Turning Our Nation Around II: The War at Home

If a man would change the world, let him begin with something that is right before his eyes, let him lead his home.

My church hosted a father/son retreat this weekend, and I was fortunate enough to attend several of the sessions. I came away with a deeper appreciation for the incredible relationship that fathers and sons have and for the primal nature of that relationship. Some of the highlights that were particularly relevant to the discussion at hand are as follows:

The story of the Bible and of this world is essentially the story of a Father working through His Son, of Jehovah God, accomplishing all things through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Children, when you obey your father, you are testifying to the fact that there is a God in heaven who must be obeyed.  Father’s when you care for and discipline your children, you are testifying that there is a God who loves and chastens those who are His own.

Children, when you disobey your father, when you roll your eyes and mock his authority, you are committing high treason against heaven. Fathers, when you take too lightly your children’s rebellion, when you wink at it and let it exist unchecked, you are tolerating witchcraft in your homes.

We also spent a lot of time in Deuteronomy 6, reading the Shema Yisrael, and asking ourselves what a family would look like if it built itself around the Hebrew concept of learning, around the idea of a father walking and talking with his sons, taking them with him everywhere that he can, letting them see the world through the lens of his knowledge and experience. And not a perfect father, mind you, or perfect sons. Through all of this, we were reminded that every son is challenged by being forced to submit to and learn from an imperfect father and that every father is similarly challenged by having to lead and discipline imperfect sons.

To my mind, this is the first step in turning our nation around, that of turning our homes back to God, putting away our childishness and our love of sin and the easy life.

What do you say?

4 thoughts on “Turning Our Nation Around II: The War at Home”

  1. I agree with you. In a recent Barna survey (published in the book, UnChristian), believers were asked to assess the three most important elements of their faith. Out of ten potential answers, “family faith–discipling your children, shaping family faith,” came in dead last. 1% of “born again” Christians thought it belonged near the top of their list of priorities as believers.

    My response: Are you high?

    Somehow, American Christianity has developed this disconnect between vibrant family life and a life lived on mission. We think that our faith is something we can do “out there” and then come home later and tinker with our kids and marriages. Wow.

  2. I agree with you. In a recent Barna survey (published in the book, UnChristian), believers were asked to assess the three most important elements of their faith. Out of ten potential answers, “family faith–discipling your children, shaping family faith,” came in dead last. 1% of “born again” Christians thought it belonged near the top of their list of priorities as believers.

    My response: Are you high?

    Somehow, American Christianity has developed this disconnect between vibrant family life and a life lived on mission. We think that our faith is something we can do “out there” and then come home later and tinker with our kids and marriages. Wow.

  3. A. J. said it all, I think.

    I would add this: As churches, i.e. discrete bodies of believers, we do a disservice to families when, in service to the idea of protecting families, we create ten thousand activities which wind up contributing to the disconnect. Then we wonder why Johnny, who was in church every time the door opened, seems to rebel once he’s out of the house. In the guise of having a “family friendly” environment, we abrogate our leadership roles as parents to the church, just as parents abrogate the role of educators to the schools. It’s a recipe for disaster.

    Cheers.

  4. A. J. said it all, I think.

    I would add this: As churches, i.e. discrete bodies of believers, we do a disservice to families when, in service to the idea of protecting families, we create ten thousand activities which wind up contributing to the disconnect. Then we wonder why Johnny, who was in church every time the door opened, seems to rebel once he’s out of the house. In the guise of having a “family friendly” environment, we abrogate our leadership roles as parents to the church, just as parents abrogate the role of educators to the schools. It’s a recipe for disaster.

    Cheers.

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