Christ’s Attitude Toward Natural Family

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Wow! B____,

What a story! Thank you for sharing it with me.

I am from a broken home, and my very orthodox father taught my four brothers and sister and me to hate our mother, but he always loved all of us, and my grandparents on both sides were exemplary pillars of the community, as far as I have ever heard.

My mother had an adulterous affair with the minister of the Pentecostal church we attended, and when I was in the third grade, my parents divorced. My father was the first man in the history of the state of Ohio to get full custody of his children. Sadly for him, he honestly believed that Rom 7:1 forbade him from ever getting married as long as my mother was alive. So he never remarried, and he had six children to raise.

Rom 7:1  Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law), how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
Rom 7:2  For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of [her] husband.
Rom 7:3  So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.

Dad knew nothing of “the sum of thy word”, and the Lord simply never let him see this verse, even though we read through the entire Bible systematically.

1Co 7:14  For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.
1Co 7:15  But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.

I will not bore you with the details, but he placed us separately in the homes of his brothers, and my brother just older than me and I ended up with Dad’s sister and her husband. I was ten at that time. The worst thing I ever experienced was my aunt’s husband picking me up by my head and throwing me across the room when his son and I got into an argument.

So you can understand that my brothers and I were never reared together from the third grade on, and I was never very close to any of them for that reason. But we have always been very civil with each other, and I cannot imagine not even speaking to any of them even though most of them have made it clear that they think I am a heretic and at times would not speak to me.

I have a half-sister and a half-brother who are children of the Pentecostal minister with my mother after they married. I never met this half-brother until I graduated from college, but my mother eventually moved to the Atlanta area, and I got to know him. He was always in and out of trouble/jail, and my mother always bailed him out. It took many long painful years for all of us who attempted to help this brother to learn that helping him amounted to nothing less than enabling him to continue his cocaine habit.

I struggled with that because we are to love our enemies (Mat 5:44, Luk 6:27). But my spiritual struggles with false brothers and the fact that we are told to “mark that person and have no company with him” have helped me to understand that there is a time to “have no company” with both physical and spiritual brothers.

My story doesn’t begin to compare to yours, but I just wanted you to know that I, too, have had my struggles with my family. I also will not discuss the scriptures at all with my own older daughter and her husband or my older sons, simply because they all are adamantly opposed to what I see in scripture.

Like you, I am much closer to you than I am to any of my brothers, other than Lonnie, who is also a believer. Here is why that is so.

Mar 3:33  And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren?
Mar 3:34  And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
Mar 3:35  For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.

“Blood is thicker than water” is not a biblical phrase, but it is a biblical principle when the blood is Christ’s blood and the water is the waters on which the great whore sits. But Christ also did not neglect to prepare for the care of His mother after His death. It seems He was the one who bore the responsibility for her care as on the cross he told John this:

Joh 19:26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!
Joh 19:27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own [home].

You are right! It is hard to be specific about your personal relations with individuals in your family who I know nothing about, but I can show you what the scriptures say, and as far as your wife is concerned, the scriptures say this:

Mat 19:4  And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made [them] at the beginning made them male and female,
Mat 19:5  And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
Mat 19:6  Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

Your wife should be to you what the church is to Christ. You were absolutely right to place her above the relationships of your physical family.

Eph 5:25  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
Eph 5:26  That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
Eph 5:27  That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Eph 5:28  So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
Eph 5:29  For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
Eph 5:30  For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
Eph 5:31  For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

Your wife is the most important person to you in the world next to God Himself. You two should be more important to each other than even your own parents. Your spouse should, in scriptural terms, come before any of your children. It is a sad commentary on how far we are from God that children have become the center of the family, and that many adults live their lives, not to please their mates or their heavenly Father, but to serve and please their own children. This action just reinforces the child’s natural, carnal nature to be totally self-serving and inconsiderate.

Isa 3:12  As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.

We are to be careful that no “root of bitterness” spring up in our hearts and minds toward anyone.

Heb 12:15  Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

The word “many” tells us that most people do fall prey to this temptation to become bitter. But we are at the same time to “look well to the flock, [family] over which the Lord has made us overseers.

Act 20:27  For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
Act 20:28  Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
Act 20:29  For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
Act 20:30  Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

“All the counsel of God” includes both, “look diligently… lest any root of bitterness spring up,” and it is also “take heed to yourselves and the flock…”

If your father is a known pedophile, then you do not want your children to ever, under any circumstances, to be alone with him for as much as a second. It might be okay for them to meet him under your own supervision, but it would be nothing less than gross negligence to let him spend one minute alone with any of your children if he is indeed a pedophile.

There is a time and place for not seeking out the company of those who seek to destroy us and our Lord.

2Th 3:14  And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.
2Th 3:15  Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish [him] as a brother.

My own daughter and son-in-law and my older sons are not my enemies, but I will do the admonishing, and if that is not acceptable to them, then we will “have no company.”

I hope I have said something which will edify you in some way and give you some guidance and comfort of mind in how you should relate to your physical siblings and your parents and uncles and aunts and cousins. We are to love all men. But that love never comes between us and obeying our heavenly Father.

1Jn 5:2  By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
1Jn 5:3  For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
Luk 6:46  And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

God bless you and your wife as you seek to know His mind in all things.

Your brother in Christ,


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