Home Sweet Home
The Bible gives us the blueprint for a home that is beautiful in design, solid in structure, and pleasant in atmosphere. Home can be a place of harmony and contentment, or one of tension and strife. Is your home happy, strong, and able to survive the storms of life?
Home is an important social unit. It is divinely ordained for our spiritual development, emotional happiness, and physical fulfillment. God’s plan has always been that members of the home should bring happiness one to another and that families should live in harmony.
Why Some Homes Are Unhappy
Why, then, are many homes unhappy? Why are they being broken by discord, separation, and divorce? It is because God’s pattern has been disregarded. Within His Word is found the needed building material for a happy home. Homes built according to His Word are places of love, trust, mutual interest, and unselfish service one to another. Such homes will bring happiness into our lives and preserve our communities and nations. Are you following the plan of God, the Master Architect? “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it” (Psalm 127:1).
In youth, the foundation is laid for our future homes. A life pure before God is an important ingredient in our preparation for marriage. Premarital sinfulness undermines moral stability and places the future home in jeopardy. Self-centeredness and self-gratification in our youth set a pattern of living that wreaks havoc in marriage. The high rate of divorce is sufficient proof of these facts. These sins must be thoroughly repented of before there can be a new life in Christ. The past can then be laid to rest and God will enter with His blessings.
A home begins when a man and a woman are joined together in marriage. The Bible says we are to marry “only in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 7:39). This means that both the man and woman have surrendered their lives and wills to the Lord. God must have first place. When the man and woman are both unselfish, they can enjoy mutual happiness.
Marrying in the Lord
Marrying “in the Lord” not only means that the man and woman are Christians, but also that the Lord will lead them to one another. Passions and infatuations are poor beginnings for a marriage. When these are the basis for our attractions to each other, there may be frustration and conflict after marriage. As we trust the Lord to guide our choice, His divine wisdom foresees the spouse we will need. His plan is not only for today but also for the years ahead. The Lord may choose different tastes and temperaments, which will complement each other, resulting in a more balanced unit. “And they twain shall be one flesh” (Mark 10:8).
Marriage is meant to be a lifelong bond, not a mere legal contract. Jesus gave this clear-cut command, “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matthew 19:6).
A Godly Order
The home is a little community within itself, and, like every social unit, delegated areas of responsibility are necessary. God has given us an outline of this order in the Bible. It is a framework of authority which, if followed, will bring order and happiness to the home. The greatest responsibility is required of the husband, then the wife, and then the child, in that order. (Read also 1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 5:22-24). When God establishes and sanctions a principle, it becomes sacred. Any disobedience to that order will bring its measure of sorrow. On the other hand, He blesses those who are obedient with godliness, happiness, and grace.
At marriage, the husband and wife begin a union in which each has a responsibility and obligation. Both are needed with their different functions and natural abilities to make the home complete. Someone must take the lead, and God has delegated this position to the man. “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the Church, and gave himself for it” (Ephesians 5:23). Such love is immersed in a spirit of self-giving. It is a caring love that causes the husband to treat his wife “as his own body” (Ephesians 5:28). A loving husband will not consider his wife to be his inferior. He will rather confide in her and seek her counsel, making her a true partner through his love for her.
“Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands” (1 Peter 3:1). When a wife follows her husband’s leadership in the home, as he obediently follows Christ, that home will be a haven of peace and contentment. Ephesians 5:33 says, “And the wife see that she reverence her husband.” Rebellion against this principle has brought much unhappiness into the homes of today. Sidestepping this principle not only brings conflict into the life of the family, but also brings spiritual conflict into the heart of the wife.
The Children’s Place
We like to think of children as pure and innocent. However, all are born with sinful natures. As a child grows, his selfish nature will become increasingly evident. He will bring much unhappiness upon himself and others unless the parents discipline these tendencies.
A child’s duty is to obey his parents. “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right” (Ephesians 6:1). A perfect example of this obedience is noted in the life of Jesus as a child. “And He went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them” (Luke 2:51). When the principle of submission is practiced and is the routine of the home, parents and children will be happier, and the home will be more pleasant.
When God’s order is maintained, the parents will live for their children, the children for their parents, and all will live for God. Such homes will bless our communities and give quality to our nations.
Many youth are involved in drugs, fads, fashions, and the world of entertainment. They are captivated by a fast society that is throwing away values and morals. At one time, these values and morals gave a degree of integrity and stability to our communities. Is the absence of secure and happy homes an underlying cause of our restless and discontented youth? What can you do about it? Has it ever occurred to you that the making of your home depends upon you and your heart’s loyalty to God?
Christ the Foundation
If we want to build a strong and happy home, Jesus Christ must be the foundation. Rains may come and storms beat against it, but with Christ it will stand (Matthew 7:24-27). He will give us the direction, strength, and courage that will make our homes successful and happy in this cruel, unsympathetic world. Jesus was a home lover, and He is ready to move into our homes. He says, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock” (Revelation 3:20). First, He knocks at the door of our hearts and then at the door of our homes. Will we let Him in?
A happy home begins in our hearts. We cannot have genuine peace in our homes without peace in our hearts. Personal daily victory over the irritations and frustrations of the day can be ours when we place our trust in God. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee” (Isaiah 26:3).
A godly family will pray together for their own hearts, their home, and the needs of the community. Prayer binds a family together. As the saying goes, “The family that prays together stays together.”
Believe and accept God’s plan for your life and home. Open the door of your heart to Christ. “Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts” (Hebrews 3:7-8). The Lord is waiting to bless your heart and home. Turn to Him with all your heart and remain faithful. Some day He will open the door of that heavenly home for you, where happiness and perfect peace will welcome you forever.