The Heavenly And Honorable Home: Colossians Series #11
I always enjoy Mother’s Day because it becomes another opportunity to express appreciation and gratitude to our wonderful, precious mothers. I guess my favorite Mother’s Day joke of all time is about the wealthy man who couldn’t see his mother on Mother’s Day and he decided to do something very special for her. He heard about this talking bird that could whistle “Amazing Grace” and quote the 23rd Psalm. Even though it cost $30,000, he bought it and sent it to his mother. Several days later he called and asked, “Mother, how did you like that bird I sent you?”
She said, “Oh, it was delicious, son.”
When you read the Bible, you will find many wonderful truths in it. In Ephesians chapter one, we learned the sufficiency of Christ. In Chapter 2, we studied the deficiency of cults. In Chapters 3 and 4, we are able to learn and apply the efficiency of Christianity. The Christian faith applies itself to every area and every relationship of our lives. The Christian faith talks about the family and how the home works. If your Christianity doesn’t work at home, it doesn’t work.
The Bible tells us about some things to help our families “be what they ought to be.” The one who makes a product understands how that product is put together and how it works. God, in the Garden of Eden, established the family. He founded the family and has given us a book in which He explains just exactly how the family is intended to work.
I. We Need Heavenly Resources
When Jesus comes into your life and your home, the home can work and be what God designed it to be. Your home will flourish when you understand the available home resources. There are some resources that God gives us in these verses that will help our families be what they really ought to be.
In Colossians 3:15-17, there are three phrases I wish to lift from these verses which talk about some resources that are available to you to make your family life what you want it to be.
The first one is in verse 15, “the peace of God.” The second in verse 16 is, “the word of Christ.” The third is in verse 17, “Name of the Lord Jesus.” All three of these phrases are used in a wider context, but I want to specifically relate these three resources to your family and show you how they will make your family work and be what God wants it to be.
The Peace of God
Paul says, “Let the peace of God rule in your hearts.” The peace of God deals in the area of the atmosphere of family–the kind of atmosphere that is conducive to a family and a home being what God wants it to be. The Scripture says here that we are to let the peace of God RULE in our hearts. The word “rule” means to act as an umpire. You know what an umpire is. An umpire is somebody who stands there and if you get tagged out, he says, “You’re out!” If you break the rules the umpire says, “You’re out!” So, the peace of God is presented here as an umpire that will guide the atmosphere of the family.
The atmosphere in a family has a great deal to do with whether or not a family will work as it ought to work. Psychologists and neuroscientists are discovering more and more about the human brain. One of the things they have discovered is that 85% of a child’s personality is already developed by the age of 6. So, the emotional wiring that goes into the brain of a child is greatly influenced by those early years and the atmosphere of the family.
For instance, if in that family mom and dad give them fear, then the child learns to be fearful. If they give that child hysteria, then the child learns to be hysterical. If they give that child love and godliness, they learn love and the direction of godliness. So, the peace of God is very important because it sets the pattern and the pace in the family.
Gallop did a poll, a number of years ago, and asked teenagers what was the most important thing in their lives? Money? Some of them said that. Clothes? Some of them said that. But 89% of the teenagers in that poll said the most important thing to them is a good family; we would agree that is very important in the life of anyone. “Let the peace of God rule in your home.” This is the first powerful resource God gives us. When you invite Jesus into your heart and into your family, God’s peace is available to you. You ought to always ask yourself the question–Will this word, I’m going to say, affect the peace of God in my house? Or this deed, I’m going to do, will this affect the peace of God in my house? The atmosphere must always be the atmosphere of the peace of God.
The Principles of God
Look at verse 16 and let’s talk about the second phrase, “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom.” What is the Word of Christ? If you have a copy of a Bible in your lap or in your hand, that’s the Word of Christ. It’s another phrase that describes the Bible, God’s Word. Let God’s Word, let the word of Christ, let the Bible dwell richly in your family. The Bible becomes important in guiding the decisions that are made in the family. We must let it dwell richly in our family. If a rich person came into your family, things would change in a financial and a material way. God’s Word enriches family life, helping us understand how to live with one another.
