THE HOME GOD HONORS
"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged" (Colossians 3:17-21).
MANY YEARS ago Henry Grady, that great southern statesman, stood before the Capitol at Washington, D.C. and said to himself, "This is the heart of America," Then as he stood there he said, "It seemed that the great Nation's building faded and in its place I saw a little home down in the mountains of North Carolina. As I thought of that little home down there, I saw a poor, rugged, sun-tanned father with calloused hands. Every evening he called his children to gather around the old family Bible and have their family worship and family prayers." Then Grady said, "I remembered how father would awaken us at sunrise every morning, call us out of bed to say family prayers. At every meal we had family grace. Father plowed in the fields all the day long. His hands were calloused; his face was sun-tanned; perspiration streamed down his brow, but he was an honest man and he reared his children in the fear and nurture and admonition of the Lord. As I stood there and saw that scene, I realized that the foundation of American society and the very heart and core of America is the American home."
Tonight I'm convinced that the basic unit of our society is the home. I'm also convinced that when the home begins to lose its hold on our lives and to disintegrate, then our society is on the way out.
The word "home" recalls a thousand memories in our minds and in our hearts. As long as I live I'll never forget my own home. I'll never forget my father and mother. They reared their children in the fear of the Lord. I never heard my parents argue. I do not even remember their using a slang word, much less a word of profanity. My father and mother prayed for their children and tonight all of their children know the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Saviour. They brought us up around the old family Bible.
The first institution ever established was the home. Before the church, before the school, before the government, God established the home. The first marriage ceremony was performed by God Himself in the Garden of Eden. Today in America we have thirty-one million homes. Tonight almost every person in Los Angeles will go to some place that he calls home the scores that are on the street, in places of amusement even those down on Skid Row. The very basis of our entire way of life is built upon the home. Rich or poor, whatever color or nationality, we call some place home. It may be a cottage or a palace, but we call it home. A home reaches right into the very center of our being. The word stirs a thousand memories of days of yesteryear, when we remember father, mother, the family circle.
"Mid pleasures and palaces, though we may roam,
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home;
A charm from the sky seems to hallow us there,
Which, seek through the world, is ne'er met with elsewhere. . . .
"An exile from home, splendor dazzles in vain,
O, give me my lowly thatched cottage again!
The birds singing gayly, that came at my call
Give me them, and the piece of mind, dearer than all! . . .
"How sweet 'tis to sit 'neath a fond father's smile,
And the cares of a mother to soothe and beguile!
Let others delight 'mid new pleasure to roam,
But give me, O, give me, the pleasures of home. . . .
"To thee I'll return, overburdened with care;
The heart's dearest solace will smile on me there;
No more from that cottage again will I roam;
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home.
Home, Home, sweet, sweet Home! There's no place like home!
There's no place like Home."
Jesus had a lowly birth. Jesus not only loved His home but He loved the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus. Jesus went to many homes and sanctified the home by His own presence and by His own endorsement. But tonight as we look at America's needs and the social problems of our great Nation, we find that the greatest problem confronting the present world today is not Communism. The greatest problem confronting us tonight is the breakdown of the American home. Sometimes I wonder who is going to win the race to capture America, whether it is going to be Communism or whether it is going to be mold and deterioration that's starting in the American home and is eating out the heart and soul of our society.
A nation is only as strong as her homes. The greatest men of our day were not fashioned on battlefields but in the cradle and the fireside of their childhood homes. Our country should fear disloyalty and contention at the fireside more than any political force because the very root and the very foundation, the heart and the soul of our society, is the home. Satan's chief aim today is to destroy the home. One of the goals of Communism is to destroy the American home. If the Communist can destroy the American home and cause moral deterioration in this country, that group will have done to us what they did to France when the German armies invaded the Maginot line. From what I have seen in Europe since the war I am convinced that the thing which caused the defeat of France in 1940 was not the German army. It was the moral deterioration of France before the Germans ever came. The same thing is happening in America tonight. I'm not afraid of what Joe Stalin can do with his atomic bomb, I'm not afraid of what he can do with
his copy of the B-36. I'm not so afraid tonight of what poison bombs will do as I am afraid of what Satan is doing to destroy the morals of America and to break down our homes. When our homes break, our Nation is crumbling to the same ruin as other empires, other cities and other nations, because they, too, were peoples with broken homes.
