The holidays have just recently ended, and the season that many expect to be relaxing and rejuvenating turns out to be stressful. The stress can be related to a number of things, however, for many, it's related to family dynamics. A group of friends were talking about this recently, and someone noted that "The family is the designed to be the primary unit of faith and discipleship. It shouldn't surprise us when the enemy attacks those relationships first and foremost."
In Matthew 4:18-20, we see Jesus reaffirm the importance of family discipleship. As he was walking along the Sea of Galilee (likely in the early morning or late evening), he sees two brothers and he calls both of them to follow Him together and the brothers both follow Jesus together.
18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him.
This same theme pops up in v. 21-22,
21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.
In other words, in a dream world, the primary unit of faith discipleship and mission is family - dads and moms raisings sons and daughters all together in the pursuit of discipleship to Jesus.
Jesus is naive, however, and neither should we be. In other areas of Matthew, he says,
34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn
“‘a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’[a]
The dream, and God's hope for creation, is that the family units would follow together, however, this also means that the enemy is always trying to dissuade, disrupt, and estrange family members from one another.
It's a good practice to make sure the members of our house are at the top of prayer lists and time investments.