I do hope the Bible is an important part of your family. I encourage moms and dads to have a daily time when they read the Bible and pray with their children. Living in the kind of changing world that we live in today, it’s not as easy to have that Bible time as it used to be.
It certainly makes a great difference in your family if you have some time during that day when you gather as a family and read God’s Word together. You will be surprised how the Bible will have just what you need when you need it in times of decision-making. There is wisdom in God’s Word. Let the Word of Christ dwell richly in all wisdom in you.
I don’t know about you but there are so many family decisions that have to be made that are beyond my human wisdom. Yet, the Bible says, “If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God who gives to all men liberally and upbraided not and it will be given unto you.” This is a book of wisdom. It is the greatest child psychology book ever compiled. So, if you want to have family life the way it ought to be then let me encourage you to have the peace of God in your family. Let me encourage you to have the Bible guiding the decisions in your family.
The Person Of God
Look at this third phrase in verse 17. “And whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.” Is there a name on the earth as sweet as the name of Jesus? The Bible says, “Neither is there salvation in any other name, but at the name of Jesus people will be saved.” The name of Jesus! What a lovely name–the name of Jesus. You need to ask yourself the question–am I saying this in the name of Jesus? Am I doing what I’m getting ready to do in the name of Jesus? It will absolutely change your perspective on many things you do.
Maybe you are working hard to make a living and bring that income back to your family. It’s good to be doing it for your family, but did you know if you decide you are doing this and working this way in the name of Jesus, it will totally change your outlook on your work?
Maybe you help to prepare meals because you love your family, but if you begin to do it in the name of Jesus it will change your perspective altogether.
That means that everything we do, we do it with the sanction of Jesus. You will say, “I’m doing this because I know Jesus would be pleased with this.” You are doing it in the strength of Jesus. You are asking Jesus to give you the power to do this. You are doing it for the sake of Jesus. You are doing it because you want Jesus to get glory in your life.
The home works much better when you understand some of these resources that God makes available to you in Jesus Christ. You can have God’s word in your family, and you can have the name of Jesus as the guiding star in your family: home resources.
II. We Need Honorable Relationships
We can have the kind of home that works if we understand home relationships. We have now come to Colossians 3:18-21. We see how the relationships in the family are supposed to be put together. All of us know that the families of America are in trouble. I could spend considerable time writing about how much trouble we have in American family life. It appears to me that unless God sends revival in this country, that family life is going to absolutely collapse in America.
There are millions of couples living together without the benefit of marriage. It’s become so commonplace. Just because somebody doesn’t like that the Bible calls living together, fornication doesn’t mean we just close the Bible and do it anyway. Part of the problem in this country today is if somebody objects, we just back out like a bunch of cowards. What our generation and our culture need to hear is people, who believe in God’s truth, who believe in God’s moral absolutes, who believe in Bible-generated values to take a stand and show people there is a better way to live than they are living right now.
The Marital Relationship
Paul discusses two relationships in the family. He talks about the marital relationship. In verses 18 and 19, we read “wives and husbands.” This is a fundamental relationship. The man and the woman, the husband, and the wife are either homebreakers or homemakers.
Many people become upset with, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands as it is fit in the Lord.” Maybe one of the reasons they don’t like it is because they don’t understand it. They don’t have a foggy clue about what the Bible means when it talks about submission. It does not mean that a woman loses her own personality. It does not mean that a woman surrenders her brain to a man she is married to. Submission in the Bible just simply means that the wife and the family understand the matter of authority, role assignment, and leadership. We have this in every area of life. Banks have presidents. Businesses have companies. All of us are under the authority of someone else. Wise, indeed, is the wife who is fitting in the Lord, is proper in the Lord. If a wife has a Christian husband who will take his role as the spiritual leader, and she is willing to lovingly and sweetly follow his leadership it will do wonders for the relationship in that family.
Here’s the husband on the other side. “Husbands, love your wives and be not bitter against them.” That is, don’t be harsh and cross with them. Love your wives. It is interesting to me that the Bible puts the primary responsibility for love in the relationship on the husband, not on the wife. That doesn’t mean the wife isn’t to love the husband.
Thank God for Christian psychologists and counselors, but secular psychology is about as lost as a golf ball in high weeds. We have to bring everything we read or taught to the Bible to see if it’s true.