In America, one million people receive divorces every year: five hundred thousand divorces a year. One divorce to every 3 1/2 marriages in America last year. France had only one-fourth the number of divorces that we have, Germany had only one-third the divorces we have, Japan had only one-half the divorces that we have. I say tonight, our major problem is the home. If we can solve our marital problems and save our homes, we have solved the major problem in the American way of life.
Tonight, there are many major enemies of the home. Satan, of course, is an enemy of the home. And if Satan can cause contention and strife and sin and unfaithfulness in the home, he's going to win the first bout in his battle to gain the home. Selfishness is an enemy of the home; unfaithfulness is an enemy of the home; alcohol is an enemy of the home; maladjustment is an enemy of the home; and jealousy is an enemy of the home. Much of our church, radio and spirit of the day has made a laughing stock of marriage until Americans have lost the sanctity of marriage, and have lost sight of the fact that God instituted marriage.
I am convinced, that there is only one thing halting the destruction of the American way of life, and that is the existence of Christian institutions. How long can they hold the water back? Here we have waters of sin, juvenile delinquency, divorce and broken homes piling up and the dam of Christian institutions is trying to hold the waters back, but already I can see cracks. I can see crevices and I can see the water dripping through. One of these days the dam is going to break and the waters are going to flood America. We will have no more America, unless God can visit us with an old-fashioned, heaven-sent, Holy
Ghost revival. That's the answer to our problems tonight. There seems to be no other answer except revival.
But tonight I want to turn to God's word. We have turned to the psychiatrist, and we've turned to the psychologist and we have all sorts of books on the home. We have all kinds of books on how to rear children. We have all kinds of psychological books and documents and surveys and now, to top it all, we have the Kinsey Report. We have many different attempts aimed at educating Americans to have happy homes, but there are more unhappy homes today than ever before in our history. Psychology and the psychiatrist do not have the answers. Neither does Mr. Anthony.
Tonight I want you to turn to God's Word and first see the responsibility of each member of the home. First of all I want you to see the responsibility of the wife. Listen to this "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord." Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands. Now that's going to shock some of you wives some of you who "wear the trousers" in your family, some of you dictatorial wives. But this is the Word of God. Listen to it tonight and see if obedience to God's Word is the way to a happy home life.
One of the problems of the home today is that it is not properly governed. God had certain governing laws for marriage and the home. One of the problems in Christian circles, and the reason we have so many unhappy Christian homes, is because we have forgotten God's laws about marriage. We need them re-emphasized; we need to underscore them; we need to read them. Every family ought to get these passages of Scripture and read them on their knees. Don't stop there then follow them! Don't be hearers only, but doers of the Word.
The first thing that God says is for wives to submit themselves to their own husbands. That doesn't mean that the husband is to be a tyrant. It conveys the idea of unselfish service and unending loyalty, and that is exactly what it means. Christ
is the head of the church, and the husband is the head of the wife. Now the relationship between wife and husband is both and at the same time equal and unequal. It is equal as far as her intellect, her conscience, her position, her service, her freedom, her happiness is concerned before God, because God says, "They twain shall be one flesh."
It's not a question of who is superior, both are superior in God's given place. If a woman conforms to God's standard for a woman, she is superior in her place; if a man conforms to God's standard for a man, he is superior in his place. Now Scripture says this, "Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee" (Gen. 3:16). Because of sin in the Garden of Eden, one of the curses God sent upon the woman was that the man shall rule over her. That cause has never been removed nor changed; it has been underlined and underscored all the way through the New Testament.
"Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore, as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing" (Eph. 5:22-24). It does not say "part of the time" it says "in every thing." In Ephesians 5:33 we read these words: ". . . and the wife see that she reverence her husband." That is a command from the Lord God that the wife reverence her husband. Then in I Peter 3:1, 2 we read these words: "Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives." Peter says this when he speaks of a wife who is a Christian and a husband who is not a Christian.
Some time ago a woman said to me, "My husband is not a Christian. Should I obey him and be subject to him?" The
Bible says a decided, "Yes." Here is God's law; here is God's rule "Don't preach to your husband all the time. Don't nag him to death by preaching to him." It says, "Live in front of him that they also without a word may be won by the life of the wife." In other words, you are to live a consistent, holy, Christian life in front of your husband and he, seeing the difference, will be convicted of his sin and in time come to Jesus Christ. I've seen so many wives run their husbands away from God in their eagerness to see the one they love come to Christ. They nag and preach so long that the husband is driven away. God's principle is to live an example before unbelieving husbands, rather than preach to them all the time.
