Ask Salt&Light: How do I honour both my calling and my parents?

Benedict Eoon // March 19, 2018, 11:10 am

Photo by Sebastian Pichler at

Photo by Sebastian Pichler at

Dear Salt&Light,

I have been a lawyer for the past five years. Now I feel led to join a Christian organisation as full-time ministry staff. But my parents object because they feel that I could do better in terms of career advancement, job security and earning power in the legal profession. How do I honour God and honour my parents at the same time? 

Deborah C, 32, Lawyer

I was practising as a lawyer when I decided to join my church as a full-time ministry staff two years ago. I faced a similar challenge before I made my decision to enter full-time ministry.

Through the process, there were two Scriptures that I bore in mind:

“Honour your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” Deuteronomy 5:16 NIV

“Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” Matthew 10:37-39

Assuming you have no doubt that God is leading you to join a Christian organisation as a full-time ministry staff, it is clear from Matthew 10:37-39 that you need to follow Jesus’s leading. The only question then is how to go about it.

Here are some practical tips that I learnt that might help you:


1. Show that you honour your parents by engaging them in conversation.

Give your parents an opportunity to share how they feel, and their reasons for their objections. Address any concerns that they may have in love.

Explain to them how you arrived at this decision so that they can better understand why you wish to make such a decision. Explain to them your desire to trust in God’s provision even though the decision may not make financial sense. Assure them that you have thought through your decision.

Express that you love and honour them even though you are taking a different path from what they want. Ask for their support so that they are with you and not against you – even if they may not agree with your decision.

2. If your decision causes tension in the family, continue to sow love.

Continually check your heart and ensure that you do not react out of frustration. Pray and trust that God would do the necessary in your family. I saw God miraculously bring a breakthrough in my situation.

3. Allow your parents to observe God’s faithfulness in your life.

Should you decide to enter into full-time ministry, show that you love and honour your parents by continuing to provide for them financially if possible. Pray and ask God how much you should give your parents.

About the author

Benedict Eoon

Benedict Eoon was a lawyer before joining RiverLife Church as a full-time pastoral staff supporting the Senior Leadership Team and working with young adults. He is currently exploring a bi-vocational ministry juggling his responsibilities in church, in the marketplace and in his theological studies.