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I know your parents probably wanted you to go to church. What would make an old Christian grandmother happier? And so it’s easy to think that what Jesus wants and what your parents always told you would overlap a bit. So you parents wanted you to study, not drink or do drugs, get into a good college, then get a good job, then marry a nice person, then buy a house, then have nice kids, then get a better job, then save for retirement, and have nice grand kids… There’s a plan that your parents had for you because they love you. Well…Jesus loves you as well, and He has a plan for you in following him, and what I want to emphasize here is that it’s probably NOT what your parents want. Jesus wants you to partner with Him in saving the world… to use your gifts, abilities, resources, hobbies, skills, and use them sacrificially to bless the world in strategic ways – to make the world better. That will mean carrying a cross: you will live in places your parents wish you didn’t, go places your parents wish you wouldn’t, do things that might risk your safety or fortune or career (which your parents don’t approve of), and interact with people that your parents don’t like.
“But aren’t we supposed to honor our parents?” someone asks.
Yes. And the worst thing you could do to your parents is to let them be the reason you did not follow Jesus. To let them, and their dreams for you, be the thing that kept you from realizing your purpose in this world… the way you honor them is by taking that which is true and holding onto that no matter what else they may want from you.
What this means is: You can go to church, please your parents, be a nice person – and yet be totally off track with Jesus. On the other hand, your parents can be incredibly disappointed by you, be less stable and less successful than you could have been, and yet delight God with your choices. So what’ll it be? Are you a momma’s boy – daddy’s girl? Or a Jesus follower? You usually can’t be both.