[callout]This is a guest post from Anna Joy Lowell. Anna is the blogger behind Path Through the Narrow Gate, a blog dedicated to helping Christian families discover that family Bible study is not only doable, but also enjoyable. She is also the author of the Wisdom Talks Family Bible Study series. You can connect with Anna on Facebook. If you want to guest post on my blog, check out my guest post guidelines and submit your post.[/callout]
My husband has this thing for guns.
It’s a bit incomprehensible to my female mind, but there it is.
Not only does my husband enjoy deer and ruffed grouse hunting, he also wants to be prepared to protect his family in the event of an armed robbery. So, he has stockpiled weapons and ammunition.
Now, you’d think that my family would be pretty safe.
Unfortunately, the guns are pretty useless by themselves.
Recently, while my husband was away on an overnight business trip, I heard about an attempted robbery that occurred close to our home. The homeowners were at home when two thieves broke in. The husband chased the thieves out with a shotgun, but the thieves got away.
I was convinced (in my female mind) that since the thieves got away and didn’t manage to steal anything, there was a good chance that they would be returning soon to a home close to the scene of the original crime to try again. So, I panicked.
But then, I remembered my husband’s guns. I mean, obviously these particular thieves were a little nervous about homeowners with shotguns.
No problem. I am a homeowner. And, my husband has a shotgun. And, even though I know nothing about guns, you can’t miss with a shotgun, right?
So, I pulled out my husband’s shotgun. Only, it wasn’t loaded. And, even if I knew how to load it, I didn’t have the strength to break the gun. (Is there a lever to release it somewhere?)
Actually, I wasn’t entirely sure if I had picked out my husband’s shotgun or his pellet gun. They kind of look alike, you know?
Let’s just say that, if my family was living in the middle of a war zone under an all-out attack, we wouldn’t survive very long if my husband wasn’t home to protect us.
How about your family? As Christian fathers and husbands, are you protecting your families? Or, are you leaving the protection of your home and children up to your wife?
Because, whether you are aware of it or not, you are living in a war zone. You do have an enemy, and he has his eye on your family, your home.
This is an old battle. It began in the Garden of Eden.
In the beginning, God created a man. God made this man in His image and He named him Adam.
Then, God gave this man a commandment. “…from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:17, NASB)
After that, for the first time in creation, God declared that something was not good. It was not good for Adam to be alone.
So, God made a helper for Adam—a beautiful woman that Adam was to provide for and take care of and spend his life in a relationship with. And, in God’s perfect plan, this beautiful union of a man and his wife would result in children, a family for Adam to love and cherish.
God gave Adam only one commandment. “From the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat.”
The Bible doesn’t tell us that God gave this commandment to Eve. I believe that God expected Adam to tell his wife. And, indeed, he did. By the time the enemy came, Eve knew the Word of God. She knew that she was not to eat of the tree.
But still, the enemy came. And, when he came, he didn’t come directly to Adam. He came to the woman whom Adam was supposed to be protecting.
Satan came and questioned God’s goodness. He tempted the woman to eat of the forbidden tree. He stroked the woman’s pride and her desires to make the fruit seem irresistible. Satan lied to the woman. And Eve rejected God’s authority in her life and ate of the tree.
Where was Adam during this time? Since Eve turned and immediately gave the fruit to Adam, it seems that he may have been standing there the whole time, listening to the serpent.
What was Adam thinking? Was he so busy ogling his wife’s beauty that he wasn’t paying attention? Was he too apathetic to speak up and remind his wife of the commandment that he had received from God? Or, was he right beside his wife, believing Satan’s lies?
Regardless of exactly what was going on in Adam’s head, we do know one thing. Both Adam and Eve failed big time that day. And, the results of their sin affects each one of us everyday.
Adam had the Word of God, the commandment that God had given him. And, he chose to make it of little importance in his life.
Adam failed to pick up and use the Sword of Truth, the Word of God, to fight for the lives of his wife and children to come.
