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The family has fallen on hard times. Now I don’t mean every family unit is suffering; the institution of the family, however, as God ordained it, is suffering. My wife and I are foster and adoptive parents. This has opened our eyes to the reality of hurting families. It is this ministry that has caused me to have a burden in my spirit to walk closer to God.
Being a godly husband and father boils down to how close you are to Christ. If you are outwardly religious, but lack that which only God sees in the heart, then it will naturally affect how you relate to your family.
In what ways can we hold on to our faith and walk more closely with God? After all, faith isn’t a tangible object that we can wrap our fingers around. Here are some suggestions:
1. Stay in the Scriptures. 2 Timothy 3:15 says that the Scriptures are able to make us wise unto salvation. One writer said that we need to continually return to Scripture as the benchmark of God’s will for the home. He goes on to write, “who could imagine living under worse conditions or more pressure than the early Puritan settlers of America? Yet their marriages and families thrived. Why? Because they worked hard at mastering the fundamentals of Scripture regarding the family. Today’s pastors must take seriously scriptural standards for men in ministry as they attend to their marriage and family.”
2. Stay on our knees. According to church tradition, James the brother of Jesus was known as “camel knees” due to the unusual amounts of time he spent on his knees in prayer. We must bathe our families in prayer.
3. Love Jesus. 1 Peter 2:7 says “unto you therefore who believe, He is precious…” Christ should take the preeminence of everything in our life, but he should be the only one who should come before family. A strong home begins with the man. If that man isn’t lavishly in love with Jesus then he cannot lead that house. Our home is the training ground for ministry.
4. Be broken. Pride causes the fall of many a man (Proverbs 29:23). A man’s pride shall bring him low. Brokenness keeps us aware of the fact that we are sinners. Our humility before God and our family will show Christ as sweeter than a man to Lord’s his beliefs over them with a heavy hand.
Our families are our primary field of ministry, and what our families need most of all are men of God who are in love with King Jesus. Our children need dads who are men of the word. Our wives need husbands who are men of prayer. Men, we must be broken before God in order to be filled with his spirit and usable in his kingdom. Be careful to remain close to Christ and remain close to your family. Much is at stake!
Brian Owens is an associate pastor with youth and children emphasis at Farmdale Baptist Church.