The Blessedness of a Christian Home
Two lengthy passages should be read as the introduction to this lesson: Genesis 2:18-25 and Matthew 19:1-8. Both are specifically emphatic regarding the subject under consideration and provide the Biblical foundation for the conclusions we must accept.
There are so many problems in marriages and homes today. There is so much failure and unhappiness. As one sees the domestic scene being subjected to divorce, delinquency, strife and tensions one is provoked to ask, “Does it have to be this way? Is this what marriage and the home really is?” The answer is emphatically NO, and it was never intended to be that way. There is the alternative if people would pay attention to the Lord.
A Christian home begins when two people, a Christian man and a Christian woman, who love the Lord and each other, enter into the sacred covenant relationship before God and society as husband and wife. This home continues as they live life in the imitation of Christ. We are mindful of homes that consist of other relationships, such as a home of brothers and/or sisters living in the same domicile, extended families of grandparents, aunts, uncles and others where the will of Christ prevails. These are also Christian homes. Our prime focus is on homes that involve marriage.
Malachi 2:14 speaks of the wife of thy covenant. There is a covenant made not only between a man and a woman, but it also involves God. While some contend marriage only involves two, how does one remove the Originator and Governor of marriage from the covenant and expect the marriage to be what it ought to be? The fallacy in the thinking of too many is that they have left out God. Marriage is more than a civil, legal and social contract. It is a divine covenant that binds a divinely determined relationship with divinely appointed purposes.
The law of God concerning marriage applies to everyone whether they are Christians or not. If this is not true then all marriages where Christians are not involved would be meaningless, children would not be born within a legitimate relationship, and such sins as adultery and fornication would not really be sins since no law would be violated. But the law of God governs marriage and has done so long before the religion of Christ was brought into the world. It began in Eden.
Marriage must be entered with the determination that it is a permanent and lifelong relationship (Romans 7:2,3; First Corinthians 7:39). Regardless of health, problems, poverty, abundance, age or whatever, the vow to stay faithful one to the other “till death do us part” is just exactly what God expects. Once a woman said she wanted to divorce her husband because she did not love him anymore. She was rightly asked, “What does that have to do with the vow and commitment God expects you to keep?” This is the kind of determination one must have upon entrance into marriage. It is for better or worse, richer or poorer, sickness or health, until death.
God is the giver of marriage as our texts reveal. The first home consisted of Adam and Eve, not John and Joe, or Mary and Sue. God performed, as it were, the first “marriage ceremony” because He brought the two together, which a ceremony does. What God has joined together should not be put asunder (Matthew 19:6). Understanding this teaching is not difficult. Abiding by it gives some people trouble. It is because they are not respectful of the will of the Lord.
A Christian home is where each puts his or her mate before all else, everyone except the Lord. When one does put the Lord first in life he or she will put his or her mate before everyone else, including in-laws, friends, neighbors, children, whoever. The teaching of God is to “leave..., and cleave” (Matthew 19:5). The two become united and compose a team of godly togetherness. They are as the title of a song suggests, Me and You Against the World. It is a case of forsaking all others and keeping oneself to the mate as long as both shall live. Loyalty to one’s mate is paramount in the marriage and home as God would have it be.
The Christian marriage and home is where there exists a relationship of trust, loyalty, faithfulness, and confidence. Such relationship produces immeasurable blessings. Proverbs thirty-one speaks how “the heart of her husband doth safely trust in her” and “she will do him good.” To have a good wife is a favor from God (Proverbs 18:22). “A prudent wife is from the Lord” (Proverbs 19:14). There should be kindness, forbearance, cooperation, consideration and longsuffering. It is no longer “me, my, and mine,” but “we, us, and ours” in all things.
Count the Cost
The Christian home is composed of two who have counted the cost, who are willing to pay the price, and who will reap the benefits from God. It is where love not only exists but is expressed. It is where you know you belong and are accepted and loved. The Christian home is where human ties of love and compassion are at their best. This does not mean perfection, but each one seeks the other’s highest good. That is what love does.
The relationship of husband and wife is sacred and is used by the Holy Spirit to depict the tie that exists between Christ and His church. He is to love his wife as Christ loved the church and she is to reverence her husband as the church does Christ (Ephesians 5).
What a blessed influence a Christian home has on children born into such a home! It was said of Abraham, Genesis 18:19, “For I know him that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.” Ephesians 6:1-4 and Proverbs 22:6 both place heavy responsibilities on parents to rear their children the way God wants them to be reared. To know why children are they way they are, whether good or evil, consider the home from which they come. The home is a laboratory where children are molded and formed into adults, either to God’s glory or to reproach. The home is where Christianity is seen by the young eyes as they live day by day. In the Christian home they see selflessness, honesty, sacrifice for the right, morality, honor, the dignity of labor, purity of speech, respect for others, entertainment and recreation compatible with living for God. They learn to spend and be spent for the cause of righteousness. They are taught to respect God and His will and respect authorities and rules. They learn to discern between good and evil and have love for the church.
Christian homes provide godly memories that serve throughout life. The inhabitants are provided strength and a rich and righteous heritage, something to live by and for, a recognition of mission and purpose in life, goals and aspirations that lead toward heaven. In such a home the child is taught duty, responsibility, and cultivates self-respect as well as respect for others and given the pattern to follow in life. Blessed in that person who has had the privilege of being reared in a Christian home!
The Christian home is concerned for the spiritual salvation of every member of it. We should often consider Noah. He lived in such wicked times, even to the extent that God determined to destroy the world by the flood. But Noah was a righteous man and he was at least able to save his own family. Will we do as much? He found grace in the sight of God (Genesis 6:8). We can do that also if we will walk with God like he did. In the Christian home each person is taught to love God, obey the gospel, serve faithfully in His kingdom. He learns to worship, being a righteous steward of all that comes within his power. He gleans knowledge from the Word that is the light and guide of the home. The primary goal in any marriage and any home that is pleasing to God is to help each other get to heaven.
A Christian home contributes to a good mental, emotional and physical welfare also. Such homes are free from the undue strife, tension, hate, competition and pressures that can and do destroy good health in these areas. A Christian home is composed of people who follow the way of the Lord and learn how to cope with whatever life brings. There is always the source of hope, comfort, assurance of ultimate victory and providence of God. Happy homes produce happy people. The home ought to be a haven in the midst of the storm of life; an isle of refuge. In the home one should expect help, encouragement, advice and consolation from those who love most. A Christian home is a relationship that is the nearest to heaven this world affords.
The home is the basic unit of society. From homes come all teachers, government leaders, businessmen, preachers, merchants, everyone. From the home comes the standards of morality of the nation. The stream will not rise higher than its spring, nor shall the land be purer than its source. Society reflects the condition of the home. There are so many social problems on the national level in America. The answer to our problems is Christ and homes produced by the way of Christ.
There are many people in the world who have the distorted idea that unless they can “do some great thing,” meaning something that brings attention and public acclaim, they are not doing much of significance. That is a false view. There is no more productive and far reaching contribution to the good of mankind both in this life and the next than to establish and maintain a Christian home where the Lord reigns supreme and all members of the home lovingly seek His will and the spiritual salvation of each other.
Each of us can have this quality home. It begins with becoming a Christian and continues by being a faithful Christian. It is up to each one to do his or her part, father, mother, child, or whatever other relationship one has toward other members of the family, and to see that they are what they ought to be, and together live in, benefit from, and perpetuate in the home the will of Christ. May we never be satisfied with anything less.