This is part of a series for the summer of 2018 on the Family as God Designed.
You may have heard it said that the family that plays together stays together but even more importantly, the family that prays together gets to heaven together. Whether we make it to heaven or not can be governed to a large degree by the home life.
When we talk about “the home” we don’t mean a house or even a place. It’s a relationship. The home should start with marriage and may or may not include children. Marriage is designed for this world but with a view toward the next.
It is not good for man to be alone. Genesis 2:18
That’s why God created marriage. In Genesis 2:24 God set out the basic format for every marriage thereafter; man and woman, separating from their families and becoming one flesh. It’s so important that it can’t be stressed enough that there are several sound principles to guide the start of a family in marriage.
- Don’t rush into marriage. If you’re a youth then don’t go steady ’till you’re ready. Ready for changing diapers, sleepless nights, working hard, and getting by on love because you don’t have much money.
- Marry only a Christian. God has always wanted his sons and daughters to marry other children of God. In Genesis 6 God lamented that the relationships between “sons of God” and “daughters of man” had corrupted them and He limited their life and started over with Noah. God warned the Israelites in the desert not to intermarry with the ungodly kingdoms around them. Similarly, God warns us not to marry someone outside the church (2 Corinthians 6:14 1 Corinthians 7:39 2 Corinthians 6:16). Marriage is the closest of all relationships and we should make sure our mate will help us get to heaven. Although sometimes marriages end well where one spouse was not a Christian before marriage can end well, many end up in the believer leaving the church.
- You can’t know if a person is a true Christian just by looking at their name on a membership roll. A Christian prays, studies, and discusses their faith openly. There must be evidence.
- Decide before you marry that you will never divorce unscripturally, even if you have to remain single the rest of your life (Matthew 19: 6, 9). Unscriptural divorce and remarriage will probably keep more people out of heaven that most others. It puts four people in a state of adultery. God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16).
Raise Your Children for Christ
Children are a heritage from the Lord. Parents can often ignore their children’s greatest needs. Many parents think they are doing better than they really are. They think providing food, clothing, possessions, education, and enrichment is good parenting but they neglect what they need most (1 Timothy 5:8). They don’t need toys, sports, or cars. They can all be left out and still have a good family life. They need proper spiritual training so that when they are grown they will still be faithful (Proverbs 22:6).
Deuteronomy 6:6-7 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
They also need corrective instruction while you still have the child in your control. It will save them from making terrible errors in life, even if it’s not fun at the moment (Hebrews 12:11).
Proverb 19:18 Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.
Have Christ in your home every day. Don’t forget Christ as the real head of the home and the unseen guest of every meal. He is the unseen listener in every conversation.
- Treat each other by following the Golden Rule in your family (Matthew 7:12).
- Put your mate first before your children and they will have a stronger and happier home.
- Put the other person’s need ahead of your own (Philippians 2:3-4). Selfishness is not the way to JOY:
- Jesus first
- Others second
- Yourself third
- Let love and kindness prevail. Do everything without grumbling and arguing (Philippians 2:14-15).
Husbands and Wives
- Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. 1 Peter 3:1-4
- Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. 1 Peter 3:7
- Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. Ephesians 5:25
- For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what he has promised him. Genesis 18:19
- Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4
Sons and Daughters
- Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise) Ephesians 6:1-2
If we really and truly want a Christian home, we have to work for it. Let’s make our homes a little bit of heaven on earth.
Summary of a lesson by Gary Workman
1201 Sycamore School Rd.
Fort Worth, TX 76134