The Battle in Our Homes

4 01 2010

I’m taking a class this week taught by Dr. Randy Stinson: Leadership and Family Ministry at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville.  The following blog is based on my notes from his lecture…

 “ I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”

                                         -Genesis 3:15 

“The home is the centerpiece for an epic battle. And you are at the center of it.” –Dr. Randy Stinson

As a husband and father, what if you found out right now that someone was on the way to your home to harm your wife and children? What would you do? Wherever you were and whatever you were doing you would stop immediately and rush home to defend your loved ones… Unfortunately, I have some alarming news for you:

Dads/husbands: There is someone in your house right now trying to harm your wife and children.  The basic biblical structure of the family is an attack on Satan and his kingdom.  There is a bull’s eye on our homes as Satan is attempting to turn the hearts of children away from their fathers, mothers and fathers from the hearts of their children, wives and husbands from the hearts of one another.

Note some problems we see in our homes today (Christian and non-Christian homes!): Infidelity, divorce, abuse (physical, mental, emotional), rebellion, disrespect (children and parents), etc.

The ultimate prophecy from the verse above (Gen.) was fulfilled in Christ as He came to destroy the works of the Devil (1 John 3:8). However, as the family structure has been God ordained from the beginning of creation to teach others about the Word and ways of God, (and as a secondary means to thwart the influence of sin (and the devil) in our present time) the Devil is still actively engaged in attempting to destroy our families. We MUST guard our hearts from the wiles of the Devil.  Our first step is that we need to recognize that there is a battle focused on destroying our homes.

After we recognize that there is a battle raging we must fight for our homes. S0, how do we fight this battle? 

Step #1 Lead Biblically cf. 1 Peter 3:7.  As men we cannot just lead in whatever way we want.  There is a biblical structure for leadership in the home.  Do we really want to lead our wives? We must take time to understand them.  Our wives are our equal before God, but we are called to lead them.  As men this takes sacrifice on our part (Eph 5)… We must understand that the Devil will try to distort this leadership on a daily basis! Instead of wanting to be a biblical (i.e. loving, sacrificial, understanding) leader, we will desire to be a “do what I say” leader. Remember that our wives are being asked to submit to a fallen man, let that bring us back to a state of humility.  Part of leading biblically is understanding that you are a fallen man, called to lead a fallen family, all for the glory of Christ.  You aren’t trying to create a “perfect” family so that others can pat you on the back.  You are trying to lead a family in light of the realities of the Gospel- you aren’t perfect but Jesus is and through the power of the Holy Spirit not only do you want to, but you have the ability to lead your family to be Christ-centered, Christ-honoring, and Christ-glorifying.

Step #2 Pray and teach your family to pray by example.  Note that these steps should not be understood in terms of “chronology”.  You can’t do Step #1, then check it off and go for Step #2! Rather, these steps should be happening simultaneously.  If you grasp the sincerity of this battle then you will understand the importance of prayer in your personal life and in front of your family (more than just at meal time!). 

 Step #3 Disciple your family.  How can we disciple our family if we are not being discipled ourselves? Where can we be discipled? The local church!  Any attempts at fighting this battle in your home is going to fail unless you are actively engaged in the body of Christ.  After all, who did Christ die for? The family? No! He died for the church! Sometimes I believe men get prideful in this area and because of weeks, months, or even years of not actively being discipled they are not ready to teach their family.  How do we fix this? Humility! So you’re not spiritually mature enough to teach your family biblical truth? Swallow your pride and learn! Start with what you know.  Read the Bible with your wife and kids. Ask them questions.  Let them ask you questions! If you don’t know the answer, find it!  Let your family know by example that the Word of God is the final authority. Then take your family to church (don’t just send them).  Ask them questions about the sermons and lessons you are involved in.  Don’t buy the lie that the church is responsible for disciplining your family, because it’s not. You are! These steps are by no means exhaustive but hopefully will be a good start to fighting the battle that is raging in our homes.