I was recently pointed to an advice column on a Seattle news website where a mom wrote in with this very concern. Here's what the mom had to say:
I am a stay-at-home mother of four who has tried to raise my family under the same strong Christian values that I grew up with. Therefore I was shocked when my oldest daughter, "Emily," suddenly announced she had "given up believing in God" and decided to "come out" as an atheist.
She said she was "happy" in her decision and that it just "felt right." She no longer wishes to attend church, speak to the pastor or even participate in family prayers.
I love my daughter dearly, but I am troubled by this turn of events. She has never seriously misbehaved or otherwise given me cause to worry before this. Emily insists she is old enough to make up her own mind, but I simply do not think a girl of 16 has the maturity to make such a life-changing decision.
You can check out the rest of the post to see what the advice columnist had to say about the situation, but what I'm interested in is this: What would you say to this mom? How should she proceed? What would be good for her to know?