“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.” Luke 14:26

Is Jesus teaching us to hate our families?

Remember when you were a kid your mother would say, “I told you a million times not to throw balls in the house! Did your mother actually say that a million times? Of course not, she was making a point of importance. The grammar term for an exaggeration is hyperbole. Jesus was using a hyperbole when He said that you could not be my disciple without hating your family. We need to love God so much that nothing should interfere with that love. There are times when we must choose between pleasing our families and pleasing God. Jesus’ demand that we be willing to hate our relatives is not a call for ill will or cruelty. In this context, it means to “love less”. In such circumstances we will find it necessary, in a comparative sense, to “hate” anything or anyone who would stand between us and the Lord.

Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

Matthew 10:37