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Ideally, Christ is the secure foundation of a loving home where the members of a family feel emotionally attached and with spiritual truths effectively taught to the children by both parents who practice what they say (Deut 6:4-8, Ps 127:1). However, increasingly this desirable model is becoming less common with single parents struggling to provide adequate shelter and guidance for their offspring.

Don’t be like Samuel, who, although he was a good prophet failed in his home life (1 Sam 2:22-25, 3:13). Being too busy in ‘God’s work’ is not a valid excuse to neglect not caring for, discipling, or training your own children as the responsibility is to those of our immediate family before any ministry to others (1 Tim 3:4,5, 5:8).  The Bible speaks of an honourable wife who diligently cared for the home and her family, leaving no time to be a busybody meddling in the affairs of others (Prov 31:10-31; Tit 2:5).

God places the ultimate responsibility of the home’s spirituality on the husband, and as such the leader often has considerable influence over the other members (Gen 6:18; Josh 7:24,25; Eph 5:21-33). Joshua knew the desire of his family when he said, “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord” (Josh 24:15). In response to the jailer’s question, “What must I do to be saved?”  Paul and Silas told him “believe on the Lord Jesus and you and your household will be saved”.  The inclusion of the family in ‘being saved’ was not an automatic happening resulting from the jailer believing, rather as the other family members listened to the word of the Lord they chose to become believers for themselves (Act 16:30-34). True conversion does not result from compulsion or pressure from others, nor does God have any grandchildren – it is the result of the individual’s decision not their parent’s.

The home should be a place where each member is accepted, valued, loved, cared for and blessed. Is the home we are building today being strengthened by encouragement, helpfulness and love or is it being weakened by conflict, criticism or sexual unfaithfulness

Is Jesus welcome in our home?

bringing about its destruction? (Mt 12:25). Endeavour to maintain harmony in the home, working through any friction and conflict that arises to shatter the peace, as divided homes deteriorate and perish – a “House divided against itself can’t stand” (Mk 3:25). It is in this environment where our Christian character – the fruit of the Spirit, is initially developed and outworked (the proving ground), and also where we face some of our greatest challenges. Children are to be given increasing freedom as they mature yet are to obey and honour their parents, so the home functions properly, as ordained by God (Eph 6:1-4).

The Bible outlines the standard of home life expected of those serving the church as pastors and deacons (1 Tim 3:1-13; Tit 1:6-9). A person’s real character reveals itself at home. One of Satan’s prime targets is to attack the family unit, with either an emotional or physical separation between

Love and submission to Christ should be evident to all in a home

husband and wife with alienation of the children also occurring. This conflict within the family unit arises through stress, un-forgiveness, needs not being met, and lack of honest communication. If these strained relations are not addressed in a proper manner it will result in a household fighting itself instead of being united and a haven of love and security in the harshness of the world’s inconsiderate and hostile system (Mt 10:36).

Each Christian is a dwelling place or home of the Spirit of God (1 Cor 3:16,17; Eph 2:22; Heb 3:6), and a church is often called the house of God, however He doesn’t live in physical structures made by man but is present because of the collective gathering of believers (Mt 18:20; Act 7:48, 17:24). The greater the unity, uprightness, desire and size of the gathering can equate to the greater manifest presence of God. However, individually and when alone, God can and does meet with us in a powerful way if we seek Him sincerely. David said, “I will live in the house of the Lord forever” (Ps 23:6, 27:4). This will become the reality of Christians in heaven, where we will continually be in the presence of God (Jn 14:2; 1 Thes 4:17; Rev 21:3).

Throughout the Bible when the term “house of Israel”, or “house of ...” is used this refers to the whole Jewish nation, or the family line whose name is mentioned.

A home group (house church), is generally a mid-week group of up to 12 or so people – the number who can comfortably meet in the lounge of the hosts home. These smaller groups are normally comprised of the attendees of the corporate Sunday meetings, who gather together for fellowship, prayer and spiritual benefit, either by Bible study or viewing a DVD and discussion. Closer relationships can often be formed with others, spiritual giftings exercised and a deepening of one's faith takes place through participating in these home fellowships.

See also: family, fruit (of the Spirit), home group, house, husband, parents, submission, wife.