The Christian Home
Among the personal letters that are treasured today by the people of God is 2 John. It is written to a Christian woman, “the elect lady” (verse 1), whose identity is concealed. The message of the book is a divine classic on a first century Christian home. Here is God’s answer how to have a happy home.
The heart of the Apostle had been made glad by the report that had come to him concerning this woman and her household. Her home was founded upon the knowledge of the truth and the love of the same. Upon this little home the author invokes the grace, mercy and peace of God (verses 1-3). One can imagine that in such a home the parents, or as here, the mother was loved, honoured, obeyed and respected; the family altar was part and parcel of the home; discipline and duty were not forgotten; individual rights were not overlooked, and a right temperature was maintained by warm hearts and cool heads. In a very practical way from the youngest to the eldest they were taught, “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it.”
After his salutation John follows on to the practical manifestation of a Christian.
Our relation to God and one another must never be forgotten (verse 1). John, as a servant of God, was given the right hand of fellowship even as others. True love will exclude those who do not hold the sanctity of the home and the doctrine of the apostles concerning the person and work of Christ. As fellow members of the body of Christ in the Church or in the home, love never faileth. Love is the keystone in the magnificent temple of the Christian home.
Our responsibility to follow Christ is a solemn requisite (verse 4). In the home there are certain obligations to be fulfilled if harmony is to be realized. It is when this truth is slighted that friction and a lack of peace prevail. The more one is found walking in the truth the less of self will be seen or displayed. Oh! that today in Christian homes there were found more devotion to Christ. There is no sweeter fellowship in the world than blood relations dwelling in the bonds of God’s eternal love. It is no wonder Jude exhorted “keep yourselves in the love of God.” If we did this, the love of Christ would constrain us to follow in all fidelity of heart and soul; walk and witness; suffering and service till traveling days are done.
Our recognition of deception, demands a constant vigilance (verse 10). In John’s day there were many who would destroy the foundation truths upon which all true peace and piety depend whether in the heart or in the home. They are referred to as “deceivers” who were so bold as to declare that Jesus Christ had not come in the flesh (verse 7).
The apostle had a godly jealousy for such homes as this of the “elect lady.” He warns that such error could bring the whole moral structure of the home to ruin. As a man of God he seeks to safeguard the truth as well as the children of the truth. How tragic!