The Home As God Would Have It
by Terry Broome
There is a good deal of evidence that the family unit as we once knew it is breaking up, and many of us have had to redefine what we mean by the word “family.” While a large percentage of families are still made up of a husband and wife either with or without children, a significant percentage of today’s family units have single parents, having never married, or single again as a result of a spouse dying. Additionally, an increasing number of children are being raised in broken homes from divorce, and many grandparents are raising their grandchildren.
Now more than ever in the history of our nation, we need to re-examine God’s focus on the family: The strength of the nation – in fact the welfare of the world – as well as the survival of the church – is bound up within families. From the beginning, God ordained families, and then used the home as the basis for his communication and work with mankind. He worked through Abraham’s family to bring about a great nation of Israel, and eventually the blessing upon the whole world in the birth of Christ (Genesis 12:1-3; 22:15-18; 26:3-4; Galatians 3:13-16). And who can forget Joshua’s bold declaration on behalf of his entire family, “…as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Josh. 24:15).
For the Home to survive today, it must go back to God, the designer of the home. We must have a systematic program to teach God’s precepts, diligently, to our children “And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes” Deuteronomy 6:7-8.
Children will be strengthened by watching as their parents demonstrate their faith. They learn by observation long before they learn by commandments and instruction. In Deut. 6:20-25 Israel’s children were to learn of God’s involvement in their nation’s history when they asked what the commandments meant. A youngster will grow up always aware of the primacy of God and the church in life when his parents stress that he must attend every service and function of the church; when they attend with him; and when they use the opportunity to discuss why we do the things we do.
It is imperative that the home truly be Christian. Christ must be exalted as Lord of the Home. We should consider Him always as an unseen guest, and practice His presence among us. As a family we should openly espouse Christian virtues and values. We must purge out the old leaven of sin from our homes. Hospitals help folks get well by providing a clean healthful environment. A filthy, contaminated hospital would do more harm than good. So we too must put away the corrupting influence of sensuality on t.v., rental videos, music, magazines, and now the dreaded influence of pornography on the internet.
Families are so very important, yet so little time most of us spend with them. Many are too busy making a living. Their emphasis is on livelihoods instead of lives. Because the child doesn’t say “Mother, I need to talk to you!” “Dad, PLEASE give me a little of your time!” We assume all is well. That’s naivety!!!! We then neglect a relationship that only time and communication can build. Just because a spouse doesn’t say, “I need you to spend some time with me; we need to talk,” it doesn’t mean that everything is fine with the marriage. Is there any wonder our nation is suffering when the family structure is suffering? And marriages are being broken? Realizing so much is at stake, we simply must give attention to the proper relations and proper training within our homes.
The author can be reached for comments at 256-574-2489.