|Tuesday, June 4, 2019|
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Continued from Part 1
t is with great delight and joy I welcome you to this great month. The Month of June Our month of building our home. The issue of the home is very critical and delights me greatly what about you? We all have a home, the only difference is in functionality or dysfunctionality. But we all are products of one home or the other. As they say; the way the family goes the society follows suit. In other words, the society is a reflection of our homes. It's like saying show me your home and I will show you who you are or who you will become both on individual and corporate levels. How is your family going? I have come to encourage and pray for your home, marriage and family, this month it shall be well with you. The God who saw the misery of being alone and loneliness of Adam and gave him a helpmeet for him will again look at the totality of your home this month and whatever is needed to make things better for you will be supplied appropriately and promptly. As lovely as the home and relationships can be, it is sometimes not the best, it is full of challenges, intrigues, betrayals, lack of trust from one person to the other, husband to wife and vice versa, children to parents and vice versa, in-laws to couples, nuclear or extended family but guess what, God is always ahead of you to help you out if you will cooperate with Him. This month I see God rebuilding your home if you will let him, for the scripture says" If God doesn't build the house, the builders only build shacks" Psalm 127 :1a (MSG).
On May 29, 2019 a new administration led by Muhammed Buhari as President was sworn in for Nigeria. Happy new administration to Nigerians. Let me remind you Nigeria is our home. My simple advice, let us build Nigeria of our dream. Let us stop spreading evil report, let us stop imagining fear, particularly as Christians let us use our faith to build our nation on prayer, hard work and integrity. Our God is greater than any Fulanization or Islamization planned by the devil or his cohorts. The walls of Jericho will always fall by our simple, shouting Hallelujah, singing and praying. This Next Level shall bring an end to insecurity, corruption and lack. I see Jesuslization of Nigeria. Dry bones will rise again. I see a better and prosperous New Nigeria. The Nigeria of our dream. What do you see?
What is a Home and why is a home very important?
You must have heard the expression "there's no place like home." "Home is where the heart is." "Home, sweet home" Jacob after being away for over two decades in a foreign land, with wife and children, blurted out to Laban his uncle "when will I provide for my house?" He was apparently home sick. Have you heard the whole world is now a village? The airlines are the beneficiaries, in this age of heavy and diverse immigration, people fly thousands of miles to find a place they can call home. These expressions and actions indicate that home is somewhere that is both desirable and that exists in the mind's eye as much as in a particular physical location. Across cultures and over the centuries people of varied means have made homes for themselves and for those they care about. Humans have clearly evolved to be home builders, homemakers, and home-nesters. Home has always been a gathering place, shelter, and sanctuary, providing escape from the busyness and intrusiveness of the world. It is not the buildings or houses that are homes but the people that live there.
The family is the single most important influence in a child's life. From their first moments, children depend on parents and family to protect them and provide for their needs. Every parent knows that it's sometimes difficult to do this important work without help, support, and additional resources.
The purpose of a family is to give you a safe and supportive base from which to explore the world. This applies both to the family your parents make for you, and the one you eventually make for yourself and (if applicable) your children. Values learning has been a traditional function of the family. Families introduce their children to their spiritual views. They teach their children right from wrong and encourage them to follow the laws of the land unless disobeying the law will benefit society. God himself gave that as a command to Moses: "O Israel, listen: Jehovah is our God, Jehovah alone. 5 You must love him with all your heart, soul, and might. 6 And you must think constantly about these commandments I am giving you today. 7 You must teach them to your children and talk about them when you are at home or out for a walk; at bedtime and the first thing in the morning. 8 Tie them on your finger, wear them on your forehead, 9 and write them on the doorposts of your house!" Deut 6:4-8 TLB
The Reality of homes- We all belong to each other
No matter how seemingly expensive and beautiful a house looks from outside when you come inside you will find areas that are not perfect fit. Trust me in that expensive house there must be a garbage bin! No matter how beautiful or handsome you are you will still need to go to the toilet. Home is similar to the body, and the body is similar to ministry. Hear what Paul says: "Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, 5 so it is with Christ's body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other." Rom 12:4-5. Home has many parts that perform different functions. Problems arise when one part defaults. Paul goes on -"In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. 7 If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. 8 If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly." Rom 126-8. The corollary is true of the home. If you are the husband be a good husband, and perform the functions of a husband, similarly the wife and the children. If you are the father, be a godly father, not absentee father, not a father that does not value the children. If you are the parent in-law treat your son/daughter in-law well. If you are the son/daughter in-law -treat your parents- in-law well. The reality of a home is that we have children, parents, grandparents, uncles, aunties, nieces, nephews and we are not only blood related we are socially, financially and spiritually related and are all longing to be loved, cared for and cherished. Not only are we related, we all have a common goal to make the best of that relationship. When one part of that network malfunctions it affects the whole network, just as a simple abscess or boil in any part of a body can cause many sleepless nights. The reality of the home is that we all have responsibility to build the home we desire.
