As with every generation, many parents have a psychological hold on their children and their religious beliefs. Most will tell you, “If it’s good enough for mom and dad then it is good enough for me”. Thus, if your parents smoke and drink, chances are you will. If your parents commit adultery, so will you. If your parents were abusive to their children, so will you. If your parents teach you falsely, chances are you will follow the same. Now, to be fair, there are many exceptions to these facts. Even so, most will follow their parents right into hell and not bat an eye doing so.
A beloved aunt of mine passed away this past week. She was an aunt by marriage, but in the Lord she was my sister. She was married to my uncle, who for his part was an agnostic. He despised the Lord’s church and made it clear he never wanted any of his children or his wife to be a part of it. Yet, my aunt, who was brought up in the Pentecostal church had a hard road to follow. Her parents denied her when she left the Pentecostal church, and her husband gave her problems day and night for choosing the Lord’s church. Ultimately, she chose and held onto the right church and to my knowledge died in a saved condition. It is also noteworthy that she followed this blog on Facebook and from time to time would click the ‘Like Button’. The last time she did so was on the topic “Do You Have Assurance You Are Saved“, published on March 28, 2016. I believe it was her way of letting me know that despite her losing her earthly battle, as we all will eventually, she won the battle of her soul.
Bottom line, she chose the Lord’s church over her parents and her husband. Jesus made it abundantly clear that we all must make this same choice. “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple: (Lk 14:26).
Choosing to be a Christian might mean losing your family ties and even your inheritance. God understood the difficulty. What might have to be left behind, God promises to replace. “So Jesus answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time–houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions–and in the age to come, eternal life’” (Mk 10:29-30).
Honoring your parents means to give them respect. They brought you up. They taught you much about life. Honor them for the good that they have done you. But parents are human beings. They make mistakes. It is not an honor to them to blindly follow their mistakes.
Paul said, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right” (Eph 6:1). Note carefully the phrase “in the Lord.” A child must be obedient to his parents in as much as what his parents ask of him is in accordance to what the Lord asks. Give your love and respect to your parents, but give your allegiance to God and his Word.