First of all, I sympathize with you in this very difficult trial. My wife and I also had alcoholic parents and after we were saved we experienced the very same thing that you have gone through. It got so bad at times that we decided to keep our children away from them unless we knew they were sober.

One of the first passages of Scripture that we learned that helped us a great deal was Matthew 10:34-38, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me” (NKJV). Jesus was teaching His disciples that the result of His coming to the earth would be “divided families.” He knew that once a person believes on Him as their Savior and decides to follow Him and His teachings, there would be conflict with those who DO NOT believe on Him. In fact, the conflict would be so bad that unsaved family members would HATE US WHO BELIEVE, so much so that Jesus calls them our “enemies.” The truth is they HATE CHRIST and thus they also HATE US because we love Christ and want to follow Him. Jesus said in John 15:17-18, “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” My wife and I learned, from these passages, that we can EXPECT OUR UNSAVED FAMILY MEMBERS TO HATE US because of our love for the Savior. And the truth is the more we show our love for the Lord Jesus, the more the world will hate us, and at times they may even think we hate them because of our greater love for our Lord and Savior.

The truth we’ve been considering doesn’t even take into account “alcoholic unsaved family members.” It is simply speaking of relatives who have no love for Jesus Christ and how their hatred for Christ will be directed towards us. This hatred can be intensified with an alcoholic parent, for alcohol dulls their senses and emboldens them to speak out against us. So, what are we to do? I believe you are right in continuing to forgive her, to love her, and to be ready to help her in any way. In doing so you are obeying Ephesians 6:2, “Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise.” But does this mean you are continue to visit them no matter what their conduct is towards you and your children? Personally, I don’t believe you should if you feel DEFILED by their behavior. We are told in Ephesians 5:11-12, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.” The Lord would NOT have us to remain in company with those who are drunk and using language that is defiling to us. The fact is, if we continue to keep company with them we may in turn be influenced for evil, as we see in 1st Corinthians 15:33, “Do not be deceived: ‘Evil company corrupts good habits.’” If we are to be faithful to the Savior that we love, we will expose the evil by departing from it.

In closing, let me encourage you to keep the door of communication open with your mom. I would still call her from time to time and perhaps, because of your faithful separation from her, she will indeed come under conviction and desire to “change her ways.” Of course the ideal would be that she would come under true, deep conviction BEFORE GOD and desire to be saved. And the very fact that you have been faithful in choosing to follow Christ may result in her turning to you to ask you, “What must I do to be saved?” Then you would have the blessed privilege of telling her (as the Apostle Paul told the convicted jailor who asked that same question), “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). May the Lord give you grace as you seek to honor Him and to win your mother to Christ.  (353.5)  (DO)