Naomi of Starlight and Sunshine recently posted some provocative thoughts about what a Christian home should be. She also shared a breathtaking view of the early homelife of Hudson Taylor. His family is indeed one of the stars that light our way in a dark world, giving us hope and inspiration.
"A Christian Home" is the aspiration of every believer in the Lord Jesus. We each want to have a home like that described in the hymn by Barbara Hart::
O give us homes with godly fathers, mothers,
Who always place their hope and trust in Him,
Whose tender patience turmoil never bothers,
Whose calm and courage trouble cannot dim;
A home where each finds joy in serving others,
And love still shines, tho days be dark and grim.
But what if we don't have that? God in his word speaks to every person as an individual, regardless of his circumstances. We desire to have Christian homes, but the first thing is to have Christ and to be Christ's ourselves. I thank God that Christianity is not dependent upon having a Christian home, Christian neighbors, or a Christian nation.
Too often, while looking to have perfection in our surroundings, we fail to overcome in the little things of life. Someone else becomes impatient in turmoil, and we get discouraged. Someone else fails to remain calm and courageous in a time of trouble, and we are disgruntled. Those in our home don't seem to find any joy in serving others, and so we excuse ourselves for being the same way ~ and we wonder what happened to love in the days dark and grim.
The trouble is that we are looking too much for results and have lost our focus on the Savior. Oh, to maintain high aspirations and to expect great things from God, including great changes in ourselves and our family, without taking our eyes off the one and only, the Lord Jesus Christ!
None of us is without sin, and no family is perfect. Some are beautiful and worthy of imitation, but all have their blemishes. If we look upon the blemishes, we may become disheartened and justify our own wayward behavior, even thinking, perhaps, that we must have a certain kind of Christian home in order to be the sort of Christian we desire to be ~ when the exact opposite is true. Our power to live a Christian life is in Christ, and in him alone. And only in discovering this can we do our part to make a Christian home.
A Christian home where others behave as they ought to will diminish our temptations, but it will not give the power to become the sons of God. It will not give us the victory of faith. Those things are available only in the Lord Jesus Christ, and they are available whatever our circumstances, and regardless of what sort of home we have.
A home is made up of a family, but the family is made up of individuals. Each of us is responsible first and foremost for ourselves. We may not have the power to make our home a Christian one in the sense we desire, but we do have strength in Christ to be such Christians who "always place their hope and trust in him," and who walk in the power of his resurrection ~ regardless of our circumstances.