The family has been under attack from the very beginning. The devil and the world have always schemed to destroy homes. These schemes range from homosexual marriages to radical feminism. From the disregard of parental authority to the normalising of immorality. While enemies on the outside are hell bound on deconstructing the family, the attacks from within are just as deadly. And while we should be wary and alert for the enemies’ attacks, we should be constantly checking to ensure that we are not destroying the home from within. Sometimes our own sin poses a serious danger to the family. So here are four ways that you might destroying your home.
1. Absent Parents
In an ever demanding world, busyness has become the order of the day. The trade-off is often parenting. The Lord commands parents to train up their children in righteousness. Training or discipleship is done through instruction and by example. That invariably implies time spent together and strong personal relationships. Many parents are so caught up with life and work that they neglect the God-given responsibility to lovingly raise their children, disciplining as well as delighting in them.
Many parents are so caught up with life and work that they neglect the God-given responsibility to lovingly raise their children, disciplining as well as delighting in them
This responsibility cannot be passed on to schools, the television or even the church. We are not wrong to consider it part of the stewardship entrusted to us by the Lord. Parents are shepherds, teachers, counsellors and protectors to their children. In many ways children are a reflection of their parents and the product of their parenting. This quote caught my attention, “there is nothing worse than a man who can be everything to everybody else… except for a father to their own child.”
2. Entertainment Addiction
In describing the mindset of most men, Jim Berg says:
His heart is easily captured by the latest fashions, pop and reality show idols, superheroes, electronic games, sports personalities, junk foods, sexual enticements – both real and virtual, chemical stimulants – both legal and illegal and the crude and sensual humour and violence of the most popular video clips and blockbuster movies. He is easily bored and resists correction. He endures work and school as necessary evils between pursuits of pleasurable experiences offered on the midway of the world’s carnival.
This does not mean television is forbidden. It requires that parents function as discerning gatekeepers, both for themselves and their children
Tragically this is an accurate description of our society today. We are addicted to and highly influenced by the entertainment industry—so much so that we have promoted it to a place of absolute necessity. Addiction to entertainment in the home sooner or later reflects in the moral values, or lack thereof. The worldview of the entertainment industry becomes the worldview of the home. This does not mean television is forbidden. It requires that parents function as discerning gatekeepers, both for themselves and their children. Furthermore, it demands active and ongoing conversations about the media’s portrayal of reality, virtue and meaning.
3. The Failure of Men
Our culture blames the woman when a home breaks down. While that may be the consensus of society, God sees it differently. In God’s economy the man is responsible. For example, in Eden the LORD calls for Adam (Genesis 3:8). That is what headship is all about: responsibility. Now, in all honesty, it is not surprising that we place the blame elsewhere. After all, that is exactly what our forefather Adam did in blaming Eve (Genesis 3:12). It is however instructive that God says through Adam – and not Eve – all men sinned (Romans 5:12-17).
That is what headship is all about: responsibility
Make no mistake, the failure of men to lead in the home always leads to its destruction. It is the husbands and fathers who are tasked with leading and discipling their wives, presenting them holy and blameless before the Lord (Ephesians 5:23-32). It is the fathers who are charged with training their children in righteousness (Ephesians 6:4). When the shepherds of the family fail, so too do the families.
4. Disregarding the Church
The church is a safety net. In God’s economy, it is a vehicle through which His purposes are fulfilled. Families need the church. While salvation and membership are individual decisions, it is essential for the spiritual wellbeing of the families that they are committed members of a healthy local church. As a bare minimum, part of training them up in the righteousness involves belonging to and prioritising a church community, together with serving in that community
There is a concerning trend today where parents are disregarding church and therefore implicitly teaching their children it is unimportant. It is not uncommon today for parents to leave their children at home while they attend church meetings. This trend has removed the church’s safety net for a lot of families, especially children, and left them exposed to an unbiblical worldview. If the promises are for believers and their children, then belonging to a local church is too. It will provide accountability structures for the parents and access to Christian community and teaching for the family.
In Christ in the Home
There is, therefore, a real need for Christians to do family God’s way—to figure out what obedience to and imitation of Christ looks like in the home. The moment we reverse or neglect our roles (husband, wife, parents and children), misplace our priorities or refuse to honour God, is the moment we make our families vulnerable. God instituted the family with purposes and clear mandates. Those who follow Christ will glorify him by obeying him and serving him as families. So while the world mounts its attacks on the home, let us hear the charge of God in the Bible.
This article was first published on Chopo Mwanza’s blog Deeper Reflections