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Four Blessings When Choosing God Over Family

Four Blessings When Choosing God Over Family

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In this sermon I discuss four blessings when choosing God over family. There aren’t many situations more difficult for Christians to face than having to choose God over family. Allow these four encouragements to help you if you find yourself in this situation.

Choosing God over family is one of the most difficult situations Christians face. Allow these four encouragements to help you.

Consider the following:

  • A relative claims to be a believer but wants to marry an unbeliever, so you’re unable to support the relationship.
  • A relative claims to be a believer, but is living in habitual sin, so you have to confront the person.

I know people and when they chose God over family:

  • It meant supporting church discipline against a family member
  • Or it meant asking a child to leave the house because that child was rebellious

As you can imagine, even though these people made the right decision, it was still excruciating.

There are examples in the Old Testament of people having to choose God over family members. For example…

Moses called for the execution of the individuals responsible for constructing the Golden Calf. This meant some Israelites had to kill their own relatives…

Exodus 32:27 [Moses] said to them, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘Put your sword on your side each of you, and go to and fro from gate to gate throughout the camp, and each of you KILL HIS BROTHER AND HIS COMPANION AND HIS NEIGHBOR.’”

This gives us a good idea of how wicked idolatry is.

Another example involving idolatry…

King Asa was one of the greatest reformers in the Old Testament. When he purged the idolatry from the land, he even had to punish his own grandmother, because she made an idol…

1 Kings 15:13 [Asa] removed Maacah his mother from being queen mother because she had made an abominable image for Asherah. And Asa cut down her image and burned it at the brook Kidron.

I can only imagine how much criticism King Asa might’ve received for banishing his own grandmother.

You could listen to this and say…

“Well, this is the Old Testament. It was much harsher. We are in the New Testament, which is more loving and gracious.”

But we have reached the verses in the New Testament that show that even though we aren’t called to execute family members, we are still called to choose God over them.

But before Jesus talks about choosing Him over family members, He first talks about the divisiveness of the gospel, and I’ll explain why in a moment.

Look with me at verse 49

Luke 12:49 “I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled! 

Fire represents judgment, so Jesus is saying He came to bring judgment to the earth.

This isn’t how we normally think of Jesus’s first coming, is it? We think about him bringing judgment at his second coming but bringing salvation at his first coming.

For example, he said…

John 12:47 I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.

Yes, Jesus came to save the world in his first coming…but what happens to people who reject him?

They get judged!

In the very next verse Jesus said…

John 12:48 The one who rejects me and does not receive my words HAS A JUDGE; the word that I have spoken WILL JUDGE HIM on the last day. 

So, reject Christ, get judged, and experience the fire he brought.

But now look at the next verse for those who RECEIVE Christ…

Luke 12:50 I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished! 

So right after talking about the judgment unbelievers will receive, Jesus talks about the judgment HE received for believers.

The baptism Jesus is referring to is the crucifixion. The word baptize means immersed, and sometimes it’s used to describe being baptized, or immersed, in trials. We even talk about a baptism by fire when we’re talking about people suffering. That’s what Jesus is saying about himself here.

Notice he said how great is my distress until it is accomplished, or until the cross is behind him.

Because Jesus is God in the flesh we can lose sight of his humanity. But right here we see a very human response to the cross. JUST THINKING ABOUT being crucified was greatly distressing to him.

We know that Jesus’s distress became even worse as his death approached. In the garden it was so bad he sweat drops of blood…

Luke 22:44 Being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

But despite his distress and agony at the thought of going to the cross this was the reason he came and he was determined to do it.

Notice how Jesus tied these two great events together:

  • The judgment of unbelievers
  • The judgment He received for believers

He tied them together because his suffering on the cross is the only way we can escape the fire to come upon the earth. So there’s a clear association between the two.

Right now following Christ sounds really good, because we can avoid judgment.

But Christ also wants us to know that following him comes at a cost, and that cost can be division from our own family members. Look at verse 51

Luke 12:51 Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. 

This is an interesting verse, because it introduces a view of Jesus that contradicts not only what the world believes, but even what many in the church believe. Here’s what I mean…

There are unbelievers who don’t believe Jesus is the Son of God, but if they hear you:

  • Condemn sin
  • Preach repentance
  • Discuss judgment or punishment, especially hell
  • Talk about God’s wrath or anger

They’re going to quickly pipe up about Jesus being a man of peace. They might have never wanted anything to do with Jesus earlier, but the moment they can use him to defend their beliefs they’re going to do that.

But here’s what’s interesting…

There is a lot of truth in what they’re saying:

  • The announcement in Luke 2:14 when Jesus came was, “Glory to God in the highest, and ON EARTH PEACE.”
  • Ephesians 2:17 says Jesus “Came and preached peace.”
  • He regularly told people, “Go in peace.”
  • He told his disciples, “My peace I leave with you. My peace I give unto you.”
  • He taught, “These things I have spoken to you that IN ME YOU MIGHT HAVE PEACE.”

So how do we explain this? Was Jesus a man who brought peace or division?

The answer is yes!

The Gospel Creates Peace Between God and Man

Listen to this verse…

Romans 5:10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 

Our sin made us God’s enemies. But after we repent and put our faith in Christ we are reconciled to Him…

Romans 5:1 Since we have been justified by faith, we HAVE PEACE WITH GOD through our Lord Jesus Christ.

And…

Colossians 1:20 Through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, MAKING PEACE BY THE BLOOD OF HIS CROSS.

So the gospel brings peace between God and man.

But here’s the thing…

To be reconciled to God we experience division from unbelievers.

Think of it this way…

Everyone is born in the same group, and that is the group of sinful people who are separated from God. When we are reconciled to God we are separated from this group. We can’t remain part of it. It is one or the other and this creates division.

The Gospel Creates Division Between Man and Man

Listen to these verses illustrating the division that occurred over Christ during his earthly ministry…

John 7:12 There was much muttering about him among the people. While some said, “He is a good man,” others said, “No, he is leading the people astray.”

Hear the division? Some people think he’s good, and others think he’s bad.

So, a few verses later we read…

John 7:43 So THERE WAS A DIVISION among the people over him.

Here’s another example…

John 9:16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And THERE WAS A DIVISION among them.

And another example…

John 10:19 There was again a division among the Jews because of these words.

So even before Jesus went to the cross he was creating division. People are finding themselves in one of two groups: those who rejected him and those who received him.

And this division played out past Christ’s earthly life and will continue throughout all of human history. Everyone will find themselves in one of these two groups.

Listen to what happened when Jesus sent out the 12 apostles, and how it created division…

Matthew 10:12 As you enter the house, greet it.

How did they probably greet the house?

They probably said, “Shalom,” or “Peace be with you.” This was the common greeting of the day.

Matthew 10:13 And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it,

Sounds pretty good at first, doesn’t it? Their peace comes upon the house. Everyone’s getting along well.

Now listen to what it says…

Matthew 10:13b but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you.

They’re supposed to take their peace with them. They can’t even leave it there.

And it gets worse…

Matthew 10:14 And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town.

The division is so strong that when the apostles left they’re not supposed to bring anything with them…not even the dust.

Listen to how Peter describes unbelievers and we get one insight into why there’s division…

1 Peter 4:3 Gentiles…living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. 4 With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and THEY MALIGN YOU.

What does it mean that they malign you?

  • New King James says speak evil of you
  • NASB says slander you
  • NIV says abuse you
  • Amplified covers all the bases and says, “they criticize and abuse and ridicule you and make fun of your values.”

Basically, they’re not going to treat you well when you’re not doing the things they are doing.

Notice how the gospel contains a tremendous irony:

  • It creates peace like nothing else in the world creates peace: it creates peace between God and man.
  • It creates division like nothing else in the world creates division: it divides every single person in all of human history into two completely separate groups: believers and unbelievers.

And the division between the groups is so strong that it can even divide families, which Jesus tells us to expect in the following verses.

For many throughout church history embracing Christ has meant ruined relationships with family members. Look with me at verse 52

Luke 12:52 For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three. 

Notice Jesus added the words in one house. He could have said there will be three against two and two against three:

  • In one workplace
  • In one school
  • In one business
  • In one organization

But he says in one house, because he is talking specifically about division in families.

Look at verse 53

Luke 12:53 They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

Again, we might expect him to say…

They will be divided:

  • Master against servant
  • Student against teacher
  • Player against player
  • Coworker against coworker

But instead, Jesus only mentioned family members turning against each other.

Why is that?

Did Jesus not mention division in other relationships, because we’re not supposed to expect division in other relationships?

No, that’s not it at all. We can expect division in every area of life because of our commitment to Christ.

Jesus worded it this way because, if he expects us to choose Him over:

  • Father
  • Son
  • Mother
  • Daughter
  • Mother-in-law
  • Daughter-in-law

Then there is no relationship he wouldn’t expect us to choose him over.

Instead of naming every imaginable relationship, he named the closest and most intimate ones and said…

“If you want to follow me you must choose me even over these people.”

And this implies if we would choose him over these people, we would choose him over any people.

Few things are as difficult as choosing God over family, so I would like to give you four encouragements if you find yourself having to do so.

Encouragement One: Choosing God Over Family Allows Us to Be Like Christ

Jesus is a great example of what he preached. He demonstrated choosing God over family by teaching that the closest relationships in His life weren’t with His physical family, but His spiritual family.

Briefly turn to the left to Luke 8:19

Luke 8:19 Then his mother and his brothers came to him, but they could not reach him because of the crowd. 

These brothers would be Jesus’ half-brothers: they have the same mother, in Mary, but a different father. Joseph is their father, but God is Jesus’ Father.

Jesus’s family can’t reach him, but…

Luke 8:20 And he was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see you.” 

I want you to picture what this looked like…

Jesus is in Capernaum. His family members traveled 30 miles from Nazareth to see Him.

  • I don’t know the last time Jesus had seen Mary or His brothers, but it’s clear they went to great lengths to reach Him.
  • For all of them to be able to go together like this would’ve taken an amount of coordination and communication.

They arrive, but they can’t get inside the house. Jesus is told they’re waiting outside. So what do you expect Him to say at this moment?

  • Bring them inside! Don’t make them wait out there.
  • Oh, wow, my mother and brothers are here, I better go see them.
  • Excuse me just for a moment – you’re not going to believe this – but my family just showed up.

Nope! Listen to what He said instead…

Luke 8:21 But he answered them, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.”

In the parallel account in Matthew 12:48 He [said], “WHO IS My mother and WHO ARE My brothers?”

Before I tell you what Jesus WAS DOING, let me tell you what He WASN’T DOING…

  • He wasn’t rejecting or abandoning His earthly family.
  • And He wasn’t minimizing the importance of earthly family members.

Instead, he was emphasizing the importance of his spiritual relationships with those who obey.

And I mention this because it’s a good example for us in this discussion.

When we choose God over family members:

  • We aren’t rejecting or abandoning them
  • We aren’t minimizing their importance

Instead, we are emphasizing the importance our relationship with God.

You know that I believe God is repetitive when He wants to make sure we don’t miss something. This is one of those accounts that’s in all three of the synoptic Gospels…so we don’t miss it.

Similarly, when Jesus spoke to Mary, there’s no record of Him calling her “Mother.” Instead, He always called her “Woman”:

  • John 2:4 Jesus said to [Mary], “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.”
  • John 19:26 When Jesus saw his mother…he said, “Woman, behold, your son!”

There were two relationships between Jesus and Mary:

  • The Mother and Son earthly, physical relationship
  • The Sinner and Savior heavenly, spiritual relationship

It’s clear which relationship Jesus emphasized, and we must do the same with our family members.

Encouragement Two: Choosing God Over Family Allows Us to Teach Our Children

Picture the situation, which perhaps some of you have experienced. We have experienced this in our home, and so I’m sharing what we were able to do and some of the good that I was able to see from it…

You have unbelieving family members who invite your children to something:

  • Maybe they invite them to a movie you don’t want them to watch
  • Maybe they invite them to do something you’re uncomfortable with
  • Maybe they simply invite them over, but you’re not sure what’s going to happen so you’re forced to say they can’t go

And then maybe your children get upset with you.

But think of the wonderful teaching opportunity this provides. You can sit down with your children and say…

  • “Do you think this is what Christ would want for you?”
  • “As your parents this is one of our most important stewardships. We want to be wise and only have you do what he wants.”
  • “Our greatest love and loyalty has to be reserved for the Lord. That’s why we made this decision.” 

This allows our children to see our faithfulness to Christ, and they might remember this for a long time. Hopefully they’ll be encouraged to make the same decision in the future with their children.

Encouragement Three: Choosing God Over Family Allows Us to Teach Discuss Our Faith

Let’s go back to the previous example and say that we didn’t just upset our children. Let’s say the family members got upset too. This can provide a wonderful opportunity to talk to them about our faith. We can say…

“I’m very sorry that this upset you, and I understand why it did, but as Christians we believe…”

Then explain the motivation behind the decision. At best they’ll see where we’re coming from and possibly have a change of heart. At worst they’ll be angry, but at least they’ll remember we had the courage to do what we thought God wanted us to do.

They might disagree, but at least they won’t think we’re hypocrites. And hopefully they will even respect your convictions.

The next part of lesson two…

Encouragement Four: Choosing God Over Family Allows Us to Show God We Love Him

When situations arise and we have to choose between God or family members, there’s really no choice. Our greatest love and commitment must be to Christ. 

It’s easy to say we love God, but choosing Him over family members allows us to demonstrate that truth.

Think about this for a moment…

When we choose God over family members, it’s painful, but it’s also…what?

It’s a privilege, because of what it communicates to the Lord:

  • Our love for him
  • Our loyalty to him
  • Our commitment to him

Go to Luke 14:26

Luke 14:26 “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. 

