(Photo from Father Lawrence Lew, O.P. - God’s Excessive Love - Used With Permission)
" "In the first place it should be known that if a person is seeking God, his beloved is seeking him much more." — St. John of the Cross

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

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

(Image source: Wikimedia Commons)
I should have written this little reflection two days ago 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.


  1. My husband, whom I loved very much, left suddenly giving us just a week's notice when I was pregnant and sick with our 5th (surprise!) little boy. Recognizing my ex's God-given free will as greater than my desire to make him stay, handing those 5 precious children over to my ex and his new girlfriend, & losing our home and so many material possessions helped me realize what it means to put God first, ahead of material possessions but even ahead of family. It is still SO hard to do sometimes, but there is incredible peace and Love when you do. Thanks for this article.
    God Bless...

  2. How wonerful to remember that loving exactly as God intended is most pleasing to Him.