Discipleship Is Radical Followship

Diane Conklin
Christian Research Service

 

The battle for truth is raging in a lot of families these days; so many need strength and encouragement to be faithful with familial struggles.

Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. Matthew 10:34-39

PAT WRITES:

“Please can you help. I am a Bible-believing born-again Christian. My adult daughter is a professing Christian involved in the false Christianity of our day. I have been forbidden to put my views across to her and husband and especially in front of their 10 month old son, which has proven to be an impossible ask when I see them practice and speak words they believe! For example, I am only to speak words that are positive!! She has told me that she adores her God and worships Him one minute and the next they are meeting up with (worldly) friends for food and drink. I have been told I cannot have my grandson alone because of our beliefs and I am causing division. What should I do? Is this because of what our Lord says in Matthew 10 about Him bringing a sword? I have become confused about the situation and would appreciate your Biblical input into this situation.”

CRS RESPONSE:

My heart goes out to you as I read, and re-read, your note.

Yes, Matthew 10 brings to light the strife between those who follow Jesus and those who don’t within families. It’s important for us to have a clear understanding of this passage and acceptance of it. Our Lord came to bring peace between man and God. In so doing, it affects our relationships with those who resist Him; whether they are of a different spirit or even the same, but wayward.

I trust you are well-grounded in the faith. You know discipleship is radical followship, the capacity or willingness to follow Christ. He is to be your first priority over all other earthly relationships. When His people walk according to this truth, we naturally enter into conflict with others with different gospels and agendas. Where it hurts the most is when it happens with the people we love and are closest to, i.e. family members. It can be a reality check of where our loyalty truly lies and even of our obedience to Him. Emotional and psychological pain is powerful and difficult to endure when we are in conflict with a loved-one. We must give that to the Lord and cast our cares upon Him, trusting Him for the outcome He purposes in our lives and relationships.

I am sorry your daughter is trying to shut you down, so as to not hear truth. I know many, many people experiencing the same with their adult children, myself included. I suppose the deeper issue for me came down to whether or not I was willing to put aside my love for the Lord, or abandon my Christ-centered views, to accommodate the lies (and false comfort) of a loved-one who believes them. I had to answer that question for myself decades ago, and off and on I’ve paid a hefty price for it. It also came down to a matter of conscience for me. I won’t violate it for others. That too has caused me a lot of trouble, but I have to be able to live with myself despite the sincere or nefarious efforts of others to change me into what they want me to be.

Not only does all this cause potential conflict with specific individuals, it can also foster unjust judgment from other professing Christians in the family or at large, depending on their understanding of Scripture and their ability or inability to stand firm in the faith. Many capitulate for an easier road to travel and want to focus only on His love and acceptance rather than include His tough requirements, such as in Matthew 10:34-39.

You state you have been forbidden to put your views across to your daughter and her husband. I’m glad you see it as an impossible ask! It’s also a classic misdirect when she accuses you of causing division. She knows your Christ-centered position. In your house she should respect it, and you may want to affirm that is your expectation if you haven’t already.

You ask what you should do. You are to abide in Christ by being found faithful to Him, no matter what. Parenting is hard. Grand-parenting isn’t for the faint of heart either. You are keeping the faith for the next generation! And if God wills it, He will grant your daughter “repentance to the acknowledging of the truth” (2 Timothy 2:24-26). It may cost you dearly, but are we not to be willing to enter into His sufferings? Our cross is whatever we must sacrifice for Him.

Lastly, my friend, I resolved to follow Christ a long time ago regarding my children and I told them I want nothing more than for them to follow Him as well, but if they don’t I won’t hold back for them. They know this about me. Whatever else they may think of me, this much they know. Each one is walking a different path today. I continue to point them to Christ and to pray for them. They are in God’s hand, one way or another or whether they own it or not.

I hope something of what I’ve said can encourage your heart today!

May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure ~ as you continue to live for the Lord of lords and the King of kings.

 

Pat granted CRS permission to use her comments. Together we desire to offer support and encouragement to those in similar trials. She also aptly stated, “Our Heavenly Father cares for His own so well and He comes through for us just at the right time!”

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