“Then Elijah said to all the people, ‘Come near to me.’ So all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord which had been torn down.” 1 Kings 18:30
When we fail to follow God’s instructions for marriage and parenting, the result is usually some type of family dysfunction. 1 Kings 18 gives four principles we can apply for family restoration. To begin, we need to make repairs.
For God’s people, the altar has always represented unhindered fellowship with the Lord through confession, repentance, and submission to His Word. Elijah must have been heartbroken, looking at the pile of rubble that was once the altar of the Lord. So, God’s prophet confronted Israel for their worship of Baal. He asked, “How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him” (1 Kings 18:21.) They were not effectively functioning as God’s people because they were wavering in their worship.
Elijah’s confrontation reflected God’s love and desire to bless His people. Obedience to the Lord’s instructions would restore fellowship, as well as end the current drought (v. 1). Calling Israel to come near the altar was also an invitation to return to the Lord. After the altar was repaired and Israel once again bowed to God in worship, He showered them with refreshing rain (v. 39).
Like Israel, there are usually signs of needed repairs long before a family descends into dysfunction. One that’s often missed is passive neglect. We neglect opening God’s Word together, praying as a family, and asking for one another’s forgiveness. We’re passive about the worldly ideas and entertainment that slowly seep into our homes. All of which cause us to waver in our worship. Before we know it, we have a pile of rubble instead of unhindered fellowship with the Lord and with each other.
Will you, like Elijah, ask your family to “come near” the Lord and begin the process of restoration? What areas need repair in order for your home to be an altar to the Lord? First, look honestly at your family through the lens of Scripture. Identify areas where you’re hesitating between God’s view and the world’s. As a family, confess and repent of those things, then submit to the authority of God’s Word.
Family restoration requires diligent attention to love and compassion for one another. It demands humility and vulnerability from parents, as an example to their children. The Lord desires to shower your family with refreshment and restoration. Don’t put off making repairs. Begin today!