I love my family...absolutely love them. It's hard for me to imagine living without my parents, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, and even though two of my grandparents have passed on, I've been blessed to have the other two throughout much of my life. Although I am fully aware of the fact that I could very well have to do so, it pains me even more to think of spending eternity apart from them.
One cannot dispute how important family relationships are to the Christian life; yet, Jesus Christ himself said that one's earthly family should never take precedence over his heavenly family.
"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring, peace, but a SWORD. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law - a man's enemies will be the members of his own household." (Matt. 10:34-36)
WHAT!?!?!? I must treat my own family as my enemy?!?!?! Absolutely... IF they aren't a part of your heavenly family. Christ is telling us that our eternal family is our REAL family, since eternity is a lot longer than a man's life. For some of you, this might be disheartening, especially if some of your loved ones aren't believers. I myself feel a sense of urgency when thinking of family and friends who haven't accepted God's sufficient grace and become part of "the family."
As depressing as this might sound, it's important to understand the role that YOU play in that unbelievers life and how much of an impact you can be on their ETERNAL life. After all, this is what we as Christians are called to do... especially you MEN!