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What does it mean to live our life only for Jesus? What about our own children; aren't we as parents meant to be living our lives just for them?
Thank you for asking your question about being a follower of Jesus and also a parent.
Speaking as a parent, I know exactly what 'living your life just for your kids' means! When in a single day I find myself wearing all the hats of cook, banker, taxi driver, mentor, coach, nurse, disciplinarian, teacher, consoler, intercessor, intermediary, and a whole lot more besides, it seems as though all I do is live a life of servitude to my children!
The verse you may be referring to is in Luke 14:
"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple". (Luke 14:26-27)
This is saying that we should hate the part of our lives that need to be put to death. The 'old man' in us and others needs to die. We need to hate our old ways of life before we follow Christ. Our love for Jesus should look so great that it seems like we hate others around us. Of course the Bible also teaches we should love the Lord first and also love our neighbour as ourselves.
Now, of course, a parent must love their children. This is both natural and Biblical. As a follower of Jesus, this kind of loving is marked predominantly by bringing children up in the knowledge, understanding and respect of God and that means teaching them the Bible; it means praying for them and it means praying with them. To do this rightly though, we too must be doing these same things ourselves so as to model before our own beloved children, an obedient and respectful heart for the God of the Bible.
Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)
You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. (Deuteronomy 11:19)
If we really want to love our children, we must first know our heavenly Father's love for us. Only then can we possibly know what true love fully involves. I am sure you would die for your children if you had to. God loves us so much that he came in the person of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to die in order to save us from our sins. That's how much he loves us. That's what love is all about. True Christians have discovered this and they trust and love Jesus in return. The Bible never says we must live our lives exclusively for our children, but it is only as we love God through a living faith in Jesus that we will be able truly to love them as we should.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life". (John 3:16)
I don't know whether you go to a church where everything is centred on God's Word, the Bible. But it would be so good if you could find one. There will be people there who should love and serve you and your children. They will show you why the Bible says that 'God is love', and how living for God is the best way to live for your children.
I hope this answer helps you to find peace with God through Jesus Christ. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: Watch the video
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*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise
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