In Scripture, the word hate doesn’t always mean hate. Sometimes it is used to create a contrast, or to elevate one thing above another. It’s not even necessarily that one thing is devalued or demoted. Instead, it’s that one thing is given greater value or promoted. For example…

Romans 9:13 As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

This is a quote of Malachi 1:2-3 and it sounds pretty bad!

It’s not referring to an actual, emotional hatred, so much as it’s figurative language to describe God choosing Jacob over Esau, and as a result Jacob received all the blessings that Esau didn’t. So in contrast it could look like God loved one and hated the other…but that’s not literally the case.

It’s the same with Luke 14:26. Jesus didn’t mean we should hate our parents, spouse and children, and that’s obvious because that would contradict numerous verses, and some of Jesus’s own words about loving others, including our enemies…so how much more our own family members?

But again, the idea is when contrasting our love for the Lord with the love we have for others, including family members, our love for the Lord should be so much greater it would almost appear as though we hate them.

Let me conclude with this…

Not only does the gospel create peace between God and man, but it also creates peace FOR man…

Philippians 4:6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And THE PEACE OF GOD, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

For those in Christ we can experience a peace that surpasses understanding. This means no matter what we experience:

  • No matter how difficult…
  • No matter how painful…
  • No matter how troublesome and anxiety causing…

We can have a peace that surpasses all understanding …which is to say we don’t even understand why we’re experiencing it.

But we can only have this peace from God if we’re at peace with God.

I have heard it said peace with God leads to the peace of God.

But before we can have the peace of God we must first be at peace with God and that requires being reconciled to him through his Son Jesus Christ.

137 Responses

  1. It is hard when you have an adult child that doesn’t really want to be with me and my husband. Our son feels we were too hard on him while he was young and lived at home. We were strict parents and did the best we could to be good Christian parents, raising him to the best of our ability and in line with the Bible. Growing up we wouldn’t allow or kids to miss church or youth group. I have told him many times that I am sorry that he feels he was treated harshly and that we never did anything to intentionally hurt him. I have asked for forgiveness and he says he has forgiven us. He and his wife rarely go to church especially, if it conflicts with their children’s sports schedule. We will not miss church to go to our grandchildren’s games. Occasionally we have gone to a different church if they had an any early service so we could go to a game. This has caused resentment with him and his wife that we put church befoe family. We live close to them and we continue to try to build a relationship, by asking them to come over for dinner or go out to eat with us. Our son always comes up with an excuse why we can’t get together. I will occasionally sent texts or leave messages that I was thinking about him and I loved him (I don’t want to overdue this and irritate him). Most times I don’t get a response. For mother’s day or birthdays, there are no calls or cards. I will get a text or a message on my Facebook wall wishing me well. At what point do you stop trying to reach out and rebuild?

    1. Jean,
      That does sound very difficult. I am sorry you have to deal with this.

      Although you did your best, and probably weren’t as bad as he seems to think you were, I’m sure you weren’t perfect parents. None of us are. You could seek him out and apologized to him and asked for forgiveness. This does not mean that he is not wrong and it is not condoning his behavior or sins. It is simply your way of trying to reconcile with him and take responsibility for your own actions.

      I don’t think you should ever stop trying to rebuild your relationship with the child. Your efforts might not be as frequent, but you should still try. This is how God treats us.

  2. Hi, I’m having to send a difficult message today. Christ is leading me to get married to the man he has prepared for me in a time that is inconvenient and not logical to my family. He has given me great peace that choosing this timing is choosing his will for my life and that waiting until it would best to serve others time frame would be setting the wrong foundation. I know this is where he is leading me but it has been causing great pain with my whole family. They think i am selfish and choosing my soon to be husband over them but honestly I just want to glorify Jesus and follow his will for my life. I know that God goes before me but it is still so scary and painful. However, I am going to move forward trusting him. Thank you for this word it encouraged me today.

    1. Hello Hallel,
      Thanks for letting me know. I will pray for the message you have to send and that God gives you the right words and gives the recipient the right heart.

      The Bible clearly commands people who get married to choose their spouse over their parents. You can still honor your parents, but they need to recognize that your husband becomes the more important relationship.

  3. I’m feeling tempted/pressure to join in family gatherings especially after a long year and a half of being sick and the pandemic has isolated me from family and church. I’m so glad to read these stories and know that I’m not alone when it comes to standing firm with the truth of the Bible against the catholic beliefs of family. I’m trying to find the balance of pushing myself to go out depending on how I’m feeling, what family functions to attend, not to take it personally by being rejected because of my decision to leave the Catholic Church and the disconnect of doing life together. It’s a daily struggle

    1. Hello Victoria,
      I’m sorry about the isolation you have experienced from your family and church. It has been difficult for all of us. Two days ago, on Saturday, I spoke at my dad’s funeral. One of the things I shared with everyone with how glad I am that I share the gospel with him for many years when he was still Catholic. Although he responded very poorly at first, I’m thankful that I didn’t stop sharing and praying. I hope this might encourage you. You can watch the video of my speech here. My point is that you are the closest Christian to all of them. God could want to use you to share Christ with them, so you don’t want to give up on being around them. No matter how difficult it is.

    2. Hi, Orthodox convert here. I’d really like to be friends with you. I know exactly what you’re going through, and it would be nice to have someone to talk about this stuff with, who understands what it’s like. Maybe we can give each other support. Look me up on Facebook if you’re interested. God bless, Alita Nicholas.

  4. Hi Scott,

    I am so happy I found this topic/site. I hope you have time to respond to me. I was raised in the church (heavy legalism). I did not find Christ (and the Holy Spirit until October 2019. It was life changing – I had never heard the gospel preached accurately until then (I was 43 at the time). It has been a journey ever since of Christ sanctifying me. He has cleaned out most of the garbage in my life and I can finally start to see clearer. I love the Father and spend every moment I can with Him. My parents whom I would describe as still “fleshy”, are mad at me because I will not go to family gatherings. My brother is a proud white supremacist who proudly rejects Christ. He hates any people that are not white, homosexuals and Jews. He makes remarks about his beliefs at our family dinners in my parent’s “Christian” home. I have told my Mom that I cannot sit across the table from someone with such hate. Especially since the Lord has given me a calling to help vulnerable people. I volunteer at a Christ-centred homeless shelter and my family makes comments like “you love “those people” (the homeless) more than you love your own family”. That is not true. I love my family very much but they are lacking compassion, mercy and love for others as Christ called us to do/have. I have cried many tears over this situation and they are all mad at me for excusing myself from family gatherings. What I would really like to see is for my parents and I to get on the same page so that we can pray in the Spirit for my brother. I have tried to broach them with this and I get rejected. They will not recognize that my brother is not on a good path or do anything about it. I am heartbroken and this turmoil is making me ill. I want to follow God’s will for my life with my heart and soul. He does comfort me about this situation but it is still hard to know if I am doing the right thing. Thank you.

    1. Hello Christy,
      I’m glad my post encouraged you. Thank you for sharing your brief testimony.

      It is common for new believers to find interaction with unbelieving family members difficult. Of course there is a point at which interacting with them must be stopped, but at the same time you are the closest representative of Christ in their lives; therefore, you want to try as hard as you can to be around them, maintain your composure, allow them to see you respond well when they mistreat you or say poor things about Christ, etc. Your godly response will be a good witness to them.

      I experienced something similar to you when I became a Christian, although I would say it wasn’t nearly as bad as your situation. My wife told me something that really encouraged me. She said, “You’re upset with the way your family is acting, but they are unbelievers, so this is what you should expect.” I would offer you that same encouragement. Don’t be surprised when they act like unbelievers.

      Because you’re asking, and I can tell you are sincere, I would highly encourage you to try to attend family gatherings and maintain relationships with them. Hopefully God will provide an opportunity for you to share the gospel with them, but if you have no relationship with them, then there isn’t even that possibility.

    2. Thank you so much for this advice. I hope to get to a place where I can be that shining light of Christ in front of them. I’ve been trying that approach. Perhaps I need more of the love of Christ to grow in me before I can be around my family. It’s one thing when you are just around non-believers – I have absolutely no problem with being with people that don’t believe – I have many friends like this! But when you’re dealing with hate, it is different than your average sinner. My brother (and father) have been violent towards me in the past and he would not hesitate to be violent towards me again if I said something like “please stop referring to blacks/browns in derogatory terms”. I don’t think it is right to say those things in front of children especially. My parents do consider themselves Christians because they go to church every Sunday. It’s gone past the point of being Christ-like in front of my brother. Sometimes a different kind of love is required when you’re dealing with a person who has chosen the path of destruction and is trying to influence others to do the same. I just wish my Mom would bear this burden with her church (she won’t because of embarrassment/pride) so we can get the whole congregation praying that he would turn his heart towards Christ. Again, thank you so much for responding. God bless you!

    3. Christy,
      You’re welcome. I believe you’ve been trying. I remember how difficult it was for me as well with my family.

      If that would cause them to be violent toward you, then I would discourage you from saying that to them. Not because it’s acceptable for them to say it, but because confronting them about it isn’t beneficial. I will pray for you!

    4. Thank you Scott. I really appreciate you taking the time to respond. I’ve realized that I need more forgiveness/healing before I can engage. But I am hopeful for the future! Thank you for your prayers.

    5. Christy,
      You’re welcome. You’re in a difficult situation and I will pray that you’re able to reveal Christ to these family members verbally and through your actions.

    6. Hi Christy,
      Your post moved me tremendously. I am having the same battle with my own brother, and parents won’t stand up to him because he becomes violent. If you want to talk or have support from someone who understands, look me up on Facebook. God bless and I hope your brother finds his way into Jesus’s arms before long. (I have known people who were utterly lost who did, so there is always hope). -Alita Nicholas

  5. Good day!

    Dear Pastor Scott, me and my sister have been saved, and a new Christian now. We are born in a catholic family. We don’t want to go to church at catholic but we do church at Bible baptist. Their beliefs and our beliefs always contradict each other which causes a problem in our home. But i awalys stand and show them what is the truth. But I always pray for them that our Lord will touch their hearts. I am now stepping up on a college journey life. But as the days passed, I feel that God has something want me to do. I want to go to bible school instead of getting a degree in college. I love my mother so much, but she doesn’t want me to study at bible school. I want to be a missionary but they don’t want to. Her dream to us is that we will finish college and get a job that supplies our need. Because she is afraid that I will be the only one to suffer at the end when I can’t get into college. I love them truly:< I want them to be saved too. But I am firm in my decision, I will follow Him. Today, my desire is to serve the Lord Jesus and following Him everyday of all my lives here. There is joy in serving Jesus. I choose God over my family. Is there anything wrong with my decision Pastor Scott?

    Thank you if you respond. I will be updated always. Thank you so much God bless you more sir!

    1. Joy,
      While I would love to see you become a missionary, I believe God wants you to honor your parents. What about finishing school as they desire and then becoming a missionary?

    2. Good day Pastor Scott ! Thank you much Pastor for this advice. I am thanking God that I met you here and can connect to you through online platform. But pastor, my family hindered me from going to Bible Baptist Church and wants me to church again at catholic :<. They want me to stop joining God's righteous work like soul-winning and bible studying. They believe that I have been brainwashed by the church. Hays:(( But I know that i am on the process of God's plan on me. Thank you Pastor Scott! You're a blessing too.

    3. Okay, that makes sense, and sounds somewhat similar to the journey I experienced. I was raised Catholic, and when I left the Catholic Church my family was very upset with me. I had to continue following Christ. Eventually my parents let the Catholic Church and I was able to baptize them! My dad became a deacon in the church I pastor! Although, many other family members remained Catholic and are still upset with me and believe that I pulled my parents away from the Catholic Church.

      I do not think you should return to the Catholic Church. Continue to do your best to honor your parents, but you should go to a biblical church.

    4. I thank God pastor Scott for I met you here. Thank you so much for the advice. Yes Pastor Scott I will through the grace of our Lord Jesus❤. Fight the good fight of faith ?. I know that God will touch their hearts one day. May the Lord bless you wisdom and words to engrave in your heart more used for His own glory only. Thank you Sir. God bless u always?

  6. I need some insight on my own situation. Currently, I just turned 18 and still live at home. My personal views, are more traditional. I attend an independent baptist church and enjoy the traditional singing and my preacher speaks and illustrates the messages very well. I attend there with my significant other and is a total transformation from what I grew up with. My mother attends a more contemporary church and questions why I go to church every time the doors are open. I love my church and learning about God. But I feel like she tries to guilt trip me when I choose to go to my church instead of hers, which feels like a rock concert and uses a Bible version that I disagree with, and makes me feel bad for going to church when my family comes over. I have invited her to my church and told her what time my church services are so we can plan around them, but she claims that I need to be more open minded and miss church every once in a while. It causes strife in my relationship with her because I get punished for picking church over a football game. But then she will pretend that it’s not church that is the problem, just how often I go. It is really confusing to deal with and emotionally exhausting. I love my family but they make me feel bad for taking my faith so seriously in commitment.

    1. Hello Paige,
      This is an interesting situation. Typically, the parents attend the more conservative/traditional church.

      I would encourage you to continue doing what you believe is right, but not try to change your parents. Allow them to see Christ through your behavior and choices.

