“If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.” ~ Jesus (Luke 14:26)
This is one of the most difficult sayings of Jesus. In classic hyperbole language, He tells us that the weightiest part of our finite love should be directed at God.
But even knowing that this is hyperbole, it doesn’t make it any easier.
Cornelia, the main character and narrator of How Shall We Love?, is asked by Shepherd, her father, to lie about his relationship with one of his students. Before this moment, Shepherd is Cornelia’s biggest hero. She wants to love him no matter what and to live with him instead of with her mom, but he’s all but outlawed her pursuit of Christianity. (You find out why later on in the novel.)
This brings up the question: Do we value family so much that we’d disregard the commands of God?
Cornelia struggles with this question throughout the novel. Some say that if you don’t love people in the way that they feel loved then you do not love them.
Life gets messy and complicated, but that doesn’t excuse us from the commands that Jesus gave. He said the two greatest commandments are to love God and then to love people. Jesus goes so far as to say that loving people is like loving God. So, how shall we love?
Jesus didn’t give us these commands only to leave us as orphans to live them out. He gave us His Holy Spirit to partner with us in this journey of learning how to love. God is love, and He will produce that fruit in our lives.
If, on our journey, we place the philosophy of our loved ones above God’s commands, we cannot be his disciple.
But if we place such a high value on God’s commands that we’re unfazed by the philosophy of man, we will be worthy disciples.
Precarious Yates has lived in 8 different states of the Union and 3 different countries, but currently lives in Texas with her husband, her daughter and their mastiff. When she’s not writing, she enjoys music, teaching, playing on jungle gyms, praying and reading. She holds a Masters in the art of making tea and coffee and a PhD in Slinky® disentangling.
The book, “How Shall We Then Love?” Is available here: http://www.amazon.com/How-Shall-We-Love-ebook/dp/B00B8VOHZ4