Thursday, July 26, 2012

Starting Homes Rightly

The heart's cry of our dear, elderly pastor is, "We pray that homes would be started rightly." He has prayed this prayer many times over the years, but especially just before the marriage of our two sons. In answer to our prayers, God has enabled these couples to start (and continue) their homes in a "right" way. On their wedding days, we and the parents of our daughters-in-love were able to rejoice over the culmination of many years of blood, sweat, tears, and prayers for them. Let me share with you a few thoughts on what God taught us about preparing our children to start their homes rightly.

At first, of course, we didn't know they were meant for one another, but we knew they were more than likely meant for someone. That's why we believe the establishment of a godly home actually begins with the parents of the couple who are seeking to be wed. It begins when the prospective mates are very young. All the discipline which a father and mother exercise upon their children prepares them to be disciplined in their relationship with the one they will marry. An indulged child will be more likely to expect liberties from their prospective mate and may not feel the need to preserve affection until after the marriage. Therefore, a child who has not been reared rightly will not be in a position to begin their own home rightly either.

Our Jonathan with his lovely bride, Emily.
July 4, 2009

Another important aspect of the rearing of a child who will establish a home in a right way is how that child is educated. I had attended public schools all my life, so I knew they were not the atmosphere in which to rear a child for God. Yet, the parochial schools where my husband was educated were not much better. Sadly, even conservative, Christian schools are often a hotbed of filth and debauchery. (My younger sisters can attest to that.) Therefore, even before our children were born we knew we would need to educate them at home if they would ever stand a chance against the wiles and ways of the world. Thankfully, our daughters'-in-law parents felt the same way.

That being said, however, it must never be assumed a child reared in a home school will automatically turn out as a good candidate for establishing a godly home, neither should a child educated in more traditional ways be excluded. The most important things is that each child know Christ in a true and living way. Saying the "Sinners' Prayer," being baptized as an infant, or exercising any other outward works of religion cannot take the place of an inward reality of salvation. When did their journey with Christ begin? Where did they meet Him? Have they ever seen their deep need of Christ's atoning work upon their own souls? Do each of them have a daily walk with the Lord? Are they learning and growing in the Word and in the life of faith? If there is any doubt about where your son or daughter stands with Christ, do not let them go far in a relationship with another until you have discussed their relationship with Christ first. In such a case, it may be necessary to honestly let your child know you do not believe they are ready to begin a home rightly.

Sam and Hannah with the family:
Andrew, Les, Lydia, Hannah, Sam,
Jonathan, me, Emily, Elsie
(and Eden in the oven)
July 30, 2011
Some folks put up a red flag when it is suggested parents involve themselves in the relationships of their children. Parents these days are expected to just sit back and let the kids loose with their emotions and hormones and just hope and pray for the best. Nothing could be more dangerous. If parents expect to see homes started rightly, they'd better be involved in some way. It may only be a subtle suggestion here or there about the questionable character of someone the child is interested in or a direct question about their own child's lack of preparation or discretion. It doesn't matter how old a child is. They never out grow their need for parental counsel. A couple who actively seeks their parents' advice will be well on their way to establishing their home rightly.

If a young person's parents are ungodly and would only leave them to their own devices, then it would be wise to seek out an older Christian couple in whom they may confide. A couple who is seeking to begin their home rightly must seek out godly counsel, preferably from their parents, but also from other Christian couples who have many years of experience and wisdom. Those who would be their mentors should be people who began their own home rightly and have nurtured and established them through many years on godly principles.
Which of our children will be next?
The Lord knows. :)
Finally, before a couple can begin a home rightly, they each must have their own personal convictions about purity. All the godly training at home and at church will be of no use to a young man or woman who does not make sexual modesty their own conviction. When beginning a right relationship with someone of the opposite sex, it is most important not to allow physical touch or emotional bonding to cloud the mental and spiritual sensibilities. Though there is often what some call a "chemistry" between a couple when they first meet or begin to get to know one another better, there will be plenty of time after the marriage to nurture those emotions and longings. A godly home begins with searching out the inner person first. In fact, it is best not to touch one another in any way, shape, or form until you stand before the minister on your wedding day. It can be done by the grace of God in answer to prayer, and there are zero regrets afterwards. For, once the physical aspect of the relationship begins, nothing else matters, and many warnings will be missed along the way to the altar. It won't be until after the marriage that the couple finds they have begun their home in a wrong way.

These are only a few of my thoughts regarding starting homes rightly. I have been personally blessed by taking heed to these principles in my relationship with my dear husband of 25+ years and am now doubly blessed to see them lived out in the lives of our two oldest sons and their beloved wives. Now our prayer is that perhaps the Lord will also provide godly mates for our other two children who are still unmarried but who are also prepared to begin their homes rightly.

If you wish, you may download a free copy of an account of my and my husband's courtship story at this link: Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments regarding starting homes rightly. All feedback is welcome.

You might also be interested in my small ebook entitled 20/20 Vision For a Happy Home.