A beautiful weapon the Kingdom of God utilizes is family. That is the way it has been since the beginning of time. Is it no wonder that it is attacked so often and deceitfully? God started his plan of creation with family. He instituted family. Family was always intended to produce, nourish and cultivate life. Mother and father, in the bible, are referred to as being praised in the gates by each other , and most importantly, by their children. The church body is a spiritual family and is meant to reproduce, build-up, and equip new believers. The effects of a broken family today is just as evident as it is in the divisions in the church.
There are many that get hurt in church for various reasons and never come back, and the divorce rate is staggering. According to the 2010 census, 51% of adults over the age of 18 are not married. Some say "You don't have to marry to love someone." Others say, "You don't have to go to church to love God." The health of the family affects the health of the church. The health of the local church affects the community. If you give a church a national spotlight as cable networks do, it could be positive or negative depending on the leaders and the message that is being preached.
The new testament tells us we are to conduct ourselves as soldiers, and not get bound up in civilian affairs. In the early church, family was important to determine the character of elders and deacons. Now, we have worldly influence on the family and the church in such a way, that many don't know what the will of God is for family or church.
Psalm 144 is famously called the Soldier's Prayer. People have some of the most recited verses tattooed on their body, printed on art or a plaque of a soldier adorning their wall, and generally, it is connected with patriotism. I want you to imagine a different kind of soldier. Maybe you could call them a missionary. I think that you should just call them a Christian with a mission.
Praise be to the Lord my Rock,
who trains my hands for war,
my fingers for battle.
He is my loving God and my fortress,
my stronghold and my deliverer,
my shield, in whom I take refuge,
who subdues peoples under me.
Lord, what are human beings that you care for them,
mere mortals that you think of them?
They are like a breath;
their days are like a fleeting shadow.
Part your heavens, Lord, and come down;
touch the mountains, so that they smoke.
Send forth lightning and scatter the enemy;
shoot your arrows and rout them.
Reach down your hand from on high;
deliver me and rescue me
from the mighty waters,
from the hands of foreigners
whose mouths are full of lies,
whose right hands are deceitful.
I will sing a new song to you, my God;
on the ten-stringed lyre I will make music to you,
to the One who gives victory to kings,
who delivers his servant David.
From the deadly sword deliver me;
rescue me from the hands of foreigners
whose mouths are full of lies,
whose right hands are deceitful.
Then our sons in their youth
will be like well-nurtured plants,
and our daughters will be like pillars
carved to adorn a palace.
Our barns will be filled
with every kind of provision.
Our sheep will increase by thousands,
by tens of thousands in our fields;
our oxen will draw heavy loads.
There will be no breaching of walls,
no going into captivity,
no cry of distress in our streets.
Blessed is the people of whom this is true;
blessed is the people whose God is the Lord.
If this mission speaks of something more than a soldier in a military war, what is the war that Christians are supposed to fight, and where do reinforcements come from in the day of weakness? What is our mission?
Our mission is to push back darkness and violence against God's creation. Our lives and words are to preach the gospel to all men everywhere. Our reinforcements come from church growth, not church destruction. Many converts have been aborted because of the division and destruction they have seen in unhealthy churches. Our reinforcements also come from children that are born to Godly parents. Children are aborted in the womb and if they do survive, they are destroyed by parents that are fighting, divorced and or living hypocritically.
Proverbs 24: 1 0-11
If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.
Deliver those who are being taken away to death, And those who are staggering to slaughter, Oh hold them back. If you say, "See, we did not know this," Does He not consider it who weighs the hearts? And does He not know it who keeps your soul? And will He not render to man according to his work?
Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one's youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; They will not be ashamed When they speak with their enemies in the gate.
Jeremiah 50:9 speaks of a time Babylon will be taken down:
For, behold, I will stir up and cause to come up against Babylon a company of great nations from the north country; and they shall set themselves in array against her; from there she shall be taken: their arrows shall be as of an expert mighty man; none shall return in vain.
Psalm 112:2 Their children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed.
Family isn't important. It is the MOST IMPORTANT.
Healthy families will affect their neighbors, schools and communities. A husband that is faithful and gentle with his wife has power in his prayers, favor, and influence in his community. A wife that respects her husband, has a man that has peace and confidence and children that grow up with integrity. Children that have the opportunity to see strong mothers released into utilizing her skills without being oppressed or abandoned and fathers that fight for their family, will grow up willing to join the ranks. If children are encouraged by civilian affairs of extra curricular activities and media entertainment, then they have no foundation except what the world builds for them.
Many government and scientific studies, have researched how to convince young women into abandoning the role of being a mother and wanting to make more money. Much effort has been put into finding out how to break traditions of generational families to promote nuclear families (just mom and dad plus two kids). There is an attack on families, and maybe we are to look deeper into our Christian values and see if we are promoting healthy families within our own ranks.
If we have happy marriages and successful stories of fidelity, then we can more effectively help young women and men make better decisions about sexual purity, and abortion. What if we invited new believers (forgiven sinners) into our home like the children of Israel did with Rahab, or Ruth did with Naomi? That is another arrow in our quiver. Someone else to add to the list of reinforcements that will come refresh us in the day of calamity. Change starts from the ground up.
Part 2 Mother and Father