"EXCEPT THE LORD BUILD THE HOUSE, THEY LABOUR IN VAIN THAT BUILD IT" Psalm 127:1
As four walls are essential in building a house, there are four disciplines essential in building a godly home. As walls enclose a house, protecting those who live there, these four disciplines hold the home together and protect the family from deadly temptations. Christian parents must practice these spiritual disciplines in their own lives and diligently seek to build them into the life of their children. They will not build in vain if they build these four walls around their homes for they are Biblical, and the Lord himself will use these to build strong homes for his glory!
Reverence is the first wall. " Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. " " Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God. . . for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth; therefore let thy words be few." " But the Lord is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before Him. O Lord, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid" ( Ex 20:7; Eccl. 5:1-2; Hab. 20: 20 ).
The Christian home is the place where a child should learn reverence. The father and or the mother open the Bible and all reverently listen to the reading. It is the voice of God speaking. Then to bow our hearts together in prayer as we humble our spirits and even bow to our knees in reverence of our Holy God! Each of our children even the smallest child will sense God's presence as they practice reverence! As parents it is proper and productive to train our children to take these reverent times of worship very seriously. These times are to honor and focus on God himself without interruptions and interference's. Games, videos, texting, telephones, and the such should be set aside during these important times of building the wall of reverence.
Respect is the second wall. Respect for parents, grandparents, pastors, elders and others in authority. This second wall joins the first wall to the corner. As these two walls come together they jointly are strengthened by their union. These two disciplines are dependent upon each other. Where one is lacking, the other will be lacking also. The child who does not obey his parents or any other authority will certainly not reverence or fear God!
"There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother. There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness. There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up. There is a generation , whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives" ( Proverbs 30:11-14).
"Honor thy father and thy mother" is the first commandment with a promise. The Christian parent should train their children that when they say something that they mean it. And when they have to say something the second time it is best understood that there will be no third time. Talking back and disobedience should never be allowed. In years of experience I have observed that when one has not learned respect of parents or authority it does not take long to discover it. They will be spoiled, ill mannered, selfish, sassy, proud, and insolent. If this defect is not overcome by God's grace, they never become profitable to society and certainly never become effective Christian servants. No matter how much consecration they profess outwardly , they will never be effective because of what is inward. They have not been " washed from their filthiness"!
Truthfulness is the third wall. "Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds" ( Col. 3:9).
This verse commands us to leave the lie system and come to the truth system. Lying is of the old depraved nature. It is innate in our human heart. Our children are like us, they never have to learn to lie but they have to learn to live truthful. The new birth in Christ and death to the old man is the only remedy. Yet the born again child of God can still participate in deceit. Truthfulness is honesty to others, oneself and to God. The integrity of truthfulness is protection and strength for every family. It is a very important wall to build in the christian home.
The Christian parent must sincerely honest before they will be able to teach their children honesty. It is in the home first that honesty must be built into a child's character. If parents do this first then the church, school, military and other important influences can build upon this much needed wall.
Purity is the fourth wall. " Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection. . . But now also put off . . . filthy communication out of your mouth" ( Col. 3:5-8).
Moral impurity is also a part of our old natures, and it everywhere around us. Much on television, internet, movies and other video media is full of provocative dress and out and out nudity. Many music lyrics are impure and unrighteous. Tons of publications are filled with easy access to see and read things that draw one to lust and immoral behavior. These things have no place in the Christian home. Parents should keep track of their children's reading material, internet sights, music lists, pictures files, tests, etc. Don't take anything for granted.
The world is corrupt and the venues for which immoral temptations come to our children are more numerous than ever. We may not be able to filter every venue but we can start by keeping impurity out of our homes the best we can. This world is corrupt, Satan is clever many dangers surround our family in our society but with God's help we can build the wall of purity in our homes and lead our children to choose our righteous Gods purity for themselves.
Lord help us to build these four walls to protect the moral and spiritual welfare of our homes: REVERENCE, RESPECT, TRUTHFULNESS, and PURITY!
Terry has been the Senior Pastor of Liberty for 30 years. He and his wife, Karen, have 4 children, 11 grandchildren, and 1 spoiled dog named Cooper.