  7. My sister’s son just met this women and now is living with her. She says she is a physic and she reads taro cards for a living. My sister had her and her son over for dinner a couple weeks ago. After dinner they went into the living room and the physic sat down beside my sister and said that she saw a spirit of a loved one over her(my sister) and the spirits name started with a “T”. Well, my deceased Grandmothers name is Theresa. My sister believed her. My sister not only believed this physic, she also decided to have all of my other family members and her friends over that weekend for this physic to read taro cards for them all and charged them money to do it, which my sister said that she was right on about everything she said. She said that this physic is so loving and kind. I am a born again Christian and the rest of my family are catholic. I told them that God’s word tells us not to have fellowship with soothsays or anyone that practices divination. They have invited this physic to Easter dinner and I told them that I choose to not come because I didn’t want to ruin my Easter because I could not guarantee that I would rebuke this physic and did not want any part with her. My family said I was the one with the problem and now is not speaking to me. Of course, they told the physic and she posted on her FB page that Jesus is some dead guy, which is blasphemy and that Christians are hypocrites judging anything to do with witchcraft. I have been praying about this and would like your advice because this is my family that has turned on me and are welcoming this physic into the family.

    1. Janet,
      Wow, this is terrible. Your assessment is correct. This sort of sin was punishable by death in the Old Testament.

      This is definitely an example of what the post is discussing. You have chosen Christ over your family and now they won’t speak to you. I hope you can be comforted in knowing you did the right thing in speaking truth.

      Regarding advice, I would say to be available to listen to all of their thoughts and concerns. Listening is not agreeing or approving. If you were at all harsh or angry in your speech you can apologize for that and ask for forgiveness, without apologizing for what you said (the truth you shared). Most importantly, continue doing what you are already doing, which is praying for their salvation.

      The other piece of advice that comes to mind is these people are not Christians. I would not focus on the witchcraft, or their sin, in particular. Instead I would focus on sharing the gospel with them. Even if you deliver them of witchcraft, but they don’t repent and put their faith in Christ, they will be people who go to hell without practicing witchcraft.

    2. Thank you for your reply. I was born again in 1981 and have been praying for them and have invited them to church with me in the past . They say I am brainwashed because all they know is what the Catholic Church teaches.

      Concerning this matter, I asked them if they don’t want to believe what God’s Word says about physic’s go ask their priest what he thinks about it. I was curious what the priest would say. They will not ask priest because I believe they know it is wrong and would be embarrassed to tell the priest. I know that we don’t fight against flesh and blood but against spiritual wickedness.
      I have not been harsh with them, even though, they have yelled at me and told me not to call them till I come to my senses. Of course they are saying I am judging them and God is love and I shouldn’t hate. I told them that I never said that I hated the physic but I hated her sin and she could repent and God would forgive her. I agree with you that they are not Christians or they would know not to get entangled into this.
      I will continue to pray for them.
      Thanks again. Hebrews 11:1

    3. Janet,
      I was also raised in the Catholic Church. I never heard the gospel. In fact, I heard the anti-gospel, which would be salvation by works. In my early twenties I heard the gospel for the first time, repented of my sins, put my faith in Christ, and trusted Him for my salvation.

      I’m sure that was difficult when they yelled at you. Good job remaining controlled and calm.

  8. If God wasn’t so very evil and rotten altogether, then many of us single good men would had been married already along with children as well. Really not our fault at all why so many of us men are still single today to begin with. God should had created women like the good old days when they were very old fashioned, and real ladies back then at that time which it would had been very helpful. Most women back then really did make love very easy to find, just like our family members did.

    1. Hello James,
      I doubt many, if any, godly women would say that you are a good man if you say God is evil and rotten just because you haven’t found a Christian wife. I suspect this is why you haven’t found a Christian woman to be interested in you.

  9. Hello, I could use a little insight. My sister and I are employed at the same business. My sister had an affair with the boss/owner and it ended horribly. She won’t speak to me, she feels like I’m not loyal to her (because we are family). And she feels that way because I will not hate our boss and treat him poorly because of what she feels he did to her and ending the relationship. I don’t believe God would want me to hate and treat someone poorly for some thing I was not involved in ,it’s just made life hard .I just want to know I am doing the right thing. I love my sister but I feel she wants to compromise my Christianity by asking me to hate and I don’t have it in my heart to do that anyway… Thankyou for your input

    1. Hello Bonny,
      If I understand you correctly, your sister is upset with you because you won’t hate the boss that she committed adultery with? We are supposed to hear both sides of the situation before we come to a conclusion, but if her side is the same as years, I would say she needs to repent of her adultery and her treatment of you. I agree with what you said. I would encourage you to be kind to your sister and pray for her. She seems, from what you wrote, like a very troubled individual.

  10. Thanks for your article. I have always struggled with this and the commandment of honouring father and mother.

    My parents have fallen off course and after 20 years of divorce have such hatred for each other.

    My mother seems to lie a lot and is very negative to me. Even though we were raised Christian she likes to control relationships with all people including my siblings. I found I had to move away to protect myself and my children. I suppose all one can really do is pray for them.

    Thanks for the article.

    1. Hello Amy,
      I’m glad my post encouraged you. I’m sorry to hear about your parents’ divorce and their current feelings for each other.
      Yes, you can and should pray for them, but there is more you can do. You can also be a good witness to them so that they see Christ through you. Hopefully, at some point your mother will soften and you will have the opportunity to share the gospel with her.
      Also, even if your parents act in an ungodly way, you can still honor them. In other words, regardless of how they act toward you, you can still act in a godly way toward them.

  11. Hi Scott, I love your biblical input on things. Thought I should ask you about my life. FIrst I’ll give you some background on me. I’m 21, just graduated college. My gpa was decent, I’m fairly successful for my age, I have already attained 3 insurance licenses, a real estate license, a stock market certification, and was able to get a couple prestigious internships. Ive always been a good person, i dont care for drinking and drugs. I live, enjoy, and promote healthy things like working out, eating right, and the moral side of things where my christian values come at play. I devote myself to always diligently working to find the truth in things and life and general. Love to help others raise their consciousness too. I don’t do it forcefully or to a fault though as some who read this may guess. But anyway that’s some background on me. Now onto my parents. They’re the only family I have. I believe they’re good people deep down, but maybe their traumatic pasts are the reason for their twisted thinking and behavior. Basically here’s the dynamics my whole life. My Dad is just the mindless enforcer, does whatever my mom says. My Mom is the classic control freak. Might be a psychopath. It was only until I started getting older like after 10-11 that I started to realize how much she would lie and manipulate to get what she wants. I was always a good kid, never did much to warrant any significant punishment, definitely not abuse. In fact I followed my moms orders to the point where only later I realized that she was controlling all parts of my life, making me be exactly what she wanted to be, not letting me be myself and do anything I wanted to do. There were no boundaries because she wouldn’t allow there to be any boundaries. I’ve always been extremely tolerant so I guess this is why I didn’t “Wake up” and help myself til late. Whenever I even hinted at disagreeing or complaining with her actions she would curse me out, call me names, insult me, etc. She does that to this day. After 10-11 I still would let her lie and manipulate me keeping in my frustrations but eventually I said enough is enough. I got punished a few times but nothing major, didn’t get roughed up that much before 10-11. After 10-11 is when I changed my responses towards her. I stopped caring about potential consequences she and my dad would enforce. I only cared about doing the right thing and standing by the truth. I would begin to always call her out on her lies and manipulation, lack of respect for others and their boundaries. And what she does everytime is freak out, make like I did something wrong, convince my dad that, and then my dad would either rough me up, take things away from me for some time, not let me have dinners, on occasion he would really knock me around. Its always been that cycle. I’ve always almost hated her for the way she is and what she’s done to me. I didn’t use to feel that way towards My Dad as much even though he carried out her bad orders because I used to think he’s not smart enough to understand her lies and manipulation, he is fairly naive in general, which is really weird since he grew up rough in projects in NY. But as time went on I figured out its not that he doesn’t understand its that he’s choosing to not care about the truth since he doesn’t want her giving him any problems. He really just cares about getting his dinners and sex, and wont defend me since it will make her threaten him that she wont give him those things and would just be a real C U Next Tuesday to him. This all has been the same to this day. From 18-21 Ive been at college, so I didn’t have to deal with them mostly. But now Ive been back home with them and its been horrible. So thats been the situation, my whole life they have lacked respect for me, and mistreated me. I’ve always been their posession to them. Yet they both claim to be devout catholics just because one of them goes to sunday mass and does the sign of the cross at the table before eating. Now they did teach me important morals and values and groomed me into being a good christian. But with them its been the case of Do as I say, not as i do, Complete hypocrites. When I call them out on lies or wrongdoings I ask them to come up with evidence and prove/explain how that they’re not lying or what they did was right and they always continue to respond by deflecting and/or telling me im wrong and disrespectful and threaten me in some way. It would make a lot of people feel like maybe something is wrong with themselves and not my mom and dad, thats how crazy their defiance of the truth is. So here i am, just trying to move forward in life, I dont let the lies, manipulation, disrespect bother me too much anymore, but im unable to have any peace and harmony at home. Im currently Trying so hard to get enough money so i can move out asap. What Im looking for is some advice on how to proceed with my life. I want to make sure I do the right thing. As of right now I have decided that once I move out I am cutting them out of my life and will never talk to them again. But Im struggling with this decision. On one hand I think they would only negatively affect me and my future family if they’re in my life but on the other hand I have a fear that this is not what God would want me to do. I honestly believe its the best move for both of us, as I believe some people have to be dealt extremes to be able to wake up and change form. I believe we are all here to learn certain lessons, and I think me cutting them out of my life forever will probably help them learn their lessons before they die. But then its uncomfortable thinking about never seeing them again, as I’m not sure if my dad really loves me or not. Sometimes I think he’s just weak for desires but he does love me deep inside. My mom i know doesnt care about me or at least doesnt care about me in the way most would consider love. With my Dad im not sure. Sometimes Im unsure if I should let past what they’ve done because maybe they actually are good deep down inside them but dont act it because of their traumatic childhoods. Lot of things I think about. But anyway the thought of my Dad actually missing me before he dies is kind of painful to think about doing. What do you think I should do, what course of action do you think God and the Bible would support/want? Thank you

    1. Hello Michael,
      Thank you. I’m glad my material ministers to you. Yes, sounds like you’ve done quite a bit for your age. Congratulations. Although, you did say you’re a good person, and I would disagree with that on biblical grounds. None of us are good people in the sense that all of us have sinned: Romans 3:10. We are all in need of Christ.

      There are certain commands in Scripture that are not conditional. For example, husbands are commanded to love their wives, but it doesn’t say, “Love your wife IF she…” Similarly, wives are commanded to submit to their husbands, but it doesn’t say, “Wives, submit to your husbands IF they…”

      I mention this, because we are expected to honor our parents at any age. This is different than children being commanded to obey their parents. We must honor our parents regardless of how they have acted toward us, or whether it seems like they deserve to be honored.

      I was raised Catholic, and spent a little over 20 years in the Catholic Church. I don’t remember hearing the gospel. If your parents are Catholics, my suspicion is they probably are not Christians, because the Catholic Church teaches something contrary to Scripture. Scripture teaches we are saved by grace through faith, not by works, while the Catholic Church teaches we are saved by faith and works. This was the cause for the Protestant Reformation.

      I mention all this for two reasons. First, do you consider yourself a Catholic? If so, I would encourage you to examine the Bible and see if what the Catholic Church teaches is what the Bible agrees with what the Bible teaches. Here’s a good article to get you started if you’d like to read about some of the differences between Christianity and Catholicism.

      Second, more than likely your parents are not Christians. You could be the closest Christian to them, so you want to have a good relationship with them so that God allows you to share the gospel with them. You want your parents to see Christ through you. At the end of your post you asked me what God would want, or what the Bible would support. I would say you doing your best to see your parents come to Christ.

    2. I apologize as I didnt clarify on the religious part. I didn’t mean to portray me as a different religion than them. Me and my parents were all raised as and still consider ourselves as catholics or christians, we never really knew or thought about the differences of the two. But yes technically we have always most aligned ourselves as Roman Catholics. We three obviously have never followed religious norms to the extreme. I go to Sunday Mass on occasion and do certain other things to go along with my Catholic upbringing. Over the years I’ve developed an open minded view on things, I believe all religions (those that are based on genuinely being and doing good, helping humanity, following God and God’s wants for us) are all just different paths to get to the same or a similar objective or place. After all everybody on earth has a different upbringing being exposed to different things so it doesn’t make sense to condemn good people with different religions. So I feel as long as you’re consciously focused on doing the right thing which are things limiting selfishness and that help and dont hurt others, that you are leading a holy life. Again, I appreciate your input as you are clearly someone with knowledge in the religious side of things. Basically I believe in just being an overall good person rather than following every exact word the Bible or other religious literature states. I have trouble with the “One rule fits all scenarios” mentality sometimes. You said there is no conditions and that I have to honor my parents regardless of what they do and continue to do. First, how much and what exactly does ‘honoring’ them entail? Secondly, how could it not be conditional? This would mean that even if my father was an evil serial killer I must honor him. Do you see what I’m saying? How do I honor people with malicious intent and people who nonstop violate the Lord’s commandments? So its these things that I think about that make things somewhat difficult to determine sometimes. There is just a lot of unclear and contradicting statements in the Bible and other literatures that make it tough to fully follow a single exact literature, which is why I’ve developed what I and what most holy people would say at the least is definitely a healthy,safe,humanitarian mixture of morals and rules for myself to follow, something that I think God at the end of the day would approve of (Because I can’t trust that the Bible and other literatures haven’t at all been manipulated and changed by man over the past thousands of years, so I feel God would of course understand my course of thought which is powered by positive intent). In no way am I saying I haven’t sinned before, but I am always consciously focusing on doing the right thing no matter what. So I think this all is at least very close to the best I can come up with in my life in terms of my convictions. What do you think?… Thanks again Scott

    3. Michael,
      No need to apologize. The Protestant Reformation took place because of the differences with Catholicism. Although there are many, the primary one relates to the gospel, or in particular, justification by grace through faith alone, versus by works. To put it simply Catholics see the need for works in salvation. You seem like a very sincere young man. I hope you will look at what the Bible teaches, because these two views completely oppose each other. We are either saved by through faith apart from works, or works play a part.

