Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.
- Romans 14:19
You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine. Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance.
Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.
- Titus 2:1-8
“The home is basically a sacred institution. The perfect marriage is the uniting of three persons – a man and a woman and God. That is what makes marriage holy. Faith in Christ is the most important of all principles in the building of a happy marriage and a successful home. The secret strength of a nation is found in the faith that abides in the hearts and homes of the country.”
- Billy Graham, Day by Day with Billy Graham (May 27)
I echo Billy Graham statement regarding holy matrimony being between a man and a woman. In a panel discussion, a few pastors were asked if it was advisable to attend a gay marriage. All objected to the idea. None thought that the gay marriage was “holy matrimony,” but one said that you had to examine the situation. You could not do something that would make others think that you were approving of the situation, but also you needed to express your love for the people, possibly away from the ‘ceremony,’ especially the loved one who had invited you.
That being said, Love has to be in a home. It will not be a smooth ride, but when the foundation of the home is built upon everlasting love of God by both partners (involving the third person of God in the relationship), the bumps in the road can be dealt with.
We know of some marriages that are characterized by constant battle, not just battles of words, but with objects throw in either direction and punches thrown as well. Some with abusive husbands, others with abusive wives, some with abuse in both directions equally. When children are involved, the children get confused. They do not have an anchor in which to hold them as the tempest rages. They also have no role model in which to show them how a loving home should be. It used to be that they could watch a 50s vintage situation comedy, but the modern ones show as much disfunction on the screen as far too many are seeing in the home.
Notice how both Scriptures above deal with education. The Apostle Paul, inspired by God as he writes these instructions, is asking us all to be teachers. In a way, we teach by our actions if not by our words, and sometimes, sadly, in spite of our words.
As a teacher, we should focus on whether the proper learning is occurring. Is the “student” learning the right things? Has the “student” changed behavior to the better? Without a positive change in attitude and behavior, we are either failing as teachers or they are failing to pick up the lesson and apply it. Teaching is not just imparting skills and knowledge, but motivation also needs to be applied.
But beyond our efforts, God must be involved in the teaching process. If God does not guide the teacher and the student, all the effort by either one will be for naught.
Thus, before a Bible study in the home, or simply a correction of improper behavior, can take place effectively, a lot of prayer is required. We each need to examine ourselves and carefully listen to God’s call as we weave our way along the path that is called “Home Sweet Home.” It can sometimes look like a minefield, but a minefield can be cleared by getting down on your knees and carefully probing the soil.
I have had experience at both clearing a problem in out Home Sweet Home and clearing a minefield. The minefield was easier. I recently reread a book by Dr. James Dobson, Parenting Isn’t for Cowards. The title says a mouthful, but it is not impossible to survive a Home Sweet Home, if Jesus is at the center and is a constant guide.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.