1 Kings 14-16 Psalm 98

And things just fall apart. I mean, this is just a succession of bad.

There is one faithful king here. Just one. And Asa is so faithful he’s willing to remove his own mother, (or perhaps grandmother?) from the royal household. That’s pretty extreme.

Would you be willing to cut your family out of your life because they are hindering your relationship with God? Let’s not even get into the authority she held, or the influence she had over those witnessing her idolatry. Let’s focus on the personal repercussions. I can’t imagine they had a good relationship after he strikes her title as Queen Mother.

Of course, I can’t imagine they had a fantastic relationship before that, either. It’s difficult to share a home with someone who has completely different priorities than you. And I don’t mean disagreements about what to wear to church, what music should be in church, or even which words should be on the sign. I’m not talking about political disagreements, or even theological disagreements. I’m talking about disagreements about WHO GOD IS.

Now, please listen for just a second. I’m not saying that we can’t be really good friends with people who follow other faiths. I think we can be. I think we can find emotional and physical support in these relationships; I think they can be fulfilling, entertaining, comforting. Some of my best friends, honestly, have not been christians.

However, there is always something missing from these relationships. I can go to them for emotional support. They can help me through the anxiety and stress of daily life. I can ask them for physical help watching my children, getting things done when I’m overwhelmed, even financially. I can benefit from their experience, training, and expertise when I need practical advice or insight. What I cannot do is go to them for spiritual advice or understanding. They may not always understand my life choices when God’s leading runs counter-intuitive to worldly wisdom. Sometimes the less profitable position is the one that keeps us in God’s will. Sometimes the riskier prospect is the one God has ordained for us. I have found that my good friends will support me even when my faith contradicts their logic, but they will not be of any help identifying those moments. They will not pray with me. They will not have words from God for me.

So yes, you can have dear, dear friends that are not faithful christians, but christian friends are irreplaceable, and to have a home divided is precarious.

Please continue to bear with me. I feel like I need to be clear about what I’m not saying because relationships are such a complicated and volatile conversation, perhaps even more so than politics or, heh, religion.

There are times when someone may come to Christ years after marriage, creating a home with conflicting priorities. I’m not insinuating in anyway that this marriage should be abandoned. Neither am I suggesting that anyone who comes to Christ should cut off unbelieving family. That would be, and always must be tragic.

What I am asking is whether or not you would be willing to do so if it became unavoidably clear that their choices were actively endangering your faith? If their behavior, their priorities, rather than simply differing from yours were actually requiring your disobedience in order to maintain the relationship? Would you then be willing to walk away?

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