      You said, “I believe all religions (those that are based on genuinely being and doing good, helping humanity, following God and God’s wants for us) are all just different paths to get to the same or a similar objective or place.” This is a very dangerous thinking that leads people to hell. Almost all religions fit this description. You said it doesn’t make sense to condemn good people who follow different religions. The Bible teaches that there are no good people (Romans 3:10), because we are all sinners. If we were good we could get to heaven on our own and Jesus would not have had to come and die and take the punishment we deserve. Think about it for a moment: if we were good enough to get to heaven on our own, or good people went to heaven by works, then why did Jesus come and hang on a cross? It is only Christianity, because it is the only religion that teaches Jesus is the Savior of man, that allows people to go to heaven. Why? Because it is the only religion that points people to Jesus by faith versus works for salvation.
      How much and what exactly does honoring them entail? This is a good question. Honoring them is different than obeying them. What it means is you always treat them in a respectful way even if you’re not doing exactly what they want.
      In this discussion I think it is very important to distinguish between obeying and honoring. Since you’re no longer a child you’re no longer expected to obey them. But if you still live in their home and are still under their authority then you are expected to follow their rules. If you have moved out of their home and you have established your own home then you don’t need to obey them, but you do still need to honor them.

      What are these unclear and contradictory statements you’re referring to in the Bible? If you share them with me I can try to help you with them.

      It seems like you equate Christianity with a set of rules and morality. That is not Christianity. Christianity is having your heart changed through the gospel of Jesus Christ and becoming a new person.
      None of us truly do our best. What you need to understand is that our best is not good enough. We are still sinners who still need a Savior. Imagine you have a sickness and you tell the doctor that you are doing your best to be healthy. But he is telling you that you need to take the cure. The cure is not trying harder. The cure is Christ.

  12. My mom and my sister is so angry at me for I have chosen the Lord over them. I don’t know what to do. They want me to change my religion but I am firm with my decision that I will not go against the calling of the Lord. I don’t even know what to do. ?

    1. Hello Dianna,
      I am so sorry to hear this. Many people have experienced the same thing. In Luke 12:49-52, Jesus said:

      49 “I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled! 50 I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished! 51 Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. 52 For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three. 53 They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

      In other words, our Lord told us that commitment to him would mean conflict and even division with family members.

      As far as what you should do, it sounds like you’re doing it. You’re continuing to follow Christ. You need to trust that you’re making the right decision. I don’t think there’s much else for you to do except trust the Lord is working in your family members lives too.It’s more about what they need to do and what God needs to do in them.

  13. i have a question i have a brother who lives with me whose a acholica im trying to live a christain life how do i handle the situation

    1. You should be praying for him. Will he allow you to talk to him about Jesus?

      Can you tell me more about his behavior? If it’s bad enough you might have to ask him to move out, or if he owns the house you might have to look for another place to live.

  14. My husband and I are estranged from our 23-year-old daughter who is living as a lesbian. Estrangement is her doing because she refused to accept our boundary that we 100% want a relationship with her but will not celebrate her lifestyle and welcome her SO into our lives.
    It’s been very painful as we always felt so close to her in her growing years. She went to Christian school her whole life, including getting a four-year degree (graduating Sum Cum Laude) from a prominent Christian University, paid by us.
    We recognize this is a work of the enemy. On days when I feel like we are doing the wrong thing (the boundary we established with her), I remind myself that Jesus did say our faith in him would come between us and those we dearly love. He knew we would be here one day.
    Both my husband and I have grown incredibly in our spiritual walk during this time. I pray that God will honor our decision to put him first.
    Any feedback/spiritual advice on our situation is welcome
    Rhonda

    1. Hi Rhonda,
      I’m sorry to hear this, but she’s engaging in a sin that prevents you from having fellowship with her.
      Yes, you’re right to let Jesus’ words minister to you during this time.
      I’m glad to read that you two have been able to grow during this time. I believe God is honoring your faithfulness to Him in this difficult situation.
      Regarding advice, I would say be available to her to answer her questions. Pray for her daily. Let her know you disapprove of her lifestyle and that God says it’s a terrible sin, reaffirm your love for her. Should she come to the point of repentance you want her to feel as though she can return to you both.

    2. 1) If I have gay children, you’ll all know it. My children won’t be our family’s best kept secret. I won’t talk around them in conversations with others. I won’t speak in code or vague language. I won’t try to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes, and I won’t try to spare the feelings of those who may be older, or easily offended, or uncomfortable. Childhood is difficult enough, and most gay kids spend their entire existence being horribly, excruciatingly uncomfortable. I’m not going to put mine through any more unnecessary discomfort, just to make Thanksgiving dinner a little easier for a third cousin with misplaced anger issues. If my children come out, we’ll be out as a family.

      2) If I have gay children, I’ll pray for them. I won’t pray for them to be made “normal”. I’ve lived long enough to know that if my children are gay, that is their normal.
      I won’t pray that God will heal or change or fix them. I will pray for God to protect them; from the ignorance and hatred and violence that the world will throw at them, simply because of who they are. I’ll pray the He shields them from those who will despise them and wish them harm; who will curse them to Hell and put them through Hell, without ever knowing them at all. I’ll pray that they enjoy life; that they laugh, and dream, and feel, and forgive, and that they love God and humanity.
      Above all, I’ll pray to God that my children won’t allow the unGodly treatment they might receive from some of His misguided children, to keep them from pursuing Him.

      3) If I have gay children, I’ll love them. I don’t mean some token, distant, tolerant love that stays at a safe arm’s length. It will be an extravagant, open-hearted, unapologetic, lavish, embarrassing-them-in-the-school cafeteria, kind of love.
      I won’t love them despite their sexuality, and I won’t love them because of it. I will love them; simply because they’re sweet, and funny, and caring, and smart, and kind, and stubborn, and flawed, and original, and beautiful… and mine. If my kids are gay, they may doubt a million things about themselves and about this world, but they’ll never doubt for a second whether or not their Daddy is over-the-moon crazy about them.

      4) If I have gay children, most likely; I have gay children. If my kids are going to be gay, well they pretty much already are. God has already created them and wired them, and placed the seed of who they are within them. Psalm 139 says that He, “stitched them together in their mother’s womb”. The incredibly intricate stuff that makes them uniquely them; once-in-History souls, has already been uploaded into their very cells. Because of that, there isn’t a coming deadline on their sexuality that their mother and I are working feverishly toward. I don’t believe there’s some magical expiration date approaching, by which time she and I need to somehow do, or say, or pray just the right things to get them to “turn straight”, or forever lose them to the other side. They are today, simply a younger version of who they will be; and today they’re pretty darn great.
      Many of you may be offended by all of this, I fully realize. I know this may be especially true if you are a religious person; one who finds the whole topic disgusting. As you’ve been reading, you may have been rolling your eyes, or clicking the roof of your mouth, or drafting familiar Scriptures to send me, or praying for me to repent, or preparing to Unfriend me, or writing me off as a sinful, evil, Hell-bound heretic… but with as much gentleness and understanding as I can muster; I really couldn’t care less. This isn’t about you. This is a whole lot bigger than you. You’re not the one I waited on breathlessly for nine months. You’re not the one I wept with joy for when you were born. You’re not the one I bathed, and fed, and rocked to sleep through a hundred intimate, midnight snuggle sessions. You’re not the one I taught to ride a bike, and whose scraped knee I kissed, and whose tiny, trembling hand I held, while getting stitches. You’re not the one whose head I love to smell, and whose face lights-up when I come home at night, and whose laughter is like music to my weary soul. You’re not the one who gives my days meaning and purpose, and who I adore more than I ever thought I could adore anything. And you’re not the one who I’ll hopefully be with, when I take my last precious breaths on this planet; gratefully looking back on a lifetime of shared treasures, and resting in the knowledge that I loved you well. If you’re a parent, I don’t know how you’ll respond if you find out your children are gay, but I pray you consider it. One day, despite your perceptions of your kids or how you’ve parented, you may need to respond in real-time, to a frightened, frantic, hurting child; one whose sense of peace, and identity, and acceptance; whose very heart, may be placed in your hands in a way you never imagined… and you’ll need to respond. If that day should ever come for me; if my children should ever come out to me, this is the Dad I hope I’ll be to them.

    3. Hello Shygirl,
      Looks like you simply plagiarized a post that is readily found on the Internet. For example, it is here and here.

      If the Bible says homosexuality is a sin, how can you think it is loving to affirm sin in your child’s life?

  15. Hi Scott. I wrote some comments here about a year ago. I want to apologize to you about it. I was coming from an angry place and just dealing with some stuff that has to do with estrangement with family. I understand what you need to accomplish, I may not believe if God in the same way you would however I respect it and I see now that Christians are trying to do the same thing I’m trying to do, live a good life and help my loved ones do the same. I hope you can forgive me for the two comments I made in anger.

    1. Hi Melody,
      I don’t remember your previous comments, so they probably didn’t bother me, say nothing about offend me; therefore, I hesitate to say I forgive you, but if God has convicted you to ask for forgiveness, I don’t want to undermine what he might be doing in your heart. So I forgive you.

      Thank you for writing. God bless!

  16. Hi! Loved reading this, incredibly challenging with a recent opportunity I have been provided.
    I’m 22 and married to my husband.
    I started going to church 3 years ago. God has completely transformed my life. I am the first Christian of my family.
    We have been recently offered a position to be kids pastors in a church that is on the other side of our country.
    However, my nan is currently sick with cancer and is expected to pass between 6-12 months, I do feel it is her time.
    The only person there to support my Nan is my Mum. And my mum has no support a part from myself because of the toxic people she is currently discarding from her life. She is on her path to healing, she does not believe in God but she is open to it, she sees how faithful God has been to my husband and I. My mums suffers from PTSD and other ongoing affects of that. I know she would appreciate my support and decision to stay with her to help with Nan. My Mum is quite emotionally unstable. She has been more open to a relationship with God through my relationship with her and guiding her through it. I believe that if I were to move and not emotionally and physically help her in this time, she will not understand, she will be spiteful and will not understand God’s love through the decision but will see it as God punishing her.
    So I am at a crossroads.
    Do I accept this opportunity with urgency or do I seek to accept the opportunity after my nan passes?
    I am continually seeking God in this decision & have recently been confronted and lost by reading Matthew 8:18-22 “The cost of discipleship”
    But I know God will lead me.
    I’d be interested to hear your thoughts!
    Thank you

    1. Hi Shae,
      What a wonderful testimony. Thank you for sharing, but I am sorry to hear about your nan.

      I don’t think you should leave your mom and nan until your nan passes. God can easily keep this position open for you or provide another one, but the Bible speaks so highly of honoring our parents that it’s hard for me to think He would have you leave them during this difficult time.

      My post is about choosing God when family is making immoral and sinful decisions, but that doesn’t seem to be the case for you in this situation.

      God bless,
      Scott

  17. This what JUST what I needed to read today! God is so good! My sister and I got into it about her lifestyle, and although it was sooo hard for me, I stood upon God’s Word and told her what the Bible says about her lifestyle, she has disowned me, (for now) but I did what I had to do to put God first, and I don’t regret it although it’s caused many tears.

    1. Hello Veronica,
      I’m blessed my post encouraged you following such a difficult situation. I’ll pray for your sister’s repentance, and that you’re available to her when/if she turns back to the Lord in the future. It will be important that you’re there for her to receive her and encourage her.

  18. I chose to follow Christ age 9. My senior year my obyn dr told me I can’t have children because the treatment to remove a cist on my ovaries causes most women to become barren. But a doctors knowledge is nothing compared to Gods, but I never doubted or challenged God just simply told him reason why his decision about this matter is valid. If my child was going to do this when he was older or he that child then yes he should not be delivered into this world if it’s God decision not to. At this point in time I dated a non believer who accepted me for the way I was barren and so I accepted the way he was with intensions to do everything in my power to teach him unconditional love that my father in heaven raised me to be. I went to church every sunday by myself, and times my spouse would compare me to be better from other spouses wives. I reached a point where I learned I WAS doing everything right and learned it was him that wasn’t doing his righteous part, when God blessed me with a baby boy. I learned my spouse accepted me because he could play the field and though he spoke the desires of having children that changed too when I announced your gonna be a dad. Abuse and jealousy arose in fear I would love the child more then him. I prayed for four years what to do because I can’t leave this marriage, but the day I told the Lord I’m leaving him and am prepared to never marry again for my sin. God arranged him to runaway from me, he took the baby too but didn’t get far because God ceaseless my child in palm of his hand. Chains broken by God. Now as a single parent, I wear a promise ring on my right ring finger and am willing to try courtship but by the first week I learn their sins/desires and don’t want to be part of it. Close Christian friends and my mom encouraged me to have sex before marriage once divorce was finalized. The Devil even whispered to obey your parents LOL but, I stand firm under Gods wing. I am content that I might not find a courtship relationship christ centered kind on earth and will have to stay single forever because I have learned settling is just not worth it. My son brings me joy as he was a gift from God & watching God become part of his life too brings more blessings then I could of fathomed. A year ago, I left work providing a two weeks notice due to religious & retalation decrimination with no back up plan because God told me to jump blindly and 1 year later blessed me with three part time jobs that works with my sons school schedule at a Christian Private school (God paid for it too)-absolute miracle how God arranged that before my eyes. Now I face family issues (Devil has no hold on me though) which was so easy to choose God of course over them. My heart was broken when I realized they didn’t love me the way I loved them by putting myself before them and not the other way around when I needed them. The only depression I face is aloneness on earth though my son & I walk closely to God everyone who I thought was walking along side us on this path has dissolved. My mom and at times my dad gain up against me for pleasure. Family was all baptized, but doesn’t attend church, except my parents but they don’t apply biblical teachings and continue habitual sin. Examples: I gave my entire wardrobe of clothes to my brothers wife because she is suicidal depressed. No thank you until I asked if she liked them. Her son joined the Army and this was emotional for her so I had my nephew record his voice and told him my plan to gave her an Army build a bear on Mother’s day labeling it from him while in boot camp. The idea worked and they don’t know I was involved in that plan. Her son years later gave my son his old stuffed animals that his Dad gave him (my brother is his step dad). His mother was furious & jealous though I asked my nephew “are you sure you don’t want to pass it down to your little sister” and he said it was his choice-and his mom (sister in law) told my family that I stole them, I showed my brother & family proof that they were given to me, but they didn’t care of the proof and my parents knows the truth but enjoyed it when my brother grilled me and my mom tried to apologize when no one was around pretending she is a good samaritan in this. I learned to never car pool again to a family event and called my friends to help pick me up. My mom: When she sees me wearing something she likes I give it to her even if I just bought it and it was $85. But when I ask to have something she never uses, it’s a big no that’s mine I paid for it. The other day I asked to borrow a dusty jacket in the closet to have to go home so I wouldn’t get sick and 6am she text me demanding I bring it back. No goodmorning, and I reminded her 1 John 2:15-17 and to love your neighbor but she threatens me by saying the line “You better think of all I do for you…” but God gets no credit in her presence. God does all things for my good, not her though she feels she does God should get that credit. I have shunned my family gatherings to avoid my brother and parents and this Thanksgiving and Christmas I plan to reach out to see if we can join a different family Christ like to feast with. In the Bible it states we will be foreigners in our hometown, that is the cost when you pick up the cross and following Christ and I still stand by that in today’s world. Unashamed to be a follower of Christ. ~Alicia (Age 32)

