“And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15 NKJV)
In recent days, the Supreme Court of our country met in a session debating same-sex marriage.
The discussion centered mainly on whether defining marriage should be left to voters in individual states or to our judicial system.
Fortunately, there was a significant demonstration on the part of the church opposing same-sex marriage.
Consequently, a ruling from the court that would take away the people’s ability to vote on the issue of gay marriage is still pending.
However, it’s inevitable to ask ourselves as Christians, “How, why, and when did things get so bad in the moral fiber of our nation?”
I think many of us have already realized that as a nation, we’ve suffered from the same disease that the nation of Israel suffered from during many periods of its history.
This disease is the blindness caused by prosperity.
The Bible says in Deuteronomy 8:
Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, lest— when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied;
When your heart is lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water;
Who brought water for you out of the flinty rock; who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end.
Then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’
–Deuteronomy 8:11-17 NKJV
This blindness that was caused by prosperity became a pattern in the relationship between God and Israel.
Their hearts would become exalted, and they eventually would abandon God and turn to idols.
Then God would bring judgement to Israel. When they’d repent, God would heal their land, and the cycle would repeat again.
Does that sound anything like our country today? I think so.
The only difference is that we haven’t quite experienced the judgement that Israel did.
Jesus said that His church is supposed to be the light that illuminates the world. We’re expected to be the salt that preserves the society from going rotten (Mathew 5).
Therefore, we must take responsibility for the direction our society is heading, and make the changes collectively and individually that are going to bring about that change.
The Essential Role of the Family and Change
God places great importance in the role of the family in His plans.
God told Abraham, the father of faith, “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed because you have obeyed My voice.” (Genesis 22:18 NKJV)
Through Abraham’s descendants, the nation of Israel was formed, and eventually through them, the Messiah would be born into the world.
The Bible says of Noah that it was because of his faith in God that he “prepared an ark to the saving of his house.” (Hebrews 11:7 KJV)
As it was in the case of Noah, and the case of Lot, when God preserved them from judgement, He always included their families in His plan.
In Exodus 10, after God sent the eighth plague on Egypt, Pharaoh called Moses to convince him to take only the men to leave to worship God.
Pharaoh wanted Moses to leave behind the women and the children.
However, Moses refused this because the commandment of God included the whole family.
Moses said in Exodus 10:9, “We will go with our young and our old ; with our sons and our daughters , with our flocks and our herds we will go, for we must hold a feast to the LORD.” (NKJV)
God’s big emphasis on family is because He’s the one who designed the family.
He created the institution of marriage between a man and a woman, through which children are to be born and raised. As a result, a family is formed.
The greatest purpose for the family is to serve God and to bring glory to His name.
Any alteration to this design is sinful and under that banner can only bring destruction to the family and to society.
Identifying the Battle for the Family
We see that Satan in the Bible is always attempting to bring down the plan of God by trying to destroy the family.
After all, Satan’s goal is to steal, kill, and destroy.
Sadly, it’s clear that he’s accomplishing this very task today in the families in our country.
In the US, about 40.7 percent of births are out of wedlock.
Approximately 1.2 million abortions take place every year. (source)
About 40 to 50 percent of marriages end up in divorce.
If this is alarming, what should be even more alarming is that the statistics in the evangelical church are very high and continue to increase.
Statistics by the Guttmacher Institute show that one of every five women that commit abortion identify themselves as born-again Christians . (source)
Moreover, many studies show that the divorce rate among Christians is almost the same as the rest of society.
Instead of the world absorbing the Christian morals, the morals of the world are invading the church.
The reason for this problem is summed up in the following verses:
Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.
–Matthew 7:24-27 NKJV
In this passage, Jesus compares those who hear His Word and DO IT, with those who hear His Word and don’t do it.
The ones that do His Word are like someone who builds their house on the rock.
If we replace the word “house” with “family”, we get the same result.
The result is that when the problems and tribulations come, that house or family will stand firm on the rock, and that rock is Christ.
However, the one that doesn’t do the Word of God is building his house on the sand. The Bible says about that house or family, that “great was its fall.”
Are we building our homes on the Rock, who is Christ? Is our family centered on The Lord Jesus and His Word? Are our priorities set according to the will of God?
If our response to these questions are a partial “yes” or “no”, then we need to take a different direction in our families.
It doesn’t matter who we are in our families; the father, the mother, the sons, or the daughters.
What matters is that if Jesus dwells in our hearts, then we have an immeasurable power of influence in our homes to bring about change.
Winning the Battle for the Family
As you’ve probably heard before, we don’t wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness, against spiritual host of wickedness. (Ephesians 6:12)
We can’t fight this fight with physical weapons, but with the power of the Holy Spirit.
How do we acquire such power as sons and daughters of the Almighty?
We acquire this power through our most powerful weapon; prayer.
We must develop a passion for prayer.
The problem with many Christians is that they don’t use this weapon, and their laziness and/or their distractions are costing them the victory of the battle for their family.
Some Christians pray but easily get discouraged when they don’t see results and changes in their families.
Their impatience is costing them the victory in their families.
In Luke 11, Jesus in teaching the disciples about prayer told them to be constant, and to pray continually for those things we want that are in His Will.
Jesus said in Luke 11:9-10, “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. ”
We conclude with this beautiful promise of God to His people:
“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV