Ten Ways To Bring Revival To Your Family
You may be the top salesman in your company, have the highest batting average in the softball league, drive a new car, and be a community leader; but if you don’t have a godly home, you’ve failed God and family.
Perhaps you have heard someone say, “That would be heaven on earth!” When this statement is used, we are usually thinking of some place or experience that simply is “out of this world!” Only once does the Bible ever tell us what God considers to be “heaven on earth.” It is a home filled with God!
In Deuteronomy 10, Moses is reviewing God’s dealings with His people. In verses 12-13 he answers the question, “What doth the Lord require of thee?” by listing five specific requirements: fear the Lord; walk in His ways; love Him; serve Him; keep His commandments.
In Deuteronomy 11:18, he gets even more specific: “Therefore shall ye lay up these words in your heart and in your soul.” What “words” is Moses talking about? He is referring back to the “words” in Chapter 10. However, in Deuteronomy 11:19-20 he instructs the people to teach them to their children in their homes while sitting, walking, lying down, and rising up. In other words, from the time they got up until they went to bed they were to talk about the Lord.
God’s presence should be obviously evident in the home at all times. But why is that so important? First, because God promises days of blessing to the people and their children in the land He was going to give them. Secondly, God says their days will be “as the days of heaven on earth.” A taste and a touch of heaven will be upon the home where God is undeniably present. In fact, our earthly home should do more to prepare us for our eternal home in heaven than any other place. Home should be the dearest place on earth, and the nearest place to heaven. That’s the way God wants it!
While speaking at a Christian school some time ago, I gave the young people a quiz. One of the questions I asked was, “In six words or less, describe what it is like at your house.” As I went over the answers, I noticed that some used such words as: loving, fun, praying, worship. One even wrote “like Christ was there.” However, the majority of the answers were much different: a jungle; fighting parents; fine sister, horrible brother; circus of yelling and love; bombs exploding; lots of fights.
The one that got my attention in the saddest way was, “arguments and worrying, all hell loosed.” This young person, without realizing it, had just described the opposite of what God desires for a home. If our homes are to be what God wants them to be, they must be filled with Him. Below are 10 ways to help make this a reality – to bring revival to our families.
- Make Your Family A Priority
Consider this: your children are going to live as long as God lives. Also consider that your family is the only thing you can take to heaven with you. Consider the truth that as the family goes, so goes the Church and nation. However, many married men and women are unwilling to make the family their priority. They give their time, energy, effort and resources to their career, financial pursuits, community activities and hobbies, with only what is left over going to their family. You may be the top salesman in your company, have the highest batting average in the softball league, drive a new car, and be a community leader, but if you don’t have a godly home, you’ve failed God and family.
- Follow God’s Order
As husband and father, the man is to love and lead his family for God (Eph. 5:25-28, 33; Col. 3:19, 21). As wife and mother, the woman is to submit and serve (Eph. 5:22, 33; Col. 3:18; 1 Tim. 5:14). Children are to obey and honor their parents (Eph. 6:1-3; Col. 3:20). This is God’s order according to His Word. To build a family without following God’s blueprint is to miss the best – the blessing God has for the family.
- Keep The Fences Up
Fences do two things: keep in what should not get out and keep out what should not get in. Every family needs fences, or boundaries based on God’s Word. One of the greatest responsibilities of parents is to protect their family from sin. We are diligent to protect our children from childhood diseases, accidents, poisonous household products, and even getting kidnapped. Yet these things will only hurt them physically and in this life. Sin will destroy them spiritually, and without the Savior will also do so for eternity! There is a great need for moms and dads who will say, “If the devil is going to get his dirty hands on our kids, he will have to do it over our dead bodies!”
- Teach Godly Habits
Many parents make the great mistake of relying on the Christian school, Sunday School or church youth group to teach their kids godly habits. But it is the God-given responsibility of parents to teach their children how to live by the Bible. When I was a youth pastor I spent a lot of time developing devotional programs for my youth group. Yet I often thought that this was not my job. According to the Bible, mom and dad should be teaching their children how to walk with the Lord. Training means that we not only explain the truth of God’s Word, but that we show them that truth in our lives (Prov. 22:6).
- Maintain Family Worship
Very few things are more important to the family’s spiritual health than family worship. There is time to watch TV (usually too much), time for shopping, time for sports and recreation – yet we seem too busy to meet together as a family to worship God. Is it any wonder that children grow up thinking God is just another option in their lives? If your children are young your worship time may only include one Bible verse, a chorus, and a short prayer. But by doing so, you will communicate the value of spending time with God on a regular basis (Prov. 2:1-5).
- Resolve Conflicts Quickly
Time doesn’t really heal all wounds! In the home setting, conflicts often occur quickly because we live so close to each other. Nothing is hidden. Words, attitudes, reactions, and disappointments can quickly cause hurts and wounds which, if not dealt with quickly, will lead to a root of bitterness (Heb. 12:15).
As parents, we must take personal responsibility for our failures, first in marriage, and then in family relationships. This step of honesty and humility could prevent many broken relationships and homes that are so common today. A wound must be cleansed before it can be healed (Jas. 5:16). Every family member must learn to use these three expressions: “I was wrong,” “Please forgive me,” and “I forgive you.”
- Create A Loving Atmosphere
In Matthew 22:34-40, Jesus gave the two greatest commandments. First, we are to love God with all we have, and then we are to love others as we love ourselves. Apply that to your home! A loving home is a place where all members love God together, and then love each other as God loves them. God’s love is unconditional, unselfish, and unending. That kind of love must fill our homes. Our children must know that even when they fail us – and they will – they will still be loved. By the way, that’s the way our Heavenly Father loves His children.
- Develop Biblical Values
Many of the values we live by are the values we were raised with. Values such as morality, modesty, decency, honesty, must be taught in the home. Even the youngest children can learn the importance of the things that God considers important. Paul wrote to Timothy, “From a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures” (2 Tim. 3:15). The Biblical values Timothy learned as a child stayed with him throughout his life.
- Seek God In Prayer
The family that prays together, stays together. There are very few things that will make God more real to your family than answered prayer. Children can be taught to pray at a very early age. Praying at bedtime, mealtime, times of discipline, when making decisions, when making purchases, and in times of need will draw the family together on its knees. When a family experiences answered prayer, God becomes very real.
- Serve God Together
Today, relatively few children and young people grow up thinking that serving God is important. Could this be because very few parents think serving God is important? Serving God is not a second-rate calling! Rather, it is the opportunity of a lifetime. The prayer of parents for their children should be that God “will send forth laborers into His harvest” from their family (Mt. 9:38). Serving God as a family is a great blessing. Don’t depend on the church youth program to provide your children with Christian service opportunities. Parents, through your example and involvement, endeavor to instill in your family the joy of serving the Lord on a daily basis, right where you live.
America is in a desperate spiritual condition. In the 60s we emphasized mass evangelism. In the ’70s it was Christian education. In the ’80s there was moral reformation. In the ’90s we saw creative innovation. Spiritually we seem to be trying everything, yet we continue to fail. If we are ever to see revival in our country, our communities and our local churches, we must first see revival in our homes. Our homes do not simply reflect our national decay, they are the cause of it! We must raise up a generation that will live out the reality of God in their daily lives. May God help us to be faithful.
By Tom Palmer
With permission to publish by: Sam Hadley, Grace & Truth, 210 Chestnut St., Danville, IL., USA.