Do you ever feel like your home is being ripped through by an emotional tornado? Where previously blue skies become black and gale force winds blast apart your peaceful and well-constructed family? Perhaps yours is in a season where it seems like your abode has been picked up and dropped down in the middle of tornado alley – and it’s storm season.
An incident in my life this week had me thinking about natural disasters in the home. You know, when things go from cool to blazing hot in an instant and you say to yourself, “Whoa! What happened?” Generally, when that much emotion is generated I find I’m doing something really wrong - or really right. Either way, these shake-ups deserve our attention. It is easy to understand strife when we’ve slipped off track. But what’s the deal with the grief when we’re doing the right thing?
Take Dr. James Dobson, for example. Imagine being the source of an uninterrupted flow of criticism for nearly 40 years… the negative articles, the slams on television, nasty grams and hateful blogs, the gunshots and death threats – all reactions to his unwavering commitment to stand for the family and promote the biblical principles upon which solid families are built. Bearing these attacks, both physical and spiritual, is the cost of his dedication and the burden of his God-given mission. As mothers and fathers we also open ourselves up to spiritual attacks both from outside and even within the home. Our assignment and responsibility is great. Especially if we are on the right track as we shepherd our kids, live daily in faith, and are brave enough to be counter-cultural, we should expect the inevitable thunder and lightning.
I mentioned the attacks that Dr. Dobson has weathered. The flip side to that cost is the incredible gain. Over the years, millions of people have been reached and supported through his books, radio broadcasts, and ministry initiatives. Generations of families have been impacted and inspired through his practical advice and living example. Yes, the price has been high, but reward far greater. In our homes too, our family’s spiritual foundation is what will anchor us through storms. The payoff can be a spiritual legacy that will literally change the world.
If charged emotions are tearing at your family and you feel under siege, it may not be that you are doing something wrong. In fact, it may be quite the opposite – that you’re standing firm in your values and prayerful convictions. Never underestimate the enemy. Satan is clever, deceptive, and powerful. When given even the slightest crack into the Christian home he’ll use good for evil and work to exploit our human flaws. Fortunately, our God is almighty. Through Him our victory in this battle is imminent IF we do not allow our spirits to be broken by the fight. Until then, know that the Lord can and will heal the damage created by the tornados of the spirit in your family, as He will in mine, if we let Him.
Fatherhood Challenge: Expect the rain. Brace yourself. Shelter your family. Persevere!