Issues: What Will My Family Think?
We’ve all seen scenes like this in the movies or on TV: A son or daughter makes a decision with serious consequences, and now comes the moment when they must share it with those they love and trust the most. It could have been a one-night stand that ended in an unexpected pregnancy. Or a night of “harmless” fun and mischief that concluded inside a jail cell. Or a simple experiment with drugs that spiraled into full-blown addiction.
Many of us can relate to these types of stories because we understand the cost of our choices, not only to ourselves, but also to others—especially those who love us. No matter how strong our relationships may be, there’s still a chance that our choices will alter those relationships—even end them.
For those of us who are Jewish, there is one particular choice that almost always makes waves—maybe even a tsunami. And that is choosing to follow Yeshua (Jesus). When I told my family, they were baffled, and it caused considerable tension for a while. But later on, I remember my mother telling me good-humoredly, “When we named you Matthew, we never thought that…”
This edition features the stories of three Jewish people who also made that choice, with varying consequences. If you are considering Yeshua for yourself, we want to give you an idea of the range of reactions that our people get when they tell their families. Of course, every situation is unique and every family is different.
We would love to hear from you if you would like to add your thoughts.
- Robyn Wilk gives an in-depth interview on how she came to believe in Yeshua (Jesus) and the reaction from her family
- Did Jesus Teach His Disciples to Hate Their Parents? by Rich Robinson
- From Generation to Generation: A Jewish Family Finds Their Way Home by Steve Wertheim
- Frieda Zuckerman’s Christmas by Frieda Zuckerman
- In Memory of Rose Price by Susan Perlman
- Betrayed! by Stan Telchin; reviewed by Lyn Bond
Following Yeshua will mean going against the flow of the values and priorities of the world. It may cost us relationships with family and friends, our reputations and opportunities. We might encounter suffering, heartache and rejection. But God will never desert us.
I take comfort in Jesus’ words: “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life” (Luke 18:29–30).
Although my faith made for some uncomfortable times with my parents, it also led to some thoughtful and fruitful discussions. And, much to their credit, they never allowed it to rupture our relationship.