Water is Thicker than Blood
The human relationships that exist between individuals who are physically kin to each other can, indeed, be precious and beautiful. In fact, God was responsible for creating the family framework (Genesis 2:24). Ideally, He intends for people to experience the warm, tender ties of blood kin and the multiple blessings associated with such ties.
Perspective is lost, however, when physical ties are permitted to interfere with obedience to God. God’s point is missed when a higher premium is placed on physical family than on spiritual family, when a Christian fails to relish to a greater degree association with the family of God—the church. The Bible teaches that Christians should not hesitate for a moment to relinquish fleshly relationships if it becomes necessary to do so in order to put God first (Luke 14:20,24).
Commenting on the status of His own blood relatives, Jesus declared: “Whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother” (Matthew 12:50). He recognized that the stringency of His teaching would disrupt family relationships, and so He stated that “a man’s foes will be those of his own household” (Matthew 10:36). He even went so far as to relegate physical ties to the comparative level of hatred when contrasted to the priority of spiritual ties: “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26). [For a discussion of the meaning of “hate” in this verse, see Butt, 2003.]
Such explains why, during the Mosaic period of Bible history, Aaron was not permitted to mourn the deaths of his two sons (Leviticus 10:6). Such explains why the wives, and even some children, perished along with Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, as they apparently were unwilling to oppose the blood ties of kinfolk who sinned (Numbers 16:27,32-33). Such explains why the people were to show no pity for their relatives who promoted false teaching, but were to lead the way in the execution process (Deuteronomy 13:6-11).
Yes, the family ties of blood kin can be extremely wonderful, providing unending security and acceptance, and frequently fulfill an important, divinely intended function. But these same blood ties can be the very thing that diverts a Christian from the strait and narrow, discouraging one from standing strongly and firmly on the solid bedrock of truth and right. It is imperative that God’s church be put first—even above family (Matthew 6:33). First allegiance and loyalty must be given to those who have been cleansed by the blood of Christ by passing through the waters of baptism (Ephesians 5:6; Titus 3:5; Hebrews 10:22). For with God, water is thicker than blood.
Butt, Kyle (2003), “Hate Your Parents—or Love Them?” [On-line], URL: https://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/601.
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