(Christian Home / Family)
What a noble
aspiration, “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15 - Joshua was a great leader chosen by God to replace Moses. Joshua experienced many military victories, but he also had a burden for his family. He longed for them to join him in serving the Lord. – Today, Satan threatens the family. It is his prime target because he knows if he destroys the family unit he as won a victory in the Church and the world.
Children are commanded to obey and honor their parents in the Lord. Eph. 6:1,2 -- Fathers are not to provoke their children to wrath, unnecessarily causing them to be discouraged, but rather bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
This is to be accomplished through training, discipline and instruction. Eph. 6: 4 - Timothy’s mother and grandmother did an excellent job of training young Timothy in the things of the Lord, and that in the absence of a believing father. 2Tim.1: 5 -2Tim. 3: 15 - There are many, “mothers in Israel” but where are the fathers?
In preparing this lesson, we searched for a model family. We gave up on David’s, family as well as Eli’s and the writer’s and settled for the family in which the Lord Jesus was raised. Joseph the foster father and Mary the mother of the Lord Jesus.
JOSEPH was a model husband, father and head of his family. He is said to be a “just man” - He didn’t indiscriminately expose Mary when he found out she was with child but not married. Like the Gospel, “love covers” sin, by forgiveness, but it never condones it. Proverbs 10:12 - and again “love suffers long... is kind... and thinks no evil” 1Cor. 13:4,5
Joseph was a man who was in touch with heaven. He had frequent communication with angels and dreams. Mat. 1:20 - 2:19-23 - as a result he was relieved of anxiety concerning his relationship with Mary and he learned about the virgin birth.
He was a moral man, because he, “... knew her not... “Till after their marriage was consummated. - He was an obedient man of faith. At the counsel of the angel, he took Mary to be his wife and called her firstborn son, “Jesus” - Mat. 1:24,25 - When word came of the threat against the life of Jesus, he immediately obeyed and took the young child and His mother and departed for Egypt. Mat. 2:13,14 - Joseph was a humble man. He worked behind the scene, for God. He “played the second fiddle well” It was Mary who was in the limelight. Mary was quoted several times but it was only Josephs’ life and actions that are noticed. Joseph was a responsible man, head and leader in the home. Luke 2:22,41 - Mark. 6:3 - He was faithful in performing his religious duties. He took the Firstborn to the temple for the ceremonial dedication. He took his family to the yearly feasts. He taught his sons a trade, (Carpentry) - A Jewish fathers responsibility was to, Circumcise, teach the Law and a trade to their sons.
MARY is a model wife, mother and homemaker. She was chosen by God and highly honored. She is “... blessed... among women... “ Luke 1:28 - We see Mary as the “virtuous” woman, personified of Proverbs 31:10-31 - (God’s true, BEAUTY QUEEN) - Again, Mary was a virgin when she stood at the marriage altar. Mat. 1:25 - She acknowledged her need as a sinner, she spoke of “...God my savior” Lu. 1:47 - She had a guarded sanctified tongue, her conversations were only spiritual. - She was available to do what she could for God. She didn’t have a special gift or talent but she presented her body a “living sacrifice” unto God. Rom. 12:1,2 - She proved her love to God and her family out of a pure heart and life. She was content with basic needs in life, swaddling clothes for he first born son and a manger for His crib. Luke 2:12 - she wasn’t hindered by non-essentials, wealth, luxuries and status quo. She was willing to pay the costly role of motherhood. Simeon prophesied, “A sword shall pierce through thy own soul” Luke.2: 35 - This prophecy was fulfilled when she stood at the cross and saw her beloved firstborn crucified. She would have experienced the severe birth pangs in a primitive setting. She faced that crisis flight into Egypt. Mat. 2:13,14 - she was the victim of a scandal of having an illegitimate child. John 8:41 - She saw the day when her firstborn son had to leave home for his public ministry and her other children rejected Him at first. Natural ties were broken for a higher spiritual calling. - Her ultimate heartbreak was when she saw her beloved on the cross. Our last glimpse of Mary is with God’s people praying and waiting for the promise of the Spirits coming. Acts 1:14 - Jesus left her in the care of John. That was a great legacy for John to have this godly woman in his home. We honor and respect Mary, but we don’t pray to or worship her.
