Focus on Family (Family Series)

The family is under attack. Just look at the divorces, extramarital affairs, child abuse cases and teenage pregnancies happening today. But the enemy is not the busy husband or the nagging wife or the hard-headed kids. Satan, whose name means divider, is. Ephesians 6:11 says, “Put on the full armor of God that you may be able to stand firm against the scheme of the devil.”

Satan is attacking the family because it is the fundamental nation-builder. Historical studies show that the decline of civilizations and empires began when families and marriages deteriorated and eventually collapsed. Chuck Swindoll describes the family as “the place where principles, where faith, where walking with Christ in the real world is hammered and honed in the anvil of everyday living.” Based on research, it’s neither the church nor the school which serves as the greatest influence to the youth it’s the parents.

God established and loves the family. He urges us to focus on the family because it is foundational in transforming lives, communities, and nations. Parents therefore must be intentional in raising their kids. Needless to say, effective parenting begins with the life of the parents. Let your children see that you are passionately in love with the Lord and that this love compels you to obey Him. Practice this love at home. Remember that your life at home draws them to Christ. Parents must model being committed followers of Jesus in order to lead their children spiritually. You must know your children intimately by establishing a deep and engaging relationship with them. This is the key to influencing, training, correcting and disciplining your children. In this manner, you would be able to effectively teach God’s commandments diligently to your children.

Oftentimes we think of God as a cosmic KJ who wants to restrict us with commands. On the contrary, God, who knows the beginning and the end, and who knows what’s best for us, gives us commands tied up with blessings. He commands His people to obey Him and to teach their children the same; and for their obedience, God promised that their children and their grandchildren will live well, greatly multiply and will enjoy long life (Deuteronomy 6:1-9).

On the other hand, disobedience to God’s commandments has costly long-term consequences. The passive and condoning parenting style of Eli to his immoral and disobedient sons caused him to lose his spiritual heritage, his priesthood lineage (1 Samuel 2:30-31; 3:12-13; 1 Kings 2:27).

Life is too short for trial and error, so we must choose God’s way in raising our children. His way is for parents, primarily the father, to teach their children to know the Lord, to pass on a spiritual heritage (Ephesians 6:4).

How do we know we’re raising a generation who knows the Lord, or that we ourselves know Him? Matthew 7:20-21 says we shall know by the fruits. It’s not when we go to church or get busy with ministry. Consider Eli’s sons, Hophni and Phinehas. They were temple priests, but God declared them worthless because they didn’t know Him (1 Samuel 1:3; 2:12).

To truly know the Lord is to do His will. And His will for the family is for fathers and mothers to bring children up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord, and for children to obey their parents in the Lord and to honor them (Ephesians 6:1-4). Let’s stop blaming society, the government or the media for our dysfunctional families. Let’s assume responsibility. It’s time to focus on the family.


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