There’s no question about it: the home is under attack today. And I’m not just talking about subtle attacks that cautiously undermine biblical values. I’m talking about a full on, vicious, satanic attack that is shaking the very definition of the family itself.
How can the local church support Christian families? We must not only support the definition of the family, but we must support actual families as well—the people in our churches.
For twenty-nine years, we’ve labored at Lancaster Baptist Church to help Christian homes. We have opposed every form of legislation or change in society that undermines the family. I’ve preached hundreds of messages from every Bible passage that pertains to developing a strong home. We’ve held annual couples retreats, offered counseling, taught lessons, and published resources for families.
When it comes to Satan’s attacks on families, the church cannot stand back and simply observe the carnage. We must step in and help.
Hold Biblical Family Values
In addition to the obvious—preaching and teaching that marriage was created and defined by God as being between a man and a woman—we must also hold to the biblical family values within a home.
These are spelled out concisely in Ephesians 5:33–6:2:
Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband. Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)
A man is commanded to love his wife—unconditionally and unselfishly. Obeying that command consistently is a challenge for every single man I know.
A wife is commanded to express biblical loyalty to her husband in reverence and submission.
Children are to follow the biblical leadership of parents as they obey and honor them.
Quite frankly, it is difficult to preach these truths without carefully quantifying what they don’t mean. One of Satan’s modes of undermining truth is to so distort it that the moment a pastor even reads a Scripture verse about a wife submitting to her husband hearers equate that truth with abuse and repression.
As pastors, we must be careful to define the biblical meaning of these truths as we rightly divide God’s Word. And we must be faithful to hold to them even when their rightly-perceived meanings rub human nature the wrong way.
Nobody but the church is teaching these biblical values. Today’s television shows are attempting to decimate them. Secular workplaces disregard them. The barrage of media coming at us mocks them. Churches must hold to them and teach them—purposefully, carefully, scripturally, and frequently.
Help Battered Family Units
The reality is that many people to whom we minister have suffered or are suffering as the result of Satan’s attack on their home.
Some are suffering from abandonment—an absentee parent, an unfaithful spouse, or some other form of desertion and rejection. If you are reaching every sector of your community, a large percentage of those you reach will be single moms and fatherless children.
Some are suffering from their own infidelity. Not only does the gospel reach fatherless children, but it reaches absentee fathers. It reaches people who are facing tremendous loss through sinful, selfish choices they’ve made that have brought pain in their family relationships.
God is so gracious to take us where we are—pain, sin, suffering and all—and give us His comfort, forgiveness, mercy, and grace.
The family of God must similarly administer God’s grace. If we’re only ministering to picture-perfect families, we’re not helping a true cross-section of homes in our community. We’re either not seeing broken people come to Christ, or we’re not really helping them when they do.
Churches must minister to the abandoned and rejected with God’s comfort.
Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.—James 1:27
We must reach to rescue the repentant with His restoration.
Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.—Galatians 6:1–2
Honor Biblical Role Models
One of the ways to strengthen homes is to support the built-in role models God gave children.
Grandparents should be honored for their age and godly grandparents for their faithful walk with God.
The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.—Proverbs 16:31
Fathers are to be honored for their position, and they are to be instructed to tenderly bring up their children in the ways of the Lord.
Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law.—Proverbs 4:1–2
Mothers likewise are to be honored for their position, and they are to be commended for their faith and spiritual investment in the lives of their children.
My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother: Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck. When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee.—Proverbs 6:20–22
When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.—2 Timothy 1:5
Honoring these biblical role models is a two-sided coin in that you are instructing grandparents and parents to biblically fulfill their responsibilities and simultaneously encouraging children to respect those God has placed into their lives.
Help for the Home
If there was ever a day that the home needed the help of the church, it is today. Parenting in today’s culture is difficult. And that’s just on the good days. The rest of the time it is impossible without the grace of God.
May our churches be places of biblical help and hope for Christian homes. They need it.