Honor Parents Or Obey God?

Q. I have a chance to go on a short-term missionary trip with my church and I want to go and even feel like I’m called to go. But my parents does not want me to go (I’m a college student). So in this case, does the commandment “honor thy parents” take precedence over Jesus’ command to “make disciples of all nations”?

A. There’s no conflict between the two. Honoring your parents doesn’t necessarily mean agreeing with everything they say. And besides, you’re beyond the age of accountability and are responsible for your own decisions. If you sincerely feel the Lord calling you to this missionary work, then you should go.

In Luke 15:26 Jesus said, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters–yes, even his own life–he cannot be my disciple.”

The word for hate is a comparative one. Essentially, it means that if you hear Him calling you, your desire to follow Him must be so great that your feelings for those closest to you would seem like hatred by comparison. You must even be willing to die, if that’s what He asks of you.

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