Foundation of a Successful Home

What determines whether a home is successful? Is it the size of one’s bank account? What about the size of the home itself? Where the world may perceive success based upon material possessions, what does the Bible describe as successful? The greatest determining factor of a successful home is not found in its material wealth and possessions, but rather by its spiritual maturity. Therefore, by what definition of success is your home being directed?

The home should always be a place of safety and encouragement to all who enter within its doors. It should be a place where spiritual thoughts are discussed and meditated. The Word of God should have free discourse within the home and serve as a constant reminder to our commitment as family to serve God. The words of Joshua serve as a guidepost that directs our steps as a husband, wife, brother, and sister. Joshua said, “…But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15b). This devotion to God’s Word will manifest in our lives faithful service to the Lord. Ultimately, it will motivate all who live in our home to partake of God’s salvation, because eternity in heaven is our family’s greatest goal.

In the days prior to the flood, Noah and his wife were blessed with three children. Noah was told by God that He would destroy the earth by flood and to prepare by building an ark. Certainly this task would have felt overwhelming, but above that was now the salvation of his three sons. Noah faithfully served the Lord and built the ark precisely to the Lord’s command (Genesis 6:22; 7:5). When the time came for Noah to enter the ark, so did his wife, three sons, and their three wives. What had Noah been able to accomplish to save his entire family?

In the days prior to the battle of Jericho, Rahab took into her home two spies from the nation of Israel. Rehab confessed her faith in the God of Israel and His mighty power to deliver Jericho into their hands (Joshua 2:9-13). She asked of these two spies deliverance from the coming destruction, and her request was received. The two spies promised to save her and her family. After the walls had come down and the people were going up to destroy the city, Joshua commissioned the two spies to retrieve the “woman and all who belong to her, as you swore to her” (Joshua 6:22). How was Rahab able to save not only herself, but all who were in her household?

At Caesarea there was man named Cornelius, a devout man who feared God with all his household (Acts 10:1-2). Cornelius was a man simply trying to be faithful in the sight of God and to ultimately be saved from His wrath. When Cornelius was told to retrieve Peter at Joppa, he immediately sent two of his servants and a devout soldier. When Peter arrived at the house of Cornelius, he retold the story of the angel’s appearance and Peter responded, “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality” (Acts 10:34). Peter then preached the gospel and when the Holy Spirit had fallen on the household of Cornelius, Peter asked, “Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” (Acts 10:47). The household of Cornelius was then baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. How was Cornelius able to influence so many of his close friends and relatives to come hear the gospel?

In each of these examples, the common thread that unites them all is their fear of God. Noah feared the coming judgment of God against the world and he built an ark in order to be saved. Rahab feared the coming destruction of Jericho and placed her trust and faith in the two spies of Israel and their God. Cornelius was described by the Holy Spirit as a “God-fearing man” (Acts 10:2, 22). The fear of God enabled these three different stories to be united in a common salvation. These three families all came from different backgrounds and social standings, but their fear of God lead all three homes to be saved from the wrath of God.

Is the fear of God and obedience to His Word a good description of your home? Do we emphasize our commitment to God or allow other activities to take priority? The world can easily distract parents from the goal of heaven by offering momentary pleasures in various forms. Certainly, the sons of Noah could have ran away into the world and the household of Rahab could have ignored her warnings and continued to live in other places throughout Jericho. Cornelius’ family and friends could have thought of him as a fool and disregarded his invitation to hear Peter, but none of these situations occurred, because they were united by a fear of God. Can the same be said concerning my home? Have I instilled in the hearts of my children a proper respect and honor of the almighty God? May we be firm in our commitment to the Lord and never allow worldly definitions of success replace our greatest goal of achieving heaven!