    1. Hello Alicia,
      I’m sorry to hear about your separation from your husband. You’re doing the right thing remaining single so you can potentially reconcile with your husband in the future. 1 Corinthians 7:10-11 says, “To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife.” I will pray for your husband to repent and return to you, as well as for your endurance during this season of singleness.

      You discussed loneliness, which I can imagine would be the case as a single mother. Are you plugged into a church? I hope you allow God to provide brothers and sisters in Christ through a church family. They can give you the encouragement and fellowship you need.

  19. My birthday was in August 8 and our celebration would be in August 11 because it was sunday, there’s no work but I had to choose between going out with my family or going to Church. My first decision was I will definitely go to Church, but my father and family feels upset, I was the only Christian in our family so they cannot understand, that’s why I always pray for then so that someday, they can be also be Christian. It’s really a hard decision, but I always think that God is in control. So I don’t have to worry about my earthly problems because I know that God is always beside me.

    1. Hello Armann,
      Thanks for sharing this testimony. Was your family unwilling to go on a different day? Even if they were upset, I’m sure it was a testimony to them about you putting the Lord first.

      Yes, it is encouraging to focus on God’s sovereignty. That does put everything in perspective and make early problems look small.

  20. Hi Scott!

    My mom and I are quietly in battle. I love my mom so much. I do my best to relieve her burdens as much as I can because she is a single mom. However, as the years went on, despite my warnings about purchasing three condominium units beyond our financial capacity, she still pushed through and now my family is now at the brink of “bankruptcy” if you may. She has been trying to push me to work abroad for more money, but my prayers are left unanswered, my applications futile and my heart not in peace with the thought that more money will save us from the situation. Because of such complications too, I have found my self legally liable for possible debts to our tenants and my mom just would not let me go. She has been running away from people she is in debt and now she is asking for me to borrow money from my friends despite she is unable to pay any. She refuses to face the facts and lower her way of living. It breaks my heart a lot since my brother and sister are still dependent on her for their studies. She does not have vices but it is so hard to watch as she make poor financial decisions each and every time and hard to be reasoned with. She only believes her self and sometimes her boyfriend ( who is married man). I want to provide but I am not in that financial position. I love my family so much despite all these and I want to enjoy life with them. but my devotions since last year have all been leading me to leave my family in order to pursue proper financial stewardship based on Christ’s standards. I would really appreciate your thoughts on this. Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Malaura,
      Do you still live with your mom? If so, how old are you if you don’t mind me asking? Scripture commands children to obey their parents, while adults must only honor their parents. At some point, and maybe that point has already passed, you’re no longer responsible with trying to help your mother to the point you’re discussing. Perhaps she has to learn some hard lessons on her own.

      You definitely should not try to borrow money to pay her debt. Can she sell one or two of the condominiums for money, or does she use them for income?

      I would say if your mom’s boyfriend is married, your mom has bigger problems than her debt. She’s engaging in sin (adultery) that if it characterizes her life means she’s not a believer (1 Corinthians 6:9).

      I think what you really need to do is share the Gospel with your mom, and encourage her repentance. If she gets saved, she’ll be convicted about a number of things, including her debt and poor financial decisions. Until she’s saved, the financial problems are a far second from the real issue at hand.

  21. Here is my current situation and I hope I can encourage someone to in a similar situation.
    Last summer I decided to rededicate my life to God, I have a great anointing and I had been running from it for 15 years. This rededication entailed me cleansing my life of any & every thing that was not like God, lots of fasting
    & praying, cutting out activities and people that I allowed to hinder my walk with God, spending endless time in The Word & intimacy with God. During the time of my disobedience I got married to an unbeliever and a couple months after I had rededicated my life to God I got pregnant. God makes no mistakes, my baby is a blessing in my mess! I had to separate from my husband because he was an unbeliever and was clearly leading me away from my calling (not all his fault). The Bible speaks often about the dangers of marrying unbelievers & being unequally yoked (read Ezra 10). But these tests are not as hard as me separating from a family. My family is known to be very close which has underlying issues of just being controlling. (And where there is one spirit there are always many more) The Lord showed this to me about my family. My baby will be my mother’s 1st grandchild, so she was very excited to experience this with me, to tell me what she wanted to do, how she wanted things to go, & what I should do. I had to tell her no in many situations and she did not like that resulting in her exploding with anger telling my whole family (my family is large & we live in all parts of the country) I was under an evil spirit because I wanted to separate from the family. That is definitely not the case as I have been delivered from much spiritual bondage since I rededicated my life. But they won’t hear it. It has been very hard to deal with my family’s anger and to separate myself from them because for 32 years I was instilled in me that family is inseparable, family is everything and that you do as the family says. Satan had used them against me because he knew it was my weak point and that I would stop being obedient to God if I listened to what my family insisted. But they were saying the total opposite of what God was saying to me. (Just like satan does, establishing doubt)
    My point is, God has instructed us that we must put him 1st in all situations, especially if you know you have a calling on your life. Your work is greater and needed in the Kingdom of God to fulfill his purpose. Your mind will not always understand what the spirit is translating to it. That’s why Paul says over and over again we walk by the spirit and not by the flesh. Your mind must be renewed but your mind is not always going to agree or understand what the spirit wants because the mind needs logical, reasonable answers. God does not work that way. Even the act of Jesus Christ laying his life down for the entire world is illogical to the human mind, that’s why some people can’t accept salvation. Jesus also said you will receive a great reward for all the sacrifice that you give to walk with him. He will take care of those you have to walk away from, you just have to be obedient and patient and always keep them in prayer. I say these things to also encourage myself as this has been a very hard last couple of months. However I am in peace like I have never known before and that is what secures me in my decision to choose God our father who sent the savior Jesus Christ over anything and everything, including family.

    1. DJ,
      You said your “great anointing” and “dedication” entailed “cleansing [your] life from everything not like God.” I would say that should be very Christian’s desire, regardless of calling or gifting.

      You’re right that God doesn’t make mistakes, including regarding the conception of children. Regardless of the way a child comes into the world, including even the worst, most dishonorable circumstances, that child is still God’s creation made in His image.

      Although, you should not have separated from your husband. On your wedding day you entered a covenant with God to spend your life with your husband until death parts you. First Peter 3:1 speaks to your situation: Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives,” as does 1 Cor 7:13 “If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him.” You are disobeying God’s Word, and you need to repent and return to your husband.

      Yes, the Bible warns against being unequally yoked, but that’s not a defense of divorce. Since you already married your husband, now your responsibility is to be a faithful wife that reveals Christ to him. Whatever spiritual anointing or calling you believe you have, the greatest calling on your life is that of wife and witness to your husband.

      As far as you separating from your family, you are correct that you do “leave and cleave,” from them, but it’s leaving them and cleaving to your husband. You mentioned God “saying” things to you. He has spoken to you through His Word, and what He’s saying to you is to respect your husband, submit to him, and spend your life with him. God is not going to “say” something to you that contradicts His Word. You need to obey the Bible. You have missed the point of my post if you think it permits you to divorce your husband. If you want to put God first as you wrote, then repent and stick to the covenant you entered on your wedding day.

  22. Hello, I have been singing all my life, obeying the calling God placed on my life. When I got married 8 yrs ago, I put it on hold when I married my husband. My husband put his education on hold in the midst as well. We have since separated, due to issues in the marriage. It was an encounter between my husband an my son, my son disrespected my husband an he moved out. I have been back an forth between the two homes, working on my marriage as well as maintaining a home. I started back singing in the midst of the seperation an my husband went back to school. Opportunities presented themselves for me to sing mor, I promised god if that happened, I would trust him an run with it. Since this has happened, my husband choice not to support me with anything regarding my music with the church or church period. He tells me I put everybody else before him. I support him in everything, he never supports anything I do. I have choosen God an my calling. Would you consider it as me putting everything before him by chasing my calling, taking care of my son as well as spending time with him in a different home? Its become very tiresome an I have chose to run after the word an my calling an pray for god to intervene in my marriage.

    1. Hi TTW,
      I might be misunderstanding you, but when you said, “I started back singlinging in the midst of the separation,” it sounds like you’re saying you started viewing yourself as a single person again? I would discourage that view. When you married your husband you gave up your life of singleness, and now, even though you’re separated, you should view yourself as a married woman.

      If your husband says you “put everything before him,” and then you choose to put music before him, then you’re validating what he’s saying. You should show your husband that he is more important to you than music.

      No, I don’t think it would be God’s will for you to put music ahead of your husband. I think it would be God’s will for you to reconcile with your husband and put him and your marriage ahead of your music.

    2. Jesus wants us to choose him over our family and friends, and when do we do so Jesus will have us do things for him that glorifies him. Our family and friends should be second to Jesus and our spouses should feel the same way. And when we do so we get to reap the benefits that Christ has in store for us.

    3. Hello Bill,
      Yes, well said. And when we put Jesus first – even ahead of our spouse, family, and friends – we find those people being treated better, because as we grow in Christ we grow as a spouse, child, parent, friend, etc.

  23. (If you don’t like rants don’t read this.)

    I have a problem with my mother and, honestly it’s so frusterating. I love her very much, but sometimes I get tired of her going ‘Church this! Church that!’ My mom never listens to me because she is always getting phone calls from church every few minutes. She doesn’t have time for any of my school related things. (Which makes since she is a single mother and, I try to be patient and, respect that.) But sometimes she is not working anything, and she says oh sorry I have to go to church. It honestly sucks. Oh yeah? And did I mention she goes to church on tuesdays, thursdays, fridays, saturdays, (and which makes since) sundays.

    I hate sitting in a church for seven hours on sundays tbh.

    When I try to confront my mom about it she just says , “Oh! My little girls jealous!” And hugs me.

    And she is right I am jealous. I hate how she ignores me and my little brother .

    1. Hello Onion,
      It’s always tough responding to comments like this without hearing the other person’s side. Since I’m unable to do that, I’ll respond as though what you’re saying is completely true and unbiased.

      If your mom is putting the church ahead of you, that would be wrong, and I say that as a pastor who wants to see people make church a priority! I know that even church attendance and involvement can become an idol when it causes people to neglect their families. She should make time for you and some of the important things in your life, such as your schooling.

      You said she’s a single mom, which gives me compassion for her. She’s probably doing the best she can, and has found comfort through her church family.

      It seems like her behavior is starting to make you resent church, which is very unfortunate. Have you tried to sit down with her and share this with her, versus confront her? In other words, lovingly appeal to her and share your heart?

  24. Hi Scott. My husband and I had terrible conflict recently. I find it so difficult to forgive him for the things he had said. The last few days he told me that everything would come right if I love God above him. I always had a very close relationship with God, but I know that through 27 years of marriage I got too juch dependent on my husband and his assurances and for being here for me. Since the kids are out of our home he just started to go so much up in his work that theres barely time for us. Can you please give me practical advice how to handle the sitaution.

    1. Hello Hannelie,
      Forgiveness is hard. Let me give you two encouragements that can make it easier. First, think of all Christ has forgiven you for and how much greater that is than what you have to forgive your husband for. Second, read the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant in Matthew 18. That parable always convicts me about being unforgiving.
      If you don’t mind me asking, has he asked for forgiveness?
      If your kids haven’t been out of the home long, it’s common for couples to struggle adjusting to an empty nest. Have you talked to your husband about working less and making time for you? Perhaps a date night? Your husband said something that I agree with that you should love God more than him. Part of him loving God is making you a priority in his life. We love God by loving and caring for our spouse.

  25. Honestly, this article and the comments make me sad and give me despair for humanity. I am reading women who have to even question what choice should they make. On one hand is the child(ren) you’ve nurtured in your womb. Feeling every minute detail when they move. You’ve spent how many night caring for them when they were sick, etc.

    Vs

    A character that exists in a book that cannot give you that one on one relationship that you get from children.

    The sad part is many of you will slam me for this. I have to beautiful, wonderful children. Put in danger to forced to make a choice? I would tear down heaven and hell to ensure thy they are okay and loved. That they have my support.

