How can I nurture a Christian environment in my home?
Building a home is a very complicated matter, and neither your wit, wisdom nor ingenuity will help you build a happy, fruitful and prosperous Christian home. You need a divine plan and a builder to build your home. That plan is God’s Word, and the builder is Jesus Christ.
Think with me about the construction of the home. Jesus is the greatest homebuilder. He built the first home, in the Garden of Eden. He is away now, building your heavenly home. He says, “I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2). He also builds the church home: “I will build my church.” (Matthew 16:18). Jesus alone can properly build your family home.
Psalm 127 is a wonderful portion of Scripture, because it tells us four glorious things about the home.
First, verse one tells us, “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it.” The most basic truth about a home is that it must be built by someone. Unless the Lord is the head of your home’s “building committee”, all of your work will be for nothing.
Secondly, “Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.” What is a city? A collection of homes. The psalmist is saying that the one who builds the home is the one who indeed must conserve and protect the home from enemies that would attack and destroy it.
We don’t have enough strength to protect it once we build it. Only the Lord can build and protect a home! With the Lord as your protector, ask Him to help you guard your home against the following enemies:
Immorality: Immorality was the downfall of ancient Rome, Greece, Egypt and Babylon. It may well be the sin that destroys America. Why? Because when you treat sex lightly, you treat other human beings lightly. The Bible says, “Flee fornication” and “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” There is no sin in the catalog of sins that will do more damage than the sin of adultery, fornication or sexual perversion.
Alcohol: Alcohol is a poison that pollutes the body and the home. We are producing almost one million alcoholics each year in America, and it is the home that suffers.
Selfishness: I have counseled adults who act like spoiled children, seeking happiness for themselves rather than seeking to give it to others. You can’t build a home on a foundation of self-centered behavior and then expect that home to withstand the onslaughts of the world.
Stress: Think of the stress our homes are under today. With all the stress that has come upon us…working mothers and fathers, and latch-key kids…the home has become little more than a restaurant and a garage. No wonder our society is coming apart.
Discontentment: Psalm 127:2 says, “It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.” The psalmist here is talking about the thing that is causing so many American homes to unravel-the matter of discontentment and materialism. He is talking about burning the candle at both ends in order to have more. But when you get more, you don’t enjoy what you have. You are not going to find real contentment until you find it in Jesus. First Timothy 6:6 says, “Godliness with contentment is great gain.” How sweet it is to lie down at night, whether in a tent or a palace, and know that Jesus is there with you.
And let me say, if there are children in your home, love and nurture them. Your children are going out into a world where they will meet ungodly philosophies like materialism and communism, playboy philosophies, atheism and cultism. Send them out from a home where there is contentment, divine protection and principles, a home where mom and dad love one another and love God. They will not be put to shame. Why? Because they will know who they are; they will have something that has been built into them by mom and dad in the university of life called the home.
What must we do today to have a Christian home that will survive and thrive for the Lord?
First, put the divine builder to work on the construction of the home: “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it.” Second, don’t neglect the conservation of the home: “Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.” Third, go to the right source for the contentment of the home: “He giveth His beloved sleep.” Finally, love and nurture any children in the home. “Children are an heritage of the Lord; and the fruit of the womb is His reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man, so are children of the youth.” (Psalm 127:3-4)