The Need For Family
~A teaching addressing the need, purpose and challenges of today's family~
"For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and in earth is named" (Eph. 3:15).
For some time now, churches and church leaders have focused on many elements in the church in order to make the church strong: they have focused on the leadership, on evangelism, on building funds, on doctrine, and on prophecy. But even as you read this, there is an attacked against a very vital part of the church, a part which, if it is not restored, protected and strengthened, may eventually lead to the weakening of every organized church in the world. No matter how anointed the leadership, how big the church, or how beautiful the building, without this essential part in place, no church anywhere can truly function effectively.
That part is the FAMILY.
The family is the cornerstone of society, the foundation upon which the success of every church, neighborhood and every nation, stands or falls. As the family goes, so goes our society. That is why Satan has focused such an incredible assault against the family, for he knows that if he can effectively weaken and distort the basic family structure, he can eventually destroy everything that depends on the family. Why else do you think that abortion, homosexual marriages, divorce, broken families, living together, child abuse, spousal abuse, adultery, and fornication have been unleashed on the family in such incredible volume? Because Satan knows that what the Lord Jesus said is true:
"Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand..." (Matt. 12:25).
Saints, as the incredible time of Christ's return approaches, we will see the signs of increased spiritual upheaval and warfare throughout every area of society, and the family is taking the brunt of the attack as Satan seeks to turn the family against itself!
"And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child; and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death..." (Matt. 10:21)
Jesus tells us further that even as the gospel is preached and received by some members of the family, the devil will stir up the unsaved members against them because of the gospel, and the family will be further divided unless the whole family is are saved: "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I am come to set a man at variance (odds) against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household" (Matt. 10:34-36).
Haven't we already seen these things in action, saints? Haven't some of us even experienced them ourselves? Jesus says that his purpose in coming is not so everyone can simply "get along" in sin together, but so that sin might be revealed and some, if not all, may come to salvation, even if it costs them the peace of their home. Beloved, if the Church is to be effective as an organized body of believers in this hour, then we must begin to restore and protect our families from this evil day!
God?s Purpose for the Family...
Beloved, did you know that God has a very specific purpose for the family in His great, eternal plan? He declared it from the very beginning of creation:
"Then God said, "Let us make man (mankind) in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule... over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground'... God blessed them and said to them, 'Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground..." (Gen. 1:26,28, NIV).
At the very beginning of creation, God commanded the first couple to subdue the earth. The word subdue means "to master, to take over, to rule over, to bring into submission." How could two people subdue something as large as the earth by themselves? They couldn't, and God knew that; that's why He also commanded them to "be fruitful, increase in number, and fill the earth." With what? CHILDREN! Adam and Eve were to master the earth and everything in it by filling the earth with their offspring. You see, God gave the earth to mankind, and through the increase of godly people God's promise of rule to Adam and Eve would be fulfilled, and because they would be people submitted to God, He would continue to exercise His eternal authority over the earth through the family of Adam and Eve. The more their family increased, the more their ability to dominate the earth would increase!
God's Love for Family...
"God sets the lonely in families; He leads forth the prisoners with singing..." (Psalms 68:6, NIV).
"...And ye shall hallow that fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto the inhabitants thereof... and ye shall return every man unto his possessions, and every man unto his family" (Lev. 25:10).
We must understand that the God of Heaven is extremely pro-family. Every member of the family is extremely important to Him, and He spares no efforts to keep them together as a family. Why? Did you ever consider that God the Father knows what it is like to lose family, to be hurt by break up, rebellion and division among loved ones? Consider this: first God's head angel turns against Him and turns a third of the heavenly host against Him; then after God created Adam and Eve, they are deceived into breaking covenant with God and choose to listen to Satan in the garden of Eden; centuries later, the children of Israel, God's chosen family, reject God's covenant and follow after false gods of wood and stone. And finally, God Himself has to turn His back, if just for a moment, on His Beloved Son as Christ becomes the very sin that God hates while on the cross, causing Jesus to cry out, "My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me?"
Yes, saints, the Father knows the pain of broken family all too well, and it was all caused by Satan, the Master Divider. But ever since the resurrection of his Son, God has been celebrating the return of His sons and daughters as His heavenly family is being restored through Christ (Heb. 2:10), and just as He is fighting for the restoration of His own family in Heaven, so He fights for the restoration of ours on earth. It's all about recovering family!
