“Look at what you’ve done by becoming a Christian! You’ve deserted the family tradition. Your father feels like a failure. He couldn’t keep the family together.”
My mother was upset. Her distress was obvious as she attempted to persuade me to forsake my newfound faith. My father, meanwhile, was quietly heartbroken. He hadn’t slept well for several days, because his daughter had chosen to abandon family tradition and follow a “foreign” God.
I was 15 and had just accepted Jesus Christ into my life. I had made this decision with great joy, knowing I had done something significant. But now, I found myself in a storm. It pained me to see my parents so sad and disappointed.
I started thinking about why I had become a Christian and wondered if I had done the right thing. Was I not being a good daughter? Should I hang on to my new faith? Did I really want to be Jesus’s disciple? Was I ready to give up the love and support of my family? And would it be worth it?
In Luke 14:26, Jesus says: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.”
That seemed to be the challenge that I was facing now. As my mother pressured me to change my mind, I felt like I had to choose between Jesus and my parents. If I wanted to obey my parents and avoid hurting them, then I would have to abandon my newfound faith. But Jesus seemed to be asking me to “hate” my parents. Did he mean that literally? Could I not follow him and still love my parents?
Are you facing a similar situation? Does your family or your community object to your faith in God? Are you under pressure to return to your former beliefs and recant your faith, and do you wonder whether this faith is worth the pain?
Let me share my story with you.
Chen Pei Fen