THE LORD JESUS the perfect, model Child. - He developed naturally, from infancy to adolescence to adulthood. Luke. 2:40,46,52 - As a child He submitted to His earthly parents. - He was content with the basic needs of life. - He lived and died sacrificially. - He always did what pleased His heavenly Father. Here we have a “just” husband, a virtuous wife and a model Child that makes an exemplar family and home. God’s goal for us is, to become more like His beloved Son and one day we will be like Him and with Him forever. Our goal for our children is that they will be more like Him and not like their parents.
The Book Of Proverbs And The Family
The book of Psalms is devotional and spiritual which touches the heart and inspires worship. - The book of Proverbs is practical and ethical, which influences the will and affects the walk. - There is much in the Proverbs about the family. God is interested in the family because He designed it and He has His own spiritual family. This is why Satan intimidates the family, and he has won many victories. A proverb is a brief pithy, thought provoking attention getter. Easy to remember and was useful before the Scriptures were recorded. In our text
Prov.1: 1-32 there is a father giving instruction to his son. Key words:
INSTRUCTION: = an exposition of truth. This may include, doctrine, discipline, chastening or rebuke. (v.8)
INTERPRETATION: = An explanation of the truth. (v. 6)
UNDERSTANDING: = a comprehension of the truth. (v. 5)
KNOWLEDGE: = An appropriation of the truth. (v. 7)
WISDOM: = An application of the truth. (v. 7) This is a virtue of the “wise” - They were skillful in war, administration, ethics and religion. The craftsmen of the tabernacle were filled with the Spirit and wisdom. Exodus 35:31 - The Lord Jesus Christ is Wisdom personified in Proverbs 8 and 1Cor. 1:30 - Wisdom is revealed in the written Word and creation and is a universal influence.
SOME CHARACTERISTICS OF A WISE SON He values and seeks wise counsel, listens, obeys and increases in learning and understanding. (Pr. 1:5-9) - Train up a child... he will not depart from it. Pr. 22:6
SOME CHARACTERISTICS OF A FAITHFUL FATHER - He instructs! It is a shared responsibility. The father instructs but the mother endorses and enforces it. (v.8) - He warns against the enticement of the worldly crowd who deceives, and seduces the naive. Even carnal Christians try to pull spiritual believers down to their level. He warns against the unequal yoke. It was God’s plan that the youth would be thoroughly exposed to the Word at all times and everywhere. See, Deut. 11:18 - Prov. 1:20,21 - A wise father instructs, a wise mother cooperates, and a wise son listens. - Fathers have the primary responsibility. Eph. 6:4 - Godly example is a prerequisite for counseling. - It is the father who will give account at the Bema.
SOME CHARACTERISTICS OF A REBELLIOUS SON (See, Prov.1: 22-32) - He is a fool because he has rebelled against the truth. He is materialistic, “greedy of gain”. He is ruthless in his dealings with others. He resists the Spirit’s pleadings and procrastinates until it is too late and he is doomed to destruction.
The Christian Home #1
**Deut.22: 8 - “When thou buildest a new house... make a battlement”
“Battlement” = Safety rails on the roof to protect the children. (Building code)
1. The Christian home presupposes. (1) Born again occupants.
(2) Implies Christ has His rightful place as “Lord”
2. God designed the home to be a miniature paradise; not a battle ground or nightmare.
I. MAINTAIN YOUR DIVINELY ASSIGNED POSITIONS
1. Husband; is the “head” - able to, “rule his own house” 1Tim. 3:5 (leader, not dictator)
(1) Not superior, but spiritually equal and functionally different.
(2) He is commanded to love his wife as Christ loved the Church. Eph. 5:25
(a) Leadership without love is dictatorship.
(b) Love without leadership is a domestic disaster.
