‘Do not imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not 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.’
This is one of the harder parts to understand in being a follower and believer. That, should you persevere and stay the course of Truth, even your nearest and dearest will turn on you – and hate you. ‘Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. Everyone will hate you because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.’
I have learned from firsthand experience that this only stands as a test of faith, and in reality, is a blessing, ‘For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for Him.’ Perhaps the whole basis of this reality, this beautiful but wholly sad and lost world, is to divide the righteous from the unbelieving. If so, then no family ties will be strong enough to stand in the way of you and eternal life. Not even your marriage or your only offspring.
The Book says you should not marry an unbeliever. ‘Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?’ But, that should you come to the faith after such a union, do not seek to leave it. ‘If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him.’
This in no way stands between you and the eternal. ‘For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.’
All this means is that you will need to ‘fight the good fight of the faith,’ as Paul calls it in 1 Timothy, in your own home. ‘ Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.’
It is important to always bless when you are cursed. Be aware, these curses often take the veiled form of a compliment, as is fitting for the deceiver and father of lies. “I like your shoes, your hat, your glasses, your so-and-so.” The most effective blessing retort is strongly worded, but very powerful when spoken from the heart, “Lord Jesus bless you.”
I may have lost some of you, at this point. And that is okay, for if you are still reading, still open to what I am sharing, then you have been chosen from the beginning to hear what I have to say. ‘For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.’