Have you ever thought about where a civil war starts?
Civil war: noun: a war between political factions or regions within the same country.
In today’s reading, Jesus talks about civil wars, especially at home.
“Any kingdom divided by civil war is doomed. A family splintered by feuding will fall apart.” Luke 11:17 NLT
A family is a unified unit, and every conflict starts within our thoughts. We think one thing, and our spouse or kids think something else. There is no unity. There is no peace.
The best way to stop a civil war before it starts is to get a family on the same mission. This is something my co-authors and I talk about in our book, Lead Your Family Like Jesus.
Right from the beginning, Jesus expressed a clear purpose and mission for His disciples. He called them not just to become fishermen, but to a greater purpose:
Walking along the beach of Lake Galilee, Jesus saw two brothers: Simon (later called Peter) and Andrew. They were fishing, throwing their nets into the lake. It was their regular work. Jesus said to them, “Come with me. I’ll make a new kind of fisherman out of you. I’ll show you how to catch men and women instead of perch and bass.” They didn’t ask questions, but simply dropped their nets and followed. (Matthew 4:18-20, The Message)
It’s one thing to have a self-centered focus—fishing. It’s another to take that focus and redirect it to God’s purposes—being fishers of men.
An effective mission statement for your family should express a higher purpose for the greater good that gives meaning to the efforts of each family member. If each person doesn’t understand your purpose as your family or isn’t excited and passionate about it, your family as a unit will begin to lose its way.
How about you?
What’s the purpose of your family? What’s your picture of the future? What values will guide your journey? What goals do you want family members to focus on today?
If you can’t answer those questions, you don’t have a compelling vision. Without clear vision and direction, the rest of your parenting skills and efforts won’t matter. You can’t be a servant leader if there’s nothing to serve.
If you cut children loose without any direction or guidelines, they’ll lose their way. The family unit will be fractured as everyone heads off in the direction that he or she decides is best.
Luke 11:28 says, “Jesus replied, ‘But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice’” (NLT). Putting it into practice means sitting down and discussing what your family is all about—what is your mission? It’s praying and seeking God, asking you how you can apply God’s Word to your lives. It’s uniting in you family’s mission instead of losing your way.
Take a few minutes and answer these questions:
What’s your family’s purpose? In other words, what business is your family in?
What’s your family’s picture of the future? What will it look like if you’re accomplishing your purpose?
The more united your family is under God’s leadership, the less divisions and civil wars you will face!