Q: My parents disagree with my faith. Do I obey them or God?
A: To answer this question, I want to start with a quick look at four of the Ten Commandments.
- You shall have no other gods before Me.
- You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.
- You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.
- Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of the Lord your God…For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them and rested on the seventh day…
Each of the first four commandments deals with our relationship with God. The last six commandments deal with our relationships with others. God gave us instructions regarding our relationship with Him first and that’s the same way God expects us to live our lives.
I don’t like encouraging anyone to disobey their parents and that’s not what I’m trying to do, but when it comes to our relationship priorities, God expects to come first in our lives.
Jesus is perfect and we desire to be like Him. Jesus always put God ahead of His earthly family, even when He was still young. If we look at Luke chapter 2, we see that 12-year-old Jesus stayed behind when His parents left Jerusalem after Passover.
And as they were returning, after spending the full number of days, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. But His parents were unaware of it. (Luke 2:43)
When His parents returned for Him, they were angry and asked Him why He’d treated them disrespectfully, causing them anxiety. Jesus answered with two questions: “Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49)
If your parents disagree with your faith, I encourage you to continue putting God first in your life. After God, however, make obeying, respecting and honoring your parents your second relationship priority and pray for your parents.
Let your obedience to and respect for your parents show them how God is transforming your life.
“Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. (Mark 10:29-30)
Girls, do you have some advice on living for God when your parents disagree?
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