How do we build our homes?
Home is an off shoot of a house therefore I want to look at our home from these three major perspectives.
1.Foundation,2.Internal structure.3 Externalstructures
Foundation. "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash." Matt 7:24-7
Another critical foundational matter is our children as major foundation for our home. As they say they are our future. "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and Man" Luke 2:52. I like the exposition of Jim Mooney on this matter how he explained that scripture "This scripture reveals four areas in which children need to develop. Wisdom, that's mentally. Stature, that's physically. Favor with God, that's spiritually. And man, that's socially" Mentally, physically, spiritually, and socially, these are the four areas in which children need development. When they come into the world they are undeveloped. It is up to you and I as parents to develop our children in these four areas. If we don't they will never reach their full potential. In order to grow mentally our children, need instructions and guidelines on how to live their lives. In order to grow in stature they need to know that their bodies are the temples of God. To grow Spiritually They need to learn to live in a way that is pleasing to God. To grow socially they need to learn to respect others." Give your children that foundation!
Internal. The internal aspect of our home is the characteristics of the people that make the home. Every human being has internal organs like heart, lungs, kidneys, intestines and stomach, these internal structures run our lives. If you don't pay attention to them they will cause sickness or death. Our internal values are disregarded in this generation. Warren Wiersbe writes, "It seems no matter where we look in modern society, we see antagonism, division, and rebellion. Husbands and wives are divorcing each other; children are rebelling against their parents, and employers and employees are seeking for new ways to avoid strikes and keep the machinery of industry running productively. We have tried education, legislation, and every other approach, but nothing seems to work. Paul's solution to antagonisms in the home and in society was REGENERATION, a new heart from God and a new submission to Christ and to one another. God's great program is to 'gather together in one all things in Christ.' Paul indicated that this spiritual harmony begins in the lives of Christians who are submitted to the Lordship of Christ" (Be Wise, p.149).
Christian families are to be different, "set apart" from the world. What unbelievers want to know is "Does Christianity work?" If our faith won't work at home it won't work anywhere. Parents, you may not be able to do anything about our national dilemmas, but you can do something about your family, your children. Marriages and families in our time tend to be war zones and disaster areas. Homes aren't havens. There is no peace, joy, contentment and bliss. Rather conflict, intimidation, and separation. Too often today the parents are so busy trying to make a living for the family that they forget about the family as a whole. There are times that we need to push our busy schedule aside and make time to spend with each other. Pay attention to your internal organs especially your heart, you can go no further than your character. You have heard the adage your charisma will open doors your character will close.
External. By external I want to address the way we dress in this generation. That is in terms of what we wear, the makeups, the automobiles, church buildings etc. Why is the church of this generation building sepulchers at the expense of the rotten corpses? Why do we easily forget the issue of internal beauty and concentrate on external matters? We keep running here and there making money to buy toys for children who need us to take them to Sunday school. "A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." John 13:34. Love is more than a feeling. Love is a choice and action. There will be time when you will feel like you don't love your spouse and sometime even your children. But we do, our families need love. We need to spend time nurturing unconditional love. At some time or another we need the loving support of family members. Someone that we can go to with our problems. Someone we can share our pains with without being criticized. Someone that will lend us a shoulder to lean on or cry on if necessary. The society doesn't want you to dress sexy to impress them as a Christian. They want you to show that you care. As pastor's wife, the younger ones are interested in your character not your latest dress from Italy.
Given the current state of things, does modesty even matter anymore? Our culture tells us no, and we've been so affected by the world around us that sometimes we don't even stop to think about what our appearance say about us, or how it measures up to God's standards. God calls us to a life of purity, and modesty is a natural outworking of a pure heart. To build a proper home this generation must return to family standard of modesty-The dictionary tells us that to be modest is to avoid impropriety or indecency, to be reserved in sexual matters, and to be unpretentious in appearance. Indecency is a strong word, meaning 'highly unsuitable,' but unfortunately our society has redefined this word as well. What was once considered unsuitable dress in public is now the norm. The church must stop following the world! We are to be the pace setters, the salt, the light even in our external appearances. Fathers, mothers how are you dressing? If you don't dress well you have no moral right to control your children. Young woman whom are you impressing by exposing all that needs to be covered to the public? Summer is here now when you see a deplorable dressing in Canada by the youth of this generation. My advice stop dressing indecently. Stop encouraging vices of rape and other sexual assaults. Build yourself to build your home. Parents when that your youngster dressed immorally and he/she is going out, to school or church or work, correct them! Charity they say begins at home. -Your home!
Conclusion. It is time to build our homes. It's time to follow biblical patterns to build our homes. Lay a good foundation, develop inner virtues by developing a godly character and be modest and decent in our external appearances.