By By Jerry & Bayne Pounds, Louisiana College
PINEVILLE – As children, most of us enjoyed a simple game that not only stimulated our minds but kept us from mischief.
The pencil and paper activity was called “Connect the Dots.” This activity always involved some type of drawing which contained a sequence of numbered dots.
The purpose was to begin with the first dot and draw a line to the second dot and so on. Soon, an outline of an object was revealed. An additional lagniappe, usually, was having extended time to color in the drawing.
Designed for children, this activity also captivates adults and allows one idea to be associated with another in order to find a “big picture.”
So, let’s connect some dots about “Christian homes.”
Dot 1: God created the family for evangelism and discipleship.
As believers, we would find it difficult to oppose the idea that our homes should be Christian. The fact is, however, that individual members of the home are Christian, and the family unit then testifies to following Christ or not. The Bible states that the way we live our lives will either make the Gospel attractive or repulsive to others (see Titus 2).
In Genesis 2:28, the Bible reveals that God’s plan is for a man to leave his father and mother and join his wife. In this union, two individual people become one and the home is built. God created an incomparable “connect-the-dots” by establishing the home in order to glorify Himself.
Yet, earthly families are broken and fallen – divorced, dysfunctional, abusive, separated by prison – and have been since Adam. Even the first family was devastated by sin and murder. On this earth, we can be free from the power of sin through Christ, but we will not be free from the presence of sin until heaven.
The good news, however, is the home was not established then or now to flounder on its own. This would not be the work or intent of a loving Heavenly Father. From the beginning, God planned for each believer to be joined together in a larger family – the church – in order to provide support, love, direction, and encouragement. This leads us to the second dot to connect.
Dot 2: The church equips parents to be evangelists and disciplers.
The local church is charged with the spiritual responsibility to minister to and support each “type” of family. The nuclear family—Dad, Mom, two children—has been joined by single parent families, extended families, childless families, stepfamilies, grandparent families, each with different dynamics within its structure.
The needs, goals, and concerns may be different in each family, but our focus as the church must remain on equipping families to be disciple making families.
Ephesians 4:12 teaches that God has called out those in the church who will “equip the saints for the work of ministry.” The replication continues as parents are equipped in their spiritual responsibilities to serve and minister within their families.
The father is the spiritual leader, and the mother supports her husband in disciplining their children. Where there is no father/mother, then the church has the profound opportunity and responsibility of stepping in to meet these needs – being brothers and sisters in the Lord, and helping others come to know a loving Heavenly Father.
Dots 3 & 4 & 5, & so on: Christian faith will be passed on to next generation.
“Shema Yisrael” (“Hear, Israel”) is the first two words of a section of the Torah. This declaration of faith serves as the foundation of the morning and evening Jewish prayer services (see Deuteronomy 6:4-9).
These verses instruct us to disciple our children from the moment they awake until the moment they are asleep, in order that our faith, the faith of our Christian homes, is passed down from one generation to another.
Psalm 145, and many other passages of Scripture, describes how faithfully pointing those coming behind us to a trustworthy Heavenly Father produces a next godly generation who will faithfully honor and praise God.
This ultimate version of “connect-the-dots” begins with God creating the home, then providing the church to disciple parents and caregivers, in order that the Christian faith is passed down to and through the children, from one generation to another. The end result is a beautiful picture of how your family can become a Christ honoring home, passing on the faith to the next generation. What a picture! What a testimony!
Jerry & Bayne Pounds, both PhDs, are professors of psychology at Louisiana College. Their “Christian Home” column is part of a series of commentaries provided by Louisiana College relating to the Southern Baptist Convention’s calendar of Special Emphasis Sundays.