What do we do with the portions of the gospel where Jesus tells His followers that they should hate their family? Or that they should follow Him instead of burying their father? Or that even saying farewell to family is too much to ask? We see throughout the Bible that family is important! We see commands to honor our parents, love our wives, respect our husbands. So what, then, do we do with direct quotes from Jesus that tell us to leave them behind and follow Him?
Burying a parent was a big deal back then (as it is even now). But in those times it could be a year-long process, as Jewish tradition required certain rituals. But Jesus says that the Kingdom takes priority. He is not saying that right here, right now, we cannot care for our family obligations. We are commanded to take care of family obligations! But when we do, it MUST be out of obedience to Jesus, and not instead of obedience. Jesus must always be our highest priority! We were not put here to excel at being wife, mom, daughter, etc. We are here and chosen and called for one reason and one reason only… to glorify God! Love and respect our husbands? Yes! Be a good mom to our kids? Absolutely! But do these things out of obedience to your God. Do them with the intent of letting them see you place God first, so they will do the same. Our only earthly obligations are to be done IN obedience, not INSTEAD of.