‘Those who love their father or mother more than me are not fit to be my disciples; those who love their son or daughter more than me are not fit to be my disciples. Those who do not take up their cross and follow in my steps are not fit to be my disciples. Those who try to gain their own life will lose it; but those who lose their life for my sake will gain it.’ (verses 37-39)
Read Matthew 10:24-39
There are some people who spend a lot of time reading the Bible. There are also those who spend a lot of time misreading the Bible. When the former read the verses above they think in terms of priorities; the latter tend to think in terms of alternatives.
The Bible does not teach us to neglect our families. In fact, the opposite is the case. What it does tell us, however, is that we need to get clear who sets the direction in our life. If we put our families first, there is always the danger of leading one another astray. If we focus on God and what he says for our lives, then we are on the right road. When the two come into conflict we might have to make a tough decision. Sometimes we have to lose something in order to gain something better.
In the end, however, there will always be greater blessings for us and our families when we put God first.
Dear God, thank you for the special relationship we share. Thank you also for the great gift of my family. Amen.
by Richard Hauser, in ‘New Strength for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 1998)
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