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March 18, 2013

Tornado of the Spirit


Do you
ever feel like your home is being ripped through by an emotional tornado? Where previously blue skies become
black and gale force winds blast apart your peaceful and well-constructed
family? Perhaps yours is in a
season where it seems like your abode has been picked up and dropped down in
the middle of tornado alley—and it's storm season.


An
incident in my life this week had me thinking about natural disasters in the
home. You know, when things go
from cool to blazing hot in an instant and you say to yourself, "Whoa! What happened?" Generally, when that much emotion is
generated I find I’m doing something really wrong—or really right. Either way, these shake-ups deserve our
attention. It is easy to
understand strife when we've slipped off track. But what’s the deal with the grief when we’re doing the right thing?


Take Dr.
James Dobson, for example. Imagine
being the source of an uninterrupted flow of criticism for nearly 40 years… the
negative articles, the slams on television, nasty grams and hateful blogs, the
gunshots and death threats—all reactions to his unwavering commitment to
stand for the family and promote the biblical principles upon which solid
families are built. Bearing these
attacks, both physical and spiritual, is the cost of his dedication and the
burden of his God-given mission. As mothers and fathers we also open ourselves up to spiritual attacks
both from outside and even within the home. Our assignment and responsibility is great. Especially if we are on the right track as
we shepherd our kids, live daily in faith, and are brave enough to be
counter-cultural, we should expect the inevitable thunder and lightning.


I
mentioned the attacks that Dr. Dobson has weathered. The flip side to that cost is the incredible gain. Over the years, millions of people have
been reached and supported through his books, radio broadcasts, and ministry
initiatives. Generations of
families have been impacted and inspired through his practical advice and
living example. Yes, the price has
been high, but reward far greater. In our homes too, our family's spiritual foundation is what will anchor
us through storms. The payoff can
be a spiritual legacy that will literally change the world.

If charged
emotions are tearing at your family and you feel under siege, it may not be that you
are doing something wrong. In
fact, it may be quite the opposite—that you're standing firm in your values
and prayerful convictions. Never
underestimate the enemy. Satan is
clever, deceptive, and powerful. When given even the slightest crack into the Christian home he'll use
good for evil and work to exploit our human flaws. Fortunately, our God is almighty. Through Him our victory in this battle is imminent IF we do
not allow our spirits to be broken by the fight. Until then, know that the Lord can and will heal the damage
created by the tornados of the spirit in your family, as He will in mine, if we let
Him.

Fatherhood
Challenge:
Expect the rain. Brace yourself. Shelter your family. Persevere!

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