    Period.

    1. Hello Nelson,
      I have no intent of “[slam]ming” you. Am I correct in calling you an atheist or agnostic? If so, then your comment seems completely consistent with your beliefs, and I appreciate that.

      If you believe in God, then let me ask you to consider what we believe He asks of His followers. He expects us to love Him more than anyone else in our lives, including our spouse, parents, children, etc. To love any of these people more than we love God is to make them an idol and commit idolatry. Choosing God over family members means not supporting decisions they make that are sinful. The comforting thought can be summarized with this quote:

      It’s not bad because it’s a sin. It’s a sin because it’s bad.

      In other words, God doesn’t say something is a sin and THEN it becomes bad. God says it’s a sin, because it’s bad. When discourage our family members and loved ones from sinful choices, even if they feel like we aren’t supporting them, not loving them, etc, we are still working in their best interests.

      I would be glad to continue this conversation with you.

  26. Hello. Just wondering what your thoughts would be on my situation. My partner and I met 9 years ago and had 2 children. 3 years ago i became a christian and have been baptised, my partner grew up in a church and christian culture. After becoming a christian i am now unsure whether he really has been born again or whether due to cultural differences perhaps he expresses his faith a lot differently from me, a westerner. He also is not good at reading so doesnt read the bible much but does come to church and we do pray as a family and he definately says he believes in god and he does apply a lot of the teachings to his life (for eg. forgiveness etc). He knows he is a sinner and doesnt deny this. However he doesnt seem to have as much passion for god as i do, but im unsure if this is because i am newly saved. We also have been having premarital sex but shortly after I became a christian I strongly urged for us to stop, but he finds it hard. Moving out seems very hard because of our kids (9 and 5), and kind of silly if we were just to get married now anyway. We want to be married and have been to christian premarital counseling but I am paralyzed by fear of disobeying the command not to marry an unbeliever so have not yet set a date, much to my partners confusion and frustration. I have sought advice from 3 christian counselors who all seem to be wise and mature and they all have leaned towards marriage being the best option. Im unsure whether this is God trying to speak to me through these people? Please help 🙁

    1. Hello Anonymous,
      You mentioned several encouraging evidences of your partner’s possible salvation: church attendance, prayer, confessed belief, application of truth, acknowledgment of sinfulness, etc. Just because someone lacks passion, or to use scriptural language, isn’t as spiritually hungry or thirsty as you’d like to see doesn’t necessarily mean he’s not saved.

      If you’re a Christian, then you shouldn’t be fornicating. The Bible says unbroken patterns of sin are evidence of being unsaved. Please look at this post: “Am I Saved? Seven Tests to Know.” In particular, look at Test 5: Do I Practice Sinning? If you have the passion for God that you claim to, you shouldn’t be fornicating.

      I would recommend getting married for four reasons:
      1. There’s evidence he’s a Christian.
      2. You have two children together.
      3. This unbroken pattern of sin needs to be repented of and broken.
      4. The counsel from others has also been that you marry.

  27. Hi Scott,

    I want to thank you so much for this information and sharing these scriptures! God has used this to encourage me greatly. My wife and I have been struggling with family issues as of late (more specifically my side). I wanted to send a request to ask for prayer and direction. A little back story…I was raised in a very strict Christian household with loving parents and I appreciate everything my parents have done for me. With that being said my parents raised me in a manner that placed family of the utmost importance. Family means everything. We did everything together…literally everything. And if you did something not with the family it was considered wrong and against God’s will. This allowed little to no room for independence and my parents constantly expected us to be perfect which for me created a lot of stress. There are two problems my wife and I are having: First, this same mentality my parents had when I was a kid they have today with my wife and I who have kids of our own! For example, if they travel to see family about six hours north of us and we don’t go they say “you should go with us and you are isolating yourself from your family which God does not like.” Years and years of this mentality has left me basically in constant fear of disappointing my parents and when I do decide to go against their wishes I am left with a lot of guilt an anxiety thinking I am out of God’s will. I know the lord does not give us a spirit of fear or anxiety (2 Timothy 1:7, 1 Peter 5:7). I am just ashamed that I have this fear of my parents and I cannot stand as a man of god on my own and feel comfortable making decisions as I am led by God. Proverbs 29:25 teaches that the “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.” I feel like I am trapped in this snare and I need Jesus to set me free of it.

    The second part of our problem is that when I was young (still under my father’s household) he decided to stop going to a church and start his own at his house. To this day all of his children (myself included) and grandchildren now attend his church. No one else attends. No one outside family, its just us. I feel like he does really love his family and he wants his children around him but he does it to a detriment and he uses this church service ( with him as the pastor) to keep us close. There are many sermons preached about how family is everything and if you start straying from family be careful because God will chastise you. Also the sermons can include degrading comments about anyone of his children if front of everyone including verbal abuse. When questioned (which I have done in the past) he says don’t lay a hand on God’s anointed and I am your pastor and I am trying to shepherd you and you have a spirit of rebellion. Putting all that aside my wife and I have felt God’s pull on our hearts to attend an actual church where we can fellowship with Christ’s body. I had a conversation with him about this and he blew up and said we are church hopping and cant handle the word so we want to go somewhere, where it is preached softer. I feel I have been so burdened by all this my whole life that it is tough for me to even feel lead from the Lord to make decisions about our life. I love my father but I feel that God may be calling my wife and I deeper but because we are so afraid of what my parents might think it is holding us back. I almost feel like just a complete separation from them (just for a season) would be good for our relationship. I am praying for God’s direction and boldness to take this step and have faith that he will provide and take away our fears. Again, I love my father but I feel this scripture sums it up for me. “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” Matthew 10:37. Can you pray for me? Maybe offer some advice? Am I missing anything? Or in the wrong?

    Thank you and blessings

    1. Hi Matthew,
      You’re welcome! It blesses me that God used the post in your life. I’m generally in favor of families doing things together too; seems to be the bigger problem for most families is being fractured and having little time together. I attribute this to most of our lives being so busy, being pulled in so many different directions, etc. With that said, children also need some amount of freedom, and I can imagine how unhealthy it would be if kids were never allowed to do anything without their parents standing over their shoulders; therefore, if that was the case, I can imagine how it would be claustrophobic and harmful.

      You said:

      “This same mentality my parents had when I was a kid they have today with my wife and I who have kids of our own!”

      This concerns me, because you (not your father/parents) are the head of your household. You’re responsible before God regarding how you raise your children. If your parents see something sinful, should address it, but they shouldn’t be trying to control how you raise your kids, and – based on what you’re saying – it doesn’t sound like you’re doing anything that’s warranting the strong language they’re using. You need to establish your own home: ““Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh” (Ephesians 5:31; Genesis 2:24).

      Let me give you two encouragements:
      1. You are not outside of God’s will when you spend time as a family without your parents.
      2. Children are commanded to obey their parents, but adults are commanded to honor their parents. There’s a difference. I love my parents. They live up the road from us. I strive to honor them, and I listen to their counsel, but I’m not commanded to obey them.

      The situation you described with your father’s “church” is unhealthy and unbiblical. He has physical relatives present, but no spiritual relatives present? Where are the brothers and sisters in Christ that make up that “church”? Where are the other elders that serve with him, provide accountability, and prevent a “one-man-show”? I would not attend his church. If God wanted him to pastor a church, He’d provide other like-minded families. The absence of those families is telling.

      You need to do not only what’s best for your family, but what’s obedient to God. Not what your dad thinks is best or what’s obedient to him. For me, I had to leave the Catholic Church. My family was furious with me. Since then, my parents have become Christians and my dad is a deacon in the church I pastor. If I would’ve obeyed my parents, I’d still be Catholic…and so would they!

      I don’t think your dad is pastoring a “church.” I think he’s acting as the patriarch to his family. There’s a difference. Take your family to a biblically-ordered church that has offices, ordinances, and spiritual (not just physical) family members. And don’t feel bad about it! Be released to obey God. Obey the verse you quoted: Matthew 10:37. That verse was THEE verse I needed when leaving the Catholic Church and infuriating my family. I had to keep telling myself, “I’m choosing Christ.” You should too.

      Last thing. Write out your honest thoughts to your father. Have your wife read it. Tell him you love him, you want to honor him, but you also need to do what’s best for your family and what you believe is obedient to God. Be gentle, but firm. When the letter is done, sleep on it, read it again, make necessary edits, sleep on it again, read i t again, and make necessary edits. Then give it to your dad.

      I will pray for you! Please keep me updated.

    2. Hi Scott,

      Thank you so much! Everything you said is what my wife and I have been feeling for many years. We have been praying and feeling lead to fellowship elswhere but we are met with scary stories of what happens if we leave/disobey and it’s not God’s will. We are also told that God would not split up our family. It’s hard because we would be the taking a stand and our entire family (there’s 12 others) that would be saying “how could you do such a thing?” “Your splitting up the family!” I am ashamed to day his words have snared us and left us paralyzed but I am going to be obedient to Christ and move forward!

      I’ll keep you updated!

      God bless,

    3. Hi Matthew,
      Glad to hear all that. When people have to scare people into staying, that’s almost a guarantee something is wrong. Fear of man is a poor – and unbiblical – tactic to get people to do what others want…versus what God wants.

      Yes, God values families, and I’ve stressed a number of times from the pulpit to my congregation that I like seeing families together, but sometimes obedience to Christ means a divided family. I’m a regional facilitator for NCFIC (The National Center for Family-Integrated Churches). I love seeing families worshiping together. But I also know know God wants you – like He wants all Christians – in a biblically ordered church. If that’s not what your dad is pastoring, then you should find something else. Perhaps your decision can be the spark for change.

      If you give me your location, I can see if I can find a biblically-ordered church near you.

      God bless you, I’ll pray for you, and thanks for keeping me updated.

    4. Hi Matthew,
      Yes, sorry, I should’ve been more sensitive to that, i.e. expecting you to divulge personal info over the Internet.

      You can message me through the contact form on my site and it goes right to my inbox, or if you’re on Facebook you can message me there: @PastorWCC.

      If you wanted to talk on the phone, we could do that, but I’d have to schedule it for tomorrow or another day as I’m trying to finish some things.

    5. No worries Scott I actually don’t mind I just wanted to see if I could speak with you further…I’ll message you.

      Thanks,

  28. I’m really struggling man. I don’t know what to do anymore. I am fighting a battle I don’t know how to win or let go of. I’m stuck. I feel as if God is working with me on so many levels. I’m constantly being attacked by thoughts from the enemy as well. I reach out to people and all the information seems so confusing. Three years ago my wife and I were saved. After being saved and trying to live godly lives all hell broke loose. First my mother in law of 30 years died within a week of us finding out she had cancer. She passed in October 2015. Then a year later, same month, October 2016 our 16 year old son was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He went through chemo and is in remission now. We never stopped praying. During his chemo treatments my dad dies of cancer. My dad and I had no relationship at all. I had always said I would NEVER attend his funeral. Yet I did. I felt I needed to or was supposed to. I forgave him for not being there. So much man. But our son getting sick has threw me for a loop. For a year now I have cried ever single day. I don’t know how to let go. I feel as if I’m being taught a lesson. See, when he went into remission I started living in absolute fear. For a year now I’ve lived in absolute fear of losing someone. Losing him, my wife or one of our other two children. It’s caused me so much pain and suffering. Along this journey I feel as if Gods wanting me to depend solely on him. And I don’t know how. I became so fearful of losing my wife I figured I must love her, my children and this world more than God. And in a way I feel as if I do. I put my wife on a pedestal all years of our marriage. Always Clinging and depending on her for strength, knowledge, help, a kind word, guidance in making decisions, etc…the whole nine yards. She’s been my go to ALWAYS. And now she’s still my go to. That’s why I’ve become so fearful of losing her. I can’t think of anything else for over a year now. It’s crippled me. I’m trying to let go. I’m wanting to depend more on God. I’m wanting to love God more than her and my family. But I don’t know how. I feel ill never know how. How? How can I love God more? I am so confused man. Last year I contemplated suicide. I don’t know what to do anymore. I’m scared and lost. I’m broken. I’m striving so hard to be something or someone I feel ill never be. Life seemed easier when I wasn’t thinking of God. And now that I do I don’t know how to do it. He asks so much from us. Things that pull at my heart and hurt, emotionally, mentally and even physically. I’m tired man. I don’t know how to do this. Yet I promised God. I made ‘a deal’ lol – yeah I know, God doesn’t make deals. But when our son was sick I offered up so much. I told God I’d suffer forever with depression if he’d save our son. I am suffering man. And I know God doesn’t want me to suffer. I know God loves me. But why man, why can’t I love him as much as I love my wife and kids? I want to but don’t know how to. And in saying that I feel ill suffer forever if I can’t put him and his will first. I am so terrified I’ll lose my wife. I love her so much. She’s not even sick. But she’s been my God. I’ve placed her above him all our marriage. And now I don’t know how to put God before her where he should have always been. I wasn’t taught any different. I didn’t grow up in church. I wasn’t taught the word of God. I was a sinner. I am still a sinner. How do I fix this? I’m afraid I’ll lose my wife or my children and then I’ll be mad and blame God, and turn away from him completely, rather than accepting his will above my own, loving him and knowing His ways are better than mine. I’m lost man. I feel broken. I feel as if God and satan are fighting tooth and nail for my soul. Please help me. Please pray for me. I’m always looking for answers. I go to God but don’t hear him. I sometimes feel as if I do, in my thoughts, but then I get confused if it’s God or satan. I don’t know how to distinguish between all the thoughts that go on inside my head. I don’t know how to rest in God. I strive so hard Scott. How do I walk this path? Many days I’m ready to give up. I’ve learned there’s two sides of me now, I either care too much or don’t care at all. And not caring at all about anything, I.e. The suffering of the world, people, turn off my emotions, stop loving my wife and children etc seems to be the easiest way to avoid this pain. To just stop loving. And the other side is I care too much, I love them too much, this life too much, their smiles I love yet I’m afraid to lose them and never see those smiles again, I love too much. Two side of me. Both seem to be causing some type of suffering. What does God want from me? I ask. I don’t know. God bless you. Thanks for listening. Can anyone help me? Or is this between God and I? I am being tossed around to the point I don’t know who I am anymore.

