“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household,” Matthew 10:34-36.
As I read through the special verses Daddy wrote in the front of his Bible, I can’t help but wonder why he included this one. If he were here, I’d ask him to explain it to me. One day, I will ask him what was in his mind as he wrote the words.
I do know that Daddy loved his Lord, his God with all his heart. And sometimes that love caused him to do things that the people around him didn’t understand. Sometimes, he’d give his last dime to a beggar on the streets. Once, he went to Mexico, right smack-dab in the middle of some pretty bad drug wars, and right after he’d been diagnosed with cancer. Needless to say, we didn’t want him to go.
But God calls us to love Him above all else, even above our families. When families all choose to love God this way, it’s a beautiful thing. But when one person in a family places God above all else, and others in a family don’t . . . problems are inevitable.
Human nature says, “Love me. Take care of me. Make me happy.” God’s nature says, “Love others. Take care of others. Serve others.” When those two philosophies collide, it really can set husband against wife, father against son, mother against daughter. Truly, any time one person in a relationship wants to be served, and the other person in the relationship wants something different, it sets the stage for war.
Jesus is called the Prince of Peace. But sometimes, to achieve peace, we must go to war. And war hurts. But anything worth having is worth fighting for, even if it means fighting those who live under our own roof.
One thing Daddy knew, however, is that the best place to fight this kind of war is on our knees. And he knew the sword Jesus spoke of was God’s Word. Daddy prayed, and prayed and prayed. He prayed for me. He prayed for my brother. And he prayed for my mother. He read scripture, he claimed God’s promises, and he poured God’s Word into our lives. And when one of us opposed something he felt called by God to do, he kept loving us, kept praying, and went right on and did what God told him to.
Friends, we must seek peace. We must pray for peace. But we mustn’t ever sacrifice God’s work or His direction for the sake of peace. When we choose family peace over God’s direction, we really don’t choose peace at all.
Dear Father, Help me to love my family. Help me to be a living example for them of what it means to love You, above all else.