Family is important to God. It was the very first institution established by God at the creation of man. Family is the foundation upon which the church, the nation, and all other God ordained institutions are built. In fact, the only thing to precede the home was God Himself. Satan’s number one goal is to divide, conquer, and destroy the home. If he can destroy the home and family, he can take down the church and ultimately the nation. Therefore, the best thing you can do for your family is fight, not with your family but for your family.
Warfare with a Promise
We live in perilous times. The Biblical values that God established for marriage and the family are being challenged and attacked on every side At times, it can be tempting to give in to a spirit of fear. As the Jewish people of Nehemiah’s time began to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, they too encountered such opposition, and many of them also became fearful and discouraged. (See Nehemiah 4:10) However, Nehemiah would not let them give up because he knew that rebuilding the walls was a cause worth fighting for.
In Nehemiah 4:13-14 he said, “Therefore I positioned men behind the lower parts of the wall, at the openings; and I set the people according to their families, with their swords, their spears, and their bows. And I looked, and arose and said to the nobles, to the leaders, and to the rest of the people, ‘Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.”
It is not easy to hold a family together or to raise children in this day and age. Everything seems to be against the family and the home. But God gave the Jewish people a promise in Nehemiah 4:20 that we can also stand on: “Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.” Therefore, we do not have to be afraid, because God promised if we would fight for our families, we would never fight alone. He will fight for us.
Winning the Battle for Your Family
Armed with swords, spears, and bows Nehemiah and the Jewish people defied their enemies and successfully rebuilt the wall. Today that wall around Jerusalem still stands as a testimony to us that we too can be victorious in fighting for our families, rebuilding the “walls” of our homes, and leaving a Godly legacy for future generations. The battle of the 21st century however, does not involve physical walls. Rather it is a battle for the heart and soul of our families that requires the following highly specialized strategies.
- Fight with Love- The Bible says that greater and more enduring than all the spiritual gifts is love. (See 1 Corinthians 13:13) This type of love goes above and beyond "warm fuzzy" feelings and says, "I am committed to you, no matter what." It is costly. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. (1Corinthians 13:7). Love is the cornerstone for building a strong Godly home.
- Build an Ark- Build your home in such a way that it becomes an “ark” of safety from the perils of this world. Your home should be a sanctuary of faith, hope, worship, healing, and deliverance. As the patriarch and priest of his family, Noah considered it his primary responsibility to make sure all of his family was safe inside the ark before the great flood. Your primary ministry is to your family. Don’t abdicate your God given responsibility to the preacher or the youth director. Instead declare as Joshua did: “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord"
- Build an Altar- Make it a priority as Job did to offer daily sacrifices for your family. Since Jesus laid down his life as the ultimate sacrifice, it is no longer necessary to offer the blood sacrifice of an animal as Job did. The blood of Jesus can now be applied daily to each family member through prayer. It is the only blood that can cleanse from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:7)
- Practice accountability- Keep close watch on your family. Know where they are, what they are doing, what they are watching, and who their friends are. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or to correct them when necessary. Set healthy boundaries and guardrails of accountability for yourself and them
- Leave Godly Footprints- Our children tend to follow the footprints of what we do to a greater degree than they listen to what we preach. Where do your footprints lead? Do they lead your children to serve and live for Jesus above all else? The Apostle Paul said, "Be followers of me even as I am of Christ" (1 Corinthians 11:1). This is and has always been the pattern of leaving Godly footprints for your family.
At times the battle can be fierce and your present circumstances may cause you to wonder if your family will ever be saved. During these times it is even more crucial not to give up. We may not be in total control but God is. He has promised that if we continue to be obedient in fighting for our family, He will fight for us. So be encouraged!
"Where sin abounds grace does much more abound" (Romans 5:20B)