It is a sad day in Christendom that a man, believing himself to be righteous, abandons his family, even if only temporarily for religious matters. Wives are made widows by religion and children are made orphans.
I have been tempted on occasion to say that I am needed at church and thereby temporarily unavailable for my family. The reasoning behind this argument is simple: what I do for God is more important than what I do for man, even if by man I mean my family. Here, however, is the rub. As a husband and a son, the act of honoring my parents (before marriage) and my wife (since marriage) is the thing that I am to do to honor God.
This is not to say that I cannot spend any time in serving the church without other members of my family, but as a husband, this time should not represent a greater portion than that which I give to my wife.
Now, many men, having shunned their families, will proudly quote Luke 9:61-62 (KJV), saying ‘...Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go and bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Jesus said unto him, “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”’ As he often did, Christ answered men’s questions in respect to their personal motives. This man, wishing to return to his family, was not being considerate of them, but rather, looking for a way to delay the mission which Christ had given him. To this, our Lord responded properly by telling the procrastinator that he was not fit for the calling upon his life. But I digress as this is only one verse that such a person might use. Our Bible is filled to the brim with verses that are ripe for misinterpreting if our heart and motives are spoilt.
Finally I come to the title of my essay, which some might find disconcerting. By it I do not mean that a Christian can be possessed or worse, that a whole family can.
In this case, the phrase “exorcism of the Christian family” becomes eerily exact. It is a well known fact that Christ rid the demon-possessed man, the energumen (to use the theological term), of his evil spirits. However, it is only tradition to say that Christ exorcised the demons. In the original Greek, the word that was used was ekballo, which signifies that the demon was driven out by a heavenly power. Conversely, the term exorcised or exorkiso, in the Greek, implies that an incantation or some demonic power was used.
With that distinction having been made, it is no wonder that the title of this article is The Exorcism of the Christian Family, for who seeks to destroy the family but the devil himself. A disjointed family is neither a fruit of the Spirit nor an act of our Sovereign Lord, who desires for us to be one church, and this even down to the domestic level.
Read more articles by Jeremy McNabb or search for articles on the same topic or others.
Here, here. How true. I can relate since my husband is a minister - and the senior pastor doesn't understand he is overworking his staff, consequently, the families suffer. Keen insight here. Blessings, Karri
p.s. Preview your articles several times before submitting to cut out the stuff that appears at the beginning of each paragraph.:)