Unregenerate Family Decisions
(excerpt from ALL AFFECTION BELONGS TO JESUS—Part 1)
If a person loves the world, they’re an enemy of God. Plain fact. No way to dispute it, nor any desire to do so. God said it, so ‘tis. Now, carry this to the reasonable application? If we befriend the world and give our affections away to those who love the world, what have we done? We’ve made friends with those who are enemies of God. Whether they are a physical relative, a co-worker, or a neighbor, if someone is part of the world and we give away our affections to them, then we’ve really made a serious blunder that has substantial consequences. “Bad company corrupts good character.” “A little leaven leavens the whole batch.” If we make friends with the world—if we walk, laugh, and talk with them just as if they were born a second time—then we befriend enemies of God. How could it ever be??!! These are important issues because they are tied into how we live for one another. They are also tied into our value system, and our perspective of what it means to be born a second time.
Isn’t there a difference between a person who is born a second time and a person who is not born a second time? Is it just that “I’m going to heaven, and they’re not”? Or is there something else going on? The Scriptures say that a person who is born a second time has been called out of darkness into His marvelous light. Out of the “flames.” Out of the “corrupted flesh.” Out of “depravity” and “filth.” They are now born of water and the Spirit. They’re now a child of God Himself. And let’s not overlook this: John, the Apostle, said that all people who are not children of God...are children of the devil.
Seeing no man after the flesh means we have to view the world very differently...We will be compassionate and we will extend a hand of mercy, love and kindness to those who are unsaved—but we cannot give our hearts away to them. “SEE NO MAN AFTER THE FLESH!”
Think about it...? Examine very carefully your affections, friendships, relationships with unBelieving “family” members, as well as your telephone and business and recreation companionships? If your affections and trust, your laughter and warmth and confidences and time belong to anyone other than those who are clothed with Christ, you are violating Jesus—as surely as offering a soft drink to the sweaty soldier pounding nails into our Jesus on that most hideous of days. He is our “all in all” and we are “one with Him in Spirit.” No other suitors! Compassionately reaching across the Divide, grasping for their hands to pull them towards Messiah—YES! Affection and admiration and camaraderie? No way!
I understand what you are saying here, but how can you disassociate yourself from family members? How can you not be affectionate toward your mother and father, brother and sisters? I know we cannot engage in the same activities as they do, but I know that at one time I was very distanced from my mother, and now God has developed and given me a great love for her. Are you saying we can love them but not show admiration for them? But don’t you think you can show affection to family members as the love of Christ flows through your life? How else would they “see” God’s love?
I do not mean to be contradicting you. I am really wanting to know and understand this. We have been praying for “deep” relationships with other believers that keep their focus on Christ, not on “earthly” things or “church activities.” As God does this, my prayer is that our family members would be drawn to the “realness” of the relationships and not feel as though these relationships were “replacing” theirs in our lives. I hope you understand what I am saying. I have such a deep desire for them (my family) to know and serve the Lord, but I know also that I can do nothing to “make” that happen. So we pray and continue to love. Would you please give me some of your input into this and show me where you may think this “thinking” is all wrong? Thanks for “listening.”
1Corinthians 5 (to use an example of withdrawing some of the VISIBLE expressions of love and relationship) is a TOOL in Father’s toolbox for changing lives. It is not an act of unkindness to say to a “blood” relative, “I’m sorry I can’t allow the grandchildren to bounce on your lap or spend the weekend with you. I would LOVE that but, so far, after all of the many times we’ve BEGGED you to bow your knee to the Messiah and accept His Love and Grace, you have instead continued to ‘crucify Him afresh’ right before our eyes by your rejection of Him. God said that children of the devil (1Jn. 3:10) cannot be yoked in any way (affections or any such thing) with children of grace, and that you are a different species than the born-a-second-time Family, until you turn your life totally over to Jesus. PLEASE reconsider??!! I miss you! I love you! The children will miss you!!” This is NOT mean. It’s GOD’S Way to get people’s attention. If they are always inebriated with what they WANT, getting their “family drug fix” at will (by our naiveté or succumbing to their guilt trips and traps), then we are helping to send them to Hell by our refusal to use the Tools God has commanded us to use! It is not out of spite or arrogance, but out of LOVE that we obey God and hold our affections ONLY for Him and those that are IN Him!! Personally, I don’t want blood on my hands from participating in someone’s eternal hell because “I love them more than God does!” (which is what we’re saying when we think we are loving them by giving them affections and attention and camaraderie).
There are those that say, “We don’t EVER spank our children. What kind of TERRIBLE people solve their problems with VIOLENCE!?” That’s pretty foolish too, as well as TOTALLY rebellious towards God. “I love them too much to spank them!” is really another way of saying, “I love myself more than I love them, or God.” There is no difference, except the “Tools” from God are different with adults than with children, obviously!
I know how painful and confusing these things can be. I’m not without my own pain on many fronts. I’ve had to pay a price for Him, too, of course. But He did promise BOTH the Cost (with family and other areas of life) as well as the Reward—HIMSELF! I’ll take that swap ANY DAY. And, perhaps, someday... some of the biological family members will put aside the charade and the placeboes and Live for Jesus too. But, I know MY part is to stay solidly with Him, no matter what, with no compromise, no lukewarmness, no misplaced affections... but with sensitivity and hope and sacrifice where appropriate. Not coldness or apathy or haughtiness, but without carnal sympathies or giving in to emotional blackmail, either.