Home – Sweet home
Travelling around for work or leisure could be exciting and exhausting. Coming back home is reaching haven. The home could be small, without modern facilities but home is haven for most people; like someone said, “every man’s home is his castle”. In the journey of life, , building one’s own house and living in it is considered significant and important in many cultures. That emotional feeling is well captured by the Psalmist: “Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven.” (Psalms 107:30)
A Christian home is considered as heaven on earth. What are the hallmarks of a Christian home? When we glean verses from the Scripture, we discover so many vital ingredients that could make our lives healthier, happier and purposeful.
- 1. Peace
The Lord Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6) “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27) God’s people live with an inner peace that extends to peace on the outside in terms of relationships with relatives, friends and strangers. “My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.” (Isaiah 32:18)
- 2. Praise and worship
A Christian home is a place for praise and worship. Christians are called to be worshippers in truth and in spirit. (John 4:24) If it is not possible to truly worship at home, it is not possible to worship anywhere else. Praise comes out of a grateful heart. “I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving.” (Psalm 69:30) Joshua declared: But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15)
- 3. Presence
God’s presence should be felt in the home of a Christian. Jacob while fleeing for his lifehad a wonderful experience of God’s presence. “Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.” (Genesis 20:16-17)
- 4. Provision
The blessing of God provides all our needs. As the Heavenly Father, He provides all our needs, provided we seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. As Christians, we ought to depend on God daily for our provision. The Lord Jesus taught us to pray: Give us this day our daily bread. (Matthew 6:11)
- 5. Promise
The promises of God are Yes in the Lord Jesus Christ. (II Cor 1:20) And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham.” (Luke 19:9) Being a Christian means to become a child of God; that happens by exercising faith on Lord Jesus Christ and accepting him as personal God, Lord, and Savior. (John 1:12) God has promised blessings in the house of a righteous person. “The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the dwelling of the righteous.” (Proverbs 2:33)
- 6. Protection
The world today is obsessed about security. Governments around the world spend more and more on security. Various gadgets are marketed today to ensure the safety of people and property. In spite of all these great efforts, there is ‘insecurity’ in the minds and hearts of people. “In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” (Psalm 4:8) The Psalmist understood the great truth that God alone could provide safety and security.
- 7. Paths of holiness
Having a home in a prime location or a good locality with all civic amenities is a great blessing. However, it is not the physical or geographical location that matters. It is the spiritual status, mental attitude and heart’s inclination that matters. Prophet Isaiah writes: “And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it. It shall belong to those who walk on the way; even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.” (Isaiah 35:8) If our home is located in the Way of Holiness, then even fools (includes all our children) will not go astray.
- 8. Pillars of wisdom
King Solomon describes the home in beautiful terms: “By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.” (Proverbs 24:3-4) A home is not just brick, steel, timber and mortar; it needs the foundation of the Word of God, pillars of wisdom, floor of understanding and roof of knowledge. Basically, it is the Bible that provides such infrastructure. “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” (Matthew 7:24)
- 9. Power
A home needs power – energy to run and sustain. God’s power has to be manifest in the people who live in our homes. Paul writes about his experience of living by God’s grace and power. “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (II Cor 12:9) Without God’s empowerment, any endeavor would be empty. “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.” (Psalm 127:1)
- 10. Prayer
The first century Christians delighted in gathering together to celebrate the New Covenant and spend time in prayer. And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. (Acts 2:42) All homes of Christians ought to be the House of Prayer. There is a wise saying: “A family that prays together stays together.”
- 11. Plenty
When God blesses a home, there would always be a surplus that could be shared with others. Fives loaves and two fish could feed 5000 plus people and there was a surplus. “You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never again be put to shame.” (Joel 2:26) Satisfaction and surplus are true experience of faithful Christians. “In the house of the righteous there is much treasure, but trouble befalls the income of the wicked.” (Proverbs 15:7)
- 12. Purpose
God has a definite, specific purpose for each individual and each family. Doing God’s will is a lifelong journey of discovery and excitement. “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Phil 1:6) This earthly life has a purpose until the Lord appears or takes us to the Eternal Home.
It is good to do a reality check of our homes. Are the twelve ingredients listed above part and parcel of our lives? Let us all truly and prayerfully build our homes on Christ the Lord. They will be secure and filled with love and warmth; truly a haven for those who dwell within.