Generation Cedar

At the conclusion of our sermon Sunday, Dr. Joel McDurmon summarized with a poignant–simple, but powerfully poignant reminder:

“Corrupt government cannot be changed from the top down. Wicked leadership reveals rottenness in the root–the people. Change in a country begins with me–repentance and faithfulness–and then my family. And if you try to do much more, you’ll mess that up.”

We’ve heard it so much it’s almost trite…”the family is the building block of society”. The problem is, we acknowledge it in word, but we don’t even begin to understand the WORK necessary to build a family that strong.  We acknowledge it, but we don’t practice it.

But it was the last line that held the secret for me…”And if you try to do much more, you’ll mess that up.” We’re trying to do a lot more, and there is no room for building families. We assume the family will grow itself without deliberate effort, and it won’t. And where there is no building–no maintenance, the family breaks.

How Do We Build the Family

What does it mean, “build the family”? Strong families can hardly be built unless they are built on the truths of Scripture. It seems many profess Christianity with little evidence of its power in their lives. Strong families begin with the living power of God that transforms hearts, minds and lives.

Building the family starts with strengthening marriage, the foundation. That means deliberate, daily action to build each other up, prayerfully uniting together, fighting before the throne of Heaven for your children, and for protection from the enemy.

It’s discipling children–not just living with them but showing them, in every circumstance what wisdom looks like, how we react to life, to sin, to pain, to challenges. Impressing on them that life has value because of our Creator. Refusing to let them be taught by a humanistic worldview that says otherwise.

Leading them by example to glorify God in every area of life. Requiring obedience and honor because God requires it. Teaching them about His sovereignty, His promises and His faithfulness. Helping them build, layer upon layer, a foundation that will withstand any storm. It’s daily and constant. It can’t happen in the crevices of time. This, if we want to pass the torch of faithfulness to the next generation.

It’s nurturing relationships so they are tender and receptive to the truth and because strong relationships are foundational to healthy minds and emotions upon which building is so much more productive.

Building the family is saying “no” to anything that robs us of time or energy that might prevent this intense, deliberate work. Building the family is remembering the metaphor of Nehemiah’s people building the wall. They were focused, with a hammer in one hand and a sword in the other.

Do you see we must build just like that? There is an enemy at large that would devour us and if we drop our sword OR our hammer, for a moment, we become easy prey!

When the family frays, every institution above it follows.

So instead of wringing our hands over the culture at large, let’s get about the task at home. Have you been distracted? Has your family been a side job for you? Building a family is an enormous commitment that we must be willing to make if we truly want things around us to change.

If you are tempted, as we all are periodically, to forget what you are doing at home, to wish you could just go shopping when you wanted, or have your nails done more often (or at all!), give yourself a pep talk and get back in the battle. Don’t get distracted by the temporal sirens that pull us in every direction, that whisper lies to us and make us forget…we are in a spiritual battle and it has been given to us to fight….not to fret about our nails.


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13 Responses

  1. loved the post. i agree with it all. but i do have one question. and i’m sure you knew it was coming. where is the line in reference to the “nails”. i am a mother of a three year old, and a three month old. my husband is not the spiritual leader of the family. i work from home to stay here and raise my children. but i get rundown. is pampering myself once in a while wrong? or are you talking when you MUST do it all the time and throw the important things by the wayside to take of yourself?

    1. Kallie,

      No, I’m not talking about not taking care of yourself, or the occasional pampering. However, two different “dangers” come to mind in this regard: one, is when I, when my thinking gets skewed, begin to lament the fact that I don’t have the freedom to run around on a regular basis and “do what I want”, or maybe I don’t have the money to indulge myself and “everybody else is”…that is sinful thinking, in my opinion, and Satan uses those comparisons to sew seeds of discontentment. Taking care of yourself is useful; insisting on a constant “I need my ‘me time'” can be damaging.

      Secondly, many women begin to see these things as necessities and insist that their second income is “necessary”, when in reality, they aren’t willing to lay aside some temporal indulgences for the weightier matters of life.

