Enjoying the Journey
Home is the greatest classroom on earth…and not just for the children. Every day there is more to learn, and our failures serve to remind us that we have not arrived. In addition to the thoughts I shared in the last post, the Lord is teaching me:
8. Never argue in front of the children.
Now, I am sure you are thinking: “We never argue at all.” Then perhaps you are farther along than me! All married couples have “discussions” and some of those should be done in private. Don’t talk about problems in front of your children. Speak in faith and encourage them to face their own problems depending on the Lord.
9. Play good music around the house.
It is wonderful to hear children sing. In fact, it is wonderful for the whole family to sing together. Play Christ-honoring music through the day. Encourage your children to learn a musical instrument. Sing a silly song to your kids! Make good music a part of the atmosphere in your home.
10. Do not belittle any family member for bringing up a topic of conversation.
The older children get, the more likely they are to be reserved about sharing what is on their mind. One of the worst things we can do is embarrass them into thinking that their questions and ideas are ignorant. As long as they are talking, the communication line is open. That is good.
11. Teach every member of the family to love the pastor and his family.
We pray for our Pastor every time we pray together as a family. Lead by example. Encourage the kids to speak to the Pastor or write him a special note. Encouragers are made, not born. This should be fostered in the Christian home.
12. Always speak positively about the local church and spiritual authority.
Do not criticize Sunday School teachers, youth leaders, and others in positions of leadership. Criticism destroys the influence of the very people God desires to use in the lives of our children. Guard against questioning other authorities. When you tear down the principle of authority you tear down a measure of your own influence.
13. Spend time talking about the Bible message after each church service.
We enjoy talking at the Sunday dinner table about each person’s Sunday School lesson. This is a good place to start. Do not take for granted that your children understood everything the preacher shared. Help them to understand and make application. The Puritans emphasized this as the role of the father. It is a role we must not neglect.
14. Practice the principle of the Sabbath with your family.
Recently I read what a typical Jewish family did (and didn’t do) in observance of the Sabbath. Amazing! Now I know that we are not under the law and New Testament Christians worship on the first day of the week. Yet there is an eternal principle to be found in the fourth commandment.
Did you know that more explanation is given to that commandment than any of the other nine? Read Exodus 20:8-11. It takes up more space than any of the others and gets less attention. O we want our kids to obey the other nine! But we break this one.
You see the Sabbath was a regular time of rest and worship. It was the time of reminder that God alone gives rest and God alone is to be worshipped. Pastor Sexton brought a wonderful message on this truth. He said that the “sabbath life” is more than the “sabbath day.”
We are all too busy, too distracted, too connected. Our hearts and homes need moments of quiet and time specifically set aside to consider our great God. The sabbath principle is not really the Mosaic law; it is God’s law. Long before Exodus the Creator set this in motion.
In Genesis 2:1-3 God rested. This is what God created on the seventh day! Rest.
Remember that God made man on the sixth day. This means that the first day Adam ever lived on this earth was a day of rest. His first day was a day alone with his Creator. This is God’s way.
The world says work until you drop. The Lord says come apart and spend time with Him. Then go out to your work – work out of the overflow of His rest. Our homes would do well to recognize this truth. Slow down. Teach your children that hurry is not always holy.
I know that there are many more things God will teach me. He uses my wife, my children, and others far more experienced than me to deliver the lessons. My job is just to be a good student. Home really is a wonderful classroom if you do your home work.