(3) He listens, to her suggestions, and after deliberation, he is responsible.
(4) She was taken from his, “side” (place of love)
(5) Not from his head to reign or from his feet to be trampled on.
2. Wife; is a “help meet” (Submissive) Gen. 2: 18:20
(1) A supportive role. It should be easy when she is loved Biblically. Eph. 5:25
(2) The head covering is a symbol of submission to authority. 1Cor. 11:5, 10
3. Children are to “obey” but parents must teach and enforce it. Eph. 6:1
II. BUILD A HAPPY FAMILY UNITY
1. They all build together. It requires effort, time and supernatural involvement.
2. It is to be a happy home. Misery isn’t spiritual. We are to, “rejoice” Php. 4:4
3. Cultivate communication. Work together to close the “generation gap”
4. A proper child will respect the convictions of his parents.
(1) Honest Biblical convictions are contagious and irresistible.
5. “The family that prays together stays together” - also works & plays together.
6. Be on his team, not his back. - “Do not exasperate” Eph. 6: 4
7. Faith and hope are great, but the greatest of these is “
love”. 1Co. 13: 13
III. SUPPORT A BIBLICALLY APPROVED CURRICULUM
1. The Bible is the family Handbook, Manual and Textbook.
2. There arose, “another generation” See, and Judges 2:10
(1) One generation forgot to teach, and the next forgot God.
(2) The result, “every man did [that which was] right in his own eyes” Judges. 21:25
3. Proverbs is a manual on child training. - (See, Proverbs. 22:6)
(1) A condition and responsibility. “Train up…”
(2) A promise. “He will not depart” (if he departs, he is responsible)
4. The divine formula for child training. See, Deut. 6:4-9
(Note the Key words, and the progressive involvement and commitment)
(1) “Love the Lord” with all your heart, etc. 5
(2) The Word in the “heart” - not just the head. 6
(3) “Teach” = formal instruction. 7
(4) “Talk” = casual conversation. 7b.
(5) “Bind” = visual aid by example. 8
(a) “Hand” = the Word controlling the actions. 8
(b) “Forehead” = the Word controlling the mind and attitude. 8
(6) “Write” = an endorsed commitment. 9
(a) “Door post” = private and domestic life.
(b) “Gates” = public testimony in the community.
IV. ESTABLISH CLEARLY DEFINED OBJECTIVES, PRIORITIES AND GOALS:
1. Start the training in infancy. Teenage and adolescent is too late.
2. Uncompromising commitment in devotions, assembly and separation.
3. Absolute honesty. “White lies” are really black lies.
4. Respect for authority; parents, civil and Church. (Respect is earned)
5. Unselfishly live for others. Give, not to get. (Large families have an advantage)
6. Learn responsibility. No room for freeloaders or parasites.
7. Wise use of time, money and talents.
8. Be selective in choosing friends.
9. Parents must control, TV, music, literature, the Internet, and social life.
10. Parents emphasize, “Gods will” – not, assign vocations or life’s partners.
11. A child with goals feels secure, because he knows,
(1) His parents care. (2) God cares. (3) It is for his good.
(4) He will appreciate it as he matures.
12. These goal must be taught by example and precept.
1. The task of parenting is beyond us; we need the Lord’s guidance and power.
2. A suggestion; Give them twice as much time and half as much money.
The Christian Home #2
**1Cor.13: 4-8a; 1Peter.3: 3-4; Psalms.127: 3-5
I. KEYS TO A HAPPY MARRIAGE
1. Mature together, physically / intellectually / emotionally / spiritually.
2. Mutual love and respect should be your motto. 1Cor. 13:4
3. Keep the communication line open; talk it over before it boils over.
(Three communication killers; used for self defense) (1) Explosion. (2) Tears. (3) The silent treatment.