Studies have shown that men react more acutely to conflict than women. Men basically have two responses to conflict. Fight or flight. It says that men are more likely to withdraw when trouble starts. Women, however, should learn how to soften how they start up the conflict. Men can be more accepting of the influence of their wives and are more willing to listen when words are softened at the beginning of the conflict.
There are four major factors that predict divorce: criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling (or withdrawal). Gentleness, compassion, and cooling down are reasons marriages succeed. If you want your home to work, you have to understand the marital relationship. God has given you a wonderful book, the Bible, that will help us. The peace of God is available. You can ask God’s peace to come, and the name of the Lord Jesus Christ is a wonderful resource to help that marital relationship to be what it ought to be.
The Parental Relationship
In addition, the marriage relationship is the parental relationship. We read, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord in all things, for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.” Rebellion against parents is a sign of rebellion in the heart against God. Boys and girls need to learn to obey their parents.
Children are to follow the example of Jesus Christ. Follow the leading of your parents. The Lord Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God. He never sinned. He was God in human flesh. Yet, when He was a boy, the Bible says that Jesus was subject to Joseph and Mary. When Jesus came to the climax of His ministry in the height of His ministry, the Father from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” The Father is pleased when children are obedient to their parents.
Look at what Paul says about the husbands, the fathers. God knows, and the Bible recognizes that when the father sets the pace it releases the mother to be the kind of mother she ought to be. “Fathers, provoke not your children to anger let they be discouraged.” That word, discouraged, could literally be translated as “lest they be crushed in spirit.”
There are two extremes that parents tend to go with their children. They can be too lax with their children. If we are too lax with our children, they grow up undisciplined and unprepared for life. On the other hand, if you are too stern and severe with your children it crushes their spirit. They become broken in spirit. It wrecks their self-esteem and if children don’t get self-esteem in their family, they will look for it somewhere else. It takes a great deal of prayer, a great deal of love, and a great deal of compassion on the part of parents to be the kind of parent that God wants them to be.
Our children deserve a loving heart, a listening ear, a watchful eye, a helping hand, and a praying knee. The relationship of parents to one another and their children is the crucial thing, and it will only work when we are committed to one another. We have to stay in love with the Lord and with each other. We must take the long look instead of the short look. We live by faith and not by the flesh.
I heard about a young married girl who was getting ready to move away from her father. He was sick. He pleaded with her, “If you move away, who is going to take care of me?”
She said, “Daddy, when you left Mother and me you didn’t ask who was going to take care of us. Take care of yourself.”
The most important thing parents can ever do for their children is to get them to Jesus.
One evening, a pastor received a phone call from the police around 8:00 am and asked him if he would minister to a family in their community. Their 20-year-old son had been driving a Mustang at 3:00 am, going 100 miles an hour. He hit a tree 20 feet high and was killed instantly.
When the pastor arrived at the family’s home, he asked them if they wanted to go see their boy. The mother said, “No.” She wanted to remember him like he was. The dad said that he just had to go. So, the pastor took the dad to the emergency room, and when they got in the emergency room the father just brushed by him, going to where the mangled body of his boy was and fell across his body. He said, “Oh, son, come back for just five minutes. Oh, son, I never told you I loved you. Surely you knew it, but I never told you. Oh, God, let my boy come back for just five minutes.”
Afterward, they went back to the house. The mother was in the bedroom and the pastor got down on his knees beside that bed to pray. When he did, he could hear Mother getting up out of that bed and she put both arms on his shoulder as he began to pray. She began to scream, “Preacher, pray my boy out of hell. I never took him to church. I never would let him go to vacation Bible school. I never read the Bible to him. I never told him about Jesus. Preacher, pray my boy out of hell.”
When our children are gone, it will be too late to pray them out of hell.
When I was growing up, my mother had a plaque on the wall by the kitchen table. I looked at it often and read it hundreds of times. It said, “Keep your words soft and sweet. You may never know which ones you will have to eat.”
The Apostle Paul carefully teaches principles for parents, communication for children, and happiness in the home. When Christ is the head of the home, there will be a melody in the marriage and contentment among the children.