When she caught a vision for Global Missions, her parents responded. “That would be a waste of your talent and intelligence.” “You know people need to hear about Jesus in the U.S. right?” “Why don’t you get a good job in the States, so that you can regularly give to Global Missions.” “You could do short-term mission trips to satisfy this bug.” “I am not paying for your college, so you can throw away your education.” “Remember Children, obey your Parents.”
Short story, my friend never made it to the unreached people she had a heart for.
What do you do when God says Go, but your parents say No? Here are four things to ponder as you wrestle through this.
- Honor your parents.
First off, it is important to remember that God knew your parent’s reaction before he laid this call on your heart. Thus, honoring your parents is as much a part of your calling as the going. You don’t have to win your parents, but you should honor them in trying. Also, the honorable way to handle the situation may leave you going against your parent’s wishes. However, the honorable way is honorable to God.
- Bring them into your journey.
One way to honor your parents is to not cut them off from what is going on inside you. Invite them to understand your calling. When you go to your local pastor to talk about Global Missions, bring your parents with you to one of the meetings. When you talk to a Missions Mobilizer, let your parents sit in on one of the initial conversations. Your parents don't have to be a part of every discussion. In fact, we recommend they don't hover during the process. But, you should let them know what God is doing in your life. You won’t be able to honor or win your parents if you completely alienate them from the process.
- Do missions with them where you are.
Doing missions where you are now is essential to your calling. Inviting your parents to do this with you is essential to winning them. When you go to serve cross-culturally in the downtown urban neighborhoods ask your parents to come with you. When you invite your Somali friend over, introduce them to your parents. The more they see your calling in action, the harder it will be to doubt it.
- Be in prayer with them
Prayer is one of the most crucial disciplines in your missional journey. So, let your parents participate in it with you. Whether or not your parents see your calling is up to the Holy Spirit. Thus, what better way for hearts to soften than on bended knees in prayerful submission.
“Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life.” –Matt 19:29
The reality may be that your parents never understand or agree with what God is calling you to do. No matter what you do or say, they see your calling as a waste. My encouragement to you is to be as passionate about honoring and winning them as you are about Global Missions. Walk this side of your missional journey with patience, wisdom, and love when dealing with your parents.
If you have to leave without their approval, leave knowing you did everything you could to honor them.
Written by Cody Irwin Encompass Staff Reporter/Writer