Loving Them Less

{Last week I got to travel back to Washington State to visit my family. I am the oldest of 6 children, with 4 of my siblings currently living at home. Although I struggled to be away from my husband for 6 days, I had wonderful time seeing my parents and siblings.} Less6

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:26

I was raised with family first. We were fiercely loyal to each other. Those who tried to break us apart were dismissed as simply not understanding. Even my husband, was viewed as an intruder when we first started dating. Now, he’s a part of that fierce bond of loyal love.

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But when he tried to tell me that saying no to my family was okay, I fought hard. Because all I knew was that family was everything. I relied on them for advice, for love…for peace.

And when a relationship with a family member was hurt, I was a wreck. I couldn’t move on. I took it as a measure of my own personal worth. I broke down completely.

And he told me that was wrong. And he told me that my identity wasn’t in my family. And he told me that family shouldn’t steal my joy. And he told me to let go of family and family issues and family arguments and hold tight to Jesus.

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And I argued that family was instituted by God and that I could let go of friendships and words friends said that hurt and things that friends thought of me, but anything that had to do with family I could never let go of.

But he was right. And I thought I understood what it meant to love Jesus more than I loved my family until God called me to leave my family and cleave to a man who loved Him most.

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And I thought I understood what it meant to love my family less than I loved Jesus until God called me to keep my marriage vows sacred and keep some things just between my husband and I.

And I thought I understood what it meant to love Jesus most until God called my husband and I to move almost 4000 miles away from my family to help plant a church.

And I thought I understood what it meant to love everyone and everything less than I loved Jesus until I saw how desperately I needed Jesus to do this thing He’d called us to….even my husband who I’d learned to cling to couldn’t be enough.

Because today, I don’t love my family less; I don’t love my husband less. My family and my husband are dearer to my heart than I could have ever dreamed they would be. Today, I simply love Jesus more. Today, His face is what I desperately need when I’m feel sad and broken. Today, His voice is what I crave when I’m tired and lost. Today, His sacrifice is what I measure my worth by.

And the great mystery is that the more I love Him, the greater I can love others. Because only the Author of love can teach us to truly love.

So I am praying that I continually grow love Him more. Will you join me?

Be blessed <3