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Just as birds return to their nest at dusk, our home is where we return to after a hard day’s work. It is also where our loved ones are. When we drag our worn-out bodies back home, our family’s warmth and affection is always there to comfort us in our hardships and setbacks for the day, and to renew our strength to continue with the journey ahead. When faced with life’s challenges or struggles, our families are always the ones supporting us to tide over the difficult times. Therefore, our home can be considered our final fortress and stronghold in life.

No one enjoys quarrelling with their family members, within our capabilities, we will often exhaust all ways and means to maintain the harmonious relationship within the family. In contrast, if we were to argue with our friends and should the relationship turn sour, we could always choose to end the friendship and avoid them in the future. If we do not get along with our superiors or colleagues at work and end up in a serious dispute, we could always tender our resignation and from then on treat them as strangers. However, it would be impossible to run away from our family members! Thus, whenever conflict arises between family members, it often leads to great pains and anguish, to the extent of affecting our emotional well-being and our life, disrupting our daily work and rest.

When we share the gospel, we often meet individuals who indicate their desire to believe in Jesus but they also anticipated objections from their family members. Mild resistance would likely end up in a family squabble, which normally resolves itself after some time. The serious ones would result in them being thrown out of their homes and lead to severed relationships with their family members. Especially for those who are students pursuing their studies or elderly parents depending on their children for support, this ordeal becomes a great trial for them. Without the care and support of their family, their future is bleak and uncertain. Therefore, for some, “my family objects to my faith in Jesus,” does not equate to mere words of disapproval, but a matter of survival. Upon evaluating the consequences, many would choose not to believe in Jesus because the price to pay is simply too high!

Should we then in order not to cause disharmony in their family, refrain from persuading them to believe in Jesus? The Lord has clear teachings and instructions in the book of Matthew, we just need to obey and follow.

“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.’

“Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it. ~Mt 10:34-39

It is in our nature to shy away from a gospel that brings pain and sorrow. Ideally, we would prefer to have an easy and convenient gospel without suffering any loss. However, the Lord declares this impossible! The introduction of Jesus and the effects of the gospel, would bring about war instead of peace. There would be unhappiness and conflicts arising among family members for the sake of the gospel. All these are expected, and cannot be avoided. Our loved ones – parents, children and even our spouse, would turn against us because of the gospel. Those who love us deeply, would now because of Jesus, hate us to the core. The love and affection they once showered on us abundantly, vanishes, and all that remains is immense gnashing hatred. The writer had personally witnessed a new convert for the sake of attending church meetings, received beatings from the family to the point of having the whole body covered in bruises. Thus, know this, when the Lord comes, He brings a sword to the earth that sometimes even ends up in great bloodshed.