The following is an excerpt from Dr. John’s book, PUT ON YOUR GLOVES: The 5 Battles Every Christian Must Win. Follow this link to obtain your copy of PUT ON YOUR GLOVES today.
“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.” MATTHEW 6:9-13
God is a family Man. It was the very heart of a Father that caused God to begin the process of creation. God ultimately has the love of family at the center of His heart at all times. You see the nucleus of family throughout every page of the Bible. But now, more than ever, the heart of God is being tested, and His family dynamic is under attack.
Satan hates the family, because of what it represents. He was at one time part of the heavenly family, but now he will never have that love and support from God again. Yet we, as God’s earthly creation through Jesus, have the love, support, and fellowship that is lacking in the dead realm, where he resides.
We also see the principles of the kingdom of God most demonstrated in family, and that’s another reason why satan hates it so much.
The foundation of the family is God the Father. Then he created the man directly under Him as the next part of the family dynamic. I know if we look at society that it doesn’t look as though the man (male) was created directly under God in the family dynamic, but the truth is we cannot win the battle for the family without the men.
I understand that things in the earth seem pretty messed up and even in your respective communities, men are absent and their presence is missed. But know that there are men who are picking up the torch and engaging the enemy for the family. Because every other battle will depend on us winning the battle for our families.
Women cannot win the battle for the family in our society today. No matter how things appear, they (women) can’t do it. Why? Because the Bible says that the husband is the head of the wife. Ephesians 5 tells us that God has put man in the position of leadership in the home. However, this doesn’t mean that the man is superior to the woman, because he isn’t.
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion…” GENESIS 1:27-28
God created them as equals. In Christ you’re equals. There is no superiority between men and women. But the fact is that God gave responsibility in the home to the man that He didn’t give to the woman. He chose to do that not because man was superior, but that was God’s choice.
Husband, be the head of the home. Husband, be the head of the wife. Well, what does that mean? How can I lead my family? As a man, how can I win the battle for the family?
Men are called to lead the family. How do we lead the family? I want to say this again, only the Christian man can restore the Biblical family. The women can’t do it without the men, as hard as they try. We have to win the battle for the Christian home, because our society is collapsing. The family has been under attack, because men have been taken out of their position, either willfully or forcefully, and now our homes are in disarray.
Modern culture has feminized men today. Very few men out there today even knows what it means to be a man in the Biblical sense of the word. Guys, we can’t win the battle for the family unless we take responsibility for our part, and it starts by getting back in a position of leadership. Here are three basic aspects to leading your family and thereby winning the battle:
1. YOU LEAD YOUR FAMILY BY LOVING YOUR WIFE.
This is a big revelation to many, but it is a very important first step towards winning the battle for the family.
The Bible says, “Husbands love your wife as Christ loved the Church” (EPHESIANS 5:25). Did you know that God gave you your wife to teach you how to love like Jesus loves? Have you ever thought about that?
What men need to understand is that nowhere in the Bible does God tell the woman that she has to love the man. And do you know why? Because she doesn’t have to be told to love.
The Bible says that “he that finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord” (PROVERBS 18:22 NKJV). Well, what does that mean? What is the favor that you and I obtain from our wife? It is the love that she gives you that you don’t deserve.
In other words, a woman has a gift to love a man. She is going to love him even when he’s being a knot-head. Listen men, I have to say these same things to myself, because I’m a man, too.
I had to learn this before I could tell it to you. God is trying to make us (men) Christ-like. Man had to be told to love his wife because he is naturally selfish. Leaders can be very selfish in making decisions. Love, however, sacrifices and doesn’t want its own way, but rather what’s best for the ones loved. Man had to be instructed because he doesn’t have the innate gifting to love without instruction. God didn’t leave anything to chance, He also told the man how to love his wife. “…like Christ loved the Church and gave himself for her” (EPHESIANS 5:25). We are supposed to love and cherish our wives. The man is also instructed to not be bitter against his wife, because he would naturally be bitter when she nags him, knows that answer before he does, or is insistent on her own way being right. So God commands the man to love and the Comforter shows him how to do it. The Father gives the grace and the Spirit shows the way, because no man understands his wife completely. It takes prayer and loving and listening in order to love his wife.
Fast forward to the problems that we’re having today. Men have not kept their end of the deal. Men keep going to the bank and making withdrawals, as the wife keeps loving, even though she is not being nourished or cherished. And because of that we will keep going to the bank, making withdrawals without any intent of making a deposit. But a woman will keep giving, because that’s how she was made, even when she is not being loved the way Christ loved the Church.
