Brokenness is something everyone has experienced whether they grew up in a broken home, lost a job, or had a relationship end. Even I have experienced brokenness as my parents divorced when I was sixteen years old. The fact that broken homes exist should not come as a surprise to us because broken homes are the direct result of living in a fallen world. Pastor Burk Parsons notes, “Our present hope for our broken homes is the redeeming, forgiving, reconciling, and transforming gospel of God for God’s people.”[i]
The Gospel is not doing good things believing that our good works will balance out our sin. That mistaken notion comes from our sinful nature which tells us that we deserve the grace of God, when truthfully all we deserve is eternal separation from God. Growing up I had a faulty view of God as Father because my earthly father verbally and emotionally abused me. This affected my walk with God as I approached Him as One who wanted to smite me rather than embrace me as His adopted son through Jesus Christ. Many men have experienced the pain of abandonment and abuse by their fathers, which is why I want to address the question, “How does the Gospel heal broken men from broken homes?”
The Gospel is good news for sinners like the Prodigal Son in Luke 15 who spent his inheritance and found himself facing the reality of his sin by working feeding pigs (Luke 15:13-14). Christian men need to stop giving away their God-given inheritance in Christ. Instead of living out who they are in Christ now– they accept the lie that life is all about accepting their own lot. This attitude at its root comes not from God, but from Satan. In 1st Peter 5:8 it says that “the devil prowls around like a roaring lion” but often times Christian men act like Satan is actually a lion instead of just pretending to be one. Christian men must understand that we have One in Jesus who is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. Jesus isn’t an imaginary lion He is the Lion, and Satan is the deceiver. When Christian men accept their lot they are not reacting from who they are in Christ, but from unbelief.
The reason broken homes are becoming an epidemic is because of unbelief. Many people have rightly noted that so goes the institution of marriage so goes civilization. If this statement is true (as I believe it is), then it is undeniable that as men walk away from God so goes marriage, family, and the future of our civilization. Many people voicing their concern about broken homes, but not many people are getting to the heart of the issue– unbelief. Unbelief is an issue among Christian men, because many men are struggling with porn, finding or keeping a job. Jesus never promised life would be a bed of roses in fact He said that in this world His disciples would have difficulty and hardship (John 15:18-27).
Broken homes are an epidemic in our day because of our sin. When men coddle their sin they demonstrate not a love or reverence for the person and work of Jesus, but a love for themselves. God showed His love in Romans 5:8 for us that “while we were still yet sinners Christ died for us.” Being raised in a broken home and experiencing healing from such experiences has taught me that pointing to ourselves will not help to address the issue of brokenness. The only One who can heal our brokenness and unbelief is Jesus Christ. Only as a result of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection can Christian men show love to their families by pointing them to the Savior who says, “It is finished.” Pastor Burk Parsons notes, “The gospel hope for our broken homes is our broken and contrite hearts that turn daily to Jesus Christ and His brokenness for us on the cross as our Savior and Lord.”[ii]
The Gospel heals broken men from broken homes. The Cross addresses man’s need to be forgiven of sin. The resurrection of Christ provides the ground upon which Christians have new life. The ascension of Christ demonstrates the supremacy of Christ who ascended to the right hand of the Father where He is seated as our Advocate, Intercessor, and Mediator of the New Covenant. At the Second Coming of Jesus He will judge the living and the dead, and wipe away every tear from every eye as He reigns over the City of David from the Throne of David in the New Jerusalem.
One day broken homes won’t exist because Jesus will reign over all. In the meantime Christian men are to “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong” (1 Cor. 16:13), and be “steadfast, immoveable, and always abounding in the work of Christ” (1 Cor. 15:58) in the grace of God. Christian men (of all men) ought never to contribute to the broken home epidemic. Christian men ought to instead do something about the problem by leading their families towards the Savior of sinners and the hope of the world by fixing their eyes, and lives wholly upon the Savior. While Christian men should daily repent and surrender to Jesus they should also daily represent Jesus in Word and deed with every breath, word and decision they make. Christian men need to repent of being self-reliant and instead be Christ-reliant.
Christ-reliant men rely upon Jesus and are ambassadors of the treasure entrusted to them in the Gospel. The Gospel addresses the whole person. As Christian men we are to take the Gospel first to our families, then to our neighbors, our cities and finally to the world. My concern is many Christian men are more concerned about reaching the world with the Gospel than they are with taking that same Gospel to their families. This mistaken notion not only contributes to the epidemic occurring in our day, it also aggravates it and throws further fire upon the accusation that Christians are hypocrites.
The Gospel is good news for broken and proud men. To the broken the Gospel offers hope. To the proud the Gospel offers a rebuke since “the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Cor. 1:18). The Gospel addresses the proud and the broken by revealing their greatest need in Jesus Christ. Jesus offers hope, only in and through Him can people find hope for tomorrow. Jesus is the answer to the question, “How does the gospel heal broken people from broken homes?” The answer is because only He can take their heart of stone, forgive there sin, give them new life and empower them to live that new life through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. The Gospel addresses the whole person by calling them to abandon trusting in themselves and place their whole confidence in the saving work of Christ alone by faith alone.
Broken homes are an epidemic in our day, but the Gospel is the power of God to heal people (like me) from broken homes. The Lord Jesus has taken me– a man from a broken home– and continues to do a work by His grace of transforming me into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ. When Jesus meets sinners they are changed. Whether you are from a broken home or not is not the issue. The fact is all of us are broken and in need of the grace Jesus offers to His people. The only way to experience healing from brokenness is to come to Jesus– the One who offers new life. Only in Jesus can you be made new and only through Him can you have hope.
Jesus is the answer to the epidemic of broken homes in our day, and He will ultimately make right all injustices at His second coming. In the meantime however He is healing broken people from broken homes, and using them for His glory. Such Christian men understand that the Gospel is not for the proud, but for the broken. Broken men understand their need for a Savior, and the Savior saves them by forgiving their sin and granting them new life through the Son, Jesus Christ, as they come to faith in His death, burial and resurrection.