by Tony Nester

When Family Becomes a Battlefield
Tony R. Nester
Galatians 5:16-26

The Bible tells us that we are living at war. As Paul tells us in our Scripture Lesson, the Flesh and the Spirit are fighting against each other. This morning I want to say something about how this warfare affects our families.

Let me take just a moment to make sure you understand what kind of fight the Bible is talking about. Imagine for a moment that you are secretly looking in on a family that is in the middle of a fight. This is a second marriage for both the husband and wife who had both been divorced. There is a teenage son from the mother's former marriage.

The son and step father do not get along very well. The son has taken his stepfather's Lexus without permission and through some reckless driving while intoxicated with alcohol has wrecked the car after leaving a wild party late at night.

You watch as the stepfather berates the boy for his defiance and stupidity. The boy screams back at him and accuses the man of having a shallow materialism and of dominating his mother to suit his own desires. The boy has never forgiven his mother for marrying this man. The mother is torn between loyalty to her son (toward whom she feels guilty for divorcing his father), and loyalty to her new husband whom she's afraid of displeasing and losing his love. The husband decrees that the boy's punishment will be that he will not be allowed use of any car for the next year. The boy defiantly says that he has friends who will take better care of him than his step father and leaves the house for an unknown destination slamming the door behind him.

The mother is now afraid of losing her son and accuses her new husband of not really loving her. He in turn accuses her of not respecting him and tells her that her lack of discipline toward her son is the reason why the boy is so disagreeable. Husband and wife then retreat to separate rooms and slam their doors.

You've just witnessed what th ...

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