At the end of last year my 16 year old turned around to me and said she didn't want to go to church any more as she doesn't believe any more. This shocked me but I respected her decision.
I am still confused as she has told me since that she is agnostic. We changed churches last year and she started at the new church first. She said that she really found a place that suited her. I joined her a month later as I felt I had to pray about my move before leaving the old church.
She seemed really "on fire" for God and looking forward to helping out at new wine this year.
Then she made some new friends and her decision happened. She said it wasn't anything to do with them but she must have discussed it with them. She has since lost her virginity, been out with 2 guys in short succession and now she is in a "no strings, friends with benefits" relationship.
She went out with a group of her mates and one them kissed her as part of a truth or dare thing. She tried to kiss him again later and he backed away.
She told me that she has found out that her sexuality is one where she likes personalities more than people or something.
It seems to me that she is going through a lot of confusing times about herself. I am there to listen but I don't feel that I can do much else but pray for her as she can't see how this effects her spirit. Why would she if she has turned her back on God.
TurnTables I'm really sorry for the situation you find yourself in and for your dear daughter who seems very confused about what she wants.
I don't have any experience of this so hope someone wiser will be along.
Do you think your daughter is just experimenting? Does she maybe feel she can't do that if she is a Christian so is throwing God out because she wants to try living a free type lifestyle?
I hope you can just reasure her God is there and he cares for her, whatever she does. And that you can be there for her. Stay strong.
It may well be that if she feels she has done too much 'wrong' she won't feel she is able to come back so just be there for her in case that is how she feels.
At least she is talking to you and sharing with you, she may well find this new life style has a lot of pain attached to it as well. It may also be she feels pressurised into accepting a no-strings so-called 'friends with benefits' type thing when that is not necessarily what she really wants. IMHO she is worth so much more, I know, and I am sure you long for her to know that she is worth so much. Stay strong, keep the lines of communication open.
It's also entirely possible that she's just going through what a lot of teenagers go through. If she's genuinely decided not to believe in God any more then trying to reassure her that God is still there for her is more likely to just irritate her than be of any comfort.
Cherish the relationship you have with her, the communication you seem to have is rare. As long she's not doing anything inherently dangerous, just let her be the person she's going to be. How you deal with it on a personal level with your faith or whatever is up to you, but the worst thing you can do is try to stop her (unless dangerous, as above) or attempt comfort through religion.
Support her, keep communication and make sure she's happy.
She told me that she has found out that her sexuality is one where she likes personalities more than people or something. Is she bisexual? Is your Church one that would embrace her if she was? Atheist here <waves> but that comment sounds very like one that she might use if she was bisexual.
Thanks guys. I guess I needed some reassurance that I'm doing the right thing and allowing her to go down this path to discover about herself. I think yes she is experimenting. I have told her though to not to feel that she can never turn back to God. Although she thinks that she wouldn't go back at the moment none of us know what is going to happen. Yes she is using protection this guy she is with insists on it. As for the sexuallity side of it she said it was called "Pan" I thought this meant bi but seemingly according to her it's not.
I figured that even if I don't agree with what she is doing I'll be there for her whatever. When I was younger I decided to get married at the age of 18 as I wanted to escape my nagging parents at the time. Totally the wrong thing to do I know but it did teach me some things. My parents were totally against the marriage and looking back I understand why. They told me basically that "I made my bed and now I had to lie in it" they didn't support me until I eventually left him when I had a 16 month old and pregnant (although I didn't know at the time).
Firstly, it's true that she may change her mind later; adolescence is a time of turmoil and change - and by the way, you sound like a really lovely parent in that you are accepting of her making her own choices.
Secondly, lots of people don't believe in gods and they are happy, healthy and nice people. She may decide that there are no supernatural entities and she doesn't need to believe in any of them, and be perfectly happy and a good person without gods. Some people who believe in gods are horrible. It could be worse. Your DD could have chosen to adopt a really vile religion, the sort that's woman-hating, homophobic and considers violence against 'blasphemers/infidels' to be perfectly all right.