Now, Scripture says in Titus 2:4, 5, "That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children. To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed." Now, notice the language here. Notice these words be obedient to, reverence and then love and the Bible says if you're not doing these things, if the woman is disobedient on this point, God's Word will be blasphemed in the whole community.
The Scriptures say to love your husband. When he comes home in the evening, run and meet him and give him a kiss. Give him love at any cost. Cultivate modesty and the delicacy of youth. Be attractive. Read as much as you can to keep up on world events and developments.
Keep the house clean and make sure that you're a good housekeeper. Don't be a spendthrift. You know, if some women died the only thing their husbands would miss would be the first-of-the-month bills. Don't keep your husband's nose to the grindstone all the time, and don't spend all of his money.
Don't nag and complain all the time. Did you ever see a nagging wife? Nag, nag, nag, and complain, complain, complain, all the time? I'll tell you I feel sorry for some of these husbands. Then some wives are on the go all the time. They
are never home. God said, "Abraham, where's Sarah?" "Oh, Sarah is out to the theatre." Did he say that? No.
"She's over to the card party." No. "She's over to the ladies auxiliary." No. "Sarah is right here at home where she ought to be."
God meant for women to be home and to rear the children rather than to be running all over the country.
Then another suggestion I have tonight, for both husband and wife don't gossip. You know that some children have roast preacher every Sunday for dinner? If you parents want to talk about your neighbors, do it in private. Don't do it at all, but if you must, wait until the children are in bed. Gossip is a sin in the sight of God.
Make your house a pleasant place to be. Keep your children interested in the home. Let them invite their friends and keep your home, rather the corner tavern, a center of interest and activity.
Now all you husbands have been sitting there enjoying every bit of this. but I want you to listen to this. Because in Ephesians 5:23 it says this: "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body." Joshua said, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Now listen, where's man's place in the home? Man is God's representative. It is a great responsibility to be the head of a home, for you are responsible to God. You are the protector; you are the provider of the home. Too many men have neglected the home for the club, the lodge, the theatre or the tavern. They have too much pleasure in making money to rear their children in the fear of the Lord.
The Scriptures say to honor your wife. "Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered" (I Pet. 3:7). If you fail to honor your wife, your prayers will
go unanswered. God can't hear you if you are falling down in your job as a husband. This is God's command the husband and wife shall dwell together as heirs of the grace of life.
Show your wife that you love her. Don't let love be taken for granted send her a box of candy once in awhile. Send her an orchid. How long has it been since you sent some roses to your sweetheart?
God's Word says: "Nevertheless let every one of you in particular love his wife as himself" (Eph. 5:33). How do you compare with God's standard? Do you love your wife even as yourself? Believe me, if every husband did, some things would surely be different!
If you love your wife, she won't have to do all the work. I went to a home some time ago and a man who weighed 300 pounds sat down in a great big chair and said, "Lois does the work around here as a woman should." His wife came in. She was a little, over-worked woman, about ready for the grave. He'd just about killed her. Then some of you men, help bear your wife's burdens. She has a hard job. Listen, I'd rather plow in the field all day long than to stay at home and cook three meals and take care of the children one hour. I'll tell you I would. That's a hard job. The woman has a harder job.
Some of you husbands are inclined to be tightwads. Don't pinch the pennies and keep them in the bank waiting for you to die and leave for your children or for somebody to fight over. Let your wife buy a new hat and dress once in awhile.
Be a gentleman; be courteous; be thoughtful. Do the little things that you know women like. It's not the big thing, but it's in consistent small ways that you show love and appreciation.
When a woman marries, she loses much of her own life in that of her husband. Marriage is only part of his life. But to a woman it's everything. Your wife gave up everything to come with you. Remember that, and remember the marriage vows that you took at the altar. You know, it would be good for all of us to take out the old marriage vows and read them
over and over again about three or four times a year. It'd make a big difference to both husband and wife, wouldn't it? "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife, loveth himself, nevertheless, let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself and the wife see that she reverence her husband."
