Question:

Hello,

My mom and her boyfriend are coming to see me for a few days for the first time, and, although my mom says she believes, prays every night for forgiveness and goes to church she will not take what I say seriously about she is living in sin by sleeping and living with a man she is not married to. The guy she is with now is still legally married to another woman with whom he has children. He says he can not marry my mom yet because he needs money for a divorce. Also my mom has been married and divorced several times. I am very scared for her salvation because I believe all of the Bible, and I know it to be the word of God. I have warned her and her boyfriend that they are living in sin, but they just keep coming up with excuses.

So my main question is: Am I going to be sinning if I allow them to sleep in the same bed together in my house? If I tell them they can't sleep together, I'm afraid it will cause a lot of friction. I want my mom to come see us so much and for her to see her grand baby. I miss her so much too! What should I do? And thank you so much for being a servant of God. You all are so great.


Answer:

It is really hard when you see your own family members sinning. The desire to compromise is strong. Yet, Jesus states: "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters -- yes, even his own life-- he cannot be my disciple" (Luke 14:26). Jesus is not saying to despise our parents. He is giving guidelines for our priorities. If we put family before God, we can't make it to heaven.

So, think of it this way: If two people you knew was traveling through and you knew they were unmarried, would you allow them to stay in your home and sleep in the same bed? If you can draw the line for someone you slightly know, then you need to be able to draw the same line for those you know well.

As hard it is going to be, you can tell your mom that she is welcome to come visit, but if she brings her boyfriend she has to find somewhere else to stay. You set the standards for your home. She decides whether she accepts those conditions or not. I'm sure she'll try to blame you, but the truth is that it is her choice, just as it has been her choice to ignore God in her relationships. It is only by being firm that she will see that you are serious about the fact that she is sinning. You don't want to be like the Greeks of old "who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them" (Romans 1:32).

As John also warned: "Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds" (II John 9-11). This is directed to Christians who are teaching false doctrine, but the principle is clear. We can't be seen as condoning sin.

I know this won't go over well. People who want to sin also don't want their sins to be mentioned. But remember Jesus other teaching: "Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the age to come eternal life" (Luke 18:29-30). Sometimes we lose family because of our love of God; yet we have brothers and sisters in Christ who become a bigger and better family.