Many buildings that look strong on the outside develop cracks and some collapse, due to the foundation being weak. Bad foundations produce bad buildings! It’s no different with building a blessed family. Didn’t the Lord Jesus Himself give us the parable of the house on the Rock and the one on sand (Matthew 7:24-27)? The house on the Rock stood firm because it had the right foundation.
In this article, I would like to share what I believe are 5 vital foundations for building a blessed family. They are:
1) The Foundation Of A Husband/Father Who Acts As The Spiritual Leader
The scriptures tell us the husband is the head (Priest) of the home (Ephesians 5:23). He therefore needs to set the spiritual temperature in the family. This vital role cannot be delegated to the wife. The husband needs to direct the spiritual course of the home through teaching, prayer & example (Deuteronomy 4:9). The family is blessed when the husband takes on this responsibility. Sadly, the Bible has many examples of fathers who failed in this area (Eli, Samuel, David etc).
A family is also blessed when a man learns to graciously love his wife (Ephesians 5:25, 33) and children (Colossians 3:21) in spite of their weaknesses, because that’s how Christ loves His bride, the church (Ephesians 5:25-27, 29). Therefore, let’s respond quickly to their need in times of struggle & illness. I once heard a man of God say, ‘One of the best examples of a Spirit filled man is one who lovingly cares for his wife with tenderness’!
Men, let’s remember that there are 3 times more verses for men than for the ladies in the teachings on family in Ephesians 5! A good example for us to emulate is Joseph, Mary’s husband and our Lord’s earthly father. He heard from God (Matthew 1:20-21), he had character (righteous- Matthew 1:19), took great care of his wife (Matthew 1:24-25) and handled crisis situations with dignity (Matthew 1:19). To add to it, he taught Jesus spiritual principles (Luke 2:41).
Friend, when was the last time you led prayer at home? The last time you taught God’s Word to your children? When did you last lay hands and pray over them prophetically (Genesis 48:14)? Have you spent quality time instructing them in God’s way?
Illustration – A mother was trying to teach her little daughter to say ‘thank you’ when receiving a gift. After instructing her, she gave her a glass of milk and asked, ‘Now, what should baby say?’ The daughter raised her glass and said, ‘Cheers’!
Children will follow our example!
2) The Foundation Of A Wife/Mother Who Is Of Noble Character
The family is blessed when the wife is a woman of prayer, caring & character; one who is always available and willing to be submissive (Ephesians 5:22-24). Proverbs 31 shows the finer qualities of such a lady. 1 Peter 3:1-4 speaks of the value of her having inner beauty.
Wives, your prayers and character will carry your husband and children through difficult times. I have found that to be so true in our own family. Such a wife will create a culture of beauty in the home. However, a nagging wife is strongly rebuked in the scriptures (Proverbs 21:9,19)!
Illustration – A lady came late to church one day and quickly sent up a written prayer request on behalf of her husband to the Pastor, as he was walking to the pulpit to preach. It said, ‘Husband gone to sea: wife requests prayer for protection’. In his haste the Pastor read it as, ‘Husband gone to see wife; requests prayer for protection’!
3) The Foundation Of Blessed Children
Children brought up in the fear of the Lord will be blessed by the Lord and they will be a blessing to their families in return (Psalm 127:5). They will also learn to serve God from a young age. The Bible says, ”Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
Some of the promises of God for the future of our children are as follows:
“I will pour out my Spirit …and my blessing on your children. They will thrive like watered grass, like willows on a riverbank” (Isaiah 44:3-4).
“My chosen ones …. will not toil in vain or bear children doomed to misfortune…” (Isaiah 65:22-23).
Therefore, as we guide our children in the ways of the Lord, we need never fear for their future, because they are blessed!
4) The Foundation Of Family Prayer (The Family Altar)
‘The family that prays together, stays together’.
Although this saying is not from scripture, it has great value.
A family is blessed when the husband & wife pray together daily at the family altar as well as pray with their children daily. According to 1 Peter 3:7 the family altar is also a great place to bring healing to family hurts, for they can be prayed over, with any bitterness being removed through forgiving one another. A wise Counsellor once said that when struggles arise, ‘It’s best to talk to God first and then to each other, before talking to outsiders’. What better place is there for this to happen than at the family altar! Once again, my wife and I have found this to be so true!
Here’s a lovely quote I came across: ‘Couples with equal love and faith combined, kindle never dying fires’
5) The Foundation Of Your Family Being Part Of God’s Family
The church is God’s family (Ephesians 3:14). Therefore, being a part of it and serving God together through your home church will bring blessing to your family. Make it a place for your children to learn & serve. Teach them to love God’s house (Psalm 27:4). Joshua’s words ring true even today; “But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24;15).
Bring added blessing to your family by making your home an extension of the ministry of your church. Your home can be used for God’s purposes through maybe a small group or a prayer group. It could also be a place where people can seek spiritual counsel.
With these 5 foundations, our homes and families will truly be blessed. A man of God once said, ‘we don’t have the right to take the message of Christ outside our homes, if it’s not working inside our homes!’ Let’s build ‘Blessed Homes and Families’!
For an inspiring Father’s Day Devotional about Joseph, the earthly father of the Lord Jesus Christ, click here.