Family Loyalty Righted
Updated: Mar 26, 2020
Verse 37 “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."
Have you heard someone talk about how a set of siblings fight among themselves like crazy but then defend each other against someone else fighting the sibling for the same reason? That speaks of loyalty. Most people find great loyalty in their family unit and we know that God created the family unit with special purposes so why did Jesus say these things about the family?
Jesus was warning His disciples, and us, that if we love anything more than Jesus, we are not truly His followers. To love something more than anything else is to make that item/person a god. The first of the 10 commandments is “You shall have no other gods before me." (Exodus 20:3) This is what Jesus was trying to help His disciples see, that even the good things in life can get in our way of our relationship with Him and can trip us up on our journey to the cross.
Jesus wants, NO commands, us to love Him first and foremost. Yes, we are to love our family but not more than we love Him. The ways we love others more than we love Him show up in seemingly innocent ways. Sometimes it comes in the form of obeying a human instead of obeying Jesus. Or maybe it shows itself in wanting to spend time with time with family instead of spending any time with Jesus. Or maybe we care more about what others think about us than what He thinks of us. No matter the way we are putting someone else in His place, we need to stop and think about what that means about us.
If our loyalty is stronger to someone or something other than Jesus, it says that we aren't up to following Him in the way of the cross because we will be too easily distracted. So how can we give Him our full loyalty and follow the 5th commandment to honor our parents? Well, obeying parents when we are young is showing our obedience to Jesus. Treating family well and lovingly shows that we are obeying Jesus. Reading and studying our Bibles shows that we want to know Him better and how to obey Him. Are you ready to show Him where your loyalty is? Confess and repent the ways you have not had Jesus in first place in your life.
Making it personal
Where do you find your loyalties wandering from Him? What steps do you need to take to put Jesus in first place in your life? Are you serious enough about making Him the Lord of your heart to take those needed steps?
Making it personal kids
Have your family play a game of follow the leader. Take turns being the leader. Now talk about what it means to follow only Jesus.
Father God, You alone deserve our allegiance. You are our God and we want You to be our only God. Point out to us when our loyalty to You wavers. In Jesus' name, amen.