Families are a gift from God, and a strong and loving family helps keep us grounded during difficult times in life. In these last days, the devil is attacking the family unit with everything he’s got. He knows there’s strength in numbers, especially in families put together by God. The enemy’s strategy is to divide families and then to steal, kill, and destroy; however, God has established some ground rules for keeping families together.
The very first family—Adam and Eve, and their sons, Cain and Abel—ran into trouble early on. Adam, Eve, and Cain listened to the enemy’s lies; evil has been stalking us ever since. Today, the enemy uses a wide arsenal of weapons to begin breaking apart the bonds that hold families together. It’s time to decide whether to place our priorities and direct our loyalties to the things of the world or to the things of God. “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).
Satan attacks us indirectly through the people we love, trying to get us to question God’s design for the family. He does this by introducing doubt into the relationships between husbands and wives, parents and children. He suggests that maybe God made a mistake or is trying to trick us. God has a clear answer that strengthens the family. “Wives, understand and support your husbands by submitting to them in ways that honor the Master. Husbands, go all out in love for your wives. Don’t take advantage of them. Children, do what your parents tell you. This delights the Master no end. Parents, don’t come down too hard on your children or you’ll crush their spirits” (Colossians 3:18-21, MSG).
God has a special place in His heart for children; we learn how He feels about them when we read about Jesus’ earthly ministry.
And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them (Mark 10:13-16).
Children are trusting, open, and ready to accept God’s Word without questioning, so the devil makes a special effort to attack young people on an intellectual and spiritual level. We see it in the divisions between youth and the older generations, and we feel it in a general sense of alienation.
Too often, the world can make children feel excluded and unimportant because of their youth. The devil uses this as a tool to work against them, making them feel isolated and frustrated. God’s Word offers them specific encouragement in this area. “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12, NIV). When we see so many other families that are splintered and crumbling, families centered on Christ are built up and strengthened.