But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore, putting away lying, ‘Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,’ for we are members of one another. Be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:20-32)
The Home Christ Built
There are a lot of books written on how to have a happy marriage, complete family, loving children and a lasting life. If all the knowledge contained in these books were brought together in one single volume there would still be a vacuum to answer the questions of the home desired by God. As Creator and planner for the home, the Lord is the only one who can give the instructions needed to make a marriage fulfilling, a home built on love and a family that cherishes each other. His message is filled with the many attributes that will bring happiness to the home. Learning to follow the word of God and implementing His instructions in the relationship of husband and wives, fathers and mothers and children – is the basis of a home built on God’s love. It is important to see that all of what God has given in the Bible applies to the relationship of the family. Paul’s letter to Ephesus contains many practical applications of how a Christian is to form their character of holiness in the bond of unity in the body of Christ. These exhortations are just as important in the home as they are in our regards to others.
A home that is built on Christ is a home that has transformed from the old man of sin to the new man of grace. Everything about the home is reborn in the image of God. The relationship of the husband and wife takes on a deeper meaning because of Christ. Parenting is guided by the principles of righteousness. Looking to the grace of God to guide the home is the purpose of every person involved. Learning about Jesus Christ changes the heart. The man and woman have left their first homes and formed a union of their hearts together as one. Their lives are intertwined in hearing the words of Christ and are taught by Him. Putting off the former conduct of a life based upon the carnal desires of the world, the couple renews the spirit of their minds with the new man created according to God. Everything they seek in their marriage is true righteousness and holiness. This is the proper foundation for building a family as parents. When children come into the world they find their parents living according to the teachings of Jesus Christ. The kind of husbands and wives we are today will determine the kind of fathers and mothers we will be tomorrow.
As the family unit grows in the knowledge of Christ, a transformation takes place. Truth is always spoken in the home built by the Lord. There is no lying and deceit. Anger may show itself in the home but it is never allowed to increase in decibels to the level of sin. No day will ever end (and here we emphasize ‘NO DAY’) when someone is angry at another person. The sun will not go down on a home built by Christ where anger exists. This gives the devil an opportunity to divide the home and create division. Because truth is the virtue of a home built by Christ, issues are resolved on a daily basis. The character of the home is industry. Laziness or slothfulness is not the character of the home built by Christ. Laboring with the hands and sharing with others is an attribute of a godly home. The language of the home is pure. Letting disrespect, dishonor to parents, cursing and foul language fill the home is not the righteousness of God. The home built by Christ is one that is filled with speech that is good for edification imparting grace to the hearers – especially the children.
There are some things not allowed in the home built by Christ. Bitterness? Gone. Wrath? Not allowed. Anger? Under control. Clamor? Don’t even think about it. Evil Speaking? Put it away. What is a part of the home built by Christ? People that are kind to one another. Husbands – when was the last time you made up the bed for your wife or washed the dishes for her know she had a hard day and needs some help? Wives – how often do you show kindness to your husband in some special way? Kindness should be a large part of the love a man has for a woman and a woman for the man. Be kind to one another in action, speech and attitude. The home built by Christ is filled with tenderhearted people. Love is the ointment that soothes the weary soul in the home filled with compassion. Husbands and wives must be kind and tenderhearted in their love for one another. God designed the home to be like this.
Finally, one of the biggest needs in the home today is the spirit of forgiveness. Paul writes, “Forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” It would be safe to say that if forgiveness was a foundational rock of the home, 99.9% of the problems faced by husbands and wives will never happen. If we are commanded to forgive others as God forgives us – why do we not forgive our husbands or wives? Is there a double standard of Christian graces that apply to my brethren but not to my spouse? It must be easier to forgive someone we barely know than to forgive someone we have devoted our lives to. The home built by Christ is a home that says, “I’m sorry.” This home is filled with the words of “I forgive you.” When we treat our husbands and wives with distrust and contempt because we are unwilling to forgive them, why do we suppose God will forgive us of all the wrong we have done Him? It is clear that we have sinned more against the Lord than we have our husband or wife and yet we expect Him to forgive us the millions of sins we commit against Him – but forgive my husband or wife for the few things they have done is not possible? The home built by Christ has forgiveness as the roof that covers the family. God’s designed the marriage of a man and woman to be a blessing filled with joy and happiness. Building a home like Christ wants it to be built will create and sustain a world of godliness in the lives of the husband and wife and the children will see God living in their parents.