I very recently saw a church billboard, stating:
"Tell the children that 'God loves you.' "
That can be a highly-deceptive statement. However, the opposite would sound diabolical:
"Tell the children that 'God hates you.' "
Actually, a just, righteous, and fair combination of both is necessary (albeit potentially confusing) to state the true and realistic attitude of God towards children. Consider the following Scripture verse:
Matthew 10:37 He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me....
Yes, yes. I know the verses in the Bible in which Jesus told the disciples to "let the little children come to Me" and "God so loved the world that He gave..., "God is love," and so on.
But one-sidedly stating that God only and always loves children gives them the false and misleading impression that they have carte blanche opportunity to do anything they want, whenever, and however - without any restraint, restrictions, or retributions for certain speaking and actions.
Carefully reading, honestly understanding, and properly applying the totality of the entire Holy Bible, one does much better to compare God to The Perfect Highway Cop. As long as drivers obey the rules of the road, they will not see red-and-blue flashing lights suddenly tailgating them. In fact, police are there "to protect and to serve" as stated in their motto. God is love, and His created phenomena are love - as long as one does not violate or attempt to violate such.
The basic unit of human togetherness - the nuclear family - has been touted by "conservatives" and religious folk aplenty. And there is much to positively proclaim about such, as even a brief search in the Bible proves. However, within that same Bible is a VERY serious negative warning concerning and not regarding human nuclear families and the members comprising such.
Consider the following Matthew chapter 13 Scriptural text:
3 And [Jesus] told them many things in parables, saying: "A farmer went out to plant.
4 As he planted, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them.
5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they had not much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil,
6 but when the sun rose they were scorched; and since they had no root they withered away.
7 Other seeds fell upon thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them.
8 Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
18 Understand the story of the sower.
19 When any one hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in their heart; this is what was sown along the path.
20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, these are they who hear the word and immediately receive it with joy;
21 yet they have has no root in themself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away.
22 As for what was sown among thorns, these are they who hear the word, but the cares of the world and the delight in riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.
23 As for what was sown on good soil, these are they who hear the word and understands it; they indeed bear fruit, and yield, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty."
24 Jesus told them another [myth, fable, allegory, or (best yet):] parable, saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who planted seed in his field;
25 but while people were sleeping, his enemy came and implanted weeds among the wheat, and went away.
26 So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also.
27 And the servants of the householder came and said to him, 'Sir, did you not plant good seed in your field? How then has it weeds?'
28 He said to them, 'An enemy has done this.' The servants said to him, 'Then do you want us to go and gather them?'
29 But he said, 'No; lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them.
30 Let both grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.'"
54 And coming to his own country He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, "Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works?
55 Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas?
56 And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all this?"
57 And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house."
58 And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their disbelief.
Note that most of Christ's Twelve Disciples had no problem accepted the human Jesus as the God-man Messiah regardless of the presence of the Lord's familial brothers and sisters in the vicinity, being that they had a penitent faith and humble actually-devoted-to-God spiritually-enlightened and cooperatively compliant attitude....in constrast to those divisive trouble-causing type of jews destined to murder Jesus and be executed themselves in the not-necessarily-antisemitic holocaust of 70 A.D. because of their disbelief and jealousy, who used the excuse of humanness and family-name associations and familiarity to express their disgusting disbelief and non-acceptance against (not "of") the Lord.
The three stories above within the same New-Testament chapter are related.
The first segment of the chapter explains why many who respond to "altar calls" during a religious rally or crusade do not retain their promised commitment to continue with and grow in the Lord. They come under false pretenses of their own faulty superstitions and presumptions, perhaps partly incited by various exhibitions of childish/baby-Christian carnality of the spiritually immature around them who are or pretend to be converts. When such rookie newcomers finally realize what is involved in terms of Biblically-required discipline and consistent truly-holy lifestyle which they have been inducted into, they (more and more) stay away and alienate themselves from their initial impulsively-accepted emotionally-based response to The Call of the Moment.
Some continue on deceptively in their association with the saints for whatever cause of importunity, as covertly wicked and disbelieving weeds seamlessly engrained with the righteous wheat - both perhaps supporting but also polluting the choice and genuinely elect of the Lord.....so seamlessly, in fact, that both types become circumstantially and maybe even financially or economically dependent on each other in various ways because of certain unique resources each has been given and acquired.
Galatians 6:2 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
Galatians 6:5 For each man will have to bear his own load.
