As men, our families are often caught in the crossfire of today’s cultural wars.
There is rise in scarred children coming from broken homes. Parents are increasingly absent, more engaged in their personal pursuits than in the lives of their spouses in children. Too many use their family to justify their absence by saying, “I want to give them a better life.”
There is a rise in shattered marriages because, instead of honoring their commitment, spouses are always in search of something better.
The deterioration of the family structure is clear evidence that Christian men are spending too much time retreating from the fight.
I have heard many Christian men, myself included, complain about the cultural stereotypes of the modern husband and father. The most common are the uber-driven self-made man so motivated by money, success, and physique, that his family is left in the dust, and “Peter Griffin/Homer Simpson” man, those absent because they have absolutely no drive at all, who let themselves be bullied by the world.
I would submit that the very reason such stereotypes exist is because Christian men have spent far too much time in fear, giving ground to culture instead of standing in the gap for our families.
Instead of being part of the solution, by our apathy and absence we have become part of the problem.
This must stop.
Men must stop retreating and start standing their ground against a world that tells them what they, and their families, are supposed to be.
The only way we can win the fight is by being willing to pick up the only weapon against which nothing else can stand.
We fight for our families with love – but not a love by the world’s definition.
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” This is the gold standard for love that Christ gives us in John 15:13 (ESV). It is a love marked by complete sacrifice – a willingness to lay down your own life for the good of another.
This is the standard Christ modeled for husbands on the cross, and the standard we are called to in our own families.
Give up the ballgame on Sunday to spend time with your kids. Give up the extra half-hour of sleep to pray and read scripture with your family. Take time to get to know your spouse and children’s passions and spend more time on those than you do living for yourself.
Tell them they are priceless and beautiful, and that they don’t have to look like the cover of a magazine to find value. Demonstrate this value in your own conduct. Be the kind of man you would want your own daughter to marry, or that you would want your own son to be.
Your God-given responsibilities as a husband and a father matter far more than your own pursuits. Your primary responsibility is to provide for them not simply financially, but emotionally and spiritually, as well. You have a responsibility to stand and fight against a culture that is warring for their souls.
We cannot stand separately – we have to stand together. No man can fight alone, so be there for your brother when he is wounded, be willing to help him fight.
The tide of culture is strong, but God’s love is stronger.
With that weapon, the time has come for men to fight back!
Daniel Kiewel is a member of CrossPoint Church in Great Bend, and maintains a faith-based blog at www.breakthetape312.com. He can be reached by email at email@example.com.