This is still happening today, perhaps even in the majority of American Christian homes.
We are surrounded by strong Christian men who have the Word of God, the Bible, in their homes. Yet, they are too busy, too distracted, too tired, too apathetic to take their roles as leaders in their homes seriously. They are not passing on the teachings of God to their wives and children.
Men, may I plead with you to wake up? Look at the culture around you. Satan may not be coming after you directly, but he is coming after your wife and your children. Do you care enough about them to fight for them?
Recent polls tell us that not only do most of the teenagers raised in Christian homes know little to nothing about the Bible, more than 75% of them will walk away from the church within a few years of graduating high school.
Men, open your eyes. Look at your kids. The kids in these polls? They are your kids. And they are walking away from the faith.
Satan wants your children and he wants my children. He will do everything in his power to tempt them to reject Jesus Christ as their Savior. He is roaming the earth as a roaring lion, looking for our children to devour. And, he will be delighted to see them judged and cast into hell.
So, as soon as our children get out into the “real” world, Satan has a heyday lying to them and watching them fall for his every lie.
What can we possibly do as parents to fight this?
We cannot guarantee the salvation of our children. That is between them and God. But, we can pray earnestly and we can teach our children the truth of God’s words.
God’s Word is the Sword that will allow our children to defeat Satan’s temptations. God’s Word is the loaded shotgun that will destroy the enemy.
But so many of us as Christian parents are not preparing our children for this spiritual battle. We are not giving them the Sword of Truth. We are failing to teach our children the truth of God’s Words.
We are sending our children into battle with an empty pellet gun, completely unprepared for the realities that they will face.
How about you? Do you care enough about the eternal destiny of your children to tell them on a regular basis about the epic story of God’s redemption of His people through the blood of His Son Jesus Christ? Do you love your children enough to tell them what the Bible says about every aspect of life?
Do you love your wife enough to speak the truth of God’s Words into her ears when her spirit is tired and weighed down by the fears and the temptations of this world?
Or, in the few hours of your day that you can claim as your own, are you lost in the virtual world of your smart phone, oblivious to the attacks of the devil that are occurring within the walls of your own home?
Do your children know that the Bible is important to you? Do they see you reading it? Do they hear you teaching it to them? Do they see that your faith is real?
Does your family see a man who is engaged in the spiritual battle?
Or do they see a man who is passive about his faith, sitting on the sidelines, not taking heaven and hell and God seriously?
Adam failed his family because he zoned out at a critical moment in the battle. But, by God’s strength, you can be a strong warrior, awake and fighting to protect your family.
Abraham was far from a perfect man, but he was this kind of father. God said this about Abraham: “For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice.” (Genesis 18:19, NASB)
Joshua was this kind of a father: “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15, NASB)
Paul was this kind of a father to his spiritual son, Timothy, as he pointed Timothy back to the Bible: “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 3:14-17, ESV)
And, after a lifetime of fighting this spiritual war, Paul was able to say: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:6-8, ESV)
Will you be this kind of father? Will you be able to say, “I have commanded my household to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice?” Will you be able to say, “But as for Me and my house, we will serve the Lord?” Will you be able to say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith?”
I plead with you. For the sake of your family, fight the good fight. Lay down your selfish desire to check out or your lazy tendency to leave Bible teaching up to your wife.
Be a man of God, take up your Sword, the Word of God, and start leading your family toward God today. He will give you the strength that you need.
(If you are a woman whose husband is refusing to lead spiritually, you may want to read the post, “What To Do When Your Husband Refuses to Lead Your Family Spiritually.”)
Would you like an easy way to start discussing God’s Word with your family? Take a look at the new family Bible study, Wisdom Talks About Work: Finding God’s Purpose for Your Everyday Life. And, if you use the coupon code Jackie Bledsoe by August 29, 2016, you can purchase the combo pack (normally $28.00) for only $15.00.
[reminder]Men, how are you protecting your families on a daily basis?[/reminder]