4. Pray together, a sure winner / forgive / forget.
5. Keep Christ on the throne as Lord.
6. Specialize in two golden words; I’m sorry and I love you.
7. Love children; “Happy [is] the man that hath his quiver full of them”Psalms.127: 5
8. Practice hospitality; living for others stimulates happiness.
9. Keep neat and attractive for your partner.
(1) Modest externally, with a meek and quiet spirit. 1Peter. 3:3-4
(2) Dress to fit your gender / avoid the “unisex” perversion.
10. Accept marriage as a life long commitment.
11. A sense of humor often smoothes the rough spots.
II. GUIDELINES FOR BRING UP CHILDREN
1. A communist leaders’ comment on prevailing over the human will.
Age 0-7 is pliable and easily molded. (RC hold to this view)
Age 8-10 is stiff and requires pressure to bend.
Age 11-Teen is brittle and needs painful breaking.
The Hunch back is hopeless; only the grave will straighten him out.
2. Parents, you are your own children’s best teacher.
(1) Because you love them most;
(2) You know them best, their strengths and weaknesses.
(3) You have more time with them. 168 hours a week.
(4) God commissioned you, so don’t pawn them unto the SS teacher.
3. Parents are “archer” - children are “arrows” see, Psalms. 127:3-5
(1) Parents influence the direction, distance and destiny of their children.
4. Parents direct the children’s development and activity. (Applied theology is plugged into reality)
(2) Courtesy and respect.
(3) Talking and listening habits.
(4) Table manners.
(7) Discipline in their sleep and awaking time.
(8) Encourage their spiritual interests and involvement.
5. Practical observations.
(1) Be an example, not an unlicensed preacher. (Harper)
(2) Parents be consistent and in agreement on all issues.
(a) Never reverse the verdict of the other parent.
(b) Keep your promises, of rewards and punishment.
(3) Be fair, reasonable and avoid favoritism.
(a) Never belittle or compare with a more favored child.
(b) Give credit for achievements.
(c) Explain why the older one gets to stay up later.
(4) Admit mistakes; they look for honesty, not perfection.
(5) Never argue or settle disputes in front of children.
(6) Be available; if your too busy, then you are too busy.
(a) God’s call to service will never neglect your children.
(b) Eli; active in religion but neglected his children.
Seed Thoughts & Sermon Starters
Houses are bought with money but it takes a heap of living and loving to build a home.
There are two-committed Joseph’s in the life of the Lord Jesus; at His birth, the husband of Mary and at His death, Joseph of Arimathaea who lovingly laid the Lord’s body in the tomb. John 19:38
In the Christian home, the father is to be the family priest. The Old Testament patriarchs like Noah, Abraham and Job erected altars on behalf of their children.
The prayers of godly parents follow their children for life.
“The family that prays together stays together” - also works and plays together.
A wise practice is to give your children twice as much time and half as much money.
Notes & Quotes
Parents who neglect disciplining their children are like those canoeing, against stream but they forgot their paddle.
Parents who go to the prayer meeting and leave their children home to watch TV or surf the Internet are guilty of child-abuse. The children not only need our prayers, they need to learn to pray.
Failure to warn our children or anyone when there are dangers is criminal. (A ship inadvertently heading for a glacier)
“Disobedience to parents” is a sign of the last days.
Discipline - Child Training
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
A gross case of “child abuse” is when parents leave their children home to watch TV or surf the Internet
While they go to the prayer meeting. Take them with you! - They not only need your prayers, they need to learn to pray. An example of early childhood training is Moses. Just a few years with his parent and the things of God were so ingrained in him that all the treasures and pleasures of Egypt could not deter him; “Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season... esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt” Hebrews 11:25
Listen Son; I am saying this as you lie asleep, one little paw crumpled under your cheek and the blond curls sticking wet on your damp forehead. I have stolen into your room alone. Just a few minutes ago, as I sat reading my paper in the library, a stifling wave of remorse swept over me. Guiltily I came to your bedside.
These are the things I was thinking, son; I scolded as you were dressing for school because you gave your face merely a dab with a towel. I took you to task for not cleaning your shoes. I called out angrily when you threw some of your things on the floor.
