Introduction: The Christian Church cannot flourish without the Christian home. The Christian home is the backbone of the nation, the salt of civilization. A Christian home is an institution where parents are bonded together by Christian love, where children are welcome and Spiritually instructed, and the Lord Jesus is not only the supposed head of the home, but the actual head, where parents and children gather daily for family worship. A Christian home is a place where members of the family enjoy rest, privacy, a sense of security, and learn to work, pray, play, and plan together. A Christian home is one in which the members learn to regard one another as having equal rights, where loyalty, honesty, and co-operation are practiced and learned by each member of the family team. A Christian home is one that radiates Christ, welcomes strangers, and dispenses hospitality without measure. A Christian home consists of a God-fearing father, a God-fearing mother and God-fearing children. Gen. 18:19 is one of the best pictures in the Bible of a Christian home. God first recognized Abraham's success in the home, and then granted him greater responsibilities.
I. God- fearing Fathers: God has placed the husband as head of the home Gen. 18:19. Abraham commanded his household faithfully. The household includes the wife, children, and servants.
Eph. 5:23, "For the husband is head of the wife, even as Christ is head of the church."
This is God’s order and the home that reverses it breaks God’s plan and destroys the peace of that home.
This does not mean that the wife is a slave beneath the husband’s feet. She is an helpmeet, taken from his side to remain at his side, an equal partner.
It is the husband's duty to love his wife. Eph. 5:25, "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it."
This isn't mere respect. This is the tremendous love of I Cor. 13, loving in health, in sickness, in poverty, and in posterity.
The husband is required to be faithful to his wife. We live in an age of lax moral standards and easy divorce and infidelity. The standards of God have not changed. God still demands honesty, frankness, and faithfulness between the partners contracting marriage.
It is the husband's duty to comfort his wife in time of sorrow, I Sam. 1:8.
He should consult with his wife on business matters, for they are a team.
By virtue of marriage, they two have become one, a single unit, Gen. 31:4-7.
Jacob's wives rightly reply in verse 16, "Whatsoever God hath said to you, do". Which means, we are yours, we belong to you, we obey you now.
The Christian husband will always put Christ first in his life, Luke 14:26.
He must love his wife, but he must love Christ more.
The husband is priest of the family and is responsible to establish a family altar for daily family worship. He is responsible for grace at meals.
Job offered sacrifices for the whole family, Job. 1:5.
II. God-fearing Mothers: Almost all great men have been made great by one or two loving women - A godly mother or a devoted wife. They are tremedous assets.
The wife's first duty is to love and and serve Jesus Christ, Luke 14:26.
The wife's second duty is to obey her husband. Eph. 5:22, "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord."
Sarah was very exemplary. I Pet. 3:6, "Even as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord." This is a hard lesson for the modern wife, but she can never be a happy, God-fearing, and God-pleasing woman, until she submits to the plan of God.
The reason for this is given in I Tim. 2:11-15, that Eve was the first in the transgression in the garden of Eden. See also Gen. 3:16.
If the husband is unsaved, she will have to become the spiritual head of the home, yet in subjection to her own husband. God will give wisdom and grace.
God's ideal Christian home is where both parents love Jesus.
Wives are not only to respect and obey their husbands, but they are to love them, too. Titus 2:4. Husbands need a great deal of affection, too.
The woman is not to be adorned with ornaments, I Tim. 2:9,10. That is, outward adornments, but they ought to be adorned with good works, including:
1. Modesty and sobriety. I Tim. 2:9, so sadly lacking in this day and age.
2. With a meek and quiet spirit. I Pet. 3:4,5.
Good wives and good mothers are wonderful gifts from the Lord. They become a tremendous blessing to their husbands and families. Prov. 31:10, "Who can find a virtuous woman, for her price is far above rubies."
Prov. 31:12, "She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life."
Wives need a bit of appreciation and praise occasionally. Prov. 31:28, "Her children arise up, and call her blessed, her husband also, and he praiseth her."
III God-fearing Parents: A home cannot be happy without children. The parents who deliberately hinder the birth of a family are disobeying God and waiting for judgement.
God's order, "Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth", Gen. 1:28.
In some cases, God closes the womb and even though the husband and wife pray for children, their prayers are denied, temperarily or permanently (Hannah).
Parents are to realize that their children are a precious heritage from the Lord.
Parents are to love their children, Titus 2:4.
Parents are to bring their children to the Lord at an early age, Matt. 19:13,14.
Parents are to train and discipline their children for the Lord. Prov. 22:6, "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it".
Parents, be sure you BRING your children to Sunday School and Church.
Teach the children Bible stories at home and give them a part in family prayers.
Teach the children to obey God and the laws of the country, Duet. 32:46.
Eli was punished because he could not control his wicked sons.
Parents are to provide for their children - food, clothing, and opportunities for an education and means to choose their own life vocation under God, I Tim. 5:8.
Parents are not to provoke their children to wrath, Eph. 6:4. Sometimes when the parents quarrel, the frustrated one releases pent-up feelings by whipping the children. This is very wrong.
Above all, let godly parents pray for their children. Pray that they will be saved. Pray that they will overcome evil, etc.
IV God-fearing Children: Ex. 20:12, "Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land".
Isaac was exemplary in Gen. 22, by carrying the wood without murmuring.
Samuel was most exemplary with instant obedience, even in the middle of the night.
Jesus, Himself, as a child, was obedient to his parents, Luke 2:51.
Conclusion: The secret of a successful Christian Home, is the family altar, where Christ is crowned as Head of that home. Love, is the second secret.
There are not many Christian homes these days, but they are still beautiful and are still the only way a home can truly be happy. They are attainable, for God will still help every member of the family to be what He wants them to be, if they will only ask His help and trust Him and obey Him. If you will follow God's plan, and set forth above, your own home can become a Christian home which will bring joy to the hearts of every family member. Believe God, trust Him and obey Him, and you will see that He is true to His word.