Better Homes – A Better People
For the Christian, the standard by which we govern our lives is different from that of the world. Our focus is on having a home that is pleasing to God. Gospel preachers – like Glenn Colley who preaches “From where do School Shooters Come,” Gary Hoss who teaches “Rebuilding the Home, “ and Melvin Otey who expounds on “God Give Us Christian Homes” – recognize the importance of the union of faith and family. Their teachings resonate with me and many of the ideas found here can be referenced in more detail in their sermons. They are all wise and knowledgeable teachers of God’s word and I encourage you to listen to them.
Given the world’s utter lack of respect for human life, people’s brazen irreverence of death, widespread injustices, increasing violence towards fellow man, murders of innocent people, blatant violations of civil liberties and basic human rights, and the overall moral decline of our nation, the question can’t help but be raised: What the heck is wrong with people?!? It makes me wonder if America really ever was great. In some respects I think that it is good and has been good, and I am glad to be an American citizen with all the rights and privileges it affords me.
However, the current state of our nation is alarming and disheartening, to say the least. A lot of work needs to be done to make America great – and it starts with each and every individual, right in the home. You’ve heard it said that home is where the heart is. When we make Christ great in our hearts, it’s only then that we can make our homes great and in turn make our country and our world a better place to live.
The home, like the heart, is a battleground. It’s the most important place that we can focus our attention to building a better country, a better people, and a better moral climate that allows us to value one another as human life given by God – to respect life and have a reverence for death. The devil is working to destroy our homes. He wants to
change and overthrow everything that God has put in place to ensure that our homes are great.
That cunning enemy wants us to believe that marriage is not made for a man and a woman, for life. But God intended for it to be that way (Matthew 19: 1-6). “He who created them in the beginning made them male and female […] For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh” (vs. 4-5).
The Bible makes it clear that homosexuality is unnatural and morally wrong (Romans 1: 24-28). God puts it in the same category as bestiality (Leviticus 18:22-24). Also, God never intended for homes to be broken up by divorce. He did foresee special circumstances and allows for divorce for the cause of sexual immorality (Matthew 5:31) and an unbelieving spouse abandoning the marriage (1 Corinthians 7:10-15).
God is very clear about marriage: it must be between a man and a woman and it must be for life in order for our homes to be fortified against the enemy. One home ruined by divorce is one too many. His plan was never for a single-parent household. Of course there are situations beyond our control at times. More than those instances are ones where fathers neglect their duties, abandon their children, and relinquish all
responsibility for raising the lives that they created to the mother. The Word tells us that “if any man does not provide for his own relatives, and especially for his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5:8). Absent fathers leave a gaping hole in their children’s lives.
According to the research gathered by scfathersandfamilies.com, “children in father-absent homes are five times more likely to be poor. In 2002, 7.8% of children in married couple families were living in poverty, compared to 38.4 percent of children in female-householder families.” The site goes on to note that “an analysis of child abuse cases in a nationally representative sample of 42 counties found that children from single-parent families are more likely to be victims of physical and sexual abuse than children who live with both biological parents.” God’s plan for the home is for leadership from a husband, guiding his wife and children the way God would have them to go and for both the mother and the father to be active participants in the lives of their children.
Great homes prioritize learning of the Bible and its precepts. Children arrive in the world as blank canvasses and are very impressionable. That’s why it’s so important that the values and teachings instilled in them are not relegated to the schools (Deuteronomy 6: 5-7). As Brother Otey explains it, “If your children are going to have a godly mindset, it will be because in your house you teach them – maybe teaching something that the world is antagonistic to rather than supportive of.” Kids need to be taught very early on the value of human life – that we are to respect one another and treat people how we want to be treated (Matthew 19:19).
Unfortunately, thousands of helpless, unborn babies never get that lesson when they are killed by abortion. I guess it shouldn’t be so surprising that people are okay with persecuting and killing good and just people for no deserving cause, given that a large portion of this country supports the murdering of innocent children. For those children who do make it to birth, they need to learn to pray, to read and study their Bibles, and to have love for God and His people. Then there will be less bullying, less disrespect, less suicide among teens and preteens, less school violence, and less humiliation of others that carries on via the internet into adulthood.
Sadly, cyberbullying is on the rise among children, teens, and adults even. A dearest friend explained the phenomenon to me so succinctly: “People will say things on the internet that they won’t say to your face” Coming from someone who is the most courageous person I am (and anyone else is, for that matter) sure to meet, he was wise in
explaining the cowardice that the distance and, many times, the anonymity that the internet creates in people. “They spew from their mouths – sharp words from their lips. ‘For who,’ they say, ‘will hear?’ But You laugh at them, Lord; You ridicule all the nations” (Psalm 59: 7-8). So parents must deliberately carve out time for their children in order to have godly homes. Otherwise, the TV, internet, smart phones, Music.ly, and video games will make their mark. When kids are taught to live by God’s standards, their behavior will be that of love towards others.
God wants out homes to be great, but no matter what we do, our homes can never be great unless we each, as individuals, make heaven our true home (Philippians 4:20). We do so by carrying out the Lord’s will, and His will is that not any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). We live in a nation where evil is presented
as good and acceptable – where the media inundates us with their own harassment, disrespect, exploitation, and unethical behavior.
However, it is never acceptable to degrade or humiliate another human being. It is wrong and God is not pleased with it. If we are not careful, the propaganda of the day will draw us into mobs of evil, angry people who throw aside universal standards of what is right and work to destroy other people. That’s not the way of the Lord. His way is love, and love builds up (1 Corinthians 8:1) – it does not tear down another person. It appears that many have been turned over to a “mind to do what is morally wrong” (Romans 1:28). “They are full of envy, murder, disputes, deceit, and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, arrogant, proud, […] and unmerciful. Although they know full well God’s just sentence – that those who practice such things deserve to die – they not only do them, but even applaud others who practice them” (Romans 1:29 – 32).
During this day of our culture, people even find it acceptable to desecrate the memory of another human being, post their deaths on social media, and proceed to malign their character after they are gone. It’s a disgrace and it should be against the law. The Bible teaches us to “weep with those who weep”(Romans 12:15). We must show love, kindness, and respect to one another – no matter what the differences of opinions we hold. The devil wants to promote worldliness and sin and subvert the right ways of God. Let us not be found as one who laughs and delights in evil, for God “mocks those who mock, but gives grace to the humble” (Proverbs 3:34).
Happy is the man who does not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path of sinners, or join a group of mockers! Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction” (Psalm 1:1-2) If we want to delight in God’s way instead of evil, then we must make heaven our home. We do so by believing that God sent His son, the Man, Christ Jesus to die for the sins of the world (John 3:16), confessing that wonderful name (Romans 10:9-10), repenting of our sins (Acts 2:38), and being baptized for the forgiveness of them (Rom 6:1-4).
“He has told you men what is good and what it is the Lord requires of you: only to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8). What will you do with it? We can have a better world. We can be a better people. We can make our homes great, do what the Lord requires, and make America great…again?