Stand Strong Despite Trials


I am 14, and I am the only Christian in my family (they came here from another country and practice another religion). I began following Jesus through some classmates at school, but my parents have ordered me not to celebrate Christmas in any way. Will God be upset at me for ignoring Jesus' birth?


God understands your situation, and I want to assure you that He doesn’t look down on you or condemn you because you can’t follow Jesus at Christmas as openly as some of your classmates.

In fact, I believe He is pleased with you because at your age you are seeking to honor your parents and live under their authority, instead of rebelling against them or condemning them. After all, God wants you to be a witness for Christ to your family, and you are undoubtedly praying for them. If you were to be disrespectful or unloving toward them, however, it would harm your witness. The Bible says, “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

I know this can be a complicated issue, and you need God’s wisdom to know how to live for Jesus without compromising your faith. But God knows what you are facing, and He is able to help you live for Christ, even when others oppose you.

Never forget: Even when you can’t do everything you’d like to do, you can still pray in your heart … you can still thank God for making you part of His family … and you can still read and memorize His Word, the Bible. May God “strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. … being rooted and established in love” (Ephesians 3:16-17).

Share the true hope of Christmas with your loved ones this season.