“For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of God’s churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own people the same things those churches suffered from the Jews who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to everyone in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. In this way, they always heap up their sins to the limit. The wrath of God has come upon them at last.” – 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16
Family arguments are difficult, especially around matters of faith. In the passage above, Paul notes that the “brothers and sisters” in Thessalonica faced opposition from their own families and friends – their own people. In the same way, Paul faced resistance from other Jewish leaders who opposed the message of the Gospel.
We should expect opposition at times, often from those closest to us. It reminds me of the warning Jesus presented to his followers –
For I have come to turn “‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law— a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’ “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 10:35-39).
Jesus’ point is not that he wanted to destroy the family, but that devotion to Him is important above all other relationships. In fact, any relationship that comes between us and Christ brings death.
So, whether our family joins us or not, let’s determine to follow Christ with everything that is within us.