Monday, November 7, 2016

Your Home as a Little Church

" I believe that our homes 
are self-contained sanctuaries,
 and we're the priests.
 Although we don't actually
 erect steeples on top of our houses, we could. 

These are miniature temples.
 Each one." 

-R. Wolgemuth

Today we are covering Chapter 10, the last chapter of the book The Most Important Place on Earth: What a Christian Home Looks Like and How to Build One. If you would like to get the book you can find it HERE.

It has been long said that a Christian home is like a little church, bring those in it closer to God. It was Jonathan Edwards who said:

"Every Christian family ought to be,

as it were,

a little church consecrated to Christ

and wholly influenced and governed by His rules."

---Jonathon Edwards

We cannot rely on others to do what only God can do in our hearts as we go about daily living in our homes. 

Home is such an important place, a place we let down our guard and let our true character show. A place where mistakes are often made and forgiveness is needed. A place to practice mercy and grace towards other sinners and learn to put others first. 

A home needs order and the order looks like this-- God first, spouse second, children third. It is a wonderful reminder to keep our priorities in place as they can easily get off track!

In this final chapter the author shares with us several helpful tips that parents can exemplify to continually teach about God in the home. Here are a few:

1. Sacrifice - the sacrifice of time and pride

2. Thanksgiving - a spirit of gratitude to God for all we have

3. Generosity - willingly and enthusiastically serve God and family (hold all things with an open hand)

4. Obedience - to God and parents  

5. Respect God's Name - Hallow it and share God's Word, holiness, and character

6. Sharing Christian music with them - to encourage their faith

His words are a great reminder that our homes continue on after the church closes it doors on Sunday, and we can continue to teach about Him and help our children to grow closer to Him all throughout the week. 

And we all know that it can be easier when the children are younger but what about when they get older? 

"When they're tiny, they really have no choice, but the older they get--and the more adept they become to negotiating--obedience becomes more of a struggle. Your goal is to gradually transfer your children's obedience from you as their parent to God, their heavenly Father."

It is wise to even start helping them understand this at a young age too. We want their obedience to ultimately be to Him.

Another area that I think we can get off track on as parents is focusing on making our children conform outwardly and not bringing it back to God. He addresses this too:

"I once thought my job as a parent was to make certain my children's character was clean and their conduct was exemplary. But I soon learned that these were not the most important thing I could do...Shaping our kids' hearts is God's work, and He accomplishes it as we bring our children to Him." 

We love our children and want the best for them so we cannot grow weary in sharing God and His truth with them.  We want to draw them closer to Him and not away from Him.  We cannot do this alone and we need His help as we parent this next generation for Him. We need to parent in love, mercy, and patience, and with much prayer as we get our knees in humility asking for His wisdom.

Now as we wrap up this book, I want to let you know that it is full of examples and stories of success and failures (of an average family just like mine and yours) trying to raise their family amidst the culture of today. While we cannot share everything in the book I hope you will consider picking it up and checking it out to help you strengthen your home. I pray that it has been a blessing to you as much as it has been to me!

How do you teach about God in your home?

We would love for you to share below in the comments!

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