Family matters (4)
Coming home from the pub late one night Geoff got on a bus and was extremely surprised to bump into his very religious auntie. Rather scarily she said, ‘Do you know you’re headed straight to hell?’ ‘Oh dear,’ he said, ‘Don’t tell me I caught the wrong bus again!’ Seriously, we all want our families to share our faith, but it can’t be forced. Jesus said, ‘You’re not in charge…The Father…draws people…that’s the only way [they’ll] ever come’ (John 6:44 TM).
Does that mean you should stop praying for the members of your family who don’t know Jesus?
Should you stop looking for opportunities to share the gospel with them?
Of course not! But despite your passionate prayers and well chosen words there may still be family members who decide not to follow Jesus. Throughout history too many wars have been fought over religion; don’t turn your home into a combat zone as well.
You don’t have to approve of somebody’s lifestyle in order to let them know you love them and are committed to them. You must never withhold your affection and acceptance from those who’ve been good to you just because they don’t worship God the way you do. Maybe they haven’t always made the wisest choices, but when the rubber hits the road, chances are, they are the ones who’ll be there for you. Don’t beat them over the head with the Bible; just live it by setting an example they’ll want to follow. Jesus said, ‘If I am lifted up…I will draw all people’ (John 12:32 NCV). Instead of tearing your family apart, make your faith the glue that holds it together.
‘NO ONE CAN COME TO ME UNLESS THE FATHER… DRAWS HIM TO ME.’ JOHN 6:34 NCV