      That’s what I’m talking about 😉 Balance.

  2. Thank you! After a couple days of deep sadness over what happened on Friday God re showed the passages of Nehemiah’s wall to me and today the same passages are mentioned in your post. Now, I am going back to work on my portion of the wall.

  3. Thank you, Kelly. I have had some things at home lately that have bothered me and the Lord has convicted my heart about. You’ve encouraged me to keep “battling” regardless of what my children may say at first. I’m talking about saying “no” to anything that robs us of time and energy that’s needed to do our job right. I struggle with that, especially in the winter when we can’t get outside as much. It seems like little things creep in and before I know it, they’ve become big things that consume our time and minds. I’m thinking of a series of old T.V. shows that we’ve rented that we’ve become rather attached to and have to have our “daily fix” of or we feel somehow empty. And, the show has more “stuff” in it than I realized when we first starting watching it, but now we’re so “hooked” that we just try to shrug it off and look past it. But, it’s just that sort of thing that can cause so much damage and danger. I had been thinking this lately and even brought it up, but I was in the minority. However, this post reminds me of how important it is to guard against these “little things that creep in”. That’s where it all starts. I have to be on constant guard to protect, but also to build, by bringing in the good things to take the place of the useless things. That’s hard work, but I’m encouraged today to persevere because it is so important. Thank you for the reminder and challenge.

  4. Great post and awesome reminder.
    Kallie, my husband is not a believer either, and works long hours.
    Sometimes the only thing I can fit in (because we only have one vehicle and he takes it to work) to get out is a trip to the grocery store. I also live where it is very gloomy and rainy in the winter, so that makes it even harder.
    I have learned over the years that it is not about “going someplace” or buying something (although as Kelly said it’s not sinful in itself), but the Lord Jesus can refresh us in an instant by infusing us with HIS Joy no matter where we are.

  5. Thank you so much for your post! God has been instructing me in this area for about 20 months, now. I am trying not to grow weary, and only God gives me strength. My former life was very busy in “good things”. However, it wasn’t what the Lord has for me as a wife and mom. I now do “nothing” in other’s eyes, but am right in the place my heavenly father wants me to be in. Keep pressing on ladies! Circumstances do not dictate our attitude! 😉

  6. Another great post Kelly. I have realized lately that I have to stop feeling so lost on the big picture of where our nation is going and concentrate on what I can do and that is done in my own home, with my kids and with how I am as a wife to my husband. The serenity prayer has been something I have been focusing on.

    1. I am so glad you wrote out that prayer….It really spoke to me. I too have being feeling so lost in the big picture, moreso ever since the election last month, and then with the tragedy in CT (That’s where I’m from originally and my sister knew the principal who was killed)

      We can’t control what’s going on in the White House, but we can control (to some extent anyway) what goes on in our homes, making them a haven for our families in the midst of the raging storm. Just this morning I was thinking that it’s such a small thing to make a bed or tidy up a room, but it does help our families. It gives them a little peace.
      We can forge strong families who know how to pray against evil and who aren’t compromised. And that does take time and daily effort.
      The Lord is still and always will be in control.

  7. Hello Kelly,

    I am always so challenged/inspired/encouraged by the things you post here at Generation Cedar. I’ve been trying to pin this particular post to my Pinterest board, but it won’t work. Do you have any suggestions for me to try to get it to work? I click on the icon, it takes me to pinterest, where I can choose my category and description, but the box where the photo usually appears is empty…like there is no link there at all.

    Thanks again for your ministry here. Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family…Love the photo you posted today!


      1. hmmmm…I tried again and it still didn’t work. bummer. Your picture didn’t show up, nor did a link to the post. I’ll have to try again and see if I can figure out what I’m doing wrong. Thanks. 🙂

  8. Hi Thankyou so much for reminding me,of building my wall,I am a full time mum 13yrs,10yrs 3yrs and 4th one on the way,it can be hard sometimes,but when I have my priorty right God Husband Children then everybody else,though sometimes i forget and i need godly women in my life to remind me.Thankyou

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