“Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 10:37-39).
The Christian life is a surrendered life. The Christian is surrendered completely to Christ. The Bible uses the image of marriage to illustrate the relationship that Christians as a body are supposed to have with the Lord Jesus. Being married is not about your own happiness so much as surrender and denying yourself completely for your spouse. In the same way, the Christian life is not lived for the comfort of self, but for the glory of God.
There was a time in my walk where I had to choose between pleasing my parents and being obedient to God. I chose obedience, and walked away from the career my parents wanted me to have. I love my parents, but not enough to sacrifice God’s calling on my life. In another place it says, “Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me” (Psalm 27:10). I stared this reality in the face, knowing that they may never speak to me again for what I did in walking away.
There is a blessing in all this. First, “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:10-12). When you are rejected for the sake of Christ, you are truly blessed.
Secondly, the blessing that comes from being obedient to God is greater than we can ever imagine, and often times in this life manifests itself in ways we do not expect. The result of my actions on the part of my parents initially was anger and resentment. But it didn’t take long for the Lord to soften their hearts. Now, we have a stronger relationship than we’ve ever had. In fact, they were just here for a visit, and spent several days with my husband and I and our daughter Jane. I praise God that although the relationship may have been severed, it was instead strengthened. I thank God for his mercy.