Am I Supposed to Hate My Family?
“If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:26.
If I can convince myself that God hates people and I too am to hate them; it will give me a sense of power and entitlement. Many of the brethren are being led down the path to stupidity, ruin, and obnoxious behavior because they are being influenced to believe that God hates the lost, and therefore, they too must have contempt for them.
Well, we call upon these brethren to read the above verse and then tell the world that they hate their father, mother, wife, children, brethren, and sisters. Can they say with a straight face that they hate their family, or will they need to modify the word “hate” somewhat?
One of their problems is the refusal to accept that word usage in one place, time and culture, does not have the same meaning in another. Dake says the word is, “An idiom of preference (Mt. 6:24; 10:37; Rom. 9:13; Mal. 1:2-3; Gen. 29:30-31; Dt. 21:15-17). One must prefer God or love Him more than all else to be saved (Mt. 22:37). “God first” is the motto of the Bible.” —Dake’s Study Notes.
This truth is also illustrated in the different affection Jacob had for his two wives. “ And he went in also unto Rachel, and he loved also Rachel more than Leah, and served with him yet seven other years. And when the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren.” Genesis 29:30-31.
The Merriam Webster Dictionary says an Idiom means, 1 a : the language peculiar to a people or to a district, community, or class
: DIALECT b : the syntactical, grammatical, or structural form peculiar to a language.2 : an expression in the usage of a language that is peculiar to itself either grammatically (as no, it wasn’t me) or in having a meaning that cannot be derived from the conjoined meanings of its elements (as Monday week for *the Monday a week after next Monday*).3 : a style or form of artistic expression that is characteristic of an individual, a period…”
[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“Hatred” as used in the time and culture of the Bible does not carry the same meaning we attach to it today in our culture.[/pullquote]
Therefore, the word “hate” as used in the time and culture of the Bible does not carry the same meaning we attach to it today in our culture; and your interpretation of Luke 14:26 will confirm that truth.
The same interpretation is to be give to the statement, “As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.” Romans 9:13. The context deals with the choice of God to give the family blessing to Jacob; which included the priestly and prophetic head of his house and give him all the birthright signified. Although Esau was the firstborn, God, in His sovereignty chooses Jacob and gave Esau the second position in the family. However, that second position included manifold blessings of God. “And Isaac his father answered and said unto him, Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above; And by thy sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck.” Genesis 27:39-40.
Thus, the word must be seen in the context of the time and culture in which it was used and intended. Dake’s comments are correct when he says its use is, “An idiom of preference.” It is not to be thought of as we use it in our culture and time. Now, let me ask you again, do you hate your family, or will you cut them some slack?
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.