A Good Home
We tend to make the simple complex. It makes us
look smarter. But that tendency does little to wade through simple matters when
they have been complicated. On the other hand, very complex matters are easily
dealt with when they have been simplified.
I may be about to introduce the solution to a very complicated problem with a
rather simplistic solution, but I don't think so. The problem to which I refer
is how to have a good home. Hundreds of books have been written in an effort to
identify, explain, and solve the problem of how to have good homes. Magazines
are full of the same kinds of explanations. Television, in its promiscuous and
lenient attitudes, even dares broach the subject occasionally. There seems to be
a proliferation of information on what needs to be done to restore good homes.
Here is a simple solution in three points:
1. A good home must have a Christlike atmosphere.
I don't care how much
psychology you know or how many seminars you have been to on how to have a good
home, until Christ's teachings and examples are in your home, it will not be
what it should (compare Philippians 2:5-12; Colossians 3:17-19). Christ was
humble. Humility will help nearly any home. Christ was dedicated. Dedication is
necessary for a family to function like it ought. Christ had a servant's
attitude. When that same attitude is in the home, everyone benefits. Christ
looked after the welfare of others before his own. Imagine what that would do
for homes around the country. Christ practiced a sacrificial love. Need I say
2. A good home must have interested parents.
Simple, huh? But neglected. For one thing, there must be a noticeable father
involvement it there is to be a good home. Paul said, "... fathers provoke not
your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the
Lord" (Ephesians 6:4). When the father figure is missing, serious consequences
result. Oh, they may not be felt this week, or even this month, but they will
Parents show their interest not only by providing an education and social skills
for their children, but by providing discipline as well. Next to spiritual
instruction, discipline may be the most neglected thing in most homes today.
Another possible exception is the simple lack of the presence of parents at
home. Lots of parents can't do anything for their children because they're not
there. Discipline, while it may well be one of the most difficult assignments
for parents, is also one of the most noticeable sings of interest. It shows them
you care (Hebrews 12:6-11). Without it, they flounder with neither location nor
guidance. With it comes confidence, trust, and a sense of location.
3. A good home must have respectful children.
It's sad to me to see how respect for the aged has eroded in this generation.
I'm not sure how that has happened, except that we are all immersed in the idea
- promoted with great effectivity by television - that young is beautiful and
old is ugly. Among most young people today wisdom is not revered as must as
talent, profits are more important than rules, how a man looks is more valuable
than what he is on the inside, his character.
I confess that I'm much more able to identify the problem than to suggest what
should be done about it. It's hard to get a 16-year-old to do much about
respect, I know that. It has to begin somewhere back of that. Say at about two
months, it seems to me. In fairness to young people, respect is something that
is best earned, not merely commanded. It's best when it comes of a youngster's
observations of an honest and dedicated Christian character.
Respectful children bring something to a home that the finest draperies, the
best sound equipment, the latest interior designs cannot. Respectful children
bring dignity to a home. They bring honor. They may even shock the visitors with
their courtesy and civility. A good home will have the Bible in it. Not just on
the coffee table, but in the hearts of family members.
A good home will be a reflection of Bible principles. Family members will know
that any decision made will be influenced by a knowledge of the Bible. They will
regard it as the main influence on how they treat one another and how they
regard those who visit with them. The beatitudes will be more than something
they read in Bible class. They will form attitudes for family functions. The
Christian graces will not be words they memorized to get a star on their
attendance chart at class, but principles to be translated into a way of living
life. And preaching will not be a ritual which merely requires attention on
Sunday morning, but a way of learning how to become a better person.
Reprinted from Christianity Magazine
By By Dee Bowman
From Expository Files 14.5; May 2007