Early on in marriage, I realized the need my wife had to feel safe and secure. As I studied Scripture, I realized that God wanted me to provide her with emotional, spiritual, financial, and physical security. I began to study how my wife felt secure, and I tried to adapt my life to bestow that feeling of comfort for her.
In this process, I also realized how different we were. When we first got married, we lived in a somewhat rough area with some very suspect neighbors. No insurance agent in town would provide us insurance due to the nighttime activities transpiring within the neighborhood. It was a regular occurrence that sometime during the night, Amanda would poke me under the covers alerting me to a suspicious sound outside. I would search for any impending danger, reassure her that everything was safe, and I would try to drift back to sleep.
When the sounds became heard more frequently around our house, I turned into a carefree optimist in order to get some much-needed shuteye. Amanda would abruptly sit up in bed and ask, “Did you hear that?”
Usually, I had not heard whatever “that” was. I had been fast asleep. Over time, I began to collect quite the list of possible noisemakers to ease my bride’s troubled mind. Once she noticed that I had a revolving door of answers to her concerns, her sense of security began to waver. She was wise enough to know that the sounds can’t always be the wind, a car door, or the neighbor’s spastic chihuahua.
One night, that all changed. We both sat up in bed one evening, alarmed by a loud crash in the kitchen. From our vantage point, we could see the reflection of the backdoor glass move rapidly across the wall of our kitchen, indicating that our back door had just been opened abruptly. Amanda whispered, “Trav, somebody’s in the house!”
At the point in which I would normally reassure her, I looked at her in the eyes and replied, “Yep.”
“You really think someone is in the house? You always tell me it’s OK, and now you think someone is out there. What are you going to do?”
As I slowly eased out of bed, I replied, “Check out what’s going on in our kitchen.”
“With what? You don’t have anything to protect yourself with!”
Had I been in a calmer state of mind, I would have replied with some clever zinger concerning my impressive physical physique or combative ninjutsu skills that would have calmed all of her fears. Instead of talking about it, I simply prepared my stance for possible, impending ruckus and eased myself around the corner, hoping to make a light snack out of whoever was in my kitchen. Thankfully, no one was waiting for me there. The wind storm and a malfunctioning deadbolt caused the late-night scare, and our home was safe and secure once I collected all the laundry that had fallen out the door and down the steps.
One thing I did learn about myself that night: no one was going to get to my family without having to go through me first. While my masculinity is reluctant to admit I was fearful that night, I at least can confidently say that if danger comes, I will stand up to it. I may not be the most capable man in many areas, but I am the most capable man to protect my home. No one cares about the people in it more than I do.
When Nehemiah led a group of exiled Israelites to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, he probably never anticipated the level of resistance that he would face. Opposition came at them from every side. As enemies conspired against the progress (Neh 4:7-8), Nehemiah had to protect God’s people without an army.
Nehemiah was forced to rely on men with varying levels of military prowess. In a stunning move, Nehemiah places every able man in the exposed places of the wall and tells them to fight. In order to obtain the ferociousness needed to win the battle, Nehemiah placed every man near his clan as the last line of defense before the enemy could reach that man’s family (Neh 4:13).
Before the battle began, Nehemiah reminded 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” (Neh 4:14). In this holy moment, God’s people obtained victory through the hands of some fathers who held the line and refused to let any threat past them and endanger their families.
Military power may not attempt to breach the walls of your house, but make no mistake – an enemy is on the attack. Satan is described as a “roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Pet 5:8). His plan is to “steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10). An enemy is most definitely lurking around your home; how committed are you to fight him? How precious to you are the people in your home? What will you do to ensure that they are safe under your oversight and care?
If the goal is not to drop your kids off at church but to bring them home to it, you need two things: 1) a willingness to fight intruders, and 2) the right weapons with which to fight. This combination is the partnership between the home and the church.
The desire must be in the home, but many of the resources can come from the church. Concerning the scare in our house during the middle of the night, I was willing to fight, but I had nothing with which to protect my family. I need tools to protect my family from more than just external intruders. I need tools to protect my family from the enemy.
Church leaders equipping committed parents to disciple their children will accomplish much for the Kingdom and keep the next generation secure. In the fight to protect the home, the church leadership can and should provide the right tools to defend the home.