As a father goes, so goes the household. And as the household goes, so goes society.
Fathers are essential to families. Men leading by Christian virtue is essential to fatherhood. And godly families are essential to having a good society. The culture at large would have us believe otherwise, but if God created the institution of family, does he not have the authority to say how it ought to be? God has an intended design for what man and woman are and what a family and its purpose is. Satan has been at work in our society, seeking to destroy its foundation. If Christians are going to win the cosmic battle for the family then we need to make a few observations:
- God’s design of man and woman for marriage is the only design that works.
- Fathers are integral to a child’s development and the family’s stability.
- Sex is a sacred act, given by God as a gift within His parameters.
The secular world will never admit these facts. Rather than seeking to encourage strong families, there are forces at play that propagate its very destruction. We see this firstly in the attack on design.
Attack on Design
God implemented the institution of the family at the very beginning with Adam and Eve. Going through Genesis we see that God’s intended design for marriage was the joining together of one man and one woman (Gen. 2:24) with the mission to “be fruitful and multiply” and to take dominion over all the Earth (Gen. 1:28).
Satan has been attacking God’s design for the family ever since sin entered the world. In America, we have seen the degeneration of biblical marriage and biblically-informed ideas about family. In the past few decades alone, this country has legalized no-fault divorce, gay marriage, and abortion. Notice that the legalization of these three things is intimately tied to the institution of family:
- No-fault divorce reduces the meaning of wedding vows and a marriage covenant.
- Gay marriage is antithetical to the true nature and purpose of marriage.
- Abortion attacks our God-given mandate to bear fruit and multiply and eliminates the consequences of fornication.
Why is Satan so focused on tearing down God’s family design? It’s because he knows that there is power in God’s people coming together and faithfully creating the next generation of God-worshippers. And when that generation grows up living for Christ, they continue the pattern of creating the next God-fearing generation. The fight for the sanctity of God’s design of marriage and family is a cosmic battle that we need to fight together.
Attack on Men
There has been a multi-generational attack on biblical manhood that is most noticeable in our culture today. The number of examples that could be given on this topic would take a large series of articles to fully analyze. Suffice it to say, masculinity is demonized in our culture. But it takes biblically masculine men to lead their families in following after Christ.
This is because a father is designed to create stability and structure within their family. But when a father is absent from their family, the mother ends up bearing responsibility that she was not originally intended to bear. The impacts of absentee fathers are various but are most noticeable in their children. Multiple studies have shown that children growing up without a father in the household are influenced to such a degree that it correlates with their development, behavior, and even their economic situation.
All this to say that having Christian men leading their homes is vitally important. It’s important to God and it’s important to having a faithful, God-fearing society. This is why we need to encourage biblical masculinity in men.
Let it not go unmentioned that encouraging biblical femininity in women is essential to God’s design and purpose for family as well. While the scope of this article is primarily centered around fathers, motherhood ought to be recognized for the powerful role that it plays in a family as well. Children that grow up without a mother suffer similarly to children that grow up without a father. Mother and fathers are equally essential to raising a family in the way that God intended.
Attack on Sex
Being a man isn’t just about being masculine, though. If that masculinity isn’t accompanied by virtue then the result is selfish men seeking to please their lustful desires.
For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God.
-1 Thess. 4:3-5
God intended for us, men and women, to have great self-control over our sinful desires. But Satan has influenced the majority of culture today to give in to whatever “feels good” to us at the moment. Our culture views pre-marital sex as the norm and shames those who refrain from it. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to us, for even in Paul’s day people approved those who practiced sexual immorality (Rom. 1:32).
The perversion of sex in our culture has led to the tragedy of abortion. Men and women seek to escape the consequences of their actions by murdering their children. Children are gifts from the Lord (Ps. 127:3) and ought to be cherished. Every Christian should be united in fighting against this horror.
Satan has strategically attacked the God-given mandate to be fruitful and multiply by influencing the widespread approval of legal child-murder. This has no doubt encouraged pre-marital sex and distorted God’s design for biblical sex. This is why we must be led by the word of God, grow in self-control, and stand up for truth at all costs.
Regardless of rampant fatherlessness, the deconstruction of the family, or the legal murder of children, Jesus Christ is Lord over everything. He is sovereign and is bringing all things under His rule (Ps. 110:1). It is because Christ sits at the right hand of the Father that we can faithfully and confidently proclaim the good news of the gospel. As God works through His people to confront the culture with His good news, we can rest assured that we are not fighting an uphill battle. Jesus Christ is King and already has the victory secured for us.
Rules of Engagement
Practically, Christians can be doing things to further the gospel and God’s design for the family. Bringing the gospel to the front lines of abortion mills is vital. Countless children have been saved at the hands of Christians who go to the clinics and plead for life.
We can also always seek to grow in holiness and purity, remembering that it is Christ who gives us that very power to will and work for His pleasure (Phil 2:13).
Christians should hope to see societal improvement. Since the dawn of creation, God gave us the mandate to take dominion over the earth. This is one of the reasons that He created the institution of the family. God’s word has a lot to say about the nature and purpose of family, and our worldview should be informed by His word. We are currently in a war of worldviews, so it is important to think through these things with Scripture as our foundation.
If Christians want to honor our Lord in this cosmic battle for the family, we must trust in the Father who will never abandon His children, and go forth bearing the message of His Son who came to save rebels like you and me.