Are you fighting for your family?

by Eddie Thompson
Friday, July 12, 2013 | 1 year old

While serving as a senior pastor I once put these words on our new LED church sign: Are You Fighting FOR Your Family? That message prompted a phone call from a woman in our community. Apparently upset about the word “fighting,” she said, “Sir, there’s enough fighting in our world, and I think you are sending the wrong message to our neighborhood.” Even though she didn’t get it, I did change the sign.

The question remains, “Are you fighting for your family?” I’ve had to wrestle with this question over and over again - as a pastor, as a husband, as a dad, as a son, as a brother. Honestly, there have been times when I fought against my family but wasn’t even aware of it until later – when I was selfish; when I disciplined when I should’ve listened; when I jumped to wrong conclusions; when I didn’t give REAL time to teenagers who needed me (but said they didn’t); when my wife needed understanding but I gave her the silent treatment; when I didn’t pray; when I spent money without accountability; and on and on. You don’t have to be intentional to fight against someone. That comes easy.

However, you do have to be intentional to fight for someone. Fighting for someone means having the courage to do the right thing even when it’s not popular. The right thing might be honest conversation, loving confrontation, prayer, self-control, a willingness to be corrected, eyes to see what’s really going on, as well as appropriate Spirit-filled action. Fighting for someone means doing what’s best for them instead of what’s best for you. But here’s a warning: It may be one of the toughest things you’ll ever do. It takes a lot of courage and energy.

Is there someone in your family you are fighting against with your words or actions or lack of actions? Is there someone in your family in trouble (even quiet trouble) but you’ve chosen to look the other way? Wake up! You may be God’s great instrument for hope and restoration. If you don’t fight for them, who will?