From the beginning, God created family. It was His perfect design. It fulfilled the need for companionship, but even more importantly than that, it gave us a living context of who God is and how He relates to us and wants us to relate to others. And from the beginning, Satan hated this idea. He struck quickly in Cain’s heart to attempt to kill, steal, and destroy this brilliant concept.
And he is still striking today. From sexual sin to divorce to rebellion to abandonment to selfishness and greed, every sin on this earth affects the family. The family is the core of our society and to destroy it is to watch a culture implode on itself.
There are not many people still fighting for the family. Many of us have long ago given into the despair that this world is too broken…that we are too far gone…that government is too involved…that people are too selfish…that we are too progressive in our thinking and too individualistic to believe that all good things come out of a stable, loving, Christ-centered family. Our comfort and technological progress in America have made us far too wimpy to bear up under the tasks required to restore family. Our shame and brokenness from our own failings or the failings of our relatives have made us want to hide in the acceptance of a “new normal” rather than raise up a standard for our children. We aren’t just losing, we are retreating.
And if we lose this battle, we lose the war in America. That’s how crucial this fight is. Politics has renamed the family, “social issues”. People are made to feel that these should be the secondary things, after our economy and our safety are taken care of. All the while being blind to the fact that we are destroying ourselves from within and money will never be able to set it right. We have thrown down our family’s moral compass because people disagree with the right direction and we are now wandering around blindly in the dark trying to get home.
There are so many facets to this fight, but I want to tell you why it is important. Everything we learn pre-adulthood comes from our family experiences. Everything we grow up to be is enhanced or tainted by who raised us or who we were raised with. The family is God’s idea for protection of people before they are ready to form their own circle of protection. Of course, the enemy would try to make the Christian family seem like a claustrophobic, individuality hampering, brain-washing institution. Of course, he would do everything in his power to bring the world into that circle. Of course, he would make us feel wrong and badly for denying our children things that we feel would hurt them in the long run. Of course, he would do everything in his power to break into that circle of protection and steal our children before they had the chance to decide on truth. It’s the best con he has going right now…to make us think that family is not most important…that it can take the back seat to money, to work, to entertainment, to ministry, to political party. America is only as strong as its families, but more importantly, the Church is only as strong as its families.
Family shows us God. It is the first place that we learn to think outside of ourselves and love others more than ourselves. Even people who don’t know or ever admit that it is Jesus, see Him in their family relationships. It is where we learn the basis and the boundaries for all other relationships. Family is where we learn to love those who are not like us, that sometimes don’t look like us, that follow different passions than us, that struggle with different sins than us. It is where we learn to be faithful to others, to share with others, to sacrifice for others. Marriage is a perfect picture of our Glorious Savior…of strength balanced by encouragement, truth balanced by grace, logic balanced by emotion, leadership balanced by submission. Show me a perfect marriage and I will show you Jesus. When He adds gifts to this marriage, the relationship between the parents and the children is a picture of His relationship with us. How do we love our precious babies from the moment they come out of the womb or the moment we see their picture? They didn’t do anything yet to deserve it, but we would cross oceans for them, spend all our resources for them, lay down our lives for them. They might grow up to hate us, but we will still love them. So it is with our Heavenly Father. While we were yet sinners, He died for us. He graciously put this innate tendency in us to be like Him in the context of family. This is why unsaved people can still have a beautiful family dynamic here on earth…why fathers and mothers that don’t know Jesus can make the most unselfish sacrifices for their children… why sons and daughters never hearing His Name can obey their parents. Family, to a degree, comes written on our hearts.
In a time where “I” and “me” are the most popular, “we” is devastatingly broken, but the only thing God is more amazing at doing than Creating is Redeeming… picking up all the little tiny pieces and fitting them back together into something even more beautiful than they were before…Taking something so ugly and so shattered and making good come out of it…bringing dead things back to life.
I don’t know where you are in this battle called “family”. I don’t know what lies the enemy has told you, but THIS is worth fighting for. It is worth fighting for with everything within you. It is worth fighting for because those very little ones that you desperately love are going to be the next generations of soldiers in this war….and if all they see is your actions telling them “it’s not worth it”, they aren’t going to fight either.
We need to put the fairy tales back in the closet and realize that real life requires a fight. We have escaped in our minds from the broken until we have formed a new image of what we deserve…and if we don’t get it, we will not settle. After all, we are royalty. We deserve the best. We will fight for the best. We are fighting for the wrong side. Because there is no happily ever after here…we aren’t even supposed to search for that because we know it is coming…not during the story, but after the story is over. Here we fight on the side of love…I Corinthians 13 love…love that is patient, kind, not self seeking, not easily offended, never thinking evil, not rejoicing in sin, rejoicing in truth, bearing all things, believing all things, hoping all things, enduring all things.
We have forgotten that any battle we fight in the Name of the Lord brings Him running to our side…and armies upon armies to hold up that standard with us. Don’t give up! Family is the most important battleground you will ever stand on.
“So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed and said, “O LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” And the LORD opened the servant’s eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around.” 2 Kings 6:16