1Thessalonians 4:9 But regarding love of the brethren you have no need to have any one write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another;
11 to aspire to live quietly, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we charged you;
12 so that you may command the respect of outsiders, and be dependent on nobody.
But such situations can (thankfully!) never be permanent, but instead only temporal, in that....ultimately....neither type will be satisfied by repeatedly being influenced and under duress by the other. Yet, it will take a Divine Umpire to separate and segregate them (whether that be non-reversable geographical relocation, death, and/or Judgment Day)- when the time eventually comes for that, as the second segment of the chapter reveals.
Let me at this point give you an example.
During a religious rally or crusade, there are carnal immature Christians, pseudo-"christians," non-Christians, and even some anti-Christians present on the premises who are immodestly and indecently flaunting (whether silently and subtly, or blatantly and overtly) LOOSE long hair, naked-armed or bare-shouldered sleeveslessness, nude legs exposed by slacksless shorts, and wearing toes-exposing sandals without socks or boots on:
[ Numbers 5:18 And the priest shall set the woman before the LORD, and unbind the hair of the woman's head, and place in her hands the cereal offering of remembrance, which is the cereal offering of jealousy. And in his hand the priest shall have the water of bitterness that brings the curse.
2Samuel 13:18 Now she was wearing a full-length robe with long sleeves; for thus were the virgin daughters of the king traditionally attired. So his servant put her out, and bolted the door after her.
Song 7:5 Your head crowns you like Carmel, and your flowing locks are like purple; a king is held captive in the tresses.
Isaiah 47:1 Come down and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon; sit on the ground without a throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans! For you shall no more be called tender and delicate.
2 Take the millstones and grind meal, put off your veil, strip off your robe, uncover your legs, pass through the rivers.
3 Your nakedness shall be uncovered, and your shame shall be seen. I will take vengeance, and I will spare no man.
4 Our Redeemer--the LORD of hosts is his name--is the Holy One of Israel.
Jer 2:25 Keep your feet from going unshod and your throat from thirst. But you said, 'It is hopeless, for I have loved strangers, and after them I will go.'
1Corinthians 11:13 Judge for yourselves; is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered?
14 Does not nature itself teach you that for a man to wear long hair is degrading to him,
15 but if a woman has long hair, it is her pride? For her hair is given to her for a covering.
16 If any one is disposed to be contentious, we recognize no such practice, nor do the churches of God. ]
Apply such despicably-evil carnality to above-stated scenarios. Pertaining to those purporting to be "Christians" who are misdressed in such filthy, vile, and obscene ways, they misrepresent true and authentic Biblical Christianity, giving real Christian a bad name:
Song 8:4 I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that you stir not up nor awaken love [by misdisplaying your body parts] until it please.
Romans 2:24 For, as it is written, "The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of [immodest] you."
The third and final segment of the chapter gives one type of assembly where such defilement-by-impenitent-immodesty occurs, and it happens whenever "the family" gathers for birthday or graduation parties, weddings, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, funerals, etc.
It is true that:
Exodus 20:12 "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the LORD your God gives you.
Deuteronomy 5:16 "'Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God commanded you; that your days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with you, in the land which the LORD your God gives you.
Matthew 15:4 For God commanded, 'Honor your father and your mother,' and, 'He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him surely die.'
Matthew 19:19 Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
Mark 7:10 For Moses said, 'Honor your father and your mother'; and, 'He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him surely die';
Mark 10:19 You know the commandments: 'Do not kill, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.'"
Luke 18:20 You know the commandments: 'Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.'"
Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
Ephesians 6:2 "Honor your father and mother" (this is the first commandment with a promise),
Colossians 3:20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
Colossians 3:22 Slaves, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in singleness of heart, fearing the Lord.
Hebrews 13:17 Obey your leaders and submit to them; for they are keeping watch over your souls, as men who will have to give account. Let them do this joyfully, and not sadly, for that would be of no advantage to you.
1Peter 3:1 Likewise you wives, be submissive to your husbands, so that some, though they do not obey the word, may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives....
And IF your father or mother or wife or husband or uncle or aunt or nephew or niece or cousin suggests that you to become a women-in-authority-over-men feminist, pseudo-scientific anti-creationist evolution-mythologist, tolerator of homogay effeminate and sodomites, part-time money-earning prostitute, a shoplifter without getting caught, a non-prudish vulgarity swearer or porn viewer or dirty-story teller, a family-funds-enhancing embezzler, a conforming-to-lustful-demons immodest and somewhat-indecently-exposed sleevesless and slacksless and soxless publicly-harassing sex object because of the seasonably warm days?
