Monday, August 15, 2011

When Our Own Family Rejects Us

You have made the courageous choice.  You and your spouse are going to adopt.  It’s been a journey getting to where you are now, but you’re finally there, and you’re excited beyond description.


…you tell a family member that you thought would be excited for you.

It can be a mother, a father, a sibling, even your own child.  And that’s what makes it hurt all the more.

I happen to recall a passage in Scripture that mentions these family members:

Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.  And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.

~ Luke 14:25-27

On the face of it, this passage seems so darn harsh.  Gosh, Lord, really?  Hate? 

We actually do not need to delve into deep theological study of the term hate here to understand what Jesus was getting at.  We just need to read the story in its context.  Just read from verse 15 to 33.  The “hate” passage is buried directly in the middle of one teaching by Jesus—to be my disciple, nothing or no one should get between Me and you! 

A disciple is more than a learner or student.  A disciple is a devotee.  When we signed up for this, dear friends, we put in all of our chips.  There’s no turning back. 

In 1519, the Spanish explorer Hernando Cortez sailed with 600 men to the shores of Mexico to once and for all conquer Montezuma and the Aztecs occupying there.  After unloading provisions, he ordered the ships to be burned.  There, on the sandy shore of Vera Cruz, hundreds of men watched as their lifeline back home disintegrated into sea water.  There was no turning back.

As disciples of Jesus Christ, we have told the Lord that we are His.  We sing songs that we are His.  We tell our own family that we are His.  We now have a glorious opportunity to show the Lord and the world that we are His.  We need to encourage ourselves that once in, we are always in, no matter who comes up against us in what the Lord has told us…even if it’s our own family.

We always answer with words seasoned in grace, and we always listen to what our family says, perchance they are right and we are wrong in some way, but we also must listen to what we know the Master has spoken to our hearts.

“Count it all joy,” count yourself among the wounded, but also brush yourself off and get back into the fray.  At the end of the day, at the end of your life, at the end of all time, we answer only to the audience of One.

If you’d like to read the post in my Reluctant Husband Syndrome series entitled “Question 7: What will my extended family say, and will they accept my adopted child?”, go here.


  1. Morning Bro - yeah - this experience is special to me - it was the absolute last thing I expected and sent me reeling to be honest about it (and this is a place for honest!) But I have noticed - with rare exception - they adjusted. And those that didn't at least decided to be civil about it and keep their mouths shut! ;)

    aus and co.

  2. Thank You Anthony.
    I am hoping my kids will adjust as Aus said in his comments above. I was surprised how hurt my feelings were and how selfish I feel my youngest child is being. When they were growing up we didnt have alot monetarily but I felt that we taught them to be giving, hardworking and selfless with family being of utmost importance. To some extent, I feel like we failed and naturally I question If we are doing the right thing. I believe we are but feeling abit stunned at the moment. This was just so unexpected and Im thinking If the reponse was this way in our immediate family what will the inlaws have to say.... cant wait for that!

    Mark and Lisa

  3. Amen so true Anthony!! Love the story about Cortez.No turning back, praise the Lord, no turning back...

  4. Aus, thanks for the comment. Yeah, families "adjust." My prayer is that the adjustment period accelerates.

    Mark and Lisa, feeling "stunned" is normal. So many of us go through it. Keep your heart soft and let them see the witness in your wonderful lives!

    Megan, yep, NO TURNING BACK!

  5. Thanks for writing this and reminding those of us who have family not quite on board or at least supporting us at arms length that we are not alone. You may remember me writing you a personal email several months back regarding my reluctant husband. Happy and blessed to say he "came around" early July and we have our paperwork on our orphanage's desk in Haiti. We are still waiting to be matched to get the 1-2 year waiting period started...blah. In the meantime, we are full-force into raising support and trying to show my parents that this IS a wonderful thing! Maybe that's one of the reasons why it will take so darn long--God has a lot of work to do in their hearts before bringing their beautiful granddaughter home! If you are interested in following our story at all, you can check out our blog ( or on facebook at "Thieszen Adoption". Thanks again and many blessings to you for your honesty in this post!


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