We are currently in a season of battle, and the war we are waging is for our families.
With ongoing access to the world through social media, constant internet connection, and devices that track our every move, our spouses, children, and families have been and continue to be a target. So how can we, as children of God, fight the good fight for our homes?
Psalms 127:1-5, NKJV says:
“Unless the LORD builds the house,
They labor in vain who built it;
Unless the LORD guards the city,
The watchman stays awake in vain.
It is vain for you to rise up early,
To sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows;
For so He gives His beloved sleep.
Behold, children are a heritage from 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.
Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them;
They shall not be ashamed,
But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.”
God is very clear; a house cannot be built unless He builds it. If we take matters into our own hands, all that will result is shallow foundation and empty promises and resolutions.
Saints, I believe that God wants to raise a generation who will carry His authority and power to defeat and rebuke the enemies that have caused havoc for far too long. But in order to armor up, we must first become aware our defense is initiated within our home.
Defense Starts In the Family
Our families are the very foundation on which we learn to interact with the world around us. It is here that we learn respect, communication, and responsibility.
Looking back on my life, even into adulthood, I would never dream of talking back to my mama or daddy. However, in my observations of young people today, I am troubled by their disrespect for their parents, teachers, and those in authority.
Relationships of all kinds – marriage, friendships, and acquaintances – have fallen to the wayside because communication and reconciliation skills have not been taught. Parents and grandparents are modeling unhealthy conflict resolution skills, leading the current and next generation down the path of broken relationships.
Responsibility is learned early in life through chores and other household roles. However, many young folks I have interacted with have never lifted a broom. If we aren’t teaching our children the essence of work and why it’s essential, they will never understand how the workforce operates. After all, you get paid to work, not just for showing up!
At First Baptist Church of Glenarden, we value the family unit. In fact, one of the reasons we created the Family Life Ministry is so we can equip parents and children to stand firm in their identities and function in a holistic, healthy way.
However, before we implement good resources, we must start at the root of our familial struggles, and it begins with remaining aware of the enemies of our families.
5 Enemies That Challenge Our Families
The unsettledness in your family unit isn’t the standard- not in the kingdom of heaven, anyway. In fact, your family’s fate is not destined to stay on the path of destruction. With God’s help and by learning to engage with and apply His wisdom and revelation to your family’s circumstances, you can have victory!
Together, let’s explore five challenges our families are facing today.
Unresolved Conflict (Matt. 5:23-24)
“Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”
Matthew 5:23-24, NKJV
How are you teaching your family to engage and resolve conflict?
Unfortunately, many in the church diligently offer their talents, gifts, and ministries to God but are in conflict with other people. Church, God is the God of reconciliation and wants His children to live at peace with everyone.
Let me be clear: All families experience conflict at some point in their journey. (The Bible is filled with families that had conflict.) How we reconcile (or don’t) truly indicates the trajectory in which we will go.
Saints, don’t accept the reality that there are some people you will never get along with. As we seek God’s will for reconciliation, we combat the enemy of unresolved conflict in our hearts and promote restoration with those around us.
Financial Mismanagement (Eccl. 10:19)
“A feast is made for laughter, and wine makes merry; but money answers everything.”
Ecclesiastes 10:19, NKJV
Mismanagement of finances and the stress that comes along with it has been proven to destroy families.
I often hear people saying they just don’t make enough money. Can I be bold in saying that most of us don’t have a lack of money problem? We have a mismanagement problem!
Some examples of living under financial strain include living above your means, using credit cards to pay off credit cards, co-signing for unresponsible people, being unable to walk away from a good sale, and lending to people who have yet to pay you back.
These things cause unnecessary stress, broken relationships, decreased quality of life, and can even be detrimental to your health. When we prepare and plan financially, proving we can be trusted with all that God has given us (this includes giving back to Him through our tithes and offerings), He promises to provide more.
How are you managing and teaching your children to manage finances?
Sexual Immorality (1 Corinthians 10:6-8)
“Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, ‘The people say down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.’ Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell.”
1 Corinthians 10:6-8, NKJV
Sexual immorality is taking its claim on our families, and it is doing so through the means of adultery, fornication, homosexuality, and pornography.
I believe the very spark that ignites sexual immorality in the church is not only through pornographic means; it can be found through less evasive ways. Inappropriate TV shows, movies, novels, and song lyrics are filling our homes, and we are willfully paying for these things!
Not only do they fill our minds with messages that don’t align with who God is, but they taint our hearts, putting unrealistic expectations on those within our family and how we should be loved. Once you invite these kinds of media into your homes, you are welcoming the spirit of sexual immorality, which will ruin your lives and tear your family apart.
Divorce (Malachi 2:13b-16)
“You cover the altars of the LORD with tears, with weeping and crying; so He does not regard the offering anymore, nor receive it with goodwill from your hands. Yet you say, ‘For what reason?’ the LORD has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, with whom you have dealt treacherously; yet she is your companion and your wife by covenant. But did He not make them one, having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously with the word of his youth. ‘For the LORD God of Israel says that He hates divorce, for it covers one’s garment with violence,’ says the LORD of hosts. ‘Therefore take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.’
Malachi 2:13b-16, NKJV
The issue of divorce has been challenging for me as a pastor, firstly because God declares He hates divorce and secondly because many have approached me seeking my blessing on their plans of divorce.
Marriage is a serious life choice that requires preparation and consideration before acting on emotions. Sadly, many marriages have ended because couples base a marriage on physical attraction, financial status, or a longing not to be alone.
I advise those considering marriage to ask God what He thinks about a covenant with your current partner. Then, take a premarital class, date one another for at least four seasons (spring, summer, fall, and winter), and pay attention to how they engage with circumstances in their lives.
Then and only then will you clearly understand whether marriage is the right path for you. (It may also alleviate the pain caused by divorce down the road.)
Vices (Romans 8:1-2)
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.”
Romans 8:1-2, NKJV
We all have things we struggle with, and many times, the vices we engage with kill marriages and destroy families.
Unfortunately, our society makes drugs, alcohol, and other life-altering substances accessible. More recently, my concerns come from the fact that our politicians have voted to legalize marijuana. Do you know how many people have killed other humans driving while they’re drunk, and now it is legal to acquire weed?
The truth is that addictions to legal and illegal stimulants have been causing divides in families for decades. They are often the means for disassociation in relationships, abuse, and the cause of many choices that harm themselves and others.
Overcoming the enemies of the family begins with recognition. Is there a relationship you need to reconcile? Do you struggle with an addiction? Are you financially sinking? Be encouraged; we serve a God who can help bring resolution to the hurting places of your soul.
Jesus is the answer we need, and it starts with a relationship with Him. He died to make a way for us to live lives of victory, and it is His will that we overcome the enemies of our families.
If you are ready to commit to Jesus or have questions about what that means, click here.
For more on how to overcome the enemies of our family, check out Pastor Jenkins’s sermon, Overcoming the Enemies of the Family.