It cannot be overstated how important family is in the overarching theme of humanity.
The family was the first institution God created. Family in the economy of God is of much worth and value as everything stems from a family that's guided and directed by the leading of the Holy Spirit. The church is made up of families and is referred to as the family of God. Communities are made up of families. God through His Word often spoke using references to family. Relationships, as it pertains to family, have much weight in the Word of God.
So what better point of attack for the enemy to strike than at the core of it all, the family?
John 10:10 speaks of the enemy as the thief and says he comes not but to steal, kill, and destroy. That's his mode of operation, and he's perfected this craft in many areas of humanity taking special aim at God's institution of the family.
How God highlights the family
One theme we see in both the Old and New Testament is adoption and how the Bible speaks in family terms.
God talks in the Old Testament about taking people and making them His own. He takes them not based on anything that is found worthy in them. He takes them not because they are some great people but He takes them and makes them His own. He establishes them as His unique people or family distinct in every way.
In the New Testament, we see God's family expanded to those who would believe in His only begotten Son. They, too, would become part of this family of God. John 1:12 says "But as many as received Him, to them gave He the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believes in His name."
Romans 8:14-17 shows us many ways God relates our salvation as adoption into His family.
Romans 8:14 gives us the characteristics of his children: "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” We are saved by God and brought into His family – what a beautiful thing.
This relationship is highlighted in Romans 8:15 "For you have not received the spirit of bondage again unto fear; but you received the Spirit of adoption whereby we cry Abba Father. It is through this relationship that every believer identifies we are children of the Most High.”
Then Romans 8:16-17 shows us the blessings and difficulties of being part of God’s family: "The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God. And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together."
The Devil attacks family because a functioning family often points to God.
This is the relationship the enemy does not want us to have. If the devil could taint the image of the family, destroy marriages, and make homes dysfunctional, then he would have gained major ground on humanity. This has been his target.
God institutes marriage as the vehicle to create more people, to show a loving relationship between a man and a woman. Ultimately though, marriage shows the relationship of Christ and the church, so, naturally, the devil aims to destroy that model through dysfunction and perversion.
Since God has ordained that the home and family structure look a certain way the enemy wants to change that image by distorting the truth and power behind what God has created. A family is a place of order: husband (male), wife (female), and then kids.
Each has roles, for instance, with the husband being the spiritual head and providing physical and spiritual leadership in setting forth how the family is to be governed even AS he is getting instructions from God and His Word. The wife is to be the helpmeet aiding the husband and carrying out leadership under the husband’s covering in the home. The kids are additions to the unit of the husband and wife. They are to disciple them with the intention of shooting them out like arrows at the proper time into the world to be salt and light (see Psalms 127).
The enemy hates this order and God’s purposes for it. The Father of Lies uses every weakness he can to kill, steal, and destroy the family unit. We must remember we are in a spiritual war per Ephesians 6:10-18. This is for all the chips. The enemy is looking to make gains for his evil agenda while the children of God are called to make gains for the Kingdom and the King.
Therefore the devil often desires to first take the head of the family. If he can effectively do this, then he seizes the home and stakes claim on the wife and the kids that are supposed to be under the leadership of the father. We see this strategy on several fronts. The evil one has had major success in this destruction of the family through political means and through sin.
The way to combat what has ravished our communities and families is for another one of God's institutions, the church, to lead the way in restorative work of the family structure and to uphold God's design of adoption and traditional family in high esteem. The church must be intimately involved in a family building ministry. It should charge every man to have a vision, to prize his family, to keep them covered in the Word and prayer. Teaching must take place on the proper roles in the home and what's expected of each in their role and children have to be adequately discipled by their parents in the Lord. The family would be the backbone for instruction in godliness that will spill out into the communities and out through the nation.
Is it any wonder, then, we see anarchy so easily spread today?
We have to be as people of God who cherish and build God’s design for marriage and family – the first institution and the backbone of humanity.