At breakfast I found fault, too. You spilled things. You gulped down your food. You put your elbows on the table; you spread butter too thick on your bread. And as you started off to play and I made for my train, you turned and wave a hand and called “Good-bye, Daddy” and I frowned and said in reply, “Hold your shoulders back.”
Then it began all over again in the late afternoon. As I came up the road I spied you, down on your knees, playing marbles. There were holes in your stockings. I humiliated you before your boy friends by marching you ahead of me to the house. Stockings were expensive - and if you had to buy them you would be more careful! Imagine that son, from a father!
Do you remember, later, when I was reading in the library how you came in, timidly, with a sort of hurt look in your eyes? When I glanced up over my paper, impatient at the interruption, you hesitated at the door, “what is it you want?”
You said nothing, but ran across in one tempestuous plunge and threw your arms around my neck and kissed me, and your small arms tightened with affection that God had set blooming in your heart and which even neglect could not wither. And then you were gone pattering up the stairs.
Well, son, it was shortly afterwards that my paper slipped from my hands and a terrible sickening fear came over me. What has habit been doing to me? The habit of finding fault, of reprimanding - this was my reward to you for being a boy. It was not that I did not love you; it was that I expected too much of youth. It was measuring you by the yardstick of my own years.
And there was so much that was good and fine and true in your character. The little heart of yours was as big as the dawn itself over the wide hills. This was shown by your spontaneous impulse to rush in and kiss me goodnight. Nothing else matters tonight son, I have come to your bedside in the darkness and I have knelt there, ashamed.
It is a feeble atonement, and I knew you wouldn’t understand these things if I told then to you during your waking hours. But tomorrow I will be a real dad! I will cheer with you and suffer when you suffer, and laugh when you laugh. I will bit my tongue when inpatient words come. I will keep saying, as if it were a ritual: “He is nothing but a boy - a little boy.”
I am afraid I have visualized you as a man. Yet as I see you now, son, crumpled and weary in your cot, I see that you are still a baby. Yesterday you were in your mothers arms, your head on her shoulder. I have asked too much! - Too much!
Dad: (Author unknown)
Trust - Faith - Communion
“She took...an ark...and she laid [it] in the flags by the river’s brink” Exodus.2: 3
How could Moses’ mother be so calm in a crisis? Her child was the target of an evil tyrant and she calmly placed her precious son in the ark and into the river. In Hebrews 11:23 it says, “They were not afraid of the king’s commandment”
It becomes evident that they had been communing with the Supreme Ruler in the secret place. When the heart is put in tune in the inner sanctuary, the life will be in step in the market place. This includes remaining “calm in a crisis”
Tell Her So!
Amid the cares of married life, In spite of toil and business strife, if you value your sweet wife, tell her so!
There was a time you thought it bliss to get the favor of a kiss; A dozen now won’t come amiss-- Tell her so!
Don’t act as though she’s passed her prime, As though to please her were a crime
If ever you loved her, now’s the time; Tell her so!
You are hers and hers alone; Well, you know she’s all your own - Don’t wait to carve it on the stone - Tell her so!
Never let her heart grow cold, richer beauties will unfold. She is worth her weight in gold; tell her so!
Questions & Answers
QUESTION - We are Christians and we love the Lord... but at times our relationships at home seem broken and fragile.
What can we do to have hope and to strengthen our marriage and family relationships?
ANSWER - God wants your home to be a happy home where there is harmony and mutual love. This does not come naturally. You need the love of Christ in your hearts and the power of the Holy Spirit in your daily life. Make sure that Christ is preeminent and on the throne in your home. Mutual love and respect is essential and needs to be nurtured. Plan a family program where all the members mature together, physically, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. Keep communication lines open, talk it over before it boils over. Someone has said, “the family that prays together, stays together” - we would add, the family that plays and works together stays together. Don’t forget the two secret words to a happy marriage; “I’m sorry’ and “I love you” - Remember your marriage is a life time commitment so make it a miniature paradise on earth. Don’t forget your Quite Time and Family altar.