A Father’s Call to Fight

By Craig Groeschel

Learning to Fight the Enemy as a Man of God

Each year when summer rolls around, my wife and kids honor me on Father’s Day. For me, Father’s Day is not only a day to reflect on the greatest blessings God’s given me — my family — but also a day to reflect on God, the ultimate Father.

The Bible says that God is a God of mercy and grace. And Exodus 15:3 tells us “The Lord is a warrior; Yahweh is His name.” So if we’re created in God’s image, then it’s safe to say that being a warrior is core to man’s identity. It’s not just a cultural, patriarchal thing. It’s a God thing.

Consider what the Bible has to say about fathers. Psalm 127:4-5 says, “Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the sons born in one’s youth. Happy is the man who has filled his quiver with them. Such men will never be put to shame when they speak with their enemies at the city gate.”

Warriors.

Do you consider yourself a warrior? As a father, how do you teach your children to fight?

If all this fighting, violence, and being a warrior bothers you, let me say this: the virtue of strength is determined by how it’s used. If strength is used to love and to protect, it’s good. Unfortunately, it can also be used to inflict harm, and that’s not what I’m talking about. God calls us to fight for what’s right. And a warrior is only as worthy as his cause.

A man without a cause from God is often just an angry man who doesn’t know where to direct his pent-up energy and aggression. A warrior with a cause from God directs his warlike energy for a cause greater than himself and honors his family with his strength.

Gentlemen, God created you with the heart of a warrior. But until there’s something you’re willing to die for, you won’t understand your cause, and you can’t truly live.

We must always be on guard, fighting for our hearts and the hearts of our families.

Whether you know it or not, you’re already in the middle of a battle. Your spiritual enemy wants to take you out. He’s the master at making strong men weak. Sometimes he does it when things seem to be going well. Life seems pretty good — no struggles in sight. We become resigned to an easy life full of the familiar. It’s in those moments when things seem easy that we can actually become easy targets for the enemy. We must always be on guard, fighting for our hearts and the hearts of our families.

Every man has struggles, a battle to fight. If we had no struggles, we would have nothing to fight for. God often uses these painful moments we dread to do something deep within us. It’s how He shapes us to be the men He wants us to be, preparing us to fight and win even bigger battles.

But what does being a warrior look like in the every day?

Maybe you’re in danger of failing financially. Now is the time to fight like your life depends on it, to get control of your budget and align your priorities with your cash flow. Honor your family and the Lord by your financial stewardship — confess any missteps, or even secrets, and commit to future financial integrity. Fight like crazy to regain your financial security, for your family’s sake.

Perhaps you’re playing with a lustful fire. You keep returning to images and people and places that excite you but also unleash something you’re afraid you can’t control. You’re going to get burned. Decide. Confess and overcome the darkness. Fight!

Your marriage may be hanging by a thread. Determine never to surrender. Use love, patience, and forgiveness. Seek counseling from a professional, work hard, fight harder, and make those healthy choices that can save your marriage.

Maybe your kids are making dangerous decisions. Get down on your knees and fight like a man — of God! As parents who serve the Lord, we are responsible for imparting spiritual life and legacy to our children. In order to do that, in order to earn our children’s respect, we must set a godly example, and that alone is a battle worth fighting.

TAKE ACTION

  • Read the Bible with your children, and let them see you reading the Bible on your own.
  • Challenge your children to memorize Scripture.
  • Take your children outdoors to a nearby lake, forest, or park and discuss God’s creation.

Dads, fighting the enemy is an all day, every day battle — one we may not even recognize. Choosing a lifestyle that honors God may affect all kinds of mundane things, from which morning radio station to listen to on the way to school to how we speak to our spouses and children throughout the day. It’s waking up an hour earlier to spend time in the Word. It’s choosing not to vent about work in front of the kids. It’s teaching our children to fight for what’s right and supporting them all the way. By making the life choices, big and small, that glorify God, we diffuse the power of Satan in our lives and win the battle for our families.

Learn how to fight with faith, with prayer, and with the Word of God. Then, when the enemy attacks, fight for the righteous cause God gave you.

Craig Groeschel is the founding and senior pastor of LifeChurch.tv, a pace-setting multicampus church with 17 locations in five states. He is the author of several books, including FIGHT: Winning the Battles that Matter Most (Zondervan).

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