" "It is not hard to obey when we love the one whom we obey." - St. Ignatius of Loyola

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

"Worth Revisiting" Wednesday - One of Those Difficult Questions: Do You Love Your Family More Than God?

We thanks Allison Gingras and Elizabeth Riordan for inviting an ever-expanding group of Catholic bloggers to re-post their favorite articles on “Worth Revisiting” Wednesdays.

Do yourself a favor- go there now (and every Wednesday) and let these authors bless and challenge you in Faith journey.

During the rest of each week. visit Allison at  Reconciled To You and Elizabeth at Theology Is A Verb.  You will be pleased with what they share.

Here is what I am sharing this week: 

One of Those Difficult Questions: Do You Love Your Family More Than God? 

(Originally posted  July 16, 2014)

(Image source: Wikimedia Commons)
I should have written this little reflection when the Gospel reading was taken from Matthew (10:35-39).

I did not want to. Why? I am a coward. That specific Scripture makes me uncomfortable. Does it have the same impact on you? It is another one of Jesus’ “hard sayings” and one that at times we no doubt have had difficulty following.

Jesus minces no words. He intended to make us uncomfortable. First, our Lord tells us that if we love our family more than God, we are not worthy of Him. Secondly, He informs us, that it will often be our very own family members, those we love dearly, who will jeopardize our spiritual well-being and salvation by insisting that we ignore God and please them.

Wow! What a reality check and challenge!

None of us want familial discord. But we must serve God, putting Him first in all things, and above all individuals, even our families. We must obey Him despite ridicule and persecution for doing so, and even in the face of the disharmony and turmoil such obedience to Him may initially cause in our family and among its members.

The choices Jesus places before us are often frighteningly difficult. This is most certainly one of them. God must be first. There can be no exceptions – not even a well-intentioned desire to maintain “peace” in our families. 


Any “peace” purchased at the price of putting our families first and God and His law second is no real “peace” at all. It is a path to spiritual and eternal death.


This is an impossible Truth to live, we say? We would be correct if we thought we had to rely solely on ourselves and our weakened human nature. God never asks us to do something without giving us the grace and means to do it.

In fact, if we love Him more than our loved ones here on earth, we will be loving them in the most efficacious and effective manner and exactly as God intended us to do.

Knowing this Truth will not necessarily make it any easier to live it.  

So we pray: Lord God forgive us for the times we have placed ourselves and others ahead of You or insisted that members of our family do so.  Please give us and our families the courage, wisdom and grace to always put You first, trusting that by doing so, You will work out everything for the best.



2 comments:

  1. Before you tell your wife that you're throwing her over to become a hermit, remember that God created man AND woman to have a family. God created the family and wants us to love it as He loves us. In the New Testament church, leaders were required to demonstrate faithfulness at home before they were considered eligible for leadership (Titus 1:5-9, 1 Timothy 3:1-13). Home life comes before church life. Think about it. You are assuming that "without me, God's church can't survive." But God says, "I will build my church" (Matthew 16:18). It's God's church. But if you marry, you will be his wife and he, your husband. You will both give an account on the last day of how you stewarded your marriage, your parenting, your family.
    Does this mean work, secular or religious, doesn't matter? Far from it. We are called to expend ourselves for the Gospel. Scripture does say we must be willing to leave everything for Christ. Jesus said, "And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name's sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life" (Matthew 19:29). What this cannot mean, however, is that a man is justified in neglecting the duties he owes to his wife and children. Why is that? Because it is God who requires those duties of him.
    "Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, "Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh"? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate' (Matthew 19:4-6).

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  2. Faith, I am not suggesting that any one neglect the duties he/she owes a spouse or children. Nor am I headed out the door to become a hermit. Just sharing a difficult truth - there may come a time when we must follow God's Truth even if our family members urge us not to do so. If we don't, we will be jeopardizing our soul a well as theirs. Thanks for taking the time to visit and comment.

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