What is a Christian family or home? To the average person, these terms do not mean much more than that a family belongs to, or identifies with, the Christian religion. The family is under attack today. For many today, “home” no longer signifies a place of love, peace, safety, training, learning and growing.
Actually, the family was not designed by man but it was created by God, our Creator, and is a unit of one man, one woman and, usually, children and extended family. The basic principle and foundation of the family unit is commit- ment to God and each other. This commitment is the glue that holds the family together.
Genesis 2:7, 18, 22-24 says: “The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’
Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called “woman” for she was taken out of man.’
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.”
I believe that, a Christian family is a family with Christ in it, or rather Christ in the centre of it. Sadly the subject of home and family is neglected in today’s world. Let’s look at what “home” is or should be.
The Home Is a Training Ground
- Children must be nurtured and admonished. “Bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” (v. 4).
- Children must be taught to honour parents. “Honour your father and mother – which is the first commandment” (v. 2).
- Children must be taught obedience at home. “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right” (v. 1). Discipline is a parental duty: “Do not withhold discipline from a child.” (Proverbs 23:13)
- Children need training and Bible teaching at home. “Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:7-9) “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” (Proverbs 22:6) Paul, writing to young Timothy, said: “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have be- come convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it. And how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ ” (2 Timothy 3:14-15) In 2 Timothy 1:5, he also wrote: “I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.”
- The art of homemaking must be taught at home. Titus 2:3-5 says, “Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.” Homes are not made by instinct, as with birds. Parents must teach this to their children.
Home Is God’s Foundation of Civilization
Home life is our first line of defense against the enemy. A destroyed or divided home breeds decay and tragedy. Yet, today, the sanctity (quality of being holy) of the family is being destroyed. There is no quiet time for prayer or fel- lowship. Parents not acquainted with their children, who feel like strangers.
Nowadays, many parents shift their responsibilities onto television shows, computers, schools or the church.
Husbands should be providers. “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (1 Timothy 5:8) The hus- band should be the head of the home. Ephesians 5:23 says, “For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Saviour.”
Husbands must also be the greatest lovers. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave him- self up for her. In this same way, hus- bands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.” (Ephesians 5:25, 28) The man who leaves his home is compared to a bird in Proverbs 27:8, which says, “Like a bird that strays from its nest is a man who strays from his home.” And Colos- sians 3:19 says, “Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.”
A wife must be a homemaker and not just a housewife: “She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” (Proverbs 31:27) A wife must also be honourable and worthy of respect. “In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.” (1 Timothy 3:11)
The Christian home must be restored and be brought back to God’s design and standards. Parents, live with your children; do not merely co-exist! Children, love, obey and honour your God-fearing parents. God and His Word must have the prominent place in your home, whether you are married or single.
“Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that every- one may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” (1 Timothy 4:15-16)
Pastor Joseph Hovsepian