In the beginning, when God made this world, He created mankind in His image and likeness, and wrapped him in bodily form. They were male and female, two entities, husband and wife, yet one; just as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three personalities, yet one God, individuals but also a family.
Then, He blessed them and said: “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign….” (Genesis 1:26). Look at the power and authority God has given to us. He created strong, self-governed rulers and made them a family. I dropped this bit of history to remind you that the family – not the man-made governments of the world – was designed to be the dominant influence in the earth.
When I was pregnant with my first child, I was terrified because I felt alone. I saw the pitfalls of raising a family in a chaotic world, and I didn’t have a support system to rely upon. My mum was deceased; my father was ashamed, because I was unmarried (he eventually overcame it); my grandparents lived five hours away, and I had no mentor. I didn’t have a lot of experience with children, and zero knowledge of how to care for a baby. So I read everything I could on parenthood, because I wanted my family to have a good life.
If you don’t have a vision for your family, you may fall prey to the ways of the world, which is often an ‘anything goes’ mentality. There are videos, books, conferences, and so-called parenting gurus who will offer you their advice. However, to make the best choice, you must know where your family is headed. ‘Where there is no vision, the people perish’ (Proverbs 29:18).
I decided to raise my family in the Christian faith. I personally believed in God, but I was not living up to His standards. I was doing whatever I was grown enough to do, but I knew better was possible, so I prayed and asked God for help… and He answered me! (Sidebar: God delights in us and is a very present Help.) He gave me wisdom on how to raise children. He provided for us when there was shortage. He directed the paths of my children in so many ways, from friends to schools, activities, and so on.
As we look around today, we can see the desolation of the family. Many fathers are not in the home, mothers are overwhelmed, and children are seemingly out of control because of the lack of leadership and direction. If we refocus and allow God to lead us, He will do it!
Psalm 127 speaks to us loud and clear. Like GPS, God desires to guide us to our destination. He’s shouting: “Make a U-turn!” God created our family and knows the path we should take. King Solomon said: “If God doesn’t build the house [or family], the builders only build shacks. If GOD doesn’t guard the city, the night watchman might as well nap. It’s useless to rise early and go to bed late and work your worried fingers to the bone. Don’t you know he enjoys giving rest to those he loves? Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift; the fruit of the womb His generous legacy? Like a warrior’s fistful of arrows are the children of a vigorous youth. Oh, how blessed are you, parents, with your quivers full of children! Your enemies don’t stand a chance against you; you’ll sweep them right off your doorstep.”
God is saying: “I’ve got you! Stop trying to raise your family all by yourself. I have plans for you, plans that are good and not evil, to give you hope and a good future (Jeremiah 29:11). There may be some rough terrain ahead. Things may be a little crazy right now. But don’t worry, I know the way through all of it. Trust Me!”
As a parent, don’t throw your hands in the air and give up. Put up your dukes, and fight the good fight of faith for your family (1 Timothy 6:12). Parenting is hard at times, but stay with God’s plan, and He will keep you from failing.
Here is a simple prayer to declare over your family:
“Father, in Jesus’ Name, I ask You to build my house/family. Help me cooperate with Your plans. Not one word shall fail of all the promises You have for us. Make our lives beautiful and amazing beyond our dreams. I give You all the praise.”
Now, give God thanks because nothing is too hard or impossible with Him. Be patient and confident of this: ‘He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 1:6).
Marnita Coleman is an author and host of The Marnita Show, a parenting show aired daily across the globe. For more faith in parenting, log on to TheMarnitaShow.com.