In the congregation this past Sunday morning was a mother grieving the murder of her son due to gang violence. Another mom was heart broken because of the recent suicide of her son. And sitting right next to Patty and I was a young teenage girl who was miraculously just rescued from a sex trafficking ring about to send her to another country.
At the end of the service the pastor called all the children and young people to the front of the church. He asked the men in the church to gather around them, which there were only 5 including the pastor and myself. He asked me to pray healing over them from the pain they have experienced from fatherlessness in the home as well as sexual, verbal and physical abuse, which has traumatized many.
The situations and the circumstances that bring about such excruciating pain are varied and complex. Yet, at the bedrock of each one is a broken or nonexistent family. Divorce, spousal abuse, fatherlessness, children born out of marriage all contribute to extreme pain are represented not only in this township church but throughout the world.
Recently I read the book “How The West Really Lost God, a New Theory of Secularization,” by Mary Eberstadt. The main thesis of the book is that both family and faith work together as a “double helix of society, each dependent on the strength of the other for successful reproduction.”
It was an insightful read with much empirical evidence to show when the traditional family breaks apart so will faith and when faith is lost family will break apart to the detriment of culture. Faith and family work as a team for the blessing of culture. We can see this throughout the Biblical narrative as well. God made His covenant promises to families from Genesis to Revelation and blessings flow to families living by faith who become blessings to society (see Gen. 12:1-3, Acts 2:38-39).
On Sunday we were surrounded by the curse of the break down of the traditional family unit. Where was the father to stop the young teen girl from being lured into sex trafficking? Would the two boys be alive today if there had been an intact family unit founded on Biblical faith? So many unanswered questions to ponder.
Before I prayed over the children and teens that Sunday morning, the pastor took a moment to ask for forgiveness on behalf of their earthly fathers. He did not mince words as he spoke about neglect, abandonment, abuse, and not demonstrating a saving faith reflecting the love of Father God. The word of my prayer was an ardent plea that through the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit and the gift of Jesus His Son a healing transformation would take place to break the curse through the Father’s love. A love seed planted into their hearts that one day would spring forth a new family tree bringing blessings to many generations to come.
All day our hearts ached for the pain inflected on so many we worshiped with earlier. Yet, we can’t help but praise God for the spiritual family we encountered Sunday. The many woman and few men are working tirelessly to reverse the curse and plant seeds for the next generation of families. Sunday reminded us of the battle over the family. How we need to fight on our knees and with our lives for a revival of the Biblical family. Yes, society will mock you for the fight and it may cost dearly, but history will record a family of faith in Christ is the greatest gift to a broken world.
“The Lord said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.” Geness 12:1-3