If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:26
God gave us family. And what a precious gift! But it is a gift, not the Giver. Jesus will not allow himself to be demoted to High Priest in the Temple Of Family Values. When we come to Christ, we leave that Temple behind, never to return, and we spend the rest of our lives recruiting our families to worship Jesus.
It means, for example, we choose a church not primarily for how it can serve our family but primarily for how our family can serve Christ. It means we sometimes say to our wives, “Honey, I’m going to my discipleship group now. I know it’s been quite a day with the kids. And I will make this up to you tomorrow. But the Lord will give you extra strength this evening.” Then, as you’re walking out the door, she turns and says cheerfully to the kids, “Hey kids, aren’t we lucky to share our daddy with others, for Jesus’ sake?” And the kids growing up in that family understand that Jesus is the center of the universe, and they are better off with reality arranged that way.
Yes, we disciple our kids too. But if we never put them second for the Lord’s sake, is he really first? Yes, it is possible to neglect family for ministry. That is a real danger. But it is also possible to exalt family above Christ. That too is a real danger. And, knowing our need, Jesus warned us about it in Luke 14:26.
C. S. Lewis, “When first things are put first, second things are not suppressed but increased.”
HT: Shawn Newby