Contending - by Jeanne McGrew

Families are designed by God to be the foundation for all training in righteous relationships.  We know as parents that the window of opportunity to instill rightness into a child’s heart and mind is extremely limited and once they begin interaction with others the contending for their souls begins in earnest. 

Jude 1:3 reads, Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.

From the Discovery Bible HELPS Word-studies we learn the Greek for the word contend: 

1864 epagōnízomai (from 1909 /epí, "focused on" and 73 /agṓn, "a contest, competition") – properly, to contend (literally, "struggle upon, appropriately"), i.e. with skill and commitment in opposing whatever is not of faith (God's persuasion).

Never before has there been such a need in our homes to contend for the faith.  Not methods, not preferences, but the faith that holds us to Christ in and through our daily expressions. 

Acts 17:31 tells us that God has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man (Jesus Christ) whom he has appointed... 

In other words Jesus Christ is the standard of righteousness or the way to be right in God.  You can not take the world standards and try to fit them into Christ.  You take Christ’ standard and set them in the home and you guard them and keep them.  As adults we know what kind of courage and commitment this takes. 

Our job is not to keep them out of the world, but like Jesus did, from John 17, we prepare our disciples with a deeply rooted relationship with the Father, knowing Him and knowing His word.  As parents, while they are with us, we have kept them in His name and guarded them.  We live our lives sanctified to the truth that they might be sanctified. 

Christ in us, us in Christ, perfectly one with him so that they may be one even as we are one. 

This is the standard of Christ.  This is the stewardship we have been given.  There is a grace to parent.  All must be done in faith, hope and love. 

The world offers much information on the how to's of family life we could adapt to, but in doing so, we must ask ourselves this one question ~ how does this measure up to the standard in Christ?  We can never violate His standard and have the promises of God fulfilled in our lifetime.  

God is generational.  He looks to one generation for hearts that are His, wills that are submitted and minds that hold His in order that the next generation can be strong and do the exploits God has designed for them.  

There are no shortcuts.  There are no easy answers.   There is just a daily commitment to hold fast to the head and in everything endeavor to discover His will and His way that through these we are able to find the peace in our homes that come from being in order and submitted to HIM.