I talked about one of our focuses this year is going to be on the family. And so, I thought we'd start with that this evening. We're gonna talk about preparing your own Godly home. Now, this lesson is not necessarily pointed at those that already have homes of their own, but it is for those that are contemplating a home of their own, those that are growing up in a Christian home and preparing themselves for their own godly home at some point in the future. It's always been difficult and a challenge to have a godly home at every age.
You think some of the places that we read about in the New Testament where the gospel was established were some very difficult places to live and be faithful to God. Places like Ephesus and places like Corinth as well as places like Rome, a lot of these areas were very difficult to live in and be godly.
Anything about our nation today is just as bad, maybe not worse, but just as bad as some of those societies that we saw then are in our post-modern society. You know, it is hard not to think that the temptation for wrongdoing is maybe greater today than it was in the past. It's so much easier and things are much more available.
- James 1:14-15
"Every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed. But when lust has conceived at bringing forth sin and sin, when it is finished bringing forth death."
Being tempted is not necessarily a sin, but giving into that temptation certainly is. And so, it's a lot easier I think, because we have been bombarded with so much from the world around us today, much more than maybe ever in the past. You know, we need to be aware of what's around us. We need to be aware of the schemes of the devil you might say, and his evil devices.
- 2 Corinthians 2:11
He is that roaring lion that's seeking to devour us, and he wants to devour us. He wants to devour our children.
Now, when it comes to raising a child, some have said, it takes a village to raise a child. And if we understand this to mean that the church can help, and that's what I think is really emphasized or really important that we can help one another. It's time for us to do so, to utilize God's word to strengthen our families like the Lord wants us to do.
- Psalm 127:1
We've got to build the house, the Lord's way. We must allow the Lord to build our houses rather than those sayings that influence us in our country.
- Romans 12:2
And so we have an important task before us in rearing godly families, but we must take on this challenge and please our Father in Heaven that He may direct, discipline, and deliver our homes.
We are to prepare our homes to be godly homes.
We're to prepare ourselves to be godly parents and to be godly grandparents.
You know, prepare means to make ready beforehand for some purpose, use, or activity. It also means; to put in a proper state of mind to work out the details of and to plan in advance. Preparation has always been important to God.
- Genesis 6:5
Remember, in Genesis chapter six we're told there that the thought of man was continually evil at all times. That man was evil continually. And God commissioned Noah to prepare an ark. God knew what he was about to do. He knew that He was going to destroy the world by water, and He desired to save the faithful remnant in the land and the animals of the land.
- 1 Peter 3:20-21
Noah prepared an ark to save mankind; to save his family. Just as that preparation saved Noah and his family, parents can aid the salvation of their children as they prepare, equip, train, and lead the youth in pursuing godliness.
Godly homes are not the result of an accident. They don't happen accidentally. Their development requires commitment, charge, and consistency.
And so, we're gonna talk tonight about some of the characteristics of a godly home and who is responsible for preparing young people to build a house like that of their own.
Characteristics of a Godly Home
What type of character must they [young people] possess now? And what kind of person must they be growing into? Who should they seek in a mate?
Let us study God's word to enable our young people and ourselves to allow the Lord to build the house.
Principles of a Godly Home
We must be Faithful
We must build a house that is faithful, a home that is faithful in serving God. I can think of no greater example, at least in the spoken word, than the words of Joshua.
"And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." — Joshua 24:14
You think about our ungodly country, our ungodly world, that we live in today, whatever it does, whatever direction this nation goes, we will serve the Lord no matter what. That needs to be instilled in our children that we need to instill it in ourselves.
The family that God builds has several particular characteristics.
1) Be Faithful to God
The primary objective in the life of God's family is to be faithful to God and give strict attention to His will and His Word. Every one of us, every member of the family must be dedicated to denying self and following Jesus.
- Matthew 16:24
You know, the attitude of being trustworthy to God, we see it also in the life of Abraham.
- Genesis 18:19
God says, I know Abraham. I know the character of this man. I know what he will do. He will be faithful to me, and he will teach his children to be faithful to me. That is the attitude that we've got to have.
The family must have dedicated leadership and members if it plans to please the Lord.
- Deuteronomy 6:4-9
For a family to be faithful, they must know the Lord. They must love the Lord, and they must know His Word and His will.
We've got to be faithful in serving God. We've got to teach our children to be faithful in serving God so they can teach their children to be faithful.
We should be faithful in all that we do. Faithfulness in all that we do should be the aim for our families throughout every generation.
