I mentioned in Part 1 of this series that when God created Adam and Eve, He already had planned for the family to be a unit of spiritual warfare. He said they were to have dominion over all the earth, and that word dominion, in the Hebrew, means to “tread down, subjugate, prevail against, rule, reign, and take.”
The concept of family working together in warfare was well understood by the Israelites. Many sons meant increased strength when an enemy came calling. Psalm 127:4, 5 says, “As arrows in the hand of a mighty man; so are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them. They shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.”
Now, as then, we have an enemy who comes to “kill, steal, and destroy.” Jesus came, however, so that we “might have life and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). Jesus is the abundant Life-Giver, but one of the ways we can partner with Him in shedding abroad abundant life is by living out solid family relationships, where Jesus reigns supreme in our homes. At the very least, our children will experience abundant life through the safety and security they enjoy. Beyond that, stable families with happy children are a testimony to nonbelievers that there is something more which they can have as well, if they will give their hearts to the Lord.
Raising children who love Jesus more than life, and who will be willing to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33) long after they have left our homes, is not an easy task. Accomplishing that goal is in itself a large component of spiritual warfare. We must depend on the Lord at every step to help us with the task and to rescue us and our children when any of us falter.
Next time, we will talk about some ways we can help our children thrive by giving them an understanding of the purpose of family.