Q. On holidays and family get-togethers my parents and siblings use every occasion to ridicule my faith. They talk behind my back and roll up their eyes whenever anything comes up about church or believers. If I don't go, then I'm alone on holidays. Any advice?
Sadly, this is a common experience worldwide. But, that doesn't make it any easier, does it?
Consider the following advice:
…in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving. They will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and have no interest in what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act as if they are religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. You must stay away from people like that.
(2 Timothy 3:1-5, NLT).
If your family were to behave respectfully toward you, the advice might be different. But, since they cannot behave like mature people or treat you with common decency, you probably need to avoid these situations and just risk being alone on holidays.
Jeremiah 12:6 says,
Even your own brothers, members of your own family, have turned on you. They have plotted, raising a cry against you. Do not trust them, no matter how pleasantly they speak (NLT).
Matthew 10:16 warns us:
Be as wary as snakes and as harmless as doves.
The booklet, TouchPoints for Hurting People, responds to the above Scripture passage with this suggestion:
When you realize you cannot trust a particular person, acting wisely includes taking steps to keep from getting hurt again. You can avoid revenge and grant forgiveness while still exercising prudent self-protection (2004, 25).
By the way, we see your story repeated over and over in the church. You might be shocked by the number of children who have rejected their Christian parents, problems of believers with their own fathers and mothers, mean behaviors between siblings, and the agonies of divorced people trying to fit in during holidays.
Keep your eyes open - you might be in a position to help others cope with loneliness by inviting them to your house.
It is better to trust the Lord than to put confidence in people (Psalm 118:8, NLT).
Finally, what you are experiencing is a mild form of persecution. For this reason we suggest that you and others in this situation sign-up for a free subscription to The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter. You will read about other Christians worldwide who are experiencing similar and worse difficulties with their families. Not only is it therapeutic, but you will find companionship with others who suffer as you do. You can even write to these precious believers overseas.
Voice of the Martyrs
P.O. Box 443
Bartlesville, OK 74005-0443
Life Application Study Bible, NLT. 1996. Wheaton, ILL: Tyndale.
TouchPoints for hurting people. 2004. Betrayal, p. 25. Wheaton, ILL: Tyndale.