- Colossians 3:17
That should be everything we strive to do in every generation in our family. And so we've got to be faithful in serving God.
2) Being Flexible in the Family
We've gotta have a family that is flexible with one another. You know, every member of the family has their own problems and concerns to contend with. You know, every child is different. There are no two of them the same. They all have different ideas. Even when they look exactly the same, they may not have the same kind of personality at all. Each one has got to be treated differently and based upon who they are.
And so we've got to learn to be flexible. What works for one child may not work for another. Therefore, we've gotta exercise that flexibility and forbearance with one another.
- Philippians 2:5, 2
You know, a godly family understands that every person is maturing and will need discipline and encouragement to make it through both the good and the challenging times. Whether you're a parent or child or another family member, it is important to remember the golden rule. To treat others as we would like to be treated.
- Matthew 7:12
We're to treat others the way we want to be treated. If everyone practiced the golden rule, there'd be so much less strife in families. So reflecting on this rule reminds us to be patient, to be understanding, and appreciative of others.
3) Focused on Jesus
Now, the family also must be focused on Jesus.
- Hebrews 12:1-3
Focus is crucial in the life of a family and we've got to make God and serving Him in the Kingdom of God [Matthew 6:33] must be our primary focus, our first consideration.
We have a lot of harried schedules though, don't we? There are a lot of things that go on in our lives; a kid in soccer, another kid in the theater, and another kid's got something in school. We're always busy running around. Sometimes it feels like you're just chasing your tail with our harried schedules and so many attractions and so many things that we're involved in.
What should the family focus attention on above all other concerns? And of course, that is Jesus. Focus on Jesus, especially with everything that bombards us today. We've gotta keep our focus on Jesus.
The family of God must stay centered on the proper reverence for God.
- Proverbs 1:1-7
If we're going to have wisdom, if we're gonna have knowledge, we gotta begin with a fear for God, a reverential fear of God, and we must continue then to turn our retention as a family to spiritual growth in the midst of all these secular responsibilities and other things that go on in our lives in order to function appropriately in this world as God would have us to do.
- 2 Peter 3:18
So the family must be faithful in serving God must be flexible with one another and must be focused on Jesus.
Characteristics of a Young Person in Serving God
What type of character then must a young person have? What must you have now as a young person?
1) Be Watchful of Your Ways
First of all, you need to watch yourself closely, watch your life closely.
- 1 Timothy 4:16
If you don't take heed unto yourself and to the doctrine of Christ, then you're not going to save yourself. You're not gonna be saved yourself. Flee those things also, which bring reproach upon yourself and upon Christ while concentrating on being faithful to God.
- 2 Timothy 2:22
So stay away from those things that war against the soul, and follow those things that make for righteousness and faith that help you to grow closer to God, help you to grow closer in your walk with Christ.
You know, many believe that Christianity is something that they can get to later and focus on something else. Now, I'm gonna focus on school. I'm gonna focus on my career, and then later, maybe when I have a family, we'll have time to start thinking about becoming Christian and becoming faithful to God.
- James 4:15
And so that principle is true not just for the aged, but for the young as well. Your life is but a vapor and can be taken away like that. Seek to serve God now.
- Ecclesiastes 12:1
The correct life must be practiced now, don't wait. Some have been known to make mistakes in their teens that affect the rest of their lives. I've known people, and I'm sure if you've been around a little while, you've known people that you were a teenager when that they did something then that ruined their life. Perhaps they're having to deal with the consequences of that sin for the rest of their life.
We need to understand that we ought to be holy as God is holy, and that's what He requires of us.
- 1 Peter 1:16
Why? Because God is holy. We are to strive to be holy as God is holy.
The character which God approves must be in the heart and then demonstrated in the life.
- Proverbs 4:23
So there are some characteristics that young people, that all people must embrace now.
2) Be a Person of Integrity
First thing is to be a person of integrity. Doing what's right when only God is looking. You know, there's a common idea of what integrity is doing what's right when no one's looking. But there's never a time when there's no one looking, God is always looking. Be a person of integrity.
- Psalms 15:1-5
In Psalms 15, he's talking about the definition of integrity. That's what integrity is. And the part where it says he that swear through his own hurt and change of not, that's integrity.
If you say you're gonna do something, do it even if it's harder than you thought it was going to be at the beginning. Honesty and uprightness should characterize all of your words and actions.
3) Be a Person of Industry
You need to be a person of industry, a person who is busy doing the work of the Lord, a person who is busy taking care of the things that they need to take care of.
