I am truly in love with my family, every single one of them: mom, dad, brother, husband and Chihuahua. There is not a friend who can come close, there is not a possession for which I would trade and there is not a sacrifice that I would not make for any of them. My mom is my best friend, my dad is my hero, my brother is my inspiration, my husband is my heart and my dog is my noble steed. For reasons beyond my understanding, God has blessed my life with these incredible people and used them to demonstrate His love for me.
“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.” – NIV
These are startling words from Jesus, and frankly, they make me a little uncomfortable. Because I adore my family, am I not worthy of Him? Is He saying that I can only have one love in my life and it must be Christ? Isn’t humanity supposed to live in communities and thrive on relationships? What in the world is going on here?
When we consider this passage within the context of the whole Bible, it becomes clear that Jesus is not opposing love for our families. Where the problem lies is with disproportionate love – love that takes so much of our hearts, there is no room for our King. It doesn’t matter how loving the people are in your life, Jesus will not have rivals…even good ones.
Jesus is love, and when we deny Him the most important place in our hearts, we are denying who He really is. This type of substitution makes our souls unworthy. We are living with our replacements, living with those we place above the most important person in the world. Living in denial.
No matter what a person honors in their life: Success, Power, Love or Family…this is the god of idolatry.