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Mother-n-Law Is A Backslider

What can I do about this? I honestly believe my Mother-n-law is still fighting depression. She has been on a depression pill for at least 24 years. She says she is no longer depressed. For a good while she was a strong, active Christian. Now she is a weak backslider. What do I do?

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Being on antidepressants is not a sign of backsliding. My mother has been on antidepressants for most of my life, and I am 48 years old. Depression like that is chemical and not spiritual, or emotional in its root. If you are not a licensed psychotherapist, you are not qualified to determine if she is or is not depressed, and frankly, I don't see how it is your business.
---Madison1101 on 4/23/08

Rebecca: If MIL won't go out, then bring a study to her. Invite a friend to visit her once a week and do a small study together. Make it a sweet time of fellowship for the three of you. Love her back to fellowshipping.
---Madison1101 on 9/25/06

Sorry for the mix up about being DIL, not Dtr. However, my advice still stands.
---JohnT on 9/25/06

JohnT; She is my mother-n-law not my mother. That's just it Madision, she won't go anywhere or do anything. I have tried and tried to get her to go to my bible study class, and she won't. My Father-n-law is a sinner, and has no concerns about going to church. I am worried she has been on depression pills for 20+ years. I know she has backslide because she has a spiritual death upon her face. The light she was once shining, is now gone.
---Rebecca_D on 9/25/06

Rebecca, JohnT and Madison are right, in that even if your mother-in-law's depression was initially emotionally based, it is probaly now a brain chemistry issue. You cannot "fix" her. Pray for her, and as JohnT said, be a daughter to her. Continue to invite her to be a part of you and your family's life - and hug her often.
---daphn8897 on 9/22/06

BJB, there is plenty you can do for your MIL. Encourage her, take the time to study the Word with her, show her loving kindness and live an example of the peace we are granted through Christ. Be there for her as much as possible and help her through the dark times. Remember that depression is often bio-chemically related and, though Christ can and does heal depression, it's sometimes not done overnight.
---AlwaysOn on 9/22/06

Does she have a friend who is a Christian that can intervene and provide encouragement to her. Possibly do a Bible study with her. Perhaps MIL will be prompted to confide what concerns she may be having. How about counseling? What does your father-in-law think is going on? Has your husband spoken to his parents about this? How is her condition affecting your relationship with her? "Weak backslider" is a pretty strong opinion without some indication of what you mean by that. Is there an example?
---Linda on 9/22/06

Rebecca_D ,(9.)Other cases involve those who were severely mentally impaired from "the very beginning",or since they were very very young, they never had "enough of mind" to know right from wrong, those, God will not hold accountable for their actions. Rebecca, My prayers are with you and yours ,God Bless You my Sister in Christ. --Mrs. Morgan
---Mrs._Morgan on 9/21/06

Rebecca_D ,(8.)In some cases at one time the person was slightly mentally ill but had "enough of mind" that they could choose "right from wrong" they choose wrong, and their mental state worsen, this is common, in this case, pray that the Lord will "quicken them" so they can reason with the Lord,and receive Him, don't give up in despair, but only believe, there is no other choice , but to "not believe", and you definitely don't want to do that!
---Mrs._Morgan on 9/21/06

Rebecca_D ,(7.)Tell her to speak to the Lord often, tell Him how she feels, and unload all her burdens on Him, He can handle it! Jesus said to do this and He will give us REST. We have to learn how to really depend on God this is the most important thing!
---Mrs._Morgan on 9/21/06

Rebecca_D ,(6.)I'm glad God is my refuge, tell her this, God is her refuge, give her example in the Bible of all the great men and women of God, and how they overcame depression, and awful situations. Remind her of Jesus in the Garden of Gestheme , David, Elijah under the juniper tree, Lot, Job, John the Baptist, Paul, the list goes on and on!
---Mrs._Morgan on 9/21/06

Rebecca_D ,(5.)Some people are just lonely, and some are lonely, even when people around, it can get very complicated depending on the person, brain chemisty,nerves,hormones are very complex, but I believe God is the Remedy for all sickness, including mental illness. I had my very very bad days, and If I didn't have God to lean on, I don't want to even think about that!
---Mrs._Morgan on 9/21/06

