Four Marks of a Christian Home

Exodus 10:21-23; 12:1-11

The Christian home has a unique place in both the OT and NT.

The neglect of the principles laid down in the Word regarding the conduct of the home has brought the sad conditions so evident around us. Divorce, break up of homes, rebellion of children, and juvenile delinquency all find their origin in the lack of Christ’s teaching in the home.

One of the ten reasons given by the historian Gibbons for the fall of the Roman empire was the break up of the family unit. The family unit is one of the most important institutions of our civilization.

The bulwark of the nation is the home. Upon the home rests the whole fabric of civilization. If the solidity and sanctity of the home disappears, the nation disintegrates also.

Do not blame the moral and spiritual declension upon Communism, liberalism, modernism, agnosticism, materialism. Blame the fundamental breakdown of the home. The Word of God has been set aside and its precepts ignored.

The family is in need of immediate help. The institution of marriage is floundering in heavy seas. Some can see the end of marriage and the family as we have known it.

Marriage in the spiritual circles is in great danger. In many believers homes the standards set are so insipid that the family is not welded together nor spiritually fortified. Doting mothers, possessive and permissive parents are spoiling Christian families the world over.

Our reading in Exodus 10 reminds us that God put a difference between the households of the Jews and the Egyptians. In the one there was darkness, in the other there was light.

It was the light of God’s presence that illuminated the darkness. In the Christian home today God, in His triunity, should be known intimately, revered and worshipped. Jesus should be recognized as Lord and Head of the household. In this kind of home God is given His rightful place. Each member works together under God. The love of God is experienced and practiced. The Word of God is read and obeyed.

In this kind of home the voice of prayer and praise is heard. Jesus, the “Light of the world”, shines in all his glory. Such a home becomes a Bethany.

Read Deuteronomy 11:18-21. This is a description of what God wishes to see in every home. He desires that the Word be laid up in every parent’s heart. That it be bound as a sign upon the hand. That it should be written upon the doorposts of the house and upon the Gates. In such a home there is the glory of heaven.

So then the first thing that should characterize a Christian home is that heavenly light should illumine it and shine from it.

The second thing that characterized the Jewish homes was the “blood on the doorposts.”

The godly father had heard the voce of God. In obedience he had taken the lamb and killed it, sprinkled its blood upon the doorposts of his house. He believed that this was the only way to protect his firstborn against the destroying angel.

Beloved Christian parents, what do you know of he protecting and powerful blood of the Lamb of God? Thank God for its saving qualities, but we should cover our families with the powerful blood of Christ as they move in this world of sin. We should tell them of the precious blood as a symbol of safety and forgiveness. Through it salvation is procured, our sins are forgiven, we are delivered from the bondage of sin, and we are secured eternally in Christ.

The third thing that characterized the Jewish home on this great occasion was that they feasted on the roast lamb. A look into a humble Jewish cottage would reveal an unusual sight. The family is standing around a rough table. They have a staff in their hand, and their feet are well shod. They are feasting on roast lamb. This in type is a true picture of the ideal Christian family. This family feeds on Christ. He should be the food of the soul at all times, “the family altar.”

The Jewish father portioned out the roast lamb to those of his household. So the Christian father should share the person and the glories of Christ with his family. Christ’s name should be a household word. He should be the center and circumference of the family activities.

The fourth thing that characterized the Jewish homes was that they were “ready to move.”

The Christian home should be saturated with thoughts of heaven, just as the Jewish family was of Canaan. The pilgrim character of the Christian should always be kept before the family.

Last but not least, the family should be reminded constantly of the soon return of the Lord. Oh the inestimable value of godly parents who can teach these truths to their children, and in the process convey the ecstasy and joy of heart and soul.

From homes like these there are no delinquent children. From this sacred and spiritual atmosphere come the future men and women of God.

The Priesthood of Parents
Exodus 2:9

The basic duty of the priest was (1) to represent God before the people, and (2) to represent the people before God.

This was an awesome task involving tremendous responsibilities.

Beloved, the roll of being priest for the family involves representing God to the family and representing the family before God. This has awesome responsibilities but is compensated by unspeakable joy, as they see their children walk in truth.

1. Parents are called upon to present God to their children. They do this principally through example, through teaching the Word, and in the exercise of family worship.

2. Parents are called upon to present their children to God. They would do this through the exercise of prayer. Deuteronomy 6:4-9.

If we carry these instructions out in a perfunctory manner, that is, without care or interest, merely as a form or routine, it will serve no purpose.

Parents must know the truth of verse 5. Love, sincere and open love to God, must be displayed by the parents before their children. Insincerity or hypocrisy in any form is detrimental to the spiritual growth and welfare of your child. Our insincerity would be evident/exposed if we spent hours watching TV and only a few hurried moments for family worship.

Parents must have a living, vibrant relationship with the Lord as they function as family priests.

Children appreciate sincerity, but they despise a phony or hypocrite. We all should pray continually, “Lord make me real.”

Things we must avoid:

1. A set of dry rules and regulations.

2. A stern and uncompromising moralism.

3. A dreamy round of formal religious duties performed with no excitement and no real joy.

We cannot fool children. They have the uncanny discernment of spotting an actor. Often when a young person rebels he is mostly not rebelling against God, but against a dead religious formalism seen in the home in particular, and in the local church in general.

Parents who desire earnestly to present God to their children in an understandable and exciting way must first cultivate an intimate relationship with Him.

The second function of the family priest is to present our children to God. This primarily means constant and unceasing intercessory prayer. No amount of moral or religious instruction, firm discipline, or forced attendance at meetings can make up for the lack of praying priestly parents.

Praying for our families is one of our most important duties. We are doing serious business with God.

Prayer for our family is essential and rewarding. St. Augustine attributed his conversion to his mother’s prayers. Despite his indifference, Monica, his moth, prayed until his heart was melted. No child is too young to claim for Christ.

Not only should parents pray for their children, but they should pray for each other. Husbands should pray for their wives as they fulfill the arduous tasks of motherhood.

Wives should pray for their husbands as they seek to provide for their family, and as they engage in the Lord’s work. Wives should stay on their knees to keep their husbands on their feet.

Beloved, prayer is powerful; the family that is enveloped in prayer brings joy to God and produces family members that bring blessing to many.