True Blood Relatives

By Laurel J. Davis
See Laurel's blog at The Reluctant First Lady

Blood is thicker than water. We usually apply that old saying to justify choosing loyalty to family over loyalty to anyone else. The blood is the bond that holds members of a family together in exclusive relationship. Because of the blood, it is supposed, family comes first.

But wait. What about the blood of Christ? How should His blood affect our loyalties, especially when it comes down to your unsaved flesh and blood family versus your spiritual blood family? If family comes first, then which family?

Well, because Christ's blood runs through all of His followers, it thereby bonds all of us together as family. No, His blood doesn't literally run through our veins, but we share a common faith in its exclusive sanctifying power in us. Every true believer in Jesus Christ is blood-bought — that is, cleansed of and thereby redeemed from sin by the shedding of His blood on Calvary on our behalf (e.g., Leviticus 17:11; John 19:34; etc.). That makes all believers "blood family" — joint heirs with Christ and fellow heirs together — by which we can even be called the children of the Father.

In other words, because of the shared blood of Jesus, we are family.

And family comes first.

As a result, it's a common enough but never easy dilemma, to have your true loyalties to your earthly family versus your spiritual family tested. Particularly when your flesh and blood family members are not also part of your spiritual family. Even when you strive for proper balance, your earthly family just won't understand or accept some of the choices you make, because those choices will often go contrary to their way of thinking and living. Feelings will get hurt and you will be misjudged and alienated.

Still, when it comes to where your truest, deepest loyalties should be placed, there really is no choice. Or rather, the choice has already been made for you. The Bible is very clear. Blood may be thicker than water, but the blood of Christ is thicker than anything.

At Matthew 10:37 Jesus says, He that loves father and mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he that loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. Actually, read Matthew 10:34-39 and couple that with, for example, 1 John 5:1-3. The Lord is not saying that you're not supposed to have love for your unsaved family members at all. What He is saying is that loving the children of God is a function of loving God Himself. It is a fruit of the Spirit. Putting our love for our spiritual "brothers and sisters" first is putting our love for God first.

Other Scriptures make it even plainer that believers share a unique relationship (e.g., 1 Corinthians Chapter 12). Christians are members of the same one body of Christ (cf. Galatians 3:28) and …there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it (1 Corinthians 12:25-26).

Your relationships with your earthly family still fall short of the special bond with, and corresponding duty to, your fellow members of the family of God. If the loyalty test ever comes to you, it may just be your cross to bear. Or maybe, prayerfully, your stand for the Faith will win your unsaved loved ones over to salvation in Christ.

Image Credit: Avondale Pattillo UMC; "Youth hands"; Creative Commons

TagsBiblical-Truth  | Christian-Life  | Family-Life  | Ministry-Church  | Personal-Relationships

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Published on 7-20-15