2. YOU LEAD YOUR FAMILY BY UNDERSTANDING YOUR WIFE.
“Husbands, dwell with your wives according to knowledge as unto the weaker vessel, as heirs together in the grace of life, lest your prayers be hindered.” 1 PETER 3:7
Husbands have the responsibility to dwell with their wives according to knowledge. That means it’s my job to understand my wife and her needs.
It says, “Husbands dwell with your wives as unto the weaker vessel.” We’ve taken that to mean that we are superior, because she’s just a weak vessel. But what that really means is that she has different strengths and limitations. It is more natural for the wives to love their husbands as that is how God created them. If they are abused and mistreated until they no longer respect them, then they will quit loving, and leave, their husbands. What a woman doesn’t respect, she won’t follow. The warning signs are there, and if the man doesn’t take heed, she will be gone. We have to understand what her limitations are. Because here’s what happens: wives have a gift to love their husbands, but what happens is they love beyond their limits. No wife wants to see her husband fail.
That man isn’t paying attention that the woman is just a shell now. Emotionally, she’s just gone. She has not been nourished or cherished, she’s just worn out. She just keeps loving by an act of her will, because she hasn’t been loved and cherished and nurtured by her husband. Put value upon her. Affirm her. Make her feel like she is the Queen of the world.
To win the battle for the family, you must also:
3. TRAIN YOUR CHILDREN IN THE THINGS OF GOD.
EPHESIANS 6:4 (NKJV) says, “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.”
The instruction to the father is that he is the one that should be training his children in the things of God. But most of the time, men will let the Mom do that, because a lot of the guys don’t even read their Bible.
Children should see Dad sitting down with his Bible. Your children should hear you praying. They should hear you saying, “We’re going to church today!”
Instead, we have Mom getting up and getting the kids and herself ready for church. Then when she asks Dad if he’s going, his response is more along the lines of “It’s a beautiful day out today, I think that I’ll go in the woods and meditate with the Lord.”
What he is really saying is, “I don’t want to take responsibility for being the spiritual head of my children, so I’ll evade my responsibility and sit back and let you do it.” Men are running from their responsibility as spiritual leaders in the home.
A well-published study revealed that if the fathers went to church as an adult, their children were very likely to follow in their footsteps and attend as adults as well. However, if the father didn’t attend church, his children were very likely to not attend as adults either. The study showed that the mother’s influence on the children to attend church as an adult was significantly less than the father’s influence. Men, we have to set the example, as our children are more likely to follow our example. God made it that way. When fathers get saved and go to church, most of the time they will bring their entire family to church.
“Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.” COLOSSIANS 3:21
Rules without relationship breeds rebellion. You cannot just take the position, “Do what I say because I said so.” It’s an antiquated way to develop your children.
That’s how I was raised. It is the relationship that I had with my parents. There was no love and affection, and by the time I was 17-18 years old, you better believe that there was a whole lot of rebellion going on. Why? Because my parents looked at my sisters and brothers and me as a commodity to serve their needs. So my Dad would give me orders and not talk to me and that is what many of us are doing today.
If you develop a relationship with your children, fathers, they will want to obey you. Giving orders without relationship then demanding obedience is how you provoke your children to wrath. And the Bible teaches against it, because God is our Father and He doesn’t function that way with us.
When we first come to God, all of our prayers are answered almost instantly. Everything is wonderful…God is so good. Then we enter the stage of our growth where, “To whom much is given, much is required” (LUKE 12:48), and He asks us to do something for Him.
When God does this you have the attitude of “Why wouldn’t I want to do this for Him, when He is so good and has done so much for me?”.
Do you see what happened here? God doesn’t start out with us making demands of us. He is completely interested and vested in building a solid relationship and displaying His love for us. Then He will start to place more responsibility on us, once we have grown a bit and can handle the pressure of those demands. Because at all times, He is more concerned about the relationship than anything else.
He is a good Father, our perfect example, and He is looking to develop great fathers after Himself. We are not going to win the battle for the family if we don’t start taking our role and place in the family seriously. You and I are fighting for our grandchildren, who ten to fifteen years from now will be suffering in society if we don’t step up right now and do something about it.
We have no choice; it’s time to fight for our families and it starts with the men.