Our homes say a lot about us. How we spend our time there, the way we decorate, and what we do inside its walls speaks volumes about what we believe.
As Christians, our homes should be marked for God and reflect Jesus in everything we do. It needs to be evident that Christ is alive there.
In order to build a godly home, we must center it around God- His will, His desires, His Word. He should be the hub, instead of just a mere spoke.
Ideally our houses should be places of worship, rather than just a structure where we eat, sleep, and play. Here are a few practical steps for building godly homes and ministering to our families well.
1. Worship God Without Rivals
A lot of things compete for God’s position on the throne of our hearts. In our American culture, we serve the idols of convenience, entertainment, prosperity and self. These things get in the way of truly honoring God and receiving His blessings over our homes and families.
Do we desire vegging out with Netflix more than renewing our minds with Scripture? Do we favor quick fixes rather than putting in the hard work of consistently discipling and training our children? Are we too focused on the short term goals of financial gain and “me time” instead of the things that will last for eternity? If we want to truly live out Joshua 24:15, we must remove what takes the place of God’s rule in our house.
2. Practice Biblical Love
Biblical love is not that romantic, emotional love we see portrayed in Hollywood movies. It is driven to action. It is unconditional. It is the same kind of love Jesus demonstrated for you and for me at the Cross.
To practice the definition of biblical love in our homes, we should look no further than 1 Corinthians 13:4-7:
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
When we apply this verse to the treatment of our spouses and children, we win their hearts to Christ and peace will reign inside our homes.
3. Esteem the Bible
We are so quick to run to parenting websites and pop psychology when we’re experiencing turmoil in our families. But what does the Bible say? It needs to be clear to our kids that the Bible is the ultimate authority in our home.
As we form the basic principles for our family, all of our beliefs, ethics, and rules must stem from Scripture. Our methods of discipline, our stances on cultural controversies, and our view of humanity can be centered around God’s redemptive story.
Our children need to know that truth is unchanging, secure, and pure. That truth doesn’t come from Facebook, popular opinion, or even past family tradition, but from the Word of God. By referring our children to the Bible in everything we do, esteeming it and applying it, we show that it is sufficient to answer the deepest questions of life.
This especially includes upholding God’s design for marriage and gender as outlined in Genesis. We cannot compromise His truth, but must preserve it so that order is established in our homes.
4. Commit to a biblical worldview
Psalm 139:17 says, “How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them!” Having a biblical worldview (how we make sense of the world around us) involves thinking the way God thinks. If we’re continually filling our minds and our children’s minds with media that portrays an anti-biblical worldview, we will eventually be conformed to this world.
We are the gatekeepers of our homes and have authority from God to deny entrance into that space. Every Netflix show, iPad App, YouTube video- and even friend- that enters our home must go through us first. What are we allowing in? We have a responsibility to protect our children from the enemy’s attempts to access their hearts and minds.
Fill their minds with books, shows and music that help them fix their eyes on things above. I highly recommend investing in a Christian streaming service. For usually less than $10 a month, you and your kids can enjoy quality entertaining and educational programs from a biblical perspective.
5. Teach Your Kids The Word of God
In his sermon to the Israelites before entering the Promised Land, where he tells them to love and obey the Lord, Moses immediately follows this with a command to saturate their children with the same teaching. We can teach God’s law and works to our kids both formally, through a daily routine of Bible reading, and informally (Deuteronomy 6:6). With all the moments available to us throughout the day, we can these unplanned opportunities to pour the Word of God into our children.
The other day my daughter was upset with her brother for having more of a certain kind of toy, so I led her right in that moment to Exodus 20:17. We can use particular verses to convict our children’s hearts about their behavior and show them what’s right and wrong. We can also intentionally talk about what the Bible says during family meals, car rides or walks, when we’re putting our kids to bed, and when they’re getting ready in the morning.
6. Fill Your Home with Praise and Worship
There is something about the power of music. When that music is full of Scripture and centers us on the truth of God’s Word, it is even more powerful! It reminds us of who we are with respect to God, sets our focus on the right things, and helps us commit truth to memory.
Get an inexpensive instrument set for your kids and let them make a joyful noise. Gather everyone together for family worship, where bonds will be forged. Whether it’s contemporary praise & worship, traditional hymns, catchy children’s tunes like “Our God Is So Big”, or Scripture memory songs, play them in your home often.
7. Decorate With Reminders of God’s Promises
One of the most repeated commands in the Bible is to remember. Remember what God has done. Remember who He is. Remember that He is with you. But we’re quick to forget. One way to fight against our forgetful minds is to repeat Scripture.
In Deuteronomy 9, the Israelites were instructed to write God’s commands on the doorposts of their homes. Nowadays, this can be accomplished by adorning our houses with scriptures that speak of His love, truth, grace, and faithfulness. In each of our children’s bedrooms, there is a framed verse that hangs on the wall by their beds- Joshua 1:9 for my son and Jeremiah 1:5 for my daughter. They serve as powerful reminders of not only who they are, but what God has done for them. Wall art isn’t the only home decor you can use to remind your family of these promises; something as simple as verses written on notecards taped to the mirror or fridge work just as well!
8. Pray Scripture over your children
There is a very real battleground for your home and for the hearts and minds of your children. Prayer is our greatest weapon against the enemy’s strongholds in their lives. When we pray Scripture for our kids, we are praying God’s very own words for them! We are fighting in the spiritual battle right alongside them, appropriating God’s power on their behalf.
I pray on a regular basis that my children would love the Lord with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength, be convicted of their sin and lead to genuine repentance, and stand firm on God’s truth in a culture that lies to them. As mothers, we should also pray for our kids’ protection, obedience, spiritual growth, interactions with their siblings and friends, and the ability to show kindness and forgiveness.
9. Model Joyful Service & Hospitality
We should serve our husbands and children with a joyful heart, not begrudgingly. Proverbs 14:1 says, “The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands.” When we act like our closest neighbors are an inconvenience or interruption, we are destroying our homes and not able to practice true hospitality.
Hospitality should be a natural extension of the service you’re already demonstrating within the walls of your home. We have a piece of wall art in our living room that says, “In our home, let love abide and bless those who step inside.” We want to bless all those who come through our house and show them the love of Christ through our generous, hospitable actions.