It’s Cause, Curse & Cure
It’s not easy to be a distinctively Christian family in the twenty-first
century – but has it ever been? There are always vital issues affecting our
families that make it difficult for us to maintain our distinctiveness for
the Lord in an ungodly, sinful environment. One of the most destructive
influences in our day is the effect of worldliness.
We live in a beautiful world that God created for our pleasure. But the
“world” we’re referring to in this article is the satanic system that
operates and rules within our natural world. Ephesians 6:12 speaks of it
this way: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against
principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this
world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” And 2 Corinthians 4:4
says this about it: “The God of this world hath blinded the minds of them
which believe not.”
Christian families are in this world to have a dynamic, godly influence on
those around them. But, instead, the world is having a greater impact on
Christian families. Too many look, act, think and talk just like the world,
and thus have little or no influence for God upon the world. We dare not
forget that this world is ethically bad, morally corrupt, and spiritually
bankrupt. We do not need the world, but the world needs us!
First John 2:15-17 tells us not to love the world or the things that are
characteristic of the world. The passage goes so far as to say that those
who love the world are void of the love of God. In other words, the basic
cause of worldliness is loving the world more than we love God.
As we evaluate our home and family life, would we say there is more evidence
of our love for God or the world? The TV programs we watch, the videos we
buy or rent, the books and magazines we read, the places we go, the
pleasures we enjoy, the type of clothing we wear, the music we listen to,
the way we treat each other, the things we talk about, are all making a bold
statement about what we love. Do they say we are a family that loves God or
a family that loves the world?
What makes worldliness so destructive is that the world wants to make us
like it is. Romans 12:2 says we should not be “conformed to this world.” The
world desires to squeeze us into its mold so that we become like it. The
world is very smart. It knows that if it can make us like itself, it has
destroyed our distinctiveness and testimony as Christians. Once that
happens, we lose our effectiveness for God.
If we become like the world, we have nothing to offer the world. It’s that
simple. In Deuteronomy 7, God gives three specific prohibitions to His
people, Israel, as they prepare to enter the promised land: do not worship
their gods (7:5); do not intermarry with them (7:3); do not adopt their
lifestyle (7:6). God did this because they were His special people who
belonged exclusively to Him: “Thou art a holy people unto the LORD … the
LORD God hath chosen you to be a special people unto Himself” (7:6). If they
surrendered their distinctiveness they would be ineffective for God. First
Peter 2:9-12 says the same thing to those who have been saved out of this
world by God’s grace. Is our family impacting this world for Christ, or is
the world impacting our family for the enemy?
If worldliness is having a damaging effect on Christian families, God’s Word
tells us how we can reverse this and develop our effectiveness for the Lord:
by the power of a transformed life (Rom. 12:1-2); by understanding God’s
will for our family (Gal. 1:4); by refusing to be affected by the world
(Jas. 1:27); by living totally dependent upon God (1 Jn. 5:4). Our faith
enables us to overcome the world instead of being overcome by the world.
Our only hope as Christian families is to be so totally yielded to God that
the world can find no place to begin its destructive work in our personal
lives, our marriages, or our families.
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