Spiritually Speaking

QUESTION: When our grandson Josh was 18 months old, we took over his care with a court order because our daughter, Tina, was on drugs and the dad was nowhere to be found. Now, four years later, Tina has been in rehab, announced herself “clean” and wants Josh back. She has had supervised visits with him since we’ve had him. We’re concerned that Tina may turn back to drugs and the good we’ve done with Josh will be undone.

Please help us sort this out because our decision-making is clouded at this time.

~ Worried Grandparents


Dear Worried Grandparents,

I can appreciate your anxiety and concern for the future care of your grandchild, especially in light of all you have sacrificed and accomplished on his behalf. Likewise, I can appreciate as well your daughter’s hope and desire to be with and raise her son. I understand this is a very difficult situation for you and all involved in light of what you have shared. Hopefully, if custody is dependent upon the courts, then they and the professional counselors appointed by the court to review your grandson’s situation will provide a fair, measured and balanced assessment.

On a spiritual level, I would like to reassure you that there is nothing to be afraid of. Everything in the end will work out well and for the good of all, even though your current fears and the reasons for them as stated in your letter are quite clear and understandable.

The reason why there is nothing to be afraid of is that we are dealing with a God who is ultimately good; and when we call upon that good, it rushes to us in ways that are amazing, astounding and blessed. The only thing that blocks our good is a lack of faith, which is fear. According to Jesus, it is done unto as we believe. We can either believe in our good or we can believe in our fears. The one we give our greatest attention to is the one that wins. When Jesus tells us we cannot serve both God and Mammon, he is really pointing out to us that we can either serve faith or fear. We cannot serve two masters. We will have no dealings with fear here. We are concerned only with the truth, and the truth is that there is already a perfect divine solution to this situation that is harmonious and respects the rights and the good of all involved including you, your daughter and your grandson.

Here is a little affirmative prayer that will help your faith dissolve fear in those moments you feel challenged. I would encourage you to repeat it as often as you choose and to continue to do so where you begin to feel it is real for you. Here it is:
“I know that God’s perfect Good, perfect Love and perfect Caring is at work in our family, Intelligently guiding us and giving us the perfect loving and harmonious solution and resolution to this situation of my grandson’s custody. I know that the rights of all will be respected and honored, that there is only perfect clarity and understanding, perfect peace of mind, perfect love and harmony and perfect Divine Right Action at work in our lives and in this situation, resulting in a perfect solution that is a blessing to and a Good for us all. Amen”

Anthony Kelson, Religious Science Practitioner




Dear Worried Grandparents,

It sounds like you have poured your lives, and your love, into Josh. Thank you! Thank you for being in his life when he needed you most. And thank you for being a part of Tina’s life by giving her the time she needed to be in rehab. They both will still need you. They will need your love, your support and your trust.

It is understandable that you are worried about what the future might bring knowing Tina’s history. You have to trust that she is trying to turn her life around, to do something better for her and her son. And you also have to trust your own instincts. You have laid a great foundation for Josh by loving him and taking care of him; that will not be undone. I hope you can continue to build upon the relationships you have already developed.

In his letter to the Corinthians, the Apostle Paul wrote, “Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

Love will see us through a lot of struggles in life. I encourage you to rely on the love you have for Josh and for Tina in order to continue to guide them both in the right direction. I would also encourage you to rely on the love God has for each one of you, trusting that God’s love and grace is already a part of your lives.

May the love of God lead you to the truth, fill you with hope, and be the foundation of your relationships.


Rev. Karin Ellis




QUESTION: I’m an only child, engaged to a man my parents don’t like. I don’t understand because he’s a college graduate, has a good job, doesn’t drink or smoke and attends church regularly with me. He has always treated my parents with respect. I’m wondering if anyone will ever meet my parents’ expectations. And now I’m in the position of choosing between my parents and my fiancé. They’ve given me the ultimatum – him or them.

I’m also a college graduate with a good job and I don’t live with my parents. I love my parents and, at the same time, I feel angry that they’ve put me in this position. I don’t know what to do. What would you do?

~ Bewildered



Dear Bewildered,

I can sense the frustration and confusion in your letter and the deep love you have for your parents. Family is clearly very important to you. Without knowing how long you’ve been with your fiancé, it’s difficult to assess if your parents had a good chance to get to know him as you do. Have you had an honest conversation with them regarding their reservations? Is it specifically him or are they afraid of losing you? There are many possible reasons that they may not have shared with you. 

You also state that you’re wondering if anyone will ever meet their expectations. Has that been the case with past boyfriends? For many parents – wanting only the best for their children – the bar can be set extremely high for their future mates. It may seem that nobody could ever be good enough!

It was certainly the case for my grandparents and my own father expressed his disdain for my choice in a mate. As a loving daughter, it can be very disheartening when your parents don’t support your life choices.

I agree that you’ve been put in a difficult position. Nobody likes ultimatums. And, ultimately, it is your choice in how you want to live your life. In Religious Science, the belief is that everyone is an individualized expression of the Divine and each one of us is given choice and volition to create the life we want, providing we do no harm to others. We all have this divine urge to fully express who we are and live a joyful and purposeful life.

In your heart of hearts you know the right course of action. Love expands and opens us up to love even more. Fear contracts and closes us off. Allay your parents’ fears and let them know there’s room in your heart to love them and your future spouse. Remind them too that they did an excellent job raising you to be independent, strong and capable of making the right choices for your life. And in that regard, you lovingly choose your fiancé and them!

Love & Light to your future!

Rev. Dr. Ellen Contente




Dear Bewildered –

I can understand why you feel bewildered and angry. However, you don’t have to remain stuck there.

In your own heart, do you deeply believe that God has brought you and your fiancé together? If your answer is “yes,” then another conversation with your parents is very important. To prepare for this time, there are some important steps to take.

If you haven’t already done so, go to God, with humbleness of heart, and repent for any anger, bitterness, or unforgiveness you may be harboring towards your parents and ask for His forgiveness. Then, from the depths of your heart, choose to release that anger fully to God and forgive your parents for their insensitivity and any hurt they have caused you. Ask God to bring healing to the relationship. Thirdly, ask God to help arrange a time to talk with your parents, face to face, about your relationship with your fiancé. 

During that time together, very sincerely and tenderly express how much you want to honor them and continue to have an ongoing, loving relationship. Also express that you love and are committed to the relationship with your fiancé. Ask them to share their hearts, honestly expressing their concerns and objections about your fiancé and your potential marriage. Do they see any potential “pitfalls” that you aren’t seeing? Try to be openhearted to really hear what their misgivings are.

If you and your parents still can’t come to agreement, then you and your fiancé need to be willing to give it a bit more time before moving forward with your marriage. Have times of prayer with your fiancé, asking God’s guidance and wisdom about the next steps to take and the timing for your wedding. As you pray together, ask God to soften your parents’ hearts so that they can come to a place of acceptance of both your fiancé and your upcoming marriage.

God loves you, and He will walk with you through all that lies ahead. May He guide you with His grace and breathe His peace into your heart.

Pastor Tim Beck