His descendants will be mighty on earth; The generation of the upright will be blessed. (Psalm 112:2)
Our home may be the closest thing on earth to heaven—or the nearest thing to hell. Choices we make—and the choices of other family members as well—establish that environment, because God has made a choice to bless the home that is blessable. How a husband and wife relate to God and to each other has a dramatic effect on the children and their choices. It does not guarantee that when they reach maturity physically that every family member will continue to walk in God’s ways, for each of us must make that decision, but it points them in the right direction and affords them with the best opportunity for experiencing the favor of God in their future family, also.
Heaven in your home requires the man of the house to be a man of God (Ps.112:1). He has a profound reverence for the Lord. His heart is in awe of the majesty of God and at the same time abased at the depravity of his own soul. This leads him to amazement of God’s grace and mercy. Such a spiritual leader in the home is known as, “a God-fearing man.” Rather than a legalistic obligation exhibited toward God’s commands, he displays delight in following God’s will. None of us would discount the significance of the mother in the home, but typically, if the father is a man of God, his wife will partner with him. Being a spiritual leader isn’t about a man exerting authority, but embracing responsibility. This is foundational to having heaven in your home.
If that is the foundation, then the framework built atop that spiritual commitment is seen in Ps.112:4-10. Godly parents build with character, “upright…and righteous” (v.4). Reputation is what we are in public and how others view us; character is what we are in private and what our family knows about us! To character, we nail down conviction (v.6-8). The parents are solid in their beliefs, not shaky about it. They not only can tell the children what they need to do, they can tell them why—based on the authority of God’s Word. Character and conviction must also be connected to compassion (v.4b-5a, 9). We can articulate the truth without being angry about it. Love marks the followers of Christ, and our children need to be taught to be compassionate and generous. They will not accept the message unless we present the model. The fourth pillar added to character, conviction, and compassion is this: correction (v.5b). Discretion is the wisdom to guide our family in God’s course, and if we see a child straying to correct them.
This godly foundation and framework brings God’s favor to our family (Ps.112:2-4a; 113:1-9). God’s favor includes a godly heritage on earth (Ps.112:2-4a; 113:7-9). God wants to grow some spiritual champions from our offspring and we can cultivate the soil, weed the ground, and water the sprout. Our children can be successful in life—and that isn’t about them claiming trophies, scoring touchdowns, passing tests, and accumulating treasure—it is about abundant life in Christ! God’s favor is ultimately about a great honor in eternity (Ps.112:6, 9b; 113:7-8). More than anything we have in this life, we want our children with us in heaven! The greatest reward for godly parents will be to see their offspring with them in heaven’s glory. Their home in heaven then begins with bringing some heaven to your home now. God help us in this great task!
Dennis Thurman has pastored churches in Western North Carolina for 36 years. Currently, he is Senior Pastor of Pole Creek Baptist Church where he has served for almost 20 years. Married to Marilyn for 40 years, they have 5 children and 11 grandchildren.
This article was originally posted on Dennis’ blog, Mountain Top Musings