Deuteronomy 13:6 "If your brother, the son of your mother, or your son, or your daughter, or the wife of your bosom, or your friend who is as your own soul, entices you secretly, saying, 'Let us go and serve other gods,' which neither you nor your fathers have known,
7 some of the gods of the peoples that are round about you, whether near you or far off from you, from the one end of the earth to the other,
[ Matthew 7:5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.
Luke 6:42 Or how can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,' when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother's eye. ]
8 you shall not yield to them or listen to them, nor shall your eye pity him, nor shall you spare him, nor shall you conceal him; them to put them to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.
10 You shall stone them to death with stones (gun them all down?), because they sought to draw you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
11 And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and never again do any such wickedness as this among you.
12 "If you hear in one of your cities, which the LORD your God gives you to dwell there,
13 that certain base persons have gone out among you and have drawn away the inhabitants of the city, saying, 'Let us go and serve other gods,' which you have not known,
14 then you shall inquire and make search and ask diligently; and hey, if it be true and certain that such an abominable thing has been done among you,
15 you shall surely put the inhabitants of that city to the sword, destroying it utterly, all who are in it and its cattle, with the edge of the sword.
16 You shall gather all its spoil into the midst of its open square, and burn the city and all its spoil with fire, as a whole burnt offering to the LORD your God; it shall be a heap for ever, it shall not be built again.
17 None of the devoted things shall cleave to your hand; that the LORD may turn from the fierceness of his anger, and show you mercy, and have compassion on you, and multiply you, as he swore to your fathers,
18 if you obey the voice of the LORD your God, keeping all his commandments which I command you this day, and doing what is right in the sight of the LORD your God.
Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man lays a snare, but he who trusts in the LORD is safe.
Micah 7:5 Put no trust in a neighbor, have no confidence in a friend; guard the doors of your mouth from her who lies in your bosom;
Matthew 10:36 and a man's foes will be those of his own household.
Acts 5:29 But Peter and the apostles answered, "We must obey God rather than men.
Matthew 12:48 But he replied to the man who told him, "Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?"
Matthew 12:50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, and sister, and mother."
Mark 3:33 And he replied, "Who are my mother and my brothers?"
Mark 3:35 Whoever does the will of God is my brother, and sister, and mother."
Luke 14:26 "If any one 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.
Much consternation comes from family relatives who disregard the following and instead marry disbelievers or pseudo-believers:
2Corinthians 6:14 Do not be mismated with unbelievers. For what partnership have righteousness and iniquity? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?
And for those already married to imperfect mates?:
1Co 7:12 To the rest I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her.
13 If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him.
14 For the unbelieving husband is consecrated through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is consecrated through her husband. Otherwise, your children would be unclean, but as it is they are holy.
15 But if the unbelieving partner desires to separate, let it be so; in such a case the brother or sister is not bound. For God has called us to peace.
16 Wife, how do you know whether you will save your husband? Husband, how do you know whether you will save your wife?
Ezra 10:3 Therefore let us make a covenant with our God to put away all these wives and their children, according to the counsel of my lord and of those who tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the law.
Ezra 10:19 They pledged themselves to put away their wives, and their guilt offering was a ram of the flock for their guilt.
Proverbs 20:19 He who goes about gossiping reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with one who speaks foolishly.
Isaiah 50:1 Thus says the LORD: "Where is your mother's bill of divorce, with which I put her away? Or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities you were sold, and for your transgressions your mother was put away.
Hosea 2:2 "Plead with your mother, plead--for she is not my wife, and I am not her husband--that she put away her harlotry from her face, and her adultery from between her breasts;
Ephesians 5:7 Therefore do not associate with them,
Romans 16:17 I appeal to you, brethren, to take note of those who create dissensions and difficulties, in opposition to the doctrine which you have been taught; avoid them [ without succombing to forced civil-rites non-discrimination, but instead rejecting deviant diversity ]
Titus 3:5 holding the form of religion but denying the power of it. Avoid such people.
1Peter 3:7 Likewise you husbands, live considerately with your wives, bestowing honor on the woman as the weaker sex, since you are joint heirs of the grace of life, in order that your prayers may not be hindered.
Whatever the human relationship, whether parent to child, child to parent, priest or pastor to congregant or congregant to priest or pastor, employer to employee or employee to employer, military to civilian or civilian to military, government to governed or governed to government....The Lord Jesus has top priority always in everything, followed by those of the body of Christ (which hopefully consist first of the spouse, then inlaws, then friends), then outlaws - wanted or not.