their path may look different from yours.

While it’s okay to share your thoughts and experiences, it’s also important to give them the freedom to explore their own beliefs. After all, faith is a deeply personal matter.

Remember:

Your role is not to provide all the answers, but to stand by them as they search for their own.

Just try to act as a source of love and support, providing reassurance when needed, and respecting their process.

Insight: Faith isn’t a destination but a continuous process of growth and understanding.

At the heart of it all: Love

The journey of faith, filled with questions, doubts, and exploration, is a deeply personal one. But at the core of this entire process is something universal: love.

Love is what prompts us to listen without judgment, share our experiences, show empathy, and reassure our loved ones that our affection for them is unwavering.

A quote by Mother Teresa beautifully encapsulates this sentiment: “Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand.”

When your loved one is doubting God, your most significant role is to be a source of that unwavering love. To be a steady hand reaching out in their season of doubt.

In the end, the goal isn’t to eliminate doubt but to foster a space where faith and doubt can coexist.

Samuel Cho

Samuel Cho

I'm Samuel Cho from South Korea, where my passion for writing and Christ intertwines. Through my essays and articles, I aim to bridge the divine with the daily, drawing from Scripture and my own life's journey. My articles often explore how faith intersects with everyday life in an Asian context. With each piece, I invite readers on Biblescripture.net to reflect on the universal truths within our diverse experiences of faith.

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