By Mel Browner
Few words, in any language, warm the heart and stir the memory like the word, “home.” Our love for and respect for the home, or lack of love and respect, are a reflection of the teachers or parents in that home.
It is well for us to remember that there is always a place and a time for the beginning of all things in which we have a part. Therefore, there is a be-ginning, for those who would seek the better life. A wise man wrote, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole mat-ter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man” (Eccl. 12:13). Jesus said, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:33). It is evident, that to be well pleasing to the God of heaven, one must first love the creator and keep his commandments. Also, he must seek God and his righteousness; this is the place of beginning, seeking after God and obeying him.
The home, is to be the school of morality, but it can never achieve this lofty goal without love, faith, and continued obedience; these values are the key. Every honest student of the Bible recognizes that our God from man’s creation originated this great institution, and for man’s well being. We cannot over emphasize the importance of the home, in example, influence, and proper training. It is a known, basic truth, that these things have much to do with the saving of the soul as men march into eternity.
The beloved Apostle Paul penned these words to the saints in Ephesus, to the faithful in Christ, and they have stood the test of time: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honor thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth, and ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:1-4). The rules are plain, simple, easy to understand and they are “right.” Failure to follow these rules will result in heartaches now and put many souls in jeopardy.
Children are usually born to young parents and such parents are usually inexperienced. They need the help of godly parents and grandparents, who can lead them to rear their children after the pattern in God’s word. What parent can look back without some reservation and remembrance of things that were said and things that were done, that could have been said and done in a much better manner. Young parents are to be taught, and these parents must teach their children and thus we see the importance of the teaching function; it is to be a continuing process, over and over again.
Several years ago, while working in and with brethren in a congregation in southern California, my wife and I had this experience. After services one Lord’s Day, we were invited to the home of a young couple for the noon meal. The couple had two lovely young daughters ages about five and seven. After the meal and when all had re-tired to the living room, the youngest of the little girls came over to the couch, crawled upon my lap, and with a smile on her upturned face, said: “You said a prayer at the table; my Daddy never does that.” Need I mention the red faces and the embarrassment of the moment.
My point in relating the above story is to impress upon our minds the importance of in the home examples and their effect upon the young absorbing mind. The home offers the greatest classroom for teaching. If prayer was missing, it follows that other things were also missing in the home life of this young family. In a few short years, these young parents divorced, leaving the children in even a more distressing situation.
We know that many opportunities become lost opportunities. Here is an example of such: After an assembly had been dismissed, I had occasion to speak with a couple that we were concerned about, mostly regarding lack of attendance. We discussed several things, Bible study, their children and their jobs, etc. The wife, in a joking manner, made mention of the fact that she and her husband were so busy that they just waved to one another as one was going and the other coming from their respective jobs. She also stated that they seldom had meals together because everyone was so busy. This young family, to a degree, tried to at-tend the Bible classes and regular services, but money and material things were having the greater influence. Yes, they desired money, but their home life was bankrupt. To our knowledge, the children from this home never obeyed the gospel. Think of lost opportunities.
So many families forget the great worth of the dinner table and therefore neglect it. It is not only a place of physical nourishment, but can be a place of spiritual nourishment also. Here the family can give thanks unto God for all blessings. The family can share the day’s events and problems; all can have a part in encouraging one another. The family can be drawn together and love will grow. Parents, please do not neglect the lowly dinner table for it will work wonders in bringing a family together.
We know, all too well, that the child of God can fall from his or her steadfastness. This can be brought about by many things which are far too numerous for us to list or give due consideration to at this time. We have no guarantee that children brought up in a God fearing home will obey the gospel, nor do we have assurance that, having obeyed the gospel, they will remain faithful. Having written these things we ask, which is the best path to follow? Shall we let children rear themselves? Should we allow children to decide that they know more about life than do their parents? Shall we allow the secular schools to teach the children that homosexuality is an accepted lifestyle? Shall we let the schools and society in general teach the children that imbibing of alcohol is acceptable for all people of proper age. Shall weallow secular school teachers to teach so called “safe sex” to children? Shall we allow evolution to be taught in the classrooms? Shall we overlook any of these things that are taught by the humanistic element without teaching against and contradicting such curriculum? The answer is obvious. It’s No! This is where “The Home: The School of Morality,” enters the picture and comes into its true value and worth.
Parents, love your children enough to prepare them for eternity. Children and young people listen to God fearing parents, look to them for guidance and encouragement. Also, hear the words of Solomon, “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, `I have no plea-sure in them”‘ (Eccl. 12:1).
How wonderful it would be, if all of God’s people would say: “. . . But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Josh. 24:15) .
Guardian of Truth XL: No. 13, p. 7-8
July 4, 1996