    1. Hello,
      I’m very sorry. It sounds like you have been through a lot. First, may I offer you a free copy of my book, Enduring Trials God’s Way? I can give you an electronic copy, or if you’d prefer a paperback, I’ll send you one of those.

      You said, “I reach out to people and all the information seems confusing…I’m always looking for answers.” Proverbs 11:14, 15:22, and Proverbs 24:6 all state:

      There is wisdom in many counselors.

      It’s great that you’re speaking to different people, but Ecclesiastes 12:12 says:

      And further, my son, be admonished by these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is wearisome to the flesh.

      Although the verse mentions books, I think this verse can also mean that there’s no end of different opinions. Might seem odd that I offered my book, but one reason I did is it’s packed with Scripture, and that will help you. Perhaps you’ve been reading the Word, but I don’t think you mentioned that in your comments. You said, “I didn’t grow up in church. I wasn’t taught the word of God.” The same is true for me! Have you been reading the Word daily? Get yourself a good study Bible if you don’t have one already. I’d recommend the Thomas Nelson Study Bible.

      I hope this quote might encourage you: “God gives us grace for our circumstances, but not our imaginations.” The Lord told Paul, “My grace will be sufficient for you,” but His grace is only sufficient for what we’re facing…not for what we’re imagining. You listed some situations (losing your wife), fearful that you couldn’t handle it if they came to pass. Right now you don’t have the grace for these trials. They seem unendurable. If they took place, God would give you the grace to endure.

      Regarding suicide, I want to say this gently, but honestly. If you committed suicide it would be a terribly selfish sin. You’re trying to end you’re suffering, but allowing it to be transferred to others. You’d leave your wife and son behind to deal with even more grief and pain. Think of all they’re going through too. They need you.

      You said, “Why can’t I love him as much as I love my wife and kids?” Loving God is different than loving a human being. We can touch, talk to, listen to (audibly), etc. the people in our lives. But it’s not the same with God. If you want to know if you love God, then let me ask you this: do you obey Him? In John 14:15 and 23 Jesus said:

      “If you love Me, keep My commandments…If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.”

      You said, “I go to God but don’t hear Him.” I don’t know what you mean by “hearing Him.” If you mean audibly, we can’t hear God audibly. You hear Him as He speaks to you through His Word. Again, I’d encourage you to read the Bible regularly.

      You said God and Satan are fighting for you. I believe that. Your family needs you too; they’re also “fighting” for you. If you love them as much as you say you do, then your prayer should be that God helps you be the strong spiritual husband and father they need.

    2. Praise God for your reply. I would love a copy of your book. An electronic copy is fine. Thank you for such a kind encouraging reply. I do read the word daily. It’s the word at times which makes me feel guilty. Not that I feel I’m being convicted due to any sins, I feel forgiven for my past sins. The guilt I feel comes from not feeling deserving enough even for God to spare me this suffering. I’m really relying on God to take this all away. But question if I’m really relying on him. As my faith seems weak. I won’t take medication to help with the depression and OCD thinking as i feel it’ll change me, I’ve taken them before. I pray and ask God to tell me what to do. I feel if I depend on the meds I’m not depending on God. My family suffering watching me fall apart like this. I am constantly attacked by thoughts. I replace the thoughts with scripture. I try and do attempt to take many thoughts captive and turn it over to God, to fight back with scripture. But since I’m still suffering I assume I’m not doing it right. I will pray for God to help me be the spiritual husband and fathe they need. It’s almost like I am a new man in Christ and don’t know how to be him. It’s like I’m fighting to get back to the man I used to be instead of accepting who I am now. But who I am now is a crying mess, no hope, fears, sadness, thoughts controlling me instead of me not controlling them. It’s as if I cannot. Maybe I need meds. But I’ve fought so long now, over a year without them. But the whole time it’s been the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I don’t know for sure if God wants me to take them or not. I want him to heal this. The pills in the past nearly ruined my life. But at least I was somewhat happy. I want to please God. I do. But in tasking in so much information and the bible itself scaring me, has me fearful and guilty. I cant discern if I’m being tricked by the devil, him using Gods words against me or if it’s the Holy Spirit convicting me. Right now I’m not working. So i feel undeserving to even eat because of a bible verse. If a man not work he should not eat. I cry when my wife buys me food. The thoughts are you don’t deserve is food you didn’t work for it. So it’s guilt, self hate, it makes me feel worthless, hopeless, I take it as God saying to me, you’re being punished because you’re not a good Christian. You don’t even deserve food. Other verses bring worry and fear and guilt too. A double minded man must not expect anything from God. So I feel since I’m still suffering I must be double minded, I’m no good and my prayers will never be answered. At times I’m so confused it’s driving me away from God. But I still pray, I go to church, I read, I study…but my thoughts tell me I’ve got it all wrong. I’m doing it wrong. I don’t believe enough. I don’t have faith, etc, etc, etc. and my thoughts also say stay away from the meds God will fix this. I often wonder if that too might be the devil. A trick. Maybe medicine is what I need to bring clarity to all this. So the devil is saying don’t take it don’t take it because he knows it’ll stop some of my suffering. I’m lost. I feel broken. My thoughts take over everything. I’m sorry this is so long. I so look forward to reading your Ebook. My email is somethingforpops AT gmail Dot com God bless you. Please pray for us.

    3. Hello again,
      I emailed you an electronic copy of Enduring Trials God’s Way.

      I’m glad you’re in the Word regularly. No, you’re not deserving of God’s grace and mercy, either am I, and either is anyone else who has ever received it. If we did deserve it, it wouldn’t be grace and mercy, because by definition they can’t be earned.

      You mentioned weak faith. Pray according to Mark 9:24 like the father of the demon possessed boy:

      Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”

      Some people are completely opposed to meds, medicine, doctors, etc. I’m not in that category. God can use medical advancements like He can use anything else. The problem would be if you depended ONLY on them, which doesn’t seem to be the case with you.

      You said, “Since I’m still suffering I assume I’m not doing it right.” We all suffer as long as we’re on this side of heaven. Some of God’s greatest servants suffered greatly. Read the second half of Hebrews 11.

      I would encourage you to work hard to find work. Trying to find a job should be your full-time job until you find one. Working is good for us, and I’ve seen inactivity contribute to mental illness. Maybe you are being disciplined for not working, but that’s God’s way of moving you to get a job.

      I will pray for you!

  29. Good day,

    I got married into a Catholic family, i was attending a Pentecostal church before marriage. After 7 years and two children, things became tough, we both lost our jobs. Against my opinion, my spouse left for another country in search of greener pastures with the approval of his parent and siblings. Leaving I and the kids alone but send money home from time to time. During the two years of his absence i rediscovered and rededicated my life to Christ, left Catholic church and joined a pentecostal church primarily because i understand the word of God more in this church and my spiritual life is growing. Now my spouse is raising hell because of my change in church, though he’s not here with us. He is virtually not talking to me anymore. Please advice on what to do.

    1. Hello Comfort,
      One of the difficulties associated with responding to people’s comments is I’m unable to hear the side of the other person (or people) involved. Scripture says both sides should be heard before coming to a conclusion (Proverbs 18:17). Using just the info you’ve shared, I’d say that unless it was a last resort, a man should not leave his family. Your approval as his wife and helper (Genesis 2:18) should’ve trumped the approval of his family members. The fact that he sent money home shows he was still trying to take care of all of you, which is good.

      I was raised Catholic, so I’m familiar with the lack of biblical preaching/exposition. My family was also upset when I left the Catholic Church, so I can understand your husband being upset too. Catholicism is very much a “family religion.” You’re in a tough situation, because you’re facing two competing commands: you have the command to submit to your husband (which would encourage you to go back to the Catholic Church), and you have the comment to worship in spirit and truth (which takes you out of the Catholic Church).

      My encouragement would be to pray God would change your husband’s heart and allow you to leave the Catholic Church. I would also recommend humbly petitioning your husband (versus arguing with him) about your desire to attend a Bible-teaching church. When your flesh tempts you to flare up and get upset, strive to remain loving and gentle, so your husband can see the way the Gospel has worked in your heart.

  30. Hi. My sister has been attending church 2 months ago and has dramatically change. She comes home and turns off the tv to her husband and dont let him drink a beer while watching a soccer game. She starves and is becoming extrimist. Her husband is leaving. She is suffering but she says she puts god first. They have 2 beautiful dauhters and he has been a fantastic husband and father but she is getting everyone tired of the cituation. She are a nice family but since she started going to church evweyrhing is bad. She is hiving up on make up and pants. She is wearing only dresses and skirts. Ahe is stoping her husband to live a normal life like they did before. He reached his limits and is leaving saturdAy. I don’t know what to tell my sister. I want to support her and i feel sorry i am more with him but dont let her know that.

    1. Hi Juliana,
      Thank you for reading and commenting. I’m sorry to hear this. If your sister is a new Christian, it’s common when people are recently converted to…become a little extreme. Moderation and balance are usually signs of maturity and come with time in God’s Word as you see everything isn’t black-and-white. While I’m not compromise or sin, there are hills to die on, and hills you let go. Letting your husband have a beer isn’t a battle to fight.

      Even if your sister loves God, which I suspect she does, this isn’t the way for her to “win over her husband.” 1 Peter 3:1-2 says, “Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they see your respectful and pure conduct.” She seems to want her husband to be more spiritual, but she has to help produce that by her example. Would you encourage her to watch this message I preached on wives respecting their husbands? I will pray for her and her husband!

  31. I had the most painful and difficult conversation with my 32 year old son who is planning to wed his boyfriend and wants me and his brothers to be there. I have been a Christian for 5 years now but my adult children are not yet Christians (still praying for them). We are a close knit family so imagine their mother not attending their wedding because it will be a same sex marriage. I have treated my son and his boyfriend with love, although I do not support this relationship, I do not love my son any less, and I treat him as such. As God has taught me, I love him no matter what he does. But I do not support this decision and when I told him this, he was hurt. It was an adult conversation, he didn’t yell or speak to me in anger (I told you they are good boys) but I know he’s disappointed, hurt and now I face a possibility of my other adult children (3 others) to feel the same way about me. Although I was crying and hurt while we were talking because it was difficult for me, I now feel relieved that I stood on what I believe in and in obedience to God. So I pray that God blesses my son in his life journey and for his/their salvation, too. And pray that one day, they will look back at this moment and respect their mother for the hard decision I just made in choosing God over my children.

    1. Hello Sue,
      Wow, I am so sorry. This is terrible. I have been asked, including even recently, about parents attending the wedding of a child that they don’t think should be marrying the person. But this is the first time someone has talked to me about a homosexual child’s wedding. I hope others read your comment, because I think you are handling this very well. Instead of responding in anger, you are responding lovingly, but also firmly. If it encourages you at all, I’m convinced you’re doing the right thing.

      Yes, keep praying for your son, and his boyfriend’s salvation. If they get saved, they will become convicted of their sin. But if they aren’t saved, then even a homosexual relationship is irrelevant because they would go to hell anyway. I will pray for their salvation too, as well as wisdom for you dealing with your son in the future.

    1. Hello Joe,
      Despite your comment, and I’m thankful you read my post and gave me an opportunity to respond. If you’d be interested in conversing, I’d be in favor of that. Can you tell me about your religious background, if there is one?

    2. Well said. If this religion is supposed to be all loving this is the complete opposite of what love stands for. No way, I will love my family no matter what and if that means I rot in hell that’s fine by me. I would rather be down there with loving sinners than self righteous judgemental Christians.

    3. Hi Melody,
      It’s not an issue of NOT loving our families. It’s an issue of loving Christ more than them. “Loving” could also be thought of as “choosing.” There are times we have to choose Christ instead of our families. Our families might make sinful decisions, perhaps having abortions, divorcing, or marrying unbelievers. At those times, loving/choosing Christ means discouraging these decisions, perhaps to our family members’ frustration. Additionally, there could be times our families discourage us from following Christ, or encourage us to make sinful decisions. At those times, we must choose Christ instead of our families. When these types of situations happen, our families might feel as though we hate them.

      One other point. Sometimes loving people, might look like hating them. The world seems to think love and tolerance are synonymous: if you love people, you support their decisions, whether those decisions are sinful and/or detrimental to them and/or others. The Bible says love means rebuking and correcting people.

      do you believe/follow the Bible? If so, what do you think Jesus meant when He taught this in Matthew 10:34-38:

      34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36 And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. 37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

    1. Hello Clinton,
      I’m sorry, but can you give a little more detail? By saying “child” it sounds like you’re not keeping someone who’s fairly young? When children are young, you have enough leverage in their lives to enforce obedience. My post would only apply to grown children refusing to submit to household rules.

  32. I recently changed jobs. I went to a new school, grade, city, etc. I left tenure and 29 years of teaching in the same place a half mile from the school to driving 35 minutes one way in order to follow God’s direction. It has been a wonderful opportunity for me, but it forced a change for my 8th grader. Watching her be miserable is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I know this is God’s plan for her, as it was me. So many things have lined up positively since I took the job. I don’t know how to make her stop hurting and try to adjust. I have her in Christian therapy. I pray everyday that she will turn to God more to help her adjust. Even though I am following God’s direction, this has been so hard. She does not understand that. She only knows she is miserable.