It's the husband's job to be the head of the home in religious matters. If you don't have a family altar in your home, it's the husband's fault. It is not the wife's responsibility, it's the husband's responsibility unto God to be the head of his home and to call his little family together and rear them around the Word of God. The desperate need of the hour in Christian circles is the old-fashioned family altar. If you don't have a family altar in your home; if you don't have prayer in your home; if you don't have grace at the table, you ought to be ashamed of yourself for your sin against God. Start your family altar. If you've never done it, start a family altar when you get home tonight. It will make all the difference in the world. Every problem that you face in your family will be solved if you can pray together. That's the husband's responsibility unto God. I don't think God will ever hold a woman responsible, it's the husband before God, as God's representative, as the head of the home, who should establish the family altar. Listen, this business of being a father and a husband is a serious business in the sight of God. We've made a big joke out of it. We laugh about it, but in the sight of God it has tremendous repercussions and implications.
You remember the story of Eli. Eli was one of God's servants and Eli refused to restrain his children and make them obey him. He refused to take his proper place in the home. Listen to what God did to him. "In that day, I will perform against Eli all the things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end. For I have
told him that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not" (I Samuel 3:12, 13).
God says, "The father is to be the head of the discipline, the head of correction, the head of the family altar. If the father doesn't take his responsibility, God Almighty is going to judge him and hold him responsible. Eli refused to take his responsibility and God said, "I'm going to judge his house forever because he didn't take his place at the head of the home."
Now all you boys and girls that have been sitting there taking it all in, we're coming to you soon. Because Scripture says, "Children, obey your parents in all things." How many things? All things. "For this is well pleasing unto the Lord." You know what the Devil's philosophy is today? Do as you please. Kick up your heels. Modern psychology is going along with the present program and psychologists are saying, "Don't spank your children, you'll warp their personality." I stand here before you tonight in a warped personality because I got plenty of spanking. I might not have received much head learning down in the hills of North Carolina, but there's one thing I got. There are plenty of callouses on my backbone that were put there by a razor strap. If you haven't had that kind of discipline in your home, you'd better start it, because God demands it. Our children tonight are roaming the streets because there is no home discipline or restraint. Our courts and our jails are filled; juvenile homes are crowded; our Nation is almost "going to the dogs" because our young people have been undisciplined. We need to come back to the Bible to see what It has to say.
In Ephesians 6:4 is this: "And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but nurture them in the chastening and admonition of the Lord." In Hebrews 12:7 "If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?" In Proverbs 13:24 "He that spareth his rod hateth his son:" In other words, God says,
"If you don't correct your child and if you don't give him the spankings he needs once in awhile, you hate your child you don't love him." Billy Graham didn't say that God says that in His Word.
"But he that loveth him, chasteneth him often times" (Prov. 19:18). "Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying." In other words he may cry; he may weep; he may be broken-hearted, but God says, "Discipline and chasten, and whip if necessary to get the child to learn obedience."
"The rod and reproof give wisdom: [any time you spank a child, you're putting something up in his brain too] but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame" (Prov. 29:15). Do you believe that's true? Leave a child to himself and he will bring shame upon his family. "Correct thy son and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul" (Prov. 29:17). That's the Word of God.
I'm laying special emphasis upon Christian discipline because this subject receives so little attention. Someone may ask if I mean to say that the fellow who doesn't rule his children well cannot be a good Christian. That is exactly what I mean Christian parents make their children obey. It may not be necessary for you to resort to the rod. I am saying, do not be afraid to use it when there is no other way. I am saying that restraint and obedience are essential for the growth of Christian character. Love your child; reason with him; show him the right and the wrong, but whip him if all else fails. The Scriptures say exactly that.
In 1 Timothy, chapter three, God gives the qualifications for a bishop, a pastor of a church and for a deacon. According to the Bible, a bishop will be "One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity." There it is stated clearly that no matter how sound his doctrine, how fervent his spirit, how clean his life, no man is fit to be an
officer of the church unless he has his children in hand and in subjection. That's what Scripture says.
I was sitting in the home of a preacher and his wife. Their son Jimmy came into the room where we were talking and the father said, "Jimmy, will you kindly shut the door for Daddy?" Jimmy began to get red: he glared and stamped his foot. "I won't," he said.
"Please, won't you, Jimmy, just for Daddy, please do."
The preacher father begged and pleaded with Jimmy, but the little boy stomped his foot and left the room. Brother, I'd like to have had that boy for five minutes. He'd have gone into the door shutting business for good. He'd shut every door in that community. We need some old-fashioned discipline in the home.