- 1 Thessalonians 4:12
- Ecclesiastes 9:10
You're to take responsibility for your own duties. It's so easy to let somebody else do everything, somebody will do that. You need to take responsibility now.
4) Be a Person of Investigation
You need to be a person of investigation.
- 2 Timothy 2:15
Give diligence, working hard at it is what that means, to rightly handle the word of God.
- Psalm 1:1-2
Be willing to invest time in your own learning and personal development.
So what type of person must you be striving to grow into? You know the one who is a mature Christian is what we're trying to be.
Characteristics of a Mature Christian
What are the characteristics of a mature Christian?
1) Patient and Loving
They're firm when it comes to spiritual matters and understanding and balanced with dealing with others.
- 2 Timothy 2:24-26
These characteristics will help us to be flexible when it comes to rearing a godly family. The golden rule applies to the young person in their future home.
2) Cultivates a Humble Attitude
Cultivate a humble attitude in relation to God and relation to our fellow man.
- Proverbs 9:8
We're to have that kind of attitude that we can take a rebuke; to be humble. To take that rebuke, to take that chastisement, and to grow from it.
As parents, when we punish our children, we're not punishing our children to get even with them. We're not punishing them to make them suffer. We're punishing them to help them to learn, and they need to learn that humility. The arrogant and the proud, they're not going to listen to the Lord's teaching. They will not submit and be blessed. You know, we have got to practice humility. And it begins in the days of our youth.
The sooner that quality describes us, the sooner we experience the benefits of leading our lives and our future families according to God's will.
3) Seeking a Godly Mate
When it comes to developing a Godly home, what type of person must the young person seek as a mate?
You know, those of you who are dating are contemplating marriage. You need to ask yourself the question, can this person help me go to Heaven? To the young men? Are you ready to lead a wife, home to God?
- 1 Peter 3:7
Are you the kind of man that will help lead a wife and a family to God?
To the young ladies that are contemplating marriage, or are dating someone, will this person help you go to Heaven?
- 1 Peter 3:1-6
Is the person you're dating gonna help you go to Heaven? And, turn it back around, are you gonna help the person you date to go to Heaven? That's the kind of person that you ought to seek in a mate. That's the kind of person you ought to strive to be.
It's important to seek a person who is balanced and thinking and willing to go to the Lord in everything.
- Proverbs 3:3-5
Seek a person who is striving to be like Christ. You know, a lot of folks, focus on outward appearance. You need to be looking for one who has those precious Christ-like qualities on the inside.
- Isaiah 53:2
It's what's on the inside that matters. It's who Christ was that mattered more than what he looked like on the outside. When need to strive to find someone, to meet someone, to make a home with someone that loves God and wants to be like Christ.
I'm afraid though, for many people, they're willing to settle for what the world has to offer rather than what God has to offer. It's important to seek a mate that loves and obeys God in all aspects of his life. Don't be deceived by one who is just a church attendee, but has not surrendered his allegiance to Christ.
I know of a story, of a brother in India. He set up, of course they arrange marriages, he arranged the marriage for his daughter, with this man that was not a good faithful man. He was not a godly person. Now he had obeyed the gospel. And then of course, after they had already set up the marriage, he obeyed the gospel, or at least he claims to have obeyed the gospel. A year later, he rejected the gospel. And of course, the marriage ended up in a total wreck, a total disaster. But, he was not the kind of person that was seeking God. Don't be deceived by someone like that. And make sure that you're such a person yourself, one who's truly striving to be Christlike.
You know, it's often said that good guys or good gals finished last, but I know that good faithful Christian finishes strong.
- Matthew 10:22
Let no one fool you into thinking that just because everyone else is doing something that you are missing out. Don't believe them and follow their mistake to become your mistake also.
- Proverbs 1:10
Pursue godliness though only by first rendering faithful obedience to Christ. The only way to build a godly home, the only way to invite Christ into your home is the first invite Christ into your life. Believe that he is the Son of God and that as the Son of God, He died so that you can be forgiven of your sins. Based upon your belief, repent, turn away from sin and follow Him. Confess your belief that He is the Son of God and then be baptized to wash away your sins and continue faithfully serving him tonight. If you want to become a Christian, we've just told you how to be saved. It's up to you to put on Christ in baptism. It's up to you to submit to the will of God.
If you're a Christian but haven't been faithful, it's time to come home.
If we can assist you in developing a faithful relationship with Christ we invite you to contact us.