    1. Hello Susan,
      Yes, change like that can be very difficult for young people who tend to think they’ll never made friends like they had before.

      Have you found a new church? has your daughter made friends at that church? I ask because it’s common for God to meet our needs (and some desires) through the body of Christ.

      If you’re convinced God wanted you to make this move, then you also have to trust He is using this in her life for her best interests too.

      I will pray for her adjustment. What are her father’s thoughts?

    2. The best way to help her would be just to show her Gods love. Gods love will draw her. If you plant the seed of faith, God will make it Grow. I think a big problem i had was always standing in the way of God, trying to help my wife out of my own power, but as soon as i stepped out of the way, God actually started working in her life. If she is under your covering then your decisions are valid. Just pray for her, and fight against the thoughts. Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance. God Bless, i know that God will make a way where there seems to be none. God saved my wife from suicide, depression, Divorce and so many bad mindsets, he will definitely be at your rescue.

      Speak what you want to see and keep on doing it. if bad thought come just resist it and the devil will flee.
      “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” Ephesians 6:12

      I am praying for your situation. God bless

    3. Hello Regardt,
      Thank you for reading and commenting. This is a wonderful testimony with good advice. Thank you for providing both and seeking to minister to someone else on the post!

    4. Scott,
      Her dad is totally on board. We are currently visiting new churches. She is involved in a youth group. Thank you for your prayers. They are deeply appreciated.

    5. Hi Susan,
      Ah, that’s very good to hear. Thank you for passing along the update! I will pray for the continued progress, including her smoothly adjusting and developing of godly friendships.

  33. Hi… I am from India.. I am from a non christian family and my boyfriend led me to the Lord. With faith that God will allow us to get married, we sought the permission from our parents for the wedding (which is how a wedding happens in India). But my parents, spl my mom has flatly denied citing religion as the reason. She does not want me marrying a christian. I am now in a confusion on how to proceed with this. Pls do pray for me n my boyfriend.

    1. Hi Swetha,
      I’m familiar with your situation, and I can imagine an Indian family not wanting their daughter to marry a Christian. I hope this post encourages you. There are times we face conflicting commands, and we have to choose which one to obey. For example, you’re commanded to honor your parents, but God would also have you marry a Christian man, versus a non-Christian man:

      2 Corinthians 6:14 – Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?

      In this case, I think the right decision is for you to marry the man and pray God opens your parents hearts to Christ. Hopefully the example they see through you and your husband will encourage them.

  34. Yes there have been times I’ve chosen God over family. Specifically my mom is a recovering alcoholic and there are times I have to limit my interaction with her because she brings me down. I have to choose God, trust in Him about the situation and let it go.
    As a mom, my kids can distract me from getting that quiet time with God I need. You are right that our kids need to see our faithfulness to God. I try to do my quiet time when they are watching a movie so if they ask what I’m doing, I can say I’m putting God first. This post was great. Thanks!

    1. Hi Jessica,
      Thanks for reading and sharing an example from your life that’s required choosing God over a family member. If you want to limit your children’s time watching television, one other possibility is doing your quiet time before they’re up, or having them read the Word at the same time.

  35. My wife and I are both born again Christians reuniting after many years of separation. However, my wife is on a mission as she says to establish her ministry. I am all for it and willing to support her as best I can. Yet, she has pretty much eliminated any time for us as a couple spending hours in prayer, church, and, reading her bible. Even so much as believe it or not, turning on Daystar during sex and changing the subject when I am attempting to woo her into bed. I am left to either embrace her or leave her in this take it or leave it relationship. I can’t even take her to dinner because she is either fasting, or preparing for prayer. I fully admit that my frustration is reaching a crescendo and my faith is being tested. If I say anything to the contrary, I am trying to “change her”, or “distract her from her path.” At this time, we live 300 miles apart. She lives in a minimalist apartment, and I have two fairly nice homes. She works 2 jobs, I am semi-retired and can support her without her having to work. Even her own son lives near me, Her statement is I love you and our son, but I love God more. Submission to her husband is not in her vocabulary. and she refuses to see the importance of our family under one roof in a traditional marriage relationship citing that God has called her to this path and there is no negotiating. Can you feel my frustration?

    1. Hello Larry,
      First, I’m only hearing your side of the story, and Scripture is clear we should hear both sides of a story before coming to a conclusion. I’ve been in counseling enough times, heard one person’s side of a story, thought to myself, “There’s no way I can imagine it being different than this” only to hear the other person’s side and be corrected.

      With that said, I’ll try to provide what counsel I can.

      First, I would approach the pastor and/or elders of the church in which she’s serving. If this is a godly church, then:
      1. There should be limitations on her involvement, ministry, service, etc. While women can (and should) serve in the church, their primary ministry is to their husband, home, children, etc (Titus 2).
      2. The pastor and elders will receive your concerns, understand your marriage is more important than her ministry, and encourage her to pour less time into the church and more time into her marriage.
      There’s also the possibility that if her marriage is as bad as you describe that she’s disqualified from serving in the church until her marriage is improved.

      It seems as though your efforts with her are not working and it’s necessary to involve the leaders in the church.

      I can’t tell from your comment if you live together or are separated. It sounds like both are true? If she’s separated from her husband, she should not be serving this actively until her marriage is restored.

      As far as feeling your frustration, assuming what you said is true and I’m not missing some important details, yes, it sounds very frustrating. God would not “call her to a path” that compromises – or worse ruins – her marriage, which seems to be what she’s claiming is the case.

  36. Great points, Scott! I’m blessed to have been raised by committed Christians who modeled this for me. One example I saw growing up- When relatives from out-of-town would visit they were invited to church with us. If they declined, we’d meet them afterwards but didn’t miss service for them.

    1. Hi Beka,
      Thanks for reading and commenting. That’s a fantastic example. I appreciate you sharing. I was actually having trouble thinking of more practical examples of what it can look like to choose God over family (or friends). I hope people read your comment to see what it can look like.

  37. 4th choosing God over family is what we are supposed to do. All great points and yes, it truly does set us up for show the next generation what matters most!

    1. Hi Caroline,
      Yes, it’s what we’re supposed to do. Thanks for adding that. But do you see a 4th blessing associated with obeying God in this way?

  38. Choosing God over family is not easy but in the end it’s worth it. I am currently at the moment sticking with God and not family and it’s leading to me court. My dad cosigned a student loan a few years ago and now its time to pay it back but my husband and I have no money. God has told us that he will take care of the bill as long as we believe and have faith. My dad doesn’t believe God speaks to me and so now is suing me and taking me to court. His words were “are you willing to tell a judge God speaks to you”? And honestly yes. I know this is a spiritual battle and its really my belief in God that’s on trial but I know in the end God will win. Continue to pray for my husband and I.

    1. Hello Kamara,
      I’m sorry to hear about the situation with your parents, especially about your parents taking you to court. 1 Corinthians 6:1-4 says:

      1 When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? 2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! 4 So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church?

      I’m glad to hear that you’re trusting God, but I’m not sure what you mean when you said:

      God has told us that He will take care of the bill as long as we believe and have faith.

      Do you mean you believe God is going to pay the bill for you, or something along those lines?

      If you cosigned the loan with your dad, then you have a responsibility to pay the bill. You shouldn’t leave it up to him to pay it, especially since it was for your schooling.

      Part of letting our “yes be yes” is repaying what we owe. I hope you will repay the loan as soon as possible. If you do, perhaps your dad won’t take you to court.

    2. Yes sir we understand that but we currently don’t have any money and my husband is unemployed still looking for a job. When I mean by having faith is God told me everything would be taken care of bc we have no money.

  39. In following God’s call to go overseas, we knew we would be choosing God over family. Reactions from family members were all over the map; it didn’t seem to matter whether the person was a Christian or not. There were good reactions and less-than-good reactions from Christians and non-Christians alike.

    We had to come to grips with Matthew 19:27-30 and decide whether we believed what it said or not. And it’s really one of the main issues all Christians eventually need to decide, even in many more ways than “big” decisions to move overseas.

    Whether you believe this truth or decide not to. It’s a crossroads we all face at several – even many – different points in our lives. How we answer this question reveals whether we really have the Spirit of God working in our hearts to make us more like Jesus or not (at which point, we are really not genuinely converted, after all.)

    If you back up to verse 16, you see – in context – Jesus’ interactions with the rich young man. We get to see the choice he made. And we get to see that more important than obeying commandments (on the surface) is a willingness to follow Jesus and do what he says. The young man obeyed the commandments, but he walked away from the one who gave the commandments in the first place. His god turned out to be his wealth and the “security” he provided him.

    1. Great thoughts brother, thank you. I didn’t think of going overseas as a missionary as an example of having to choose God over family, but it makes perfect sense.

      You kept saying, “we.” Does that mean Jess faced this too from her family members?

      You know the situation with my parents as well as anyone. Things were terrible between us when I left the Catholic Church and became a Christian, but by God’s grace they’ve been saved and our relationship is the best it’s ever been. Unfortunately, we have some other family members – all Catholics – and the relationship with them has never been the same.

    2. Hi, I’m a Christian and I love the Lord dearly. I have been living with my Mother for 8yrs now. But, recently I’ve felt the pull of God to move into my own place. I have no Children, and I’m not married. You see, I have been helping my Mother and Siblings financially since I was 16yrs old and working. I let my house go to move in with my mother to help her financially these past 8yrs. But now, God is stirring my heart to move beyond this and answer His call..I’m an Intercessor Prayer Warrior, and I have other gifts. I have come to understand that my family takes advantage of me financially and in other ways. Including my own Christian Mother. When I tell you tthe Spiritof “Oppression” is on me it’s an understatement. I feel like I’m dying Spiritually. Just recently I told my mother I was moving. She began to give me the silent treatment from that day forth. She won’t say two words to me unless it’s to ask for money. What breaks my heart is she’s telling people I’m mistreating her because I won’t stay here and help pay her credit card bills that she gave my siblings permission to use. My mother has 3 rent houses paid for, she gets a retirement check, and she gets social security checks, and a brand new car paid for. I just have the clothes on my back a d a car, in Im very thankful for. To give you an example of how my own mother treats me, my car just recently broke down and its been in the shop for 3 weeks. I had to bomb a ride from whomever I could because my own mother never once asked if she could take me to work or simply let me drive her car. I would, and have not done that to her or anyone. This is how all of them treat me. They won’t do anything for me unless I pay them. Smh.
      I work and have one income that I share with her to help her. She is 73yrs old. She’s healthy and gets around on her own. Now I believe in honoring my mother, in which I have done and will do. But I know they use me. And I know without a doubt God is calling me away from all of this to Himself! I have work for Him to do. But my family Oppress me and put burdens on my back that they themselves can’t carry. Please pray for me and give me advice. I’m leaving regardless and I know God will go before me. Thnx

    3. Hello Angelpat,
      I’m sorry, but I’m not exactly sure what you’re asking? If you’re asking if you can move out, based on what you said I don’t see why that would be wrong. If your mother is as healthy and stable as you described, then she should be fine on her own. Adult children are not obligated to live with their parents indefinitely. If your mother’s health deteriorates, then you might be obligated to return and care for her.

  40. Scott… Some good thoughts… Thanks! What I have reflected on is the command to love our Lord and others. Our love for both often seems to cause the wedge. We know our calling is to our Lord, living in the Light is the only way to truly live. Families may not approve and may reject our choice, but if we love them… truly love them… we will gracious live a life of obedience to the Lord. Our family my blame our faith for the division, but the division is caused by sin. Many believers have put their lives on the line in order to remain true to their Lord and love their families. I was always impressed by the life of Charles Fineberg who was declared dead by his orthodox Jewish family when he converted to Christ. They would return his letters unopened and hang up the phone when they recognized his voice. His love for them and his Lord remained steadfast.

  41. but *what* do you do with the sometimes overwhelming PAIN that division can cause? I confess that often times I wish I could forget my faith, just so I can restore the relationship

    1. Christina, I don’t want to sound like I’m preaching at you, but you asked, so I’ll try to answer best I can…

      First, I don’t know your exact situation, but I know I was very separated from my family when I embraced Christianity. By the grace of God, as you know, my parents are now part of the church I pastor…which is something I NEVER would’ve imagined happening. Never. My wish was just for them to become Christians, say nothing about actually become Christians, be baptized by me, and move to be with Katie, the kids and me. Eph 3:20 in action. So the first thing I might say is hold out hope that things can really turn around. It took years and lots of prayer.

      Obviously that’s not a guarantee though. If it never happens (and it might not), you have to look for the ways God’s grace is being sufficient for you despite those painful relationships…look for the ways God is blessing you through this: you have a great husband that loves church, loves going w/ you, is involved, and most importantly loves God. And you have a bunch of Christians around you that see you as part of their family.

  42. My parents have always been a disappointment to me. I choose Christ every day of my life. I am blessed to have Steve and Randi and a wonderful Pastor who cares.

  43. I have been sruggling with this my whole life. Even now, my moms been in town for almost 6 weeks and has not called me once or offered to come to our house to see or help me. Feeling a little down about now.. Thanks for the love and support of my church family.:) I love each one of you.

    1. I’m so sorry Keri. That is rough. It probably doesn’t help that you’re stuck at home recovering from surgery, isolated from everyone. Your church family does love and miss you.

  44. Wow. Really appreciate you putting these thoughts into words. It’s not easy when you’ve had to set up barriers and gaps with your family – for whatever reason – and hopefully those separations can heal (by God’s mighty work), but what a blessing to share those worldly struggles and life in general with an eternal family when it can otherwise feel very lonely! Good stuff.

    1. needed to be read 🙂 Thanks Scott Have always felt that to be true, but at times it’s sure a rough place to be. Thank you God for giving me strength to never put You on the back burner because of what my family may think of my walk.

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