There are so many misconceptions in this area. From those who seem to have no regard for a family rooted in God to those who try to exert legalistic control over families in order to give the appearance that their home is rooted in God.
It is the same in the church, which is the family of God. A fellowship cannot have a disregard for Godly character and neither can it impose legalistic ordinances in the hopes of developing Godly fruit. Both of these approaches is the antithesis of Godly authority and is of the flesh.
The type of life needed in the home is the same as what is needed in the church: it is the life of the Spirit of God. It is only when we are seeking and submitting to the leading of the Spirit - and not simply the whims of man - that Godly families (both physical and spiritual) are birthed.
May God keep us from the deception of believing that the works of the Spirit can be counterfeited by works of the flesh or that appearances count more than spiritual substance. Pastor Poonen does an excellent job in expounding upon these basic tenets of faith as it is reflected in our families.
You can click below on each topic's header to hear the sermon or click on the link above to see the whole list of sermons in this area.
A Home Built by a Godly Couple
- Not having an inordinate attachment to children. The closest relationship must be between husband and wife, not parents and children.
- Establishing a household which is open to hospitality so that your union can be used to minister to others.
- There is a difference between true fellowship and religiosity. In speaking of a home bible study which God led Pastor Zoonen to end, he says "We can sit in a house and discuss all types of things, but be wasting everybody's time." God wants homes like Aquila and Priscilla, not simply dead works.
- Respecting Godly order in the home, including proper submission. It is the wife who brings the spirit of submission into a home and it is the same which drives away the spirit of rebellion in children (Proverbs 14:1, 29:15). The root of rebellion in the children is rebellion in the wife.
- The importance of having men who act like men (I Corinthians 16:13). Men must not give up headship in the home due to a fear of war.
- If you have children, make it a priority to raise them in the way of the Lord. "Let me see how your children behave and I will tell you what type of person you are. You can fool other people, but you cannot fool your children."
God's Plan for an Excellent Marriage
- The world is upside down, with wrong ideas of marriage.
- Marriage should take one's life from "not good" to "very good" in terms of the type of blessing God intends it to be (Genesis 2:18; Genesis 1:31). This can only happen when we follow God's ways.
- The first one who tried to "put asunder" the marriage union was the serpent. Discord in marriage - dictatorship by the husband or independence by the wife - gives a stronghold to Satan.
- Man must pursue the lifelong goal of loving his wife as Christ loves the church, which speaks to an ever-increasing love being perfected in him. How is a man to do this? By being a leader like Christ; laying down his life for her. The "ego", the "self", the "I" must be crucified.
- The importance of a submissive spirit in a wife in deeply respecting and reverencing her husband. Submission by the wife is not about the perfection of the husband, but the perfecting of the wife.
- The two must become "one flesh". Leave, cleave, and become one. Cut the umbilical cord to parents so that you can be properly attached to your spouse. Don't let relatives run - or RUIN - your lives!
- Be quick to forgive.
- Don't minimize coming together in sexual union, but understand that sex is a gift from God to be enjoyed in marriage.
Parents' Responsibility for Their Children
- One of the qualifications for eldership is the ability of a man to raise obedient children (I Timothy 3:4, 12; Titus 1:6).
- Don't try to justify yourself regarding your children's shortcomings. "Whatever area you justify yourself and find an excuse for your failure, you will continue to be defeated in all your life...Whatever area you acknowledge your failure in, it can go well with you."
- None of our children are perfect; they make mistakes. Don't try to hide the mistakes of your children or make them appear to be perfect, for you will only raise Pharisees.
- Abraham was chosen by God because He knew Abraham would "command" His children and his household in the things of God (Genesis 18:19). The only commandment God gives children is that they obey their parents.
- It is the parent's responsibility to properly raise the children and teach them the practical things of godliness, including the importance of being truthful and considerate to others.
- Stay away from favoritism or partiality with the children, for it only breeds enmity, jealousy, and strife in the home.
- Don't seek to please your children, but seek to please the Lord.
- If you have made mistakes in the raising of your children - and we all have - cry out to God and ask for His mercy on them.
- The possession of Godly character is to be valued far more than top performance, intelligence, or cleverness.
- True fellowship between parents and children is the foundation for relationship with them.
- Your children may not be called to your ministry, but they should be inspired to follow the Lord by your Godly example. Does your example draw them closer to the Lord or push them further away?