My Family Hates me for my New Faith: How to Lessen the Hatred

My family has been raised as firm Roman Catholics, though I could not say that they belong to those very devout ones who attend Mass everyday. It was my decision to serve God wholly that brought hostility to my family, and not really my change of faith.

Religion is a serious commitment or choice to many families. As much as possible, many families prefer (mostly the parents) to have a one religion or faith for the entire family.

I myself as a converted Born-Again (Evangelical and Full Gospel) Christian from Roman Catholicism, I could say that conversion will almost always arouse dispute in the family. I mean ranging from small disputes to big family divisions in some few but true cases. When I was converted to Christianity, my family almost didn’t mind it. But when I decided to serve God fully, forsaking opportunities for good jobs and education, that started the fire in our home.

Family quarrels are inevitable when you are called by God. It will sometimes destroy peace.

Matthew 10:34-36 (KJV) Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.

However, it is necessary to pursue a good relationship with God, at all costs. God calls men to full service very rarely, but He does. It is likely more possible that God is calling a person into a deep relationship with Him (first), rather than to a full service. In any case, when God pulls you out from your old religion into a living relationship with Him, you must yield to Him.

Matthew 10:37-39 (KJV) He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

What can I do then to lessen the hatred and opposition from your family members?

Though opposition is almost always inevitable, there are certain ways where we can minimize it. After all, we love our family and we would like them to be saved also, and not to turn out as our lifelong enemies.

  1. Pray, pray, and pray. When God tells you to do faith conversion, pray first then act. Always say in your prayers that this will let your family feel the love of God.
  2. Show that you are positively being changed by God. If you spend all your time in the Church and do not help in the household chores and do not speak anymore with your family, you are not helping your situation. You only worsen it by destroying your testimony in your home.
  3. Do them favors that come from your heart. They must feel it, that you love them more now than ever. Serve them. Of course don’t do them favors that will compromise your new found faith
  4. When you speak to them about your faith, whether you defend it or promote it, always do so using the hamburger message. That means the two breads contains positive content while the ham contains the hard message. The positive content may contain positive feedback about your family. That way, you somewhat makes the hard message more swallow-able without compromising it.

Personally, it took me ten years of praying and serving my family to make them accept my faith and my full service to God as a pastor. But now, Praise God, they are my first line of supporters!

Proverbs 27:5 (KJV) Open rebuke is better than secret love.

Matthew 5:13-16 (KJV) Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

The Home is Still the First School

Our students today choose to overlook the fact that the home is the first school. In its most subtle form this sad truth puts our families in cold relationships and in its heart it shows the deadly spirit of arrogance.

Every national government and educational institution acknowledges the fact that learning begins at home, and that the parents are the first teachers of every learner. It is also true they say that the formative years spent in the home will have the most powerful bearing in the following years of a person’s learning.

Every student knows this; it is a basic and well-disseminated fact in schools. However, our students ignore it to their own peril and destruction. They try their best to learn only from the outside environment, taking into little account that the most important lessons of love, social development, and self-actualization are best learned when we begin learning them in our homes with our families.

The school is important. The instructors, textbooks, classmates, and learning activities all contribute much to the well-being of every student. However, if the home is deprived of its privilege to lay down the proper foundations for the total development of a person, then even the best educational institutions will fall short in its goals of forming well-educated and well-transformed students.

Going Biblical, the parents are instructed to teach their children the moral values and the right perspectives in life as shown in Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” This popular verse demands for a radical call to parents: if you want your child to live a fulfilled happy life, train him! Instruct him! How you train and instruct your child now will determine his life in the future!

And how should a parent properly train and discipline his child? By giving discipline that does not invoke anger, and by guidance that leads the child nearer to God as said in Ephesians 6:4 “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”

Yet this too, is overlooked by the parents. In the fear of securing only the financial aspect of their children, most parents today deliberately choose to abandon their children by working abroad to provide for their high-quality education. The results are devastating: children wanting for love and seeking them in unhealthy relationships, and not so uncommon, is broken homes. And that is all because of wanting to give them a better life by the means of abandoning them.

Alas! The children could well be blamed too! Even when a home is blessed with the most spiritual and caring parents who give their utmost efforts in educating their children, some children still choose to have their own ways, separated from the guidance of their parents. This is complete arrogance and in direct defiance against the admonition of the Bible in: Exodus 20:12 “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.” The dishonouring of the parents is one major reason why the youth keep on getting frustrated in life even if money and other resources are well available. They just do not see that the blessing of the parents is a must for them to succeed.

The home is still the first school. This has been taught over and over again in every educational institution. Yet, there is very little that a school could do to make this an actual experiential realization for all. The acceptance of the fact that the home is still the first school begins with the parents and the children themselves.

So here is what I say to the parents: Take hold of your responsibility! Nurture and educate your children in holistic ways! Teach them morality and disipline them in the ways of the Lord! Only then, they could benefit from the academic things of the school.

And to the children: Listen and honor your parents! Do not be wise on your own eyes! By giving them respect you can know for sure that your life will be a blessed one.