The Christian home
Published 11:32 am Thursday, December 23, 2021
BY TONY HOSS
One of the problems facing the world is the breakdown of the Christian home. While many fail to understand it, there is a difference between a house and a home. And even deeper in meaning, there is a difference between a home and a Christian home. God’s desire is that all homes are Christian homes. But what makes a home a Christian home?
While it may not seem so simple, in reality, the same features which made the first home a home, make a home a Christian home today. We should realize that God created the first home just like he wants all homes to be. After God created the home “he saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.” (Gen. 1:31.) Knowing that all things were good, we must conclude that the first home, as God created it, is a pattern for all Christian homes. Jesus recognized this, Matthew 19:4, 8, and when dealing with marriage and its problems he pointed to “the beginning,” the time when God created that first human home. For a better understanding we should consider that first home.
In that first Christian home, there was a one flesh relationship. (Gen. 2:23; Matt. 19:5). In this relationship there was a communion of the hearts of a man and his wife as well as a communion of the body. The first principle of importance was that of leaving and cleaving. (Gen. 2:24). God designed the home to be the place that children were to be raised and when at all possible, this should be the case (Gen. 1:28).
When these features are incorporated into a home, we have the fundamentals of a God approved Christian home. However, there is more to a Christian home. God reveals to us that the same things which make a person a Christian, are part of a Christian home. It was God’s desire that all homes be Christian homes. For this all members of accountability must be Christians. This of course demands a love for and study of God’s Word (2 Pet. 1:3). The Bible is God’s guide to building Christians and their homes. Study of God’s Word is important for the Christian home, and demands family devotions (Deut. 6:4-9).
As the family members grow in knowledge of the Word of God, each member learns individual dedication to the commands of Christ. As the family grows together in Christ, each member learns to limit themselves and to set priorities in their lives. This is shown as members of the family allow Christ to rule in their lives separately and individually (Gal. 2:20).
The Christian family is concerned with proper financial budgeting. In this, the family ensures that God is a forethought and not an afterthought. The same is incorporated in budgeting our time for God and His church, and in the time, we spend in prayer and in thanksgiving to God (1Thess. 5:17-18).
All families face difficulties and as such we should according to James 1:5, seek God’s counsel. In doing so we each grow more Christ-like according to 1 Pet. 2:21. Being like Christ should be the goal of each family member and in this way the home is pleasing to God.
A Christian home is committed to God’s plan for the home. This includes mothers and fathers that believe in the sanctity and permanence of the marriage (Matt. 19:6). This involves a marriage where the spouses are faithful and dedicated to one another. The proper Christian home will have husbands that are the head of the wife; it will have wives that are willing to submit to their husbands (Eph. 5:23 ff). It is within this family group that children are taught the importance of leading and following. They learn that the parents are in authority and that they are in subordination (Eph. 6:1).
There must be a strong sense of love within the family. With love, each parent must fulfill their obligations in a Godly manner. This involves proper love for God, Jesus and each other (John 13:34-35, Ephesians 5:25, Titus 2:4). Building a family in this way will bring togetherness as each learns joint participation in the family unit as designed by God. To help the family even more, there should be an effort to limit those things that divide the family and join in activities both secularly and spiritually. As we learn to live by God’s design, we must have patience with others in the family and ourselves.
Certainly, the Christian family should worship together (Heb. 10:24-25). It has been said, “The family that prays together stays together.” What stronger bond could there be than to worship the same Lord together? In the end we should know that Christian families don’t just happen, they are made with hard work and dedication. Finally, a proper dedication to family will strengthen our nation, states and individual communities.
(Tony Hoss is minister at the Centerview Church of Christ, Elizabethton.)