Matthew 10:39 “He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”
One of the great lies that Satan has gotten believers to embrace is that family is first. This sounds wonderful, but this is idolatry. Mathew 6:33 commands and promises, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Exodus 20:3 commands, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Sadly, many have made family their god to their detriment. It is not that you are not to enjoy your family or spend time with your family; it is that you are to put God first in EVERYTHING that you do or else your family becomes an idol.
The verse above is the conclusion of Jesus teaching the importance of loving Him first. He says that the person who loves their father, mother, son or daughter more than Him is not worthy of Him. He then continues by saying that anyone who is not willing to take His cross is not worthy of Him. Jesus finally teaches that life is found in choosing and loving Him first. It is not Jesus doesn't want you to love your parents or children; it is that He doesn't want you to love them more than you love Him. Jesus demands to be first place in your life, and that would mean that you must place HIM over your family. Two lessons about tough choices are being taught.
First, you will never be the family member you are supposed to be without choosing God first. The husband who puts God before his wife is the better husband than the husband who puts his wife ahead of God, and vice versa. Likewise, the parent who puts God before their children is a better parent than the parent who puts their children before God, and vice versa.
We live in times when people worship their family and end up losing their family. The reason you lose your family or marriage when you put them over God is because God is the nucleus that keeps all things together. God is the one who established the marriage and the home, and you cannot expect those relationships to be right when you don't center them around God.
Second, you are to follow God even if it puts you at odds with your family. This is a tough choice! Do I choose God and lose my family, or do I choose my family over God and lose His blessings? Many preachers have followed their children to compromise because they don't want to lose their relationship with their children, but they end up losing their fellowship with God because of compromise. There will come times when a grown child will have to say to their parents that they cannot do something because it is wrong. There are times when parents must make the tough choice to stay the course of the old paths and lose their relationship with their children because their children go the way of compromise.
My friend, nobody said this choice would be easy, but losing the closeness to family for a close relationship with God is where life is found. If you are not willing to carry this cross, Jesus says you are not worthy of Him. Let me ask you, have you chosen compromise over Christ? I hope not! It is always difficult to tell your family that you are going to be what God wants you to be and put Him first over them, but the tough choice to do this will find life to its fullest because Jesus is life, and to choose Him over all is where true life is found.