God Wants Men to Restore Families

Because Father’s Day comes this month, I am moved to exhort men to rise up as the champion of the family and savior (small “s”) of the home.

The city of God had walls broken down and the gates burned, but God raised up Nehemiah to restore things. In chapter 1, he trusted God; 2, acted on his faith; 3, loved God through obedience; 4, committed to family; 5, restored justice in financial matters; 6, shows authoritative prayer leads to the walls being fully restored; 7, registration of people is established; 8, the law of God is remembered by “True sons” who repent. 

Then, in chapter 9 he brought a second remembrance of God’s intervention on behalf of His people despite their sin.  This concludes with…

Neh. 9:36-10:1 36 “Here we are, servants today!  And the land that You gave to our fathers, To eat its fruit and its bounty, Here we are, servants in it!  37 And it yields much increase to the kings You have set over us, Because of our sins; Also they have dominion over our bodies and our cattle At their pleasure; And we are in great distress. 38 “And because of all this, We make a sure covenant and write it; Our leaders, our Levites, and our priests seal it.”

10:1 Now those who placed their seal on the document were: Nehemiah the governor…and the priests, the Levites, all their brethren, the leaders, and…

Neh. 10:28-29 28Now the rest of the people—the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, the Nethinim, and all those who had separated themselves from the peoples of the lands to the Law of God, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, everyone who had knowledge and understanding—29these joined with their brethren, their nobles, and entered into a curse and an oath to walk in God’s Law…

Note that whole families were involved but that it started with the FATHERS!  Men are the domestic head of the household, starting with the marriage.

1 Cor. 11:3 3But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

This is not a position of superiority, but of leading – as with a runner who needs both legs equally, yet has a leading step.  The Lord gives this role of head of the home to men and extends it throughout the household to the children.  In church leadership, this is the proving ground for an elder:

1 Tim. 3:4-5 4one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence 5(for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?)

Fathers keep the home from wrong and direct it to right.  The role cannot be reduced to provider and disciplinarian. Fatherhood is the centrality of God’s design for family.  The question is, “If your wife is not fruitful and flourishing under your headship, who else would want to be discipled by you?”

More than half of U.S. children suffer from Father absence.  Thirty-four percent have no Father in the house and at least 25% have a present but non-functioning Father. 

Divorce and out-of-wedlock births are the main contributors to fatherless families.  One-third of all U.S. births occur without Fathers and 90% of teen births are Moms only. 

More than 1/5 of the age group from 20-35 are currently co-habiting. Three-fourths of their children will see a split before their 16th birthday.

There is no substitute for Fathers. Without them, poverty is 5x more likely, teen pregnancy skyrockets, child abuse and neglect rise, school achievement plummets and drop-out soars. Seventy-two percent of NJ criminal offenders come from homes without an intact marriage. 

To affect solution to these huge problems, Big Government steps in with social agencies and pushes hard for control of the family from the womb to the tomb! We don’t need more government provision… we need more headship (Fatherhood)!  These are perilous times… but God will intervene.

Mal. 4:6 6 And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.”

We need more divinely instituted Headship…and it starts with your wife.

Eph. 5:23 23For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.

God has given you men the ultimate responsibility to see that the family is strong.  All fatherhood and family originates in Him and derives from Him.

Eph. 3:15 15from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named…

God is a Tower, a Shield, a Buckler, a Strong City, a Wall of Defense…and what the Word says about God is a calling to every Father and Husband. 

American men are trained NOT TO BE nurturing but to be earners and productive.  They are taught to build the body while ignoring the soul and spirit.  They are conformed to the image of Hollywood, Schwarzenegger, and Rambo rather than to the Image of Christ.  The result is that America has the most violent homes on earth…a reflection of its headship. 

Ephesians 5 is about laying one’s life down!  We choose that or it is a curse in the land (Mal. 4:6). 

It’s time to build on the solid foundation of Christ in obedience to the Word (1 Cor 3:11; Mt 7:24).

Ezek. 13:4-5 4O Israel, your prophets are like foxes in the deserts. 5You have not gone up into the gaps to build a wall for the house of Israel to stand in battle on the day of the Lord.

Ezek. 13:10-15 10“Because, indeed, because they have seduced My people, saying, ‘Peace!’ when there is no peace—and one builds a wall, and they plaster it with untempered mortar11say to those who plaster it with untempered mortar, that it will fall. There will be flooding rain, and you, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall tear it down. 12Surely, when the wall has fallen, will it not be said to you, ‘Where is the mortar with which you plastered it?’” 13Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “I will cause a stormy wind to break forth in My fury; and there shall be a flooding rain in My anger, and great hailstones in fury to consume it. 14So I will break down the wall you have plastered with untempered mortar, and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation will be uncovered; it will fall, and you shall be consumed in the midst of it. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.

15“Thus will I accomplish My wrath on the wall and on those who have plastered it with untempered mortar; and I will say to you, ‘The wall is no more, nor those who plastered it…”

Untempered mortar is a white paste or plaster giving the appearance of beauty and stability. But God wants a real wall of defense against the enemy’s siege.  He doesn’t want foxes who make their home in the ruins…but repairers of the breach!  It is time for Heads of households to get to the battle!

Isa. 58:12 12 Those from among you shall build the old waste places; You shall raise up the foundations of many generations; And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.

Isa. 60:18 18 Violence shall no longer be heard in your land, neither wasting nor destruction within your borders; But you shall call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise.

It is time to build those walls and hang those gates: trust, activate your faith, obey the call, commit to family wholeness and use the authority of headship God has given you.

Raise your level of commitment to family and to your headship and you will have cause to rejoice!

Neh. 12:31a So I brought the leaders of Judah up on the wall, and appointed two large thanksgiving choirs…

Neh. 12:40-43 40So the two thanksgiving choirs stood in the house of God, likewise I and the half of the rulers with me; 41and the priests, Eliakim, Maaseiah, Minjamin, Michaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, and Hananiah, with trumpets; 42also Maaseiah, Shemaiah, Eleazar, Uzzi, Jehohanan, Malchijah, Elam, and Ezer. The singers sang loudly with Jezrahiah the director. 43Also that day they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced, for God had made them rejoice with great joy; the women and the children also rejoiced, so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard afar off.

May there be great joy in your home as you and God, together, restore the walls and gates!