A Family Affair (Nehemiah 4)

And I looked and arose and said to the nobles and to the officials and to the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.” Nehemiah 4:14

Marriage changed my life completely. I never knew what real love was until I met my wife and we began our life together. As with any couple, we’ve had our storms and struggles, yet I would not change her for anyone else in this world.

My wife confirmed Proverbs 31:10: “An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.”

Phil&Daysi

(Daysi, I love you!!!)

My life changed even more radically when we started to have kids together. My oldest, Junior, is 7 and he is an active, rambunctious kid with a mind of his own who is destined to do great things in his life. My youngest son, Ezekiel, is 4 and he’s a smooth operator. He’s already trying to date some 18 year olds. I’m expecting him to leverage some of that charm into success in life. And my daughter, Abigail, is age 2. She’s my princess and my love. I tell my wife that Abigail can start dating at 13, but I won’t be allowing her to brush her teeth, comb her hair, or wear deodorant until she goes to college. And any guy who wants to marry my daughter will have to love her equally as me, because no one will be able to love her more.

VargasKidsMy family is my treasure. They are my life. I would give anything for them because I love them more than my own life.

That’s why I want to make sure they are going to heaven…

As husbands and fathers (and mothers, if that is your circumstance), it is our obligation to make family our first ministry. They need to be more important than church, our jobs, our comforts, our desires, or whatever else comes along in life.

It’s my responsibility to teach my children about God, to pray with them, to pray for them, and to make sure that as they grow physically, emotionally, and intellectually, that they also grow spiritually. Too many have abdicated their responsibilities to their pastors, the Sunday school teachers, or the youth pastor, that they have failed to fulfill their most important roles: the spiritual leaders of their own house.

As Nehemiah declares, we need to fight for our families! We need to understand that the enemy doesn’t want to just pervert our family, he wants to destroy them completely. He wants your spouse and your children to burn in hell forever. If we don’t stand in the front lines for our own families, who will?

Here are some suggestions to minister your family:

1-      Create a family altar. Make some time every week to discuss spiritual things, to pray, and to educate your family about the Bible. Seeking God needs to be a family affair! Don’t be afraid to ask you children if they are saved. If not, lead them to Jesus.

2-      Create time for your family. I understand that life can get busy at times, but in the end the only investment we can make in our families is the time we give to them. Money, a nice house, a financial security can never take the place of parents who are in love pastoring their family in the ways of God.

3-      Great parents make their marriages a priority. Learn how to forgive and communicate with each other. Appreciate each other, strengths and weaknesses included. View your spouse and a treasure from God, who deserves to be romanced and made to feel special. Be intimate with each other as often as possible. Have date nights. Do WHATEVER you can to live as God wants you to live: happily married and fully satisfied.

4-      Admit when you are failing. Most couples are miserable in marriage (and the divorce rate speaks to that). Usually, by the time they come see me, they are already close to ending their marriage and are seeking a miracle. Don’t wait! Your family is too important to let those relationships slowly die. Your kids need the both of you!