“My family is my life!” “I live for my kids!” people so proudly say, not realising that putting family first is the most unloving thing you can do.
In a world where loyalty to employers, church and neighbourhoods is an endangered species, many hearts have made family their number 1 priority, even above themselves. Satan is a devious soul and has fooled many into believing that this is good, right and even holy. Nothing could be further from the truth.
“He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.” Matthew 10:37
Jesus could not have been clearer in Matthew when He tells us that if any family member – father, mother, son, daughter, comes before God in our lives, we are not worthy of Him. That’s straight, and scary. To be worthy of Christ, He needs to be the first and most important person in our lives. Ourselves, our spouse, our kids, our family comes second, third, fourth. Jesus is to be first.
The first two of the Ten Commandments back this up as God clearly tell us that He does NOT want us to put our family first.
“You shall have no other gods before Me.
“You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them.” Exodus 20:3-4
We may not have a carved wooden image of our family but we display their pictures proudly on our phones, lockets, computers and walls. We even tattoo their names and faces on our bodies.They are the first topic of conversation when meeting strangers and occupy 90% of our thoughts. We serve them. We put them first. We neglect God and church to attend kid’s footy matches and Sunday family lunches. We quickly rise in defence of family but are slow to stand up for Jesus. God receives the left over’s in our pay check but our spoilt kids get anything their whimsical eyes desire.
“For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. “ Exodus 20:5-6
God gives a clear warning in Exodus 20:5-6 of the consequences of putting family, or anything other than Him, first in our lives – He will see that the children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren and great, great-grandchildren will reap the harvest of the sins of the parents. But God also promises that if we get it right and put Him first, He will show mercy to many generations that follow those who love Him and keep Him first in their lives.
Clearly, the most loving thing you can do for your family is to put God first, and them second in your life. Then the mercy and blessings of God will be on your family for many years to come. Now, that’s a love gift that lasts, an inheritance worth leaving.
Do you agree? Have you seen people who have put family above God in their lives? Why do you think we’ve fallen for this trap? Have your say in the comments below.