November 21, 2018

Love Extended to Unbelieving Family

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – November 21, 2018

For even his [Jesus’] own brothers did not believe in him. John 7:5   When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, He [Jesus] is out of his mind. Mark 3:21

Often unbelieving family members are suspicious about a relative “getting religion.” The polite skeptics whisper among themselves about a stage their friend is going through—a spiritual crisis—but they will eventually get over their religious crutch. In due time, cynics will encounter their own life challenges: a health issue, a job change, a prodigal child or a financial drought. They may seek you for answers because they’ve watched the fruit of your faithfulness: wisdom, peace and joy. See lost family members as Jesus sees them: in bondage, deceived by Satan’s lies.

Jesus faced the very real challenge of critical, even caustic family members. He had no honor among His relatives (except his mom and dad) or from the community where He grew up—yet He still honored all of them. What the unbelieving family members did not give Him: respect, faith, hope, love, patience and forgiveness—He gave them. Jesus prescribed automatic refills of mercy. Jesus knew by fervent, patient prayer (His and other’s) and through the power of the Holy Spirit, some family members would one day be saved—like His brother James who later wrote:

“My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ” (James 2:1).

Unbelieving family members act like unbelieving family members. So, apply grace and truth to their pride and ignorance—pray they see Christ in your life and plead for your heavenly Father to draw them to Himself. You know better because you have tasted the gospel and digested it deep within your soul, but the lost do not know any better—they nibble on Christ’s crumbs—unable to savor spiritual realities. They may talk of religion with their lips, but their heart is far from faith in Jesus. But perpetual care is irresistible—as you show interest in their interests—love will win.

Better to keep your relationship with an unbelieving relative right than to prove you’re right. God’s Spirit will prod and probe them out of their moral slumber and/or common sense coma. You plant the seeds of unselfish service and Biblical insights on an as needed basis (adults learn when they have a felt need to learn). Actively seek others to pray for the Spirit to germinate the gospel in your friend’s heart and trust the Lord to harvest their soul’s salvation. By faith and with great grace, pursue a relationship with an unbelieving relative—love never gives up!

“Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed” (Mark 5:19-20).


Heavenly Father, give me Your grace and gumption to pray for and serve family members who need to personally know You, in Jesus’ name, amen.


Whom do I need to initiate time with just to get to know them better?

Related Reading

Genesis 3:4; Psalm 69:8; Jeremiah 31:3; John 10:20; 2 Corinthians 4:4

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Better to keep your relationship with an unbelieving relative right than to prove you’re right. #wisdomhunters #unbelievingfamilymembers

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