The Importance of Family Members...
The Bible teaches us that every member of the family is of utmost importance, contributing something to the family that only that member can give. We cannot afford to lose even one. When you have a family that is missing some of its members, you have a broken family.
One of the most devastating attacks has been the attack against fathers. Those that accept the demonic teaching that the father isn't an important part of the family structure have never read the Bible. The role of father and husband is the cornerstone of the family, and a symbol of God's relationship to his children. The word husband comes from the words house-band, meaning "he who bands (or holds) the house together."
Have you ever wondered why so many fathers and husbands have been killed in wars, sent to prisons, murdered in the streets, trapped by lust, and destroyed by drugs? Because Satan knows that the whole family becomes distorted when the man is lost, and everyone starts looking for love in all the wrong places: the wife takes on a role she wasn't meant to hold, and either starts sleeping around or shacking up; the boys go off and join gangs, and the girls go out and get pregnant, each unaware that they're trying to replace that father figure that's missing in their life. The whole family starts looking to things other than God for their help! When the husband loses his place, the wife gets displaced, the children get misplaced, and God gets replaced!
When there is a father in the home and no mother, then the father must play a role he was never designed for. A man may get by, but it is the woman whom God gave the natural ability to nurture, comfort and provide emotional balance for the children and emotional balance for her husband. A man can obtain a house and kids, but it truly takes a woman to make it a family and a home. Oh, yes, there are those that God blesses to make it alone, but there is nothing like experiencing the full plan, the whole blessing!
"Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far beyond rubies... She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her..." (Prov. 31:10,27-28, NIV).
The attack against the Children...
Saints, never in the history of mankind has there been such an attack against children as we see today. They're being murdered within the womb, in the streets, in their own homes, and in the schools, by their parents, friends, strangers, and siblings. They're being murdered, sold, stolen, abused, used, traded, raped, abandoned, damaged, thrown away, ignored, and forgotten. WHY? What can Satan hope to accomplish by this?
Think about it, saints; it's the same thing he's always done to try and stop a move of God. When Moses was born, Egypt began killing children; when Jesus was born, King Herod began killing children; two years before the children of Israel became a nation again in 1946, Hitler began killing them, over six million in all. Every time God begins to raise up a generation to fulfill His promises, Satan tries to wipe them out. Saints, the only reason that the children are under such attack is because Satan knows that this generation will bring in the greatest move of God ever seen on earth, and he wants to stop it at all cost! But he has already lost, praise God!
You see, when the parents cry out to God and receive a promise of deliverance, it is usually the children of the next generation who inherit that promise and walk in it. When God promised Israel the promised land after leaving Egypt, it was their children of the next generation who actually received it (Deut. 1:34-35); while God inspired king David to plan a temple for Him, it was David's son, Solomon, who actually built it and benefited from it.
But the reverse is also true; when the parents sin, the children inherit the curses and the punishment. Just like a blood disease, what the parents indulge in, the children experience as a bloodline curse. This is why fathers who are fornicators, adulterers, criminals, abusers, and drug addicts tend to have children who do exactly the same thing!
"...And when I punish people for their sins, the punishment continues upon the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of those who hate me..." (Exod. 20:5, LB).
The Turning Point...
In spite of all the negatives, as we speak there is a great awakening to the values that support and protect the family. Men are gathering by the millions, seeking forgiveness and restoration for their wrong to the family; women are again opening their hearts to forgive men and trust in marriage, giving men the opportunity to lead them and the family again; parents are seeking restored relationships with their lost children again. But until the Church sees the need to help promote this awakening through prayer, teaching and counseling, the family can never overcome, for without the help of God, the Originator of the Family, there will be no lasting victory!
Saints, if we are to see a strong victory in our lifetime, then we must focus on restoring the godly family, a family based on godly principles, unafraid to stand up and say, "This is the way of the family; walk ye there in!" The body of Christ must forget about building big churches and focus on building HEALTHY churches, churches with saved, spirit-filled families, ready to stand on the promises of God. Then we shall set an example that the world cannot ignore!
~Pastor Ron Barnes