ATLANTA (BP)–In such times as these in our nation, many sensitive and sincere believers, even our President, are turning to God. Many are seeking wisdom! Others, discernment, especially for significant decisions that must be made. Still others are turning to a new level and intensity in prayer. Others are seeking wise counselors, as each of us should.
But others are before God pleading for revival in God’s people and the nation. Certainly this is an appropriate call for a time such as this! Some have been in this painful mode before God for some time, even years.
In all of this seeking before God, there is a crucial element, often overlooked. That vital element is the condition of our families and our family life. From creation God made the family as the foundation block for society.
Nothing affects a nation any more dramatically than the condition of family life. From experience alone, we are aware that if a marriage is in turmoil, neither the husband nor the wife can properly seek God, or even think effectively. That is why the apostle Paul admonishes husbands to live with their wives with understanding, so that “your prayers may not be hindered” (1 Peter 3:7).
Distress in the most sacred and sensitive relationship in life will affect every other relationship. Even major industry is seeking chaplains and counselors for marriages and families, because they experience major downturns in production and effective work habits when marriages are hurting. When children are in serious trouble, the heart is affected, and one may even have difficulty praying with “clean hands and a pure heart” (Psalm 24:4).
When the family is in distress, everything else is affected, especially our relationship with God. Thus, revival is greatly hindered. Our relationship with our family is so important that part of the ministry of John the Baptist was “to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Luke 1:17).
In these perilous times, giving serious attention to ensuring strong attention to our marriages and families is not an “interruption” or “distraction,” but rather is essential to the effectiveness of all of our life, including our heart cry before God for revival. How is your relationship with your spouse, your children and your extended family? What adjustments might God have you make to ensure that during these critical days you can be a vital part of what he is doing?
Henry and Richard Blackaby will lead a conference on their new book, “Hearing God’s Voice,” April 10-12 at First Baptist Church, West Palm Beach, Fla. For more information, e-mail [email protected]. Additional information about Henry Blackaby Ministries is available on the Web at www.henryblackaby.com. His column appears monthly in Baptist Press.