We still haven't discussed all of the verse: "And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath." The great principle of scriptural teaching is example. Children are repercussions of the parents. You show me a bad child and I'll show you that nine times out of ten there is something wrong with the parents. You are an example to your children.
There was a man who always stopped on his way to the office for a drink of whiskey at the corner tavern. There had been a snowfall the night before and on this particular morning he heard something behind him. When he turned around, there was his little seven-year-old boy, stepping as closely as possible in his father's tracks.
"Son what are you doing? You go back home. You'll catch cold."
The little boy said, "I'm just stepping in your tracks, Daddy."
The father went to the corner saloon but something stopped him that morning. He went to his office, but he could still hear: "Stepping in your tracks, Daddy." Then he began to think. "I come home at night drunk; I come home and use profanity. I love my little boy and he loves me; he wants to follow in my steps, but my steps are leading him to hell." The father dropped
to his knees and accepted Jesus Christ as Saviour. Then he made this promise, "I'm going home to be an example to my little boy."
To raise a family in this godless age is a tremendous and fearful responsibility before God! You ought to not take it lightly it is a heavy responsibility.
Treat your children with love and understanding. It isn't always necessary to whip a child. If you have won and deserved the love and respect of your children, a spoken word is often all that is necessary. Do not give harsh commands to your children. And never make a promise to a child if you do not intend to fulfill it.
"Lord, who am I to teach the ways of little children day by day,
So prone myself to go astray,
I teach them knowledge but I know how faint the flicker,
How the candles of my knowledge glow,
I teach them power to will and do but only to learn anew
My own great weakness through and through
But I find my love comes lagging far behind.
Lord, if their guide I still must be,
Oh, let the little children see their teacher
Learning hard on Thee."
Let your children see Christ in your life. How I thank God for my parents. I remember my mother and father praying. I thought my dad was mighty strict, but as I look back I thank God for every time he punished me. I thank God for every time my father got on his knees in prayer for his boy. My father, with prayer and a hickory stick, led his boy into the ministry of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He was an example of what a Christian father ought to be, and I stand here tonight and pay him tribute.
What about you as a parent, as a dad, as a mother? Scripture says, "Train up a child in the way he shall go and when he is old he will not depart from it." That is the Word of God.
If you train your child; pray for your children and live a Christ-like life before them, God says, "Some day, though they may be wayward now, some day they will come back."
Tonight you may not be a believer in Jesus. You may act, talk and look as though you are a child of God, but you're not sure that you are. You know it is wonderful to have God for a heavenly Father and to know that heaven is our home. There will be no tears or sorrow in that home.
We sing "There's no place like home." God says that some day we're going to an eternal home to spend eternity with Him. "I go to prepare a place for you," said Jesus. "I am building mansions in the sky. A home for eternity." Sometimes I get tired and discouraged down here. Fears come and burdens are heavy. I'm looking forward to getting home. What about you? It's a glorious home in the sky. With palaces of ivory, gates of pearl, streets of transparent gold. Where there are no tears, no suffering and no burdens. There shall be no night there because the Lord is the sun and moon thereof. Are you going to be there? I'm looking forward to it. How am I going? Not because I prepared to or earned my way, but because the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary died for my sins. What about you?
H.C. Morrison went to Africa. He went with one purpose to lead souls to Christ. As a missionary he labored and suffered for Christ in Africa. When he started home, Teddy Roosevelt was on the same boat. Roosevelt had been in Africa hunting lions. As the ship reached New York harbor, it seemed that all of New York had turned out to welcome Teddy Roosevelt. Ships were blowing their horns, the tugboats were tooting their whistles, bands and the mayor were there. H.C. Morrison said, "Broken in body, I stood on board that ship, the loneliest man in the word. I had been in Africa slaving for Jesus Christ and not a person in that whole crowd to welcome me home." Then he said, "Suddenly that scene in New York faded and I said to myself, 'Why should I be worried? I'm not home yet.' "
In his imagination he saw heaven's gates; he heard the trumpets blow, the band play, the orchestra of heaven, and the angelic chorus. He saw the gates flung open and Gabriel shouted, "Open the gates, H.C. Morrison is coming home." The angels put new robes on him and together they walked down those golden streets. Then Morrison came to the Lord Jesus sitting on the throne. The Lord stepped down from His throne and greeted him with open arms, saying, "Welcome home, Henry, we've been waiting a long time for you."
Is heaven your home tonight?
Chapter Nine || Table of Contents