Godly Families (1) – Shining In a Dark World
See full series: lights-in-a-dark-world-2019
Godly Families (1) – Shining In a Dark World
Sermon by Thomas Thornhill Jr
Sunday, October 13, 2019 am
LIGHTS IN A DARK WORLD (34)
As we continue our study of being proper examples in every area, the next few lessons I want to focus on the foundational unit that will have an influence in every other area of our lives. In this short study, I want to address the home. We will discuss what the home is from God’s perspective and how it influences society. Next we want to briefly discuss the husband/wife relationship, and finally we want to notice the parent/child relationship.
So much time could be devoted to this subject, but time constraints limits it to these few lessons. But let’s get started.
I. The home – an institution of God
- What is the home?
The place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household. (Yahoo Search)
One’s place of residence; 2. The social unit formed by a family living together. (Merriam-Webster)
These definitions give us a pretty good idea of what we think about when we use the word home (though there are many other definitions).
Biblically, the word can mean both of these definitions. When we speak of the home in this lesson, we have reference to a family unit that dwell together. While it typically involves a place, what our focus is, will be those who make up a family.
It is the foundational unit of society. As goes the home, so goes society and the church. So, if we want to get society right and the church right, we need to start in the home.
- The first home – In scripture we learn that the home (family based upon a marriage) originated with God. Genesis 2:18-25 records how Eve was created from Adam’s side and brought to him. Moses proceeds to describe how they were joined together and are the example of how EVERY home begins – with a marriage. A man and woman are to leave home and be joined to each other.
Matthew 19:3-6 finds Jesus repeating this and emphasizing the intended permanency of marriage. And God is VERY serious about this.
That is why divorce is such a serious discussion. Jesus would continue in vs. 9 restricting WHO could divorce and remarry. Many in society, and in the church have problem with what this says today, but that does not change God’s word.
- Thus the home became the first of 3 institutions – home, government and church. As already noted, as the home goes, so goes society, AND government, AND the church.
- The Bible has plenty to say about home. It addresses the relationship of husband and wife, as well as parents and children. It also deals with the elderly, internal and outward influences and other issues.
It is described as a place where there ought to be peace and security. A place of rest where one can let down their guard (but not their spiritual guard) from the world. The home is intended to be a place of love – godly love, family love and in other ways. It is a place of openness, honesty and integrity.
II. How our homes affect our influence in society
- An honest examination of the moral breakdown of our society, and the moral fiber of most churches can be traced to spiritual breakdowns in the home.
We are living in times where homes are very worldly and materialistic. Even in many Christian homes (by this I mean a home where Christians reside and profess to follow God – TT), we find a greater emphasis on material possessions, luxuries and comforts, worldly entertainment, concern about social status, and lives so full of extracurricular activities, that little time is left for God to shape what the home ought to be, according to His pattern.
In addition to this, there is the permissive attitude and defense of immodest and immoral behaviors, as well the influence of the world’s definition of tolerance (though slightly modified at times).
Like the rest of the world, Christian homes are filled with problems. There are relationship issues, there are struggles (e.g. financial, health, decisions to be made, family crisis, communication issues, etc.) and disagreements from time to time.
Sadly, divorce is a major cause of problems in society and the home – it is as if God knew what He was talking about in forbidding divorce for just any cause. And far too many Christians have to deal with this, in spite of what the scriptures teach about it.
BUT, Christians ought to have a different perspective in how they deal with these things. IF God’s principles are applied by everyone within the home, it CAN survive, and many problems would be avoided, and the rest handled properly. Broken homes are almost universally the result of our failures to fulfill our roles.
- Society has done much to damage the family unit as God would have it. There is an assault on the Biblical concept of marriage AND family. Media implies that extramarital relations are the norm, and often portray the traditional father as a buffoon. Divorce is treated as no big deal. God and the Bible are hardly ever mentioned, especially in a positive light. AND, media can be an incredible waste of our time if it consumes us, as it does so many.
Our governments are passing laws that challenge the traditional home – removing the ability to properly discipline, removing parental consent for some of the most egregious immoral behaviors (e.g. abortions, providing birth control, etc.), and making it illegal to condemn perceived immoral lifestyles, etc.
- What can we do about this? Friends, if you want to change the moral bankruptcy around us, it HAS TO begin with a change in our homes.
- Our society needs to see godly homes that are properly functioning. Husbands and wives fulfilling their roles GLADLY and reverently. Parents and children in healthy and respectful relationships.
They need to see that we handle our problems according to God’s principles.
They need to see that God matters, even if it is politically incorrect.
- ANOTHER element that affects our influence, as the home, is efforts to fulfill our roles. Parents need to teach and SHOW their children what God wants them to be. The home is where morality must FIRST be taught. Wise discipline must be carried out. The ungodliness that is going on in society in these areas must be addressed at home.
- And it is in this that home helps us to let our lights shine in this dark world.
- The church is a family – in scripture, we are described as brethren, the household of God (1 Timothy 3:15, Ephesians 2:19, Galatians 6:10). We have already noted that if a church is filled with godly families, it is much more likely to be godly. Furthermore, the world needs to see THIS family unit as well – us acting like we really do love each other.
III. What is godly home?
- Simply stated, a godly home is one where the pattern found within scripture is realized and followed. It is a home built upon a godly foundation: Psalm 127:1, “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; Unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.”
Proverbs 12:7, “The wicked are overthrown and are no more, but the house of the righteous will stand.”
Proverbs 24:3-4, “Through wisdom a house is built, And by understanding it is established; By knowledge the rooms are filled With all precious and pleasant riches.”
Joshua 24:15, “And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”John 14:23, Jesus noted that those who love Him and keep His word – both He and the Father will come and make their home with him. While not directly related to the home unit, it certainly applies there. When God is respected and His pattern is followed, certainly he will be there.
- A home where the Bible is studied and prayers are offered all the time.
Like Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:14-15 which describes how from childhood he had known the holy scriptures able to make one wise. The godly home will study the Bible regularly.
As Moses instructed parents in Deut. 6:6-9 says, “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
PRAYER will also be seen regularly – 2 Thess. 5:17
A home where attendance with brethren is a priority – Heb. 10:24-25
- A home where everyone understands and fulfills their roles
- Husbands lead the family with love and integrity – Eph. 5:25-29. They practice self-control as they raise their children – Eph. 6:4. They are THERE for their family. He leads by example!
- Wives submit to their husbands and raise the children properly – Eph. 5:22-24, Titus 2:4-5. She fulfills here role by example.
- Children obey and honor their parents – Eph. 6:1-3.
- A home where God is present and reverenced.
Timothy had dwelling within the genuine faith that dwelt first in his mother, Eunice, and his grandmother, Lois. (2 Tim. 1:5).
Where God is reverence, profanity is not tolerated (Heb. 12:28). There is moral purity and honesty. Adequate time is given to godly pursuits and worldliness and materialism are checked at the door.
There is one other way we find about the home that is worth mentioning. Godly homes are a taste of what awaits us if we are faithful to the end. John 14:2 – Jesus spoke of going to prepare a place for us – a mansion; 2 Peter 3:13 speaks of our looking for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.