Rebecca_D ,(4.)How about watching Godly programing on tv, ask her what makes "her happy"(if she says nothing, brace yourself!), and if these things are "good", then offer do these things with her sometimes. Even if it is walking and talking in the park, getting a icecream cone, you know, the simply joys in life.
---Mrs._Morgan on 9/21/06

Rebecca_D ,(3.)Some Christian's just get depressed and don't go to church, but they haven't backslidden. How about reminding and refreshing her of God's wonderful promises, OFTEN(Let me know if you need Scriptures to give her, okay!) Singing spiritual hymns and songs, sharing in Scripture reading(never let her see you depressed or doubting though!), but you can tell her how you handle those times "you get depressed", so she can "some what" identify with you....
---Mrs._Morgan on 9/21/06

Bipolar disorder can cause drastic behaviour changes. From one extreme to the next. Dressing oddly, start hitting the bars, etc.
---R.A. on 9/21/06

Rebecca_D ,(2.)Mental Illness has different levels, some are on a level in which they can be reasoned with and other's are not, and sometimes it varies. I believe with God all things are possible, do you agree? So we should not give up on people like these. Is your relative unstable? violent, or just plain old depressed? You say she is backslidden, what are the signs of this?
---Mrs._Morgan on 9/21/06

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Rebecca_D , (1.)I just read your post, almost at the same time my brother and I were discussing one of our Auntie's who has mental illness, and how we should handle her spiritual situation. Rebecca, This is a very sensitive subject, and requires prayer for understanding and clarity. We must let the Holy Spirit direct are every step in this matter....
---Mrs._Morgan on 9/21/06

Rebecca: The context of your message led me to believe that you thought your mother-in-law was backslidden due to her depression and need for medication.

I understand that you are concerned for her. Pray for her, and with her, if she'll allow. Maybe invite her to work on a Bible study with you, or attend one together.
---Madison1101 on 9/21/06

BJB/Rebecca:How do you define "backslider" what does it mean to you personally?
You say she is mentally ill. In some ways, she is a child, not in full command of thoughts or actions.
Yes, she is responsible, but God has a special mercy for mentally ill, as he has for children, or retarded adults.
You are NOT responsible for her condition. So, going to a new church oryou fasting will NOT alter brain chemistry. Dragons tell you to do that.
---JohnT on 9/21/06

It is my buisness because I worry about her alot. She didn't backslide because she is on these pills. I don't know the reason as to why she backslide. Morgan; She went to my church for years, and it is very much alive. she hasn't been in church in months. I pray until I feel like my lips are falling off. And at this point that is all I can do. And I hate it.
---Rebecca_D on 9/21/06

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"He sent forth His word and healed them."
Tell your mother in law to get a notebook and write down all of the scriptures on Joy. Start with what Jesus said about Joy. "your joy may be made full." Peter called it Joy Unspeakable. Find out what he meant by that. As she puts the word in her, it's able to heal her. Proverbs 4:22 says, the word will be healing and health to all of your body. Tell her not to stop until she's filled with JOY UNSPEAKABLE.
---Donna9759 on 9/21/06

BJB, please listen to people like Madison. There are well-intentioned dragons here. Rather than seek understanding of a complex medical-chemical situation, they offer pseudo-spiritual platitudes. Pay them no heed.
The best thing you can do for mom are these:
1) Be her daughter, ONLY you can fulfill that role
2) protect yourself and family if psychotic events happen
3) Give her honor as your mom.
4) Be supportive, but not over dependent, she is an adult.
---JohnT on 9/21/06

BJB, How about just loving her... I mean really loving her. If she is still fighting the battle of depression, be a spot of lightness and brightness in her life. If she is weak, the He can be shown strong. Most importantly... PRAY.
---daphn8897 on 9/21/06

A born-again person should pray for people in such a condition(and get as many true children of God to pray for her too), and live out their testimony, so she can see God's perfect work, actions speak louder than words. Bible fasting will help too! Try to encourage her to go to a real Church, not a dead church, but a church, where the Holy Spirit has freedom and liberty, and people are yielding to Him, not compromising God's Truth. It takes much research to find such a church, but they are out there.
---Mrs._Morgan on 9/20/06

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