How is a family supposed to function? God’s design for the family is for the father to be the head of the family. Along with his wife, they raise their children in a setting where Jesus is the center and the Bible is read and revered as God’s Word. The parents are responsible for raising their kids in a manner where their kids will one day become parents that will honor God and lead their own family. This creates a family that is built on generations of faith.
Our enemy has a strategic plan for attacking God’s design for the family and interrupting this cycle of God-centered families. Here are his two lines of attack to pursue in the battle.
- To effectively separate from and break a husband’s relationship with his wife, either physically or emotionally.
- To effectively separate from and break a father’s relationship with his children, either physically or emotionally.
There are families dying all across the world every second. They are dying in my neighborhood and yours. On every one of their death certificates the cause of death can be contributed to the first line of attack: the husband’s relationship with his wife has severed.
The enemy has put his efforts into dividing the husband and wife because this is the easiest way to kill his prey. This strategy is working and working way too well. It is not new. It has been used in battles for thousands of years. It’s called divide and conquer.
So, what is our defense strategy? A husband and wife can refuse to be divided. When this happens they are an impenetrable force in the war on the family. When the husband and wife decide to forgo using up their energy fighting each other, they can channel that energy for the building up of their family. They can spend time building up their kids to keep them from becoming victims in this war. What are some practical, easy ways that fathers and mothers can encourage their children and keep them off of the casualty list?
- Regularly tell your son or daughter that you love them, are proud of them, and that they are important to you.
- Play games with your kids and attend their sporting events and recitals as often as you can. Take them fishing.
- Regularly hug your kids.
- Read to them on a regular basis.
Wait, Wait, Wait…..I can tell what you are thinking….Don’t let this list confuse you to think that your responsibility as a parent is to not follow God’s design like we talked about in the first paragraph. Kids that come from a Christian home and have parents that encourage them in these ways have been found to primarily be against premarital sex, they do not use illegal drugs, and do not drink alcohol. So, what is the magic ingredient that keeps these kids on the straight and narrow way? First, these kids have parents who are committed to one another. Second, their parents have invested in the lives of their kids.
If you evaluate this list a little more you will be able to see that all of these require two things: You and Time. How much time are you willing to make for your family? We so often get very tied up with the pursuit of success and wealth that we sacrifice our time with our family. So, we fill up our kids’ time with the next best thing to us: daycare, karate, soccer, boy scouts, gymnastics, dance, etc. Don’t get me wrong that these can’t be positive things for our kids; just be very careful with becoming overcommitted to these activities for your children, to the point that they don’t have time to spend with you.
We also justify how much time we spend with our kids by saying that we spend “quality time” versus “quantity time”. There is only one problem with this argument. How do you know when quality time is going to show up? When is it that your kids may ask that serious question of you, want to know about when you were a kid, or how you would handle a problem. It would be great if we could have a “quality time” sign that blinked in neon red like the “Hot Doughnuts Now” sign at a Krispee Kreme. Then we would know when we needed to be with our kids, but “quality time” most often occurs some time during “quantity time.”
What are our orders as we get back to the frontline of the enemy’s war on our family? Do you have the passion to be a great father? To fight this battle we need men who want to be better fathers than they are accountants, doctors, lawyers, engineers, salesmen, or workers. The enemy is going to use anything in his arsenal to try to separate you from your relationship with your children.