"Fathers, fight for your families"
is the message from homeschooling dad
and Homeschool Iowa Conference speaker,
What does this mean,
and how does one do it?
Standing up to murderous threats many years ago, Nehemiah addressed the fathers in his community:
“Don’t be afraid of them.
Remember the Lord,
who is great and awesome,
and fight for your families,
your sons and your daughters,
your wives and your homes.”
(Nehemiah 4:14 NIV)
Fathers today are facing the fight of their lives. The forces arrayed against the family are staggering in number and size. Political and cultural behemoths are breaking down the doors while corporate and economic interests plunder what little capital (social and fiscal) we have left in our families and communities.
In the industrial age, work has increasingly driven a wedge between families, dividing husband from wife, father from son, mother from daughter, and family from home.
As a result,
the modern family practices few,
if any, of the functions
historically practiced at home.
Work, education, recreation, worship, childcare, and eldercare have been parceled out to institutions, government, and corporations. What used to be a function-rich center of production and sustenance has turned into a mere “overnight parking place.”
This is not the model God had in mind
when He instituted the family.
It is not surprising, then, to find an unprecedented breakdown of social order in our generation, and a wholesale abandonment of the Christian heritage that has been passed down, primarily through families, for the last fifty generations.
Reversing the devastating tide of modernity and restoring the family to its rightful place as a “self-sustaining and self-producing community” will only come when such a family begins working together towards a common vision to which they have been called.
The family precedes and supersedes all man-made institutions and traditions, all political structures, and economic theories. In a Biblical economy, the family is central. Historically, it was within the context of the home economy—not the factory—that family members found purpose and meaning. They also comforted and cared for each other, apprenticed and mentored, and transmitted faith, culture, and values on to the next generation.
The family-centered economy
was God’s original plan
for productive households,
and stewardship of the earth.
Before modern entertainment and Homer Simpson recast Dad as “bumbling idiot,” he was the most revered member of the family. He was the Paterfamilias—the head of the household.
Dad was not merely a means to a paycheck. He was the family’s head, which meant, he set the mission and brought his family into the work. C. R. Wiley writes, “It was his responsibility to lead the family in being productive and marshaling the household’s talents toward healthy independence.”
He was also its protector: economically, spiritually, socially, and, if necessary, physically. In Roman times, when a household was threatened, it was the father’s duty to literally don the armor and go out and meet the challenge.
When You Comin’ Home, Dad?
God has brought your family together to fulfill a unique vision on earth that no other family can, because no other family is exactly like yours. But that vision will not be fulfilled if your family is separated for the majority of their waking lives. And the enemy knows this.
For some, a family vision might involve starting a new home-based business or ministry. For others, it might mean moving to the country and learning to homestead. For those whose hearts have been turned to their children, it might mean walking away from a high-paying job to spend more time with their family.
Whatever the case,
God has a specific vision
for your family,
and that vision
begins with Dad.
Facing the cultural and economic Goliaths of our day will require more than personal convictions and a rainy-day fund. It requires households that perceive the threat and stake out a measure of independence and sovereignty in a culture that would claim all. It requires families who will work together to restore self-sufficiency and vital functions at home.
it will require fathers
who will don the armor
and fight for their families.
 Pitrim Sorkin, The Crisis of Our Age (New York: E. P Dutton, 1941), 191.
[2} The Grovestead Newsletter, Vol. 6, Issue 2, Spring 2022
Rory Groves is paterfamilias at The Grovestead Farm and author of Durable Trades: Family-Centered Economies That Have Stood the Test of Time. The Groves family's website is: thegrovestead.com. He is also director of Gather & Grow, a non-profit ministry dedicated to rebuilding the family economy. He resides in southern Minnesota with his wife, Becca, where they homeschool their five (soon six) children.