“And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.”
But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”” Luke 9:61-62
“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. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.” Mt. 10:37-39
“And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.” Mt. 19:29
God wants us to LOVE not hate our families. But He makes utterly clear in His Word that we are to love HIM first and THEN others as ourselves AND that we must be willing to forsake all and everyone for Him AND that we are not to worship ANYONE above Him not even our precious and beloved families. Bottom line. The Lord first. ALWAYS and for ALL TIME.
So we need to be mightily careful about worrying about and feeling like we may betray our families when it comes to putting the Lord first. How so? And what does this look like?
You might be surprised how often in my streets ministry work I’ve come across people who are firmly and even sometimes vehemently entrenched in false religions worshiping false gods heading straight for forever in hell and the lake of fire apart from God because they are afraid of “hurting” and “betraying” and “rejecting” and possibly “losing” and “being rejected by” and “abandoned by” their families if they make the decision to break free from the false religions and false gods and man-made traditions their families have practiced for years and sometimes even for generations.
What will my family think? And say? And do? They’ll hate me. Get rid of me. Laugh at me. How can I betray them? These are the kinds of things by which some people are so bound that they are willing to forsake a forever relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ because they are so worried about “betraying” their families and the consequences that may come if they surrender their lives to Christ.
The only way to a forever relationship with God now and for eternity in heaven is through the Lord Jesus Christ and repenting and believing in Him as Lord whereby we genuinely turn from a lifestyle of sin to a lifestyle of loving and obeying and living for Him. This may well mean for some of us letting go of the beliefs of our childhoods, of our families, of our communities, of our cultures, etc. Not because we hate them, but because we realize we need to love and worship the Lord above all and everyone else.
Our greatest hope for our loved ones shouldn’t come in the form of us holding onto what is wrong while forsaking Christ, but in the form of letting go of what’s wrong and holding onto Christ and talking to them about the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for and encouraging our loved ones to do the same – to repent and believe in Him as forever Lord!
May we love the Lord with all our hearts forever no matter the cost, and may we love our families in such a way that we model to them what it looks like to give our hearts and lives to Jesus forevermore!
God willing we will not have to lose our families when we surrender our lives utterly to Jesus, but if we shall lose them, we know nothing is more beautiful and precious and glorious than the Lord and being in His presence forever. And may no matter what happens concerning how our families respond to our love for and obedience to Christ, may they see in the way we live our lives the love, light, mercy, grace, hope, joy, and glory of the Lord and be drawn by His Spirit to Him also!