Each of us have experienced strains upon our marriages, our families our closest relationships. At times those strains come from human error and miscalculation. Maybe an “oops” will fix it followed by an “I am sorry.” At other times, I believe there are evil forces that are working both previously and presently to destroy our families. If the family unit is broken down then what safety can be found, anywhere? In God? Yes, but it is God who set up the family structure as a safe zone if you will.
None us are immune to this battle, even my own family. Especially my own family.
Being transparent, though I consider 2011 the best year of my life, the last 12 months have been the hardest upon my family. When I was laid off the economic pressures began to mount and I was prepared personally for the coming tests and thought I had estimated the coming tough times as survivable. What I way underestimated was the collective strain this change would bring upon my family and my marriage. I thought we would pull together like some 1950’s TV Family and at times we did. However, at other times I thought this would be the end of what we considered a wonderful Christian home. No fault of anyone. Just from the weight of the situation. I do not think I am alone in this perspective and certainly not alone in this battle. Many families have gone or are going through similar rough waters.
Recently when we hit a rough patch I received a text from one of my daughters, and it said, “Satan is just jacking with each of us in this family. Don’t let it get to you or we are all going down.” I did not know exactly what “jacking” meant but I interpreted her text as this, “Dad, Satan is attacking every member of our family and as the leader of this family stay strong. If you go down, we all go down.” I knew exactly what she was saying.
Many books have been written about the attacks by Satan on the family, especially the Christian family. If Satan can take the father out as the leader and the spiritual protector of the family, then he has a better chance of taking out the other members as well. I believe there is no greater warrior on this earth than the American Christian Father. And I am protective over each father I have the pleasure of knowing. Very protective.
I really thought I had made a major mistake in what follows. There is a gentleman I know well and getting to know better all the time. He has a classic beautiful family. Wife, three daughters, church going, kind, polite, all the good stuff they are. I like to text encouragement to people. A few weeks ago I texted this person and asked him if he would be traveling for business in the coming weeks. He replied he would in fact be making some trips before the end of the year. I then asked if he traveled alone or as a team. He replied alone. It was then that I accidentally tested our friendship and quite frankly went over the line. Though my intentions were pure, my wording was horrible.
The next text from me said, “Be careful out there on the road as there are lot of wild women.” I have traveled extensively for business and always as a team and we worked at watching out for each other as husbands and fathers. His reply assured me that he was strong in that area. I immediately began “spinning” and apologizing and was worried I might have damaged our relationship unintentionally. I saw he and his family during the past few days and asked him to forgive me for my insensitivity. We laughed about it and he said “no harm done.” It was then that I got down to the heart of the matter.
I took him by the shoulders and as tears began to form in my eyes I called him by his name and said, “You have a gift inside of you. God has given you that gift. And I am violently protective over that gift. Whether I am supposed to be or not, I am. And I believe 2012 will be the greatest year of spiritual growth you have ever experienced.” We hugged and left it at that.
We each have gifts and one of those gifts is our family. And if we allow Satan to start jacking around with our family and we lose them what purpose can we then have in the overall battle of life and for God.
As the new year approaches, when Satan does war against you and your family, “resist the devil and he will flee from you.” Find those even outside of your family that you can violently protect both them and the gift that is within them as a second line of defense. And above all, when the toughest times approach, do not lose your Hope.
Hope will sustain you through the toughest times.