Dear Miss Emily:

I am a Christian (not a fake one, either).  I have grown very close to God in the last 5 weeks. I am very new in my faith and am still learning a lot.  I have a stepsister, she is 17, she will be 18 in February. She and I have different opinions on things, such as sex. She does it, I don't, and never have. But the thing is my dad and step mom are also into the Gospel and Church, so they do NOT approve of it. When she first started doing this, she would come to me always scared because she was late on her period, although it worked out that she wasn’t pregnant. Well, I felt like it was a burden on my shoulders because they (sister and her boyfriend) would do all this stuff behind my dad and step mom’s back. My parents will go to bed, and "the boyfriend" would act like he left, but he would really stay, and he and my sister would do all this stuff (they have only been dating about a month).  My sister told me that if my dad were to ask her about it, she wouldn’t lie and she would tell him what was going on. On the way to school, my dad was talking to her in the car telling her that the way they act around each other it looks like they are sleeping together. Then he asked her. She said no! When my sister and I got to school, I asked her why she did that and she just kept mocking me saying "ok, mother," and I told her she was fake to me.  So I  told my dad and her mom what was going on.  Was that wrong of me?  I didn’t talk to them because I wanted to get her in trouble, I did it because I care about her and I don’t want to see her pregnant her last year of school.  The following Sunday, she went up to the altar and "rededicated" her life to God.  Later that night, I heard her on the phone with her boyfriend, through the wall, and she was saying how it was all an act and she is still going to do all she does with him. That is so fake to me. Then, that also made me think that this guy doesn’t really love her because, if he did, he wouldn’t be so concerned about if she did or didn’t "rededicate" her life to God. My stepsister’s mom is wrapped around her finger... literally!  Now I don’t know if I’m supposed to tell my parents what  I heard her say, or talk to my stepsister first.  She only talks to me now when she needs something.  I am just unsure as to what to do next.

------------------------Miss Emily’s advice--------------------

Dear Heartsick:

I am not going to chastise you for doing what you did, however, it’s time to back-off now, and let the parents take over.  This is not your fight!  Your commitment to God does not entitle you to police the world.  There is an old saying, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”  I don’t believe you meant any harm, and your motivation seems legit, but you need to realize that you have become too personally involved in this matter.  Your sister will do what she wishes no matter how much you intervene.  She is almost 18 and very close to moving out of the house if she chooses to do so.  Understanding, and not being pious, is the best road to take.  Let her know that you wish the best for her, but you will no longer interfere.  And keep your ear away from the wall!  She knows how a girl gets pregnant, and she’s chosen to disregard that knowledge.  It is a shame but, I repeat, it is not your call to tell her how to live her life, even though you view her religious rededication as hypocritical.  I commend you for your devotion to high standards, but that is a road you have chosen to take.  I know you are concerned but, again, let the adults handle this from now on.  Your interference only complicates matters.  You could, in fact, alienate her and give her a reason to rationalize her risky behavior.  And that, I believe, would be counterproductive to your cause.