Where does lasting positive change occur most frequently? There are a lot of possible answers to the question (and it is an important question), but I want to weigh in with my own perspective: I believe the primary place of life change is not in a church building, the work place or at school – it is in the home.
Personally, I know of no one that lives like a phony at home, but lives an authentic Christian life in other venues. The most difficult place to live a consistent life is inside of your home where you spend lots of time together. If you can do it there, you can do it anywhere!
As a pastor I believe this with all of my heart – it is impossible to have a great church if the majority of the members of the church are not godly family members. Just because a family professes Christ as Savior and Lord doesn’t mean they will enjoy closeness. There are lots of reasons why families are pulling apart rather than pulling together, but I think one of the reasons is our failure to honor God’s Word concerning how we treat each other.
God has given us some simple, but powerful means to help us enjoy relational closeness and that is by fulfilling the “one another” commands in the Bible. If they will work in a church (and they will), they will work in the home. The family is a microcosm of society. As goes the family, so goes society. Likewise, as goes the family, so goes a church. The place we are to be the most real is at home.
John Maxwell said, “Most people can trace their successes and failures to the relationships in their lives”. I agree with him. Our failure to treat each other properly yields painful consequences and our faithfulness to practice the “one another” commands brings great blessings to your home!
In the posts for the next few weeks I want to focus on a simple “one another” command found in the Bible that has such great potential to transform you and your family environment. Here is the Scriptural basis for the command – “…by love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13). It is only found expressly stated once in Galatians 5:13, but it is mentioned in several other places in the Word of God in similar terms. We are to “serve one another” from a motive of love.
Our homes should be laboratories of service where our children learn to serve the Lord and to serve others. We have seven children ranging from twelve to twenty-eight years old. Paula and I have worked to teach them to be obedient and respectful, but also to learn to serve each another sibling to sibling, sibling to parent, and we want to model this to them spouse to spouse and parent to child.
This is not an easy task, but the good news is that God’s Word teaches us in very practical ways how to do this. There are four aspects of having a servant’s attitude in the Bible and I will focus on each of these areas in upcoming posts. Hopefully you will